Art & Design

York Time Institute teaches students to appreciate the art of horology

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YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — A school of horology in York houses its classes in a building from the 1800s.

“We teach watch and clock makers how to restore time pieces,” Daniel Nied, founder of York Time Institute, said.

On its campus, students learn how to fix, make and appreciate these treasures.

“There’s beauty. There’s functionality. There is the science,” Nied said.

And there’s the history.

 “A lot of this stuff, the technology and design, is over 200 years old,” Douglas Skinner said.

Skinner is a 69-year-old retiree and 2017 graduate of the York Time Institute.

“I like to think when I’m working on something like this, who owned it in the past? This could’ve been someone’s lifetime possession,” Skinner said.

This school is Nied’s lifetime passion. He started it in 2008, but it really began when he was a boy and disassembled his great-grandfather’s pocket watch, a family heirloom. His dad wasn’t pleased.

“He looked at the watch you have two hours to put it together or I will kill you,” Nied said. “I started to put it together, and half an hour later, I had it together and running.”

Nied is now dying to pass on knowledge of this dying profession. His program takes just under two years and costs just under $25,000. But graduates get scooped up in no time.

“There’s a huge shortage ,so unless they don’t want to work, there’s jobs,” Nied said.

He’s not cuckoo. Starting careers pay $70,000 — even $80,000 a year — and there are other benefits, too.

“Whenever I say to people I’m a watchmaker they look and give you a quizzical look and say oh that’s cool,” Skinner said.

Not as cool as sleek cell phones, which double as clocks for more and more people.

But when it comes to making something old new again…where better than a time institute?