Repair watches that have witnessed history over the years

Genghistep’s 50-year-old Genghis Altunbash has been trying to keep his profession alive, especially by repairing antique watches in his 10-square-meter shop for 32 years.

Altunbas, who learned watch repair from his late father Ali Reza Altunbas, a well-known master of Gaziantep, repaired old, broken and antique watches for many years without bowing to technology or resisting. Time

Altunbaş, who has been in the business of making watches learned from his father for years in his shop, opposite the Living Museum History Customs Han in the historic Caragoz district, has been happy to continue his father’s career for years.

Altunbaş, who has been working as an antique watch repairman since the age of 6, has maintained his profession, which has sunk into oblivion and also saved his father’s profession.

Altunbaş, who learned how to repair a watch from his father and a watchmaker at an elementary school age, continues to fan his art through various trainings.

Altunbaş, which completely repairs and repairs handmade antique watches, repairs lost or damaged mechanical parts of 300-400 year old antique watches that have not worked since the 16th century.

In addition to Gaziantep, collectors from all over Turkey find Altunba for antique watch repairs that they wanted to get but couldn’t. Altunbaş provides watches, the repair process of which takes days, sometimes weeks and sometimes months, to their owners, which works just like the first day, with the most valuable in terms of decoration, elegant in decorative sense and skillful technique.

Explaining that he learned to repair watches from his late father Ali Riza Altunbas, a well-known master of the city, Altunba said that although he repairs all kinds of watches, he mostly repairs antique watches.

“I became a master at the age of 18”

Noting that he had taken up the profession of watch repair from his father, Altunba said, “I learned the profession from my late father. My father was both my master and my father. I started this profession with my father when I was 6 years old. I have been working in my profession since I was 6 years old. I would go to school half day and work half day for dad. I became a complete master at the age of about 18. When my father died in 1992, I continued this profession. Says

“It is difficult to learn a profession after the age of 15-18”

Noting that all professions should be learned at a young age, Altunba said, “It is difficult to learn a profession after a certain age, especially after the age of 15-18. In childhood, that is, during primary school, the person has to adapt to the profession. When the child opens his eyes he will see the profession so that he will become a master in that profession. It is difficult to go to school and work at a young age. But at a young age, people are enthusiastic, you become enthusiastic as if you are playing a game, you can learn the profession more quickly. You work your way up to your brain faster. “

Saying that his father gave him an old watch to learn the profession, he repaired most watches by trial and error, and thus learned to repair the watch, Altunba said that his father was one of the artistic masters of Gaziantep and that he contributed to this profession year after year.

“I learned all my dad’s savings”

Mentioning that his father was one of the well-known masters of the city and there is no antique clock that he could not repair, Altunba said:

“Thank God I learned all about my father’s savings. At the moment, I can say that I am one of the best masters of Gaziantep. My father didn’t just teach me the business of making watches. It also taught me respect, love, loyalty and how to communicate with customers, just like I did at school. “

“I’m repairing an old watch that can’t be repaired.”

Noting that he has been doing his job with love for years, Altunba said, “If you don’t like the job, you can’t do it. The biggest feature is that you will like your work. You do this whenever you love your work, otherwise you will not succeed. This is why I love my work and I think I am successful in my work. I have been trying to continue this profession for 40 years. I repair all non-repairable watches in Gaziantep. Now that we have crossed the Gaziantep border, hours have begun to come to me from all over Turkey for repairs. I repair old antique watches that can’t be repaired, “he said.

Noting that each watch has its own characteristics, Altunbaş says that the mechanics of each watch that he repairs arouse curiosity as if solving a mystery.

“It takes effort and sacrifice to repair a watch”

Explaining that he sometimes worked one hour for the day and worked hard, Altunba said, “Sometimes we work for half a day and sometimes for an hour all day long. Repairing a watch takes effort and sacrifice. Because we disconnect the clock, we clean it and we fix its errors. This process takes a lot of time. We can’t fix the clock in such a short time. The job of making watches is not easy. You have to give yourself completely to the profession. You will love your work first and then you will succeed, “he said.

“Antique Clock Master is almost here”

Pointing out that their biggest problem is not being able to train staff, Altunba said, “Since there are not enough staff, Gaziantep has very few watch repairers. Gaziantep has a maximum of 7-8 masters left. Most new watch repair masters cannot repair mechanical watches. We have lost our mechanical and antique watch repairmen. ” Says (First)

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