Friday, July 12, 2019

Christmas Came Early!

                                                                WEEK 14
                                                       Christmas came early.

Harman Wadhwa 
Origin : New Delhi, India
Age : 28
Watchmaking class : 8 month Service & Technician course
Current mood : Damn!! Just realized this week i completed 3 months of my course! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ(as Henrik says, time flies in LeLocle) 
I`m working  on escapements which is continuation of last week, its going good working on the division and end shake of the escapement.
it feels like Christmas for all of us, we all got our new tools which we ordered.  *watchmakers can understand this feeling . ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿ˜

It was a week of celebration too, i got my result for the gear train exam, which was awesome and i`m pretty happy about it.๐ŸŽ–
Secondly, Today is Pierre birthday so we celebrated together at the institute :)
Until next week, Namaste ๐Ÿ™





Pierre Aubert
Origin : Toulouse, France
Age : 23
Watchmaking class : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: I started to work on winding stem squares this week. It is the application of all the micro-mechanic skills that I have covered until now- which makes it very enjoyable and exciting! See you next week and have a great weekend! 

Markus Mc Donald
Origin : Stockholm, Sweden
Age: 20
Watchmaking class : 2Y Fullskill program.
Current Mood: This week was a continuation from last week with an emphasis on grinding and the lathe. 
Firstly was grinding, the objective of grinding was to evolve the quality and fix each piece so that they are all symmetrical and cut from a 30 degree angle. This process was a continues one of trial and error as I had to rework many angles of the piece to be consistent.
The result was the graver being both symmetrical and having a diamond shape.
Secondly was the lathe which was more straight forward with two parts. The first being the calculation and adjustment of the machine to cut from a specific angle, this angle allowed for a cone shape to be cut automatically. This on a conceptional level was challenging however when overcome allowed for a vital part of the lathe to be learned.


The second part was focused on developing threading, the objective was to increase consistency and quality with the external threads as this is one of the most vital aspects both visually and practically.
The conclusion of both of these parts was that a three section piece was able to be created. One that utilized external threads, a middle point and a cone.


STEP 1: Escapements and Tools
                             


Cant explain this moment, it was a struggle working with Peseux 7001 escapement.๐Ÿคฌ

                                                                      Pallet fork


Adjusting the guard pin of the pallet fork

STEP 2: Winding stem!







STEP 3: Turning the cone on lathe.





                                                    ------------------------------------------------

                                  Loved the new microscopes @ Horotec office , La Chaux Fond

Happy Birthday Pierre!




Henrik words!!

Will make this one a bit shorter as i am running out of time! Nothing much new to say, except the sapphire project is coming along nicely but I will have to take a break from it until August again as I am getting closer to the US trip and summer classes that need preparation, in the meantime the students are doing very well!! Have to run now, but see you next week and have a great weekend!
      





Friday, July 5, 2019

Cook-out Week ๐Ÿฒ

                                                            WEEK 13
                                                       Cook-out Week ๐Ÿฒ

Harman Wadhwa 
Origin : New Delhi, India
Age : 28
Watchmaking class : 8 month Service & Technician course
Current mood : this week was great, my exam went well and we had a`cook-out`(Cookout happens once a month, one of us cooks lunch in school and we all enjoy the day together on weekend). It was my turn this month, so I cooked Indian food and went for a short hike in France.๐Ÿ˜ƒ
As for school work, I have started to cover escapements & canon pinions. Both are really interesting, and I love it. 


Pierre Aubert
Origin : Toulouse, France
Age : 22
Watchmaking class : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: Very exciting week!! I was introduced to hand turning on the 8mm Lathe. It is the most characteristic skill of a classical watchmaker! In fact, it is the one thing I dreamed to learn the most before I joined watchmaking school. And as expected, it is just amazing..!! It is very similar to filing: it is a matter of connecting your hands to your mind in order to achieve any shape you would like! And your hand is freely moving into the material, which just feels like sculpting..!! But it also has to meet all your watchmaking requirements for function ๐Ÿ˜Ž I just loved it. In that regard, I have started to make conical pivots, domed pivots and spot centers- all of which are going to allow me to make actual watchmaking parts in the future (balance staffs, winding stems, pivots ...etc). You can literally make anything you want with it, and I find this very appealing. 
As for the school watch, the setting lever spring is almost done: it is already 100% functional, but I want to keep filing so that it becomes buttery smooth when pulling the crown in and out. 
We also had the great pleasure to explore Indian food thanks to Harman!! It was really delicious! And I must say that I have enjoyed the spices a lot.

Have a great weekend and see you next week!

Markus Mc Donald
Origin : Stockholm, Sweden
Age: 20
Watchmaking class : 2Y Fullskill program.
Current Mood: This week was focused on the lathe and a mix of filling tools and grinding gravers which allowed me to stay focused and challenged. What stood out too me during the week was the machine and application of the lathe , although the removal of material is both a pleasure and a challenge being a science of precision onto itself. What brought me the most head scratching and Inquisition, was the various different applications of the Lathe.
This week was aimed at tackling both the external and internal threading which came with its own measurements and step by step process which in the upcoming weeks will become smoother and more experimental to the point of refinement of this versatile yet challenging application. 
STEP 1: INDIAN FOOD ANYONE?






