Hi I'm Bob Tascione. From time to time I'm asked by my students and prospective students questions about myself. I think this is a great time and place to lay out some of the boring facts about who I am, how I got to be who I am and how I'm always striving to better myself by teaching other far more interesting people the dying art of horology.
As is the case with many of my students, I've been fascinated with watches and clocks as far back as my memory flows. Aware of this fascination, my Aunt Mary once gave me an old mechanical alarm clock to love and cherish always only to discover upon her return a few hours later a mess of parts strewn before a sobbing, tormented 6 year old crying the words "I dint mean ta kill dA CLOOOCKKK!!
By the time I'd reached my late teens many innocent timepieces had fallen at my sinister fingers. But the blood letting began to diminish in my early 20's and by the time I'd reached 22 my success rate was far greater than my kill. If I'd had someone to help me through it all I would be telling you an entirely different story.
I began working as a machinist in my early 20's, moving "up the ranks" to prototype machinist, toolmaker and finally tool designer. By the time I was 28 I'd accumulated enough machinery (bridgeports, lathes etc.) to begin a small tool design and fabrication business of my own. But throughout this period my true passion for watches and clocks never diminished. I'd been restoring watches the whole time, studying anything technical I could get my hands on. The brilliant contributions of the great masters Brequet, Harrison etc.dazzeled and humbled me at the same time. I began restoring fusees, repeaters and chronometers during this period. By the time I'd reached 30 I was able to make any parts I needed for watches and clocks and had designed, built and sold several skeleton clocks (1 seven foot skeleton with an 8 inch diameter escape wheel which I still have).
I continued to repair and restore all types of watches & clocks and eventually closed up the toolmaking business devoting all of my time to horology. Concentrating on watch restoration and making small parts for other watch and clockmakers enabled me to build a home based mail order business.
Over the years I'd met many people who were struggling, as I had, to learn watch repair on their own. I always sympathized with them knowing how frustrating it could be at times and did my very best to help them. We have some great watchmakers and clockmakers in our country capable of passing on their knowledge to aspiring horologists but, because of the huge shortage of qualified repairmen most are backed up many months or even years with work and understandably find it difficult to devote much time to teaching. I'd received many requests to start a watch repair class of my own and knew I would enjoy teaching as I had with a shop math class I'd taught years before but my situation was no different than that of the other watch and clockmakers. So in 1989 I decided to put together a video which would help the beginner get through the pitfalls I'd encountered while learning. The video was finished by 1990 and made available to NAWCC and AWI members. The response was amazing! I received many requests for any other videos I might produce in the future.
From 1990 on, I began concentrating more on trying to help beginning and intermediate watchmakers get past the most common obstacles encountered while learning watch repair. I realized that the next best thing to having a qualified watchmaker sitting at the same bench with a student was to use videos. That first video became the beginning of the Tascione Pocket Watch Repair Course which was completed in 1996. The course has since been sold in many national magazines, through lectures and numerous satellite and cable television appearances, and is now introducing many new people to the world of watch and clock collecting, which is perhaps my greastest reward.
I'm often asked if I plan to continue producing more videos and writing on horology. The answer is ABSOLUTELY!! At 59 I'm now devoting most of my work day to developing new interactive Online Courses.
National Association of
Watch Clock Collectors
American Watch/Clock Institute