As one of Asia’s quickest growing economies, Cambodia remains a relatively small market for mechanical watches, but now the Kingdom can boast its first watchmaking school founded in Chrouy Changvar by the Prince Charitable Organization and backed by the Prince Real Estate Group.
“The seed that started this project came from the training centre’s senior adviser, Xu Zhou, a mechanical engineer and self-taught watchmaker who had the drive to share his watchmaking passion with the Cambodian people,” said Jessica Thakur, technical adviser to the Prince Horology Watchmaking School.
Sack-Man Loui, the executive principle and partner in the business, is also a watch aficionado and self-taught watchmaker.
After meeting up, the dream of Prince Horology was put in motion in a little over one year.
A pair of former watchmakers, both Switzerland Training and Educational Programme members, will lead a team of renowned instructors and will provide two-year courses at the school.
In addition to Zhou, who was a senior adviser brought in from Swiss consulting company Time 2 Sarl, and Loui, the team consists of Thakur and her husband Maarten Pieters, both well- known and experienced in designing and providing watchmaking education in Switzerland and around the globe, plus Anthony McGonigle, an expert and experienced watchmaker.
“Education is the gift of knowledge that can serve for a lifetime. The level of vocational education in Cambodia remains basic”, Thakur said. “This educational progra- mme provides an opportunity for Cambodians to become highly employable skilled professionals,” she added.
Thakur noted: “Because the school has only just started, the biggest challenge so far has been raising awareness about watchmaking, which is relatively unknown in Cambodia. However, we have had a great response and we are busy finalising our applications for the first class.”
Thakur said: “Watch making is a safe and comfortable, decently paid job. It requires patience, skill, creativity and problem-solving while offering the chance to work on treasured time-pieces. There is high demand throughout the world for skilled watchmakers and this is also the case in the ASEAN region.”
The lead instructor for the first programme is Anthony McGonigle, an expert and experienced watchmaker who has worked all across the globe and now has chosen to share his knowledge to the students of Cambodia’s first watchmaking school.
The Cambodian students will have to pay $2,500 for the two-year course and the school aims to provide scholarships to some students. For foreign students, however, the cost is $15,000.
“The generous donations and social work of the Prince Charitable Organization in Cambodia uphold its commitment to corporate social responsibility, public welfare and the promotion of social harmony. Investment in vocational education and training is a natural progression of their already extensive charity works in Cambodia,” Thakur added.
The first class at the school will start in June 2020.
Investment in vocational education and training is a natural progression of their already extensive charity works in Cambodia.
This article was first published in Khmer Times. All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.