Cambodia’s First Watchmaking School Opens in Phnom Penh

The Prince Horology Vocational Training Center.

One of Asia’s quickest growing economies, Cambodia remains a relatively small market for mechanical watches, but now boasts its own watchmaking school – led by a pair of former WOSTEP instructors – which will begin operations in mid 2020.

Supported by a local real estate conglomerate, the Prince Horology Vocational Training Center will offer a full-time, two-year course in watchmaking. Totalling some 3,400 hours of training, the watchmaking course will be comprehensive and modelled on the education offered by Swiss watchmaking schools.

Designed by a team that includes a former director of WOSTEP, Switzerland’s leading watchmaking school, the course includes watchmaking history and culture, toolmaking and maintenance, repair and servicing of both mechanical and quartz watches, as well as some parts production.

Filled with brand new equipment, the school is ready for its first students

Located in the Chrouy Changvar district of central Phnom Penh, the country’s capital, the Prince Horology Vocational Training Center recently opened its premises, which are fully equipped with brand new benches and tools, giving students the opportunity to learn both watch repair as well as movement part production and finishing.

The school’s leadership team includes Jessica Thakur, formerly an instructor at Richemont’s American watchmaking school in Texas and then at WOSTEP, as well as Maarten Pieters, who was the director of WOSTEP from 2002 to 2018. Prior to that, Mr Pieters spent several years at complications specialist THA, and then Omega’s Haute de Gamme department where he helped refine the Omega Central Tourbillon. And a senior adviser to the school is Xu Zhou, a mechanical engineer by training but also a self-taught watchmaker.

A milling machine

A jig borer

Digital vertical micrometer

A staking and jewelling set

Screwdrivers, tweezers and other small tools


Corporate social responsibility

Funded by the Prince Charitable Organization In Cambodia, the school will also offer scholarships to local students and those requiring financial assistance, ranging from a 50% subsidy of the school fees to a fully paid scholarship that includes accommodation.

The Prince Charitable Organization is part of the Prince Real Estate Group, a conglomerate based in Phnom Penh that is involved in property development, construction, agriculture, logistics as well as a local airline.

The first class at the school begins in June 2020, and interested students can apply directly to the school.

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All images courtesy of Prince Horology Vocational Training Center.


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