Indian cuisine!

Happy faces!!





Great views!





Types of Escapements!!

Learning to Glue the pallet jewels!

STEP 2: MARKUS AND THREADING OPERATIONS






STEP 3: HAND TURNING!
 Modifying gravers to suit my hand turning tasks! 



HENRIK'S WORDS

This week was very pleasant! The temperature dropped to a comfortable level and I think everyone was happy with that. I also got to enjoy very good Indian cuisine cooked by Harman, delicious! after the cook out we had a nice hike together in France which was also very enjoyable. This week I also introduced Harman to the escapement he seemed very excited about it! Markus also learned a new subject, how to make threads both external and internal in the lathe, he also seemed to enjoy it very much! I teach Pierre the basics of the hand turning with the 8mm lathe, needless to say he loved it! My sapphire project is progressing well, so far I am happy with the shapes developing on the movement, cant wait to see how the entire movement with its modifications will look ones finished! Have to run now, but see you next week and have a great weekend! 

Friday, June 28, 2019

It's HOT in Le Locle๐ŸŒž

                                                           WEEK 12
                                                  It's HOT in Le Locle๐ŸŒž

Harman Wadhwa 
Origin : New Delhi, India
Age : 28
Watchmaking class : 8 month Service & Technician course
Current mood : This week I have focused on perfecting the quality of my work on various movements, which includes aspects like lubrication, end-shake and flatness of the gear train wheels. I have also practiced on 7 different ETA movements all that I have learned thus far. The goal: reach the Swiss quality standards. As for my 1st real mid exam, it is rescheduled for the 02.07.19 (this Tuesday), so wish me luck ๐Ÿ˜

Pierre Aubert
Origin : Toulouse, France
Age : 22
Watchmaking class : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: I continued to work on my gravers (for future hand-turning tasks) this week, and have made great progress on my setting lever spring (for the school watch)! It is now functional!! Further description under the pictures. See you next week and stay hydrated..!!๐Ÿ˜‡

Markus Mc Donald
Origin : Stockholm, Sweden
Age: 20

STEP 1: CHOOSE TO ACHIEVE PERFECTION!


                                            Just a few things , you might need to fix the cannon pinion๐Ÿ˜‹

Different types of cannon pinions 

STEP 2: GRAVERS


STEP 3: SCHOOL WATCH

Shape after initial filing: The setting lever pin sits nicely in the spring's dedicated space for it. 

It travels smoothly to its second position. The in-between section has a too high radius however- this prevents the pin from moving back to its initial position when switching from the setting position to the winding position. 

I have smoothed out the middle section by reducing its radius: the spring is now functional! ๐Ÿ˜†
I just need to keep going so that it becomes 100% smooth! 


HENRIK'S WORDS

Wow! This week was really hot! Luckily we have an AC just in case it gets too hot. Despite the increase in temperature the students performed really well! I expected some slowdown in output but somehow we pushed through as usual. Markus is progressing well with the lathe and will start learning new uses of it next week, Harman is coming to the end of his gear train course and will begin the escapement course next week, Pierre got his setting lever spring to work! And I had some time in between work and evenings to push forward with my sapphire case project, where the movement modifications are slowly taking shape, all in all a very enjoyable week!  Have to run now, but see you next week and have a great weekend! 









Friday, June 21, 2019

IT FEELS GOOD TO BE BUSY!

WEEK 11:
 IT FEELS GOOD TO BE BUSY!

Harman Wadhwa 
Origin : New Delhi, India
Age : 28
Watchmaking class : 8 month Service & Technician course
Current mood : Not available

Pierre Aubert
Origin : Toulouse, France
Age : 22
Watchmaking class : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: Wishing it were still Monday ๐Ÿ˜†!! There is so much I want to do..! This was another great week in the workshop. I have been focusing on precision filing for both my school tools and my setting lever spring for the school watch (more on this next week). I started grinding to form gravers which are to be used for hand turning later on. It is a very pleasurable and interesting task. Unlike regular filing, we cannot see the working face while grinding. Feeling and regular checks are thus key to accurate grinding. We also had the chance to meet Brad, a former student who now runs his own brand with Charles (another former student)! We were very lucky to get detailed advice from his valuable experience!! Many thanks again! Last but not least, Henrik, Svenja (The School Administrator) and I (since it was in French) attended a conference on Jules Grossmann in Le Locle. It was fascinating to see the underrated influence of Germans in the successful development of the Swiss industrialization of watchmaking..!! Atomic clocks were then covered: what a captivating subject..!! Nothing would be like it is in today's world if it was not for the precision of Atomic clocks..! It was also a great opportunity to meet experts of the industry! Restorers to be more specific ๐Ÿ˜!!


Markus Mc Donald
Origin : Stockholm, Sweden
Age: 20

STEP 1: 
HARMAN LEARNING HOW TO REMOVE A STUCK SCREW

To remove the stuck screw thread, a staking set was used!


STEP 2: MARKUS AND THE LATHE

Applying last week's lessons!

