Polotsky began the artisan craft of watchmaking at the age of 17 when an esteemed watchmaker in Russia mentored him. For five years, he worked in Poljet, Moscow’s first watch factory, before being hired by Omega. In 1989, he was recruited by Tiffany’s in Manhattan, NY, and moved to the United States.
For 39 years, Polotsky has honed his watchmaker skills by operating in some of the tiniest of environments as a micro mechanic. Clients specifically choose him for his expertise in modern horology.
Regardless of all the tools at his disposal, Polotsky says that the most crucial element of the process is simply “patience – and lots of it.” And patience is not only important for the craft but for the experience itself.
Behind the Certification
If you’re spending several thousand dollars or more on a luxury watch, it’s important that you have the confidence that your investment will get superior care that’s been vetted. Igor Polotsky is a CW21 (Certified Watchmaker of the 21st Century) and possesses an OWME (Omega Watch Maker Evaluation) 1120 from Omega. The certifications, one of several that he maintains, are valuable assets that require a very high level of artistry to work on the world’s finest timepieces.
The certifications take countless hours of course work to earn qualification and to be approved as a post-sale service provider for specific brands such as Omega.
The certifications processes are not just exams to assess ability, but also include thesis work, projects, and examples of repair on the most high-quality timepieces available. In addition to certification and experience, Polotsky cites one other element for his success – passion.
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Passion for Watch Repair
Polotsky says, “While certifications allow you to meet requirements, passion is what helps you surpass them. It’s more about passion,” he says. “I don’t think of this as a job. It’s a way of living. I’m contributing to someone’s lifestyle and quality. It’s what I do. It’s all about watches.”
He attributes his success to a combination of passion and humility. “Be a respectful student. Find a mentor,” says Polotsky. “Learn. Take criticism. Take direction. That’s an important step in any industry.”
“Humility is so important to the learning process. Without it, you can never truly develop an authority on your craft. I took the courses and training my company provided,” says Polotsky. “I got the industry-specific training. And even after 37 years, I’m still looking to learn and develop. The learning process never ends.”
Polotsky truly enjoys educating his clients about their watch purchases and the importance of regular care and maintenance for their timepieces. If you’re interested in fine timepieces or more of Mr. Polotsky’s insights, take a look at his blog.