LALITPUR: Under the guidance and supervision of his father, Dirgha Muni Shakya started repairing watches at the age of 15 and
continues to do so even now at the age of 65. Shakya continues his family business opposite the Bhimsen Temple at Patan Durbar Square. “As a kid, I used to go to my father’s shop and watch him work and I had the same enthusiasm to work with the tiny parts of the
timepieces,” he says, adding that he has had no formal training and that experience has been his greatest teacher.
Shakya humbly informs that his shop does not have a name but due to his honesty, good nature, and effective work, customers know him and frequent the shop by coming in search of it from all over the city. In the past, he used to spend hours mending machines and automatic clocks. Compared to that, he feels there is very minimal work these days since he mostly has to work with quartz and digital watches only.
Although the shop repairs all kinds of watches, people gene-rally come to him for battery and integrated circuit (IC) problems and irregular running of watches. According to him, one can increase the life of their watches by simply protecting them from water and heat. He informs that model and price of watch determines the repairing charge. He says, “Quality watches need quality batteries and spare parts, so the service charges increase accordingly.” Along with getting the watch repaired, one can also buy new wristwatches and wall clocks at the shop.
Shakya opines that one has to have extensive knowledge about products and their spare parts, training and at least three years of experience in the field to open a watch repairing centre. “This job is not suitable for people who have neck, knee and back problems or those who are impatient, as it requires working alone for long hours while focusing on minute details,” he says.
Shakya, who has also trained his six children in the same line of work, and earns around Rs 22,000 per month from the shop, says, “The scope of watch repairing is good if a profess-ional is honest at his work and provides good service.”
Like any other businesses, load shedding has become a hindrance to this watch repair centre as well. “It’s very hard to work without sufficient light, so I close my shop early when we have long hours of load shedding.”
He does not have any plans to expand business and plans to retire after three years. Shakya lastly says, “Determination, honesty and hard work are keys to success. Any person who works by this mantra will be successful sooner or
later in life.”