STEP 3:
 PIERRE AND HAND GRINDING OF THE GRAVERS

STEP 4: 
HENRIK & HARMAN AT THE EPHJ! 

It is the largest international trade show dedicated to high precision in fields ranging from watchmaking to medtech! 











 STEP 5: CONFERENCE ON JULES GROSSMAN & ATOMIC CLOCKS! 


 This is the glass tube where is held the Rubidium for Rubidium Atomic Clocks! 

 The tube is placed in this metallic cover for the frequency adjustments to happen. This allows Rubidium Atomic Clocks to be placed on GPS satellites where precision is ESSENTIAL..!!! In fact, while an error of 1 sec at sea causes a 500 m positioning error, a 1 second would cause a 300,000 km positioning error for a satellite..!! This is why Rubidium Atomic Clocks are accurate to the nanoseconds (ns), at least. 

HENRIK'S WORDS

One more super busy week!! Brad who took the Fullskill many years ago came by to say hello, it was really great to catch up! He now runs his own watch brand together with another former student (Charles) also from my school! I Could not be more proud of their achievements!! Later in the week I also went with Harman to EPHJ in Geneva, its like candy land for a watchmaker or any technical people from our domain of work (and related)! After work on Thursday I also went with Pierre to a conference about Jules Grossmann (director of the first watchmaking school here in Le Locle) it was very interesting, the atomic clock was also covered by another speaker. Otherwise work progressed well for all the students, I even got some spare time to get back to my sapphire project, now working on the movement, will share some pics soon when I get some time to organize the photos.  Have to run now, but see you next week and have a great weekend!





Friday, June 14, 2019

Vintage Chronograph Valjoux 22/23 Chronograph Course

WEEK 10: EVERYONE IS AWAY ๐Ÿ˜†

Harman left to meet with his parents in Sweden! Markus also left to attend a wedding. In the meantime, the workshop was bustling with activity as Jack from AWCI came for the Chronograph course.


Harman Wadhwa 
Origin : New Delhi, India
Age : 28
Watchmaking class : Not available 

Pierre Aubert
Origin : Toulouse, France
Age : 22



Watchmaking class : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: I had such a great week!! I spent the week working on my tools during school time and have really pushed the hours after school to make progress on my school watch! For clarity purposes I will let you have a look at the pictures and their respective description down below! It should be easier to understand the process :) Again, if you have any questions do not hesitate to ask them!! Have a great week-end and see you next week!

Markus Mc Donald
Origin : Stockholm, Sweden
Age: 20

STEP 1: SCHOOL WATCH 

I finished filing the Yoke last Sunday, it is now fully functional: it allows smooth setting action and winding. I will bring its spring to final dimensions later. In fact, I have dedicated this week to the making of my setting lever spring (or jumper for Jack ๐Ÿ˜‰). The first step was to design the spring according to the travel of the setting lever in between the setting and winding positions (inherently determined by the shape-size of my Yoke!). 


 Once I figured out the appropriate design, I prepared my sequence of operations for using the Jig Borer! And that is when the fun start ๐Ÿ˜†


In fact, I had to start over three times: 
#1 The drill broke halfway through the process, rendering the piece useless. (Bottom right in the picture above)
#2 Everything went well except that I messed up my milling operation calculations at the last minute ๐Ÿ˜‚ and was left with a full hole rather than a nicely milled area around my previously drilled hole(Bottom right)
#3 Finally got there!! ๐Ÿ˜Ž (Bottom left). It is actually a lot of fun to go through all these mistakes..!! Why? I simply LEARN A LOT..!! and I really enjoy improving the way I do things every time I have to re-do them!! Next step: sawing my piece out of the steel plate. 



After I sawed it, I hardened it and tempered it. It was now ready for grinding! The goal: use a lathe on which is mounted a diamond cutting wheel to grind a rather rough piece, and bring it closer to its final dimensions.


The peg wood sticks allowed me to precisely move the spring into the wheel in order to remove material. I will now use diamond files to give it its final shape and make it functional! 

HENRIK'S WORDS
This week was very fun and motivating, Jack from the United States came over for a specialized course on the Vintage Chronograph. We went through all the theory and analyzing of the function as well as made a functioning hammer for one of the Valjoux 22 movements, we also had time to modify a screwdriver to be extra short so that Jack can adjust the eccentric's directly in the microscope as well as making a column wheel key to be able to check the timing of all the levers operating with the column wheel, below I put some highlights form the course, not in any particular order. Pierre did very well and progressed on his school watch with his setting lever spring, Harman had time to do one more practice exam before he went a short stint over to Sweden, Markus continued working on his tools until he also left on Friday to attend a marriage. Have to run now, but see you next week and have a great weekend!!

Column wheel key.

Hardening column wheel key.

Broken screwdriver.

Modifying broken screwdriver in lathe.


Extra short screwdriver.
Jack milling a hammer for the Valjoux 22 in the pantograph.
Jack working on the Pantograph milling out the hammer.

Jack and Henrik at the pantograph
















Beveling the hammer.

Tapping the tube hole and screw hole of the hammer.

Drawing the milling path.

Hammer being tested in the movement