Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology
Paris Junior College
Paris Junior College (PJC) was founded on June 16, 1924. Located in Paris, Texas, the school, initially housed in the city’s high school building, opened its doors with seven faculty members and ninety-one students. A year later, the college moved into an unused two-story post office. Horology became the colleges first technical program in 1942. Through the leadership and vision of seven presidents, a supportive board of regents, industry experts and a dedicated faculty, the Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology (TIJT) grew from its meager beginnings in the basement of PJC’s administration building to become a world renowned training facility.
The nature of the program has remained very true to a philosophy that people have come to associate with TIJT. Over the years TIJT has been fortunate to be able to stick with the things that have worked to make it a successful independent operation in a world that is often becoming more of a franchise. TIJT has 5 program areas. They are Horology, Jewelry, Gemology, Cad/Cam and Lapidary. While these courses are obviously not taught in the same room they all are located in the same facility. The Instructors as well as the Students are quite interconnected. The feeling has always been that exposure to all the different “Facets” (if you will) of the business makes a well rounded person that stands a better chance of achieving independence and success then one with a myopic view. While many graduates work in after sales service centers of major brands most work with independents and small companies. Increasing numbers are finding self employment a more profitable option. Hundreds of watchmakers from around the globe have started careers and developed lifelong friendships at the college.
Mechanical wristwatches are the primary focus of study. The courses cover the basic models as well as automatics, calendars, timers and chronographs. The experience is hands-on with lectures, discussions and demonstrations that are designed to prepare the apprentice for a career as a professional watchmaker. Subjects include nomenclature, material systems, cleaning, lubrication, lots of hairspring work, jeweling, escapements, regulation and dynamics of timekeeping. In addition to turning staffs and stems students are instructed in pivot burnishing, staff removal, jewel setting, repivioting and other fabrication processes.
Electronic and Quartz watches from vintage to modern are explored.
There are also elective options. As an example, TIJT is the only school still offering training in 6 different models of tuning fork movements.
Students may choose to earn a Certificate in Horology or elect to earn an Associate of Applied Science in Horology by taking additional academic classes. Both can be completed in sixteen months. Students take twelve credit hours per semester for four semesters. All horology students are also required to complete the business course Applied Jewelry Practices.
For students interested in jewelry, TIJT offers certificate programs in jewelry technology, casting and computer- aided jewelry design. Students may also earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Jewelry Technology.
Applicants must provide an official high school transcript showing date of graduation and signature of certifying official. Those who have completed their GED must provide a copy of their scores or GED certificate. Student housing is available on the campus. New student enrollment is 3 times yearly in January, May or August. All freshmen, transfer students and returning students not continuously enrolled beginning with the Fall 2011 semester need to show proof of immunization against bacterial meningitis. The law does not apply to students over the age of 30.
Horology instructor, Frank Poye, graduated from the horology program at TIJT. He operated his own watch sales and repair business before joining the faculty at his alma mater in 1991. Poye’s main interests are vintage timepieces and designing and fabricating watch cases and watch parts. He has served as director of the Research and Education Council of AWCI and was elected as an officer to the board of directors of the AWCI. Poye has attended the WOSTEP “Train the Trainers” program in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, and is a member of the NAWCC. He is a year round Scuba Diver, Musician, amateur Astronomer and collector of prehistoric artifacts.
For additional information:
On the Web : www.parisjc.edu/tijt (or) www.watchmaking.net
Phone: 1-800-232-5804 (or) 1-903-782-0361
Andrew Pham of Houston, TX. Hairspring Vibrating
Josh Durham is from Newville, PA. Automatic and Calendar watches.
Above,clockwise from left ~ Robert Rose using a Jocot Tool, Eric Lange from Blossom, TX. on Automatic/ Calendar watches Dave Wilbur of Climax, TX. on Automatic /Calendar watches, Matt Davis from Fort Worth, TX. on Automatic /Calendar watches. Jack Mangles from Amarillo, TX. and David Gerlicki from Memphis, TN. are forming Breguet overcoils and Robert Loper from Scottsdale, AZ.
Below, same shot as above just from behind everybody
Marvin Sierra a U.S. Marine he completed the program in May of 2010 and elected to stay around for a few more months to work on some of his personal projects and attend the Gemology and Bench Tech. Program
Dave Wilbur a Jeweler from Climax,Texas is recent graduate from the Watch program.
Robert Loper a U.S. Marine from Scottsdale,AZ and has had a passion for watches for quite sometime.
Robert Rose is from Oroville, CA. burnishing a pivot with a Jacot tool. Seated next to him is Eric Lange from Blossom, TX. working on Automatic and Calendar watches.
Above :Clockwise from the left Micheal Smith, David Gerlicki, Robert Loper, Dave Wilbur and Matt Davis. Seat towards the back is David Fausett
Front to back: Robert Loper, David Gerlicki, Micheal Smith
Left to Right:Robert Loper, David Gerlicki, Jack Mangles, Micheal Smith
Left to Right: David Gerlicki , Robert Loper
David Fausett from Phoenix, AZ. is Truing Train wheels.
Brandon Marrieta of Yuma, AZ. escapement repair
David Girliki of Memphis,TN Automatic watches
Shirley Perkins of Brownwood, TX. forming overcoil hairsprings
Micheal Smith of Oroville,CA vintage repair
2nd semester students Brandon Marrieta,Nikolaus Libby,Nate Bartush
Nate Bartush of Laramie, WY
1st semester students Buckley Gooding, Justin Wheat, Chris Pecora, Soa Ra fabricating pivot drills.
Micheal Smith and Robert Loper using the Elma-Spheric Dry Tester