Friday, September 18, 2020

SLOW WEEK!

  WEEK 76

Pierre Aubert
Origin :Toulouse, France.
Age : 24
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: Slow week: Started by drilling the recesses for the shoulders of my bridge screws. I am making special recesses to receive conical screws. My sequences were already ready for further op, but I was a bit tired and decided to do some more mindless work for the week! Thought it’d be smarter than messing up with the school watch! I was able to practice my first hairspring raises to make Breguet curves! It’s really interesting and satisfying! See you next week!


Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: 
This week did not go so well being both disruptive and draining which didn’t help for my exam and preparation.
However I was able to get back to it and I will use the weekend to get into the best condition for the exam next week.  


Michael
Origin : Malaysia
Age : 28
Watchmaking class : 2 years Fullskill Program
Current Mood: Burnishing pivot gauge is very challenging And nerve racking in some stages. Especially when it reaches below 0.10mm. Managed to snap a few on the way to 0.07mm. Making the dome was the nightmare, have to get rid of the burrs in a certain way and not damage your previous work. Looking forward for next week. 


Alex
Origin : Kaohsiung, Taiwan 
Age : 27
Watchmaking : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: Another week has passed. I have been mostly working on my pointed nose vise and have successfully made the both upper and lower piece. The screw is yet to be turned but the design is ready. It will be on top of my check list on Monday morning. 


STEP 1: MILLING! (ALEX)

Alex special design pointed nose vice after milling.


STEP 2: RAISED DOUBLE BEND! (BREGUET STYLE) (PIERRE)
Pierre tried out to raise the double bend like Breguet hairsprings, here is his first trial on a scrapped trial hairspring. 




STEP 3: SCHOOL WATCH! (PIERRE)
Pierre planning the screw recesses.

View of the recess through the microscope in the jig boring machine.






HENRIK's WORDS:

 

This was an easy and calm week, the first one in a very long time! Nothing really new to report back, except Michael learn how to shorten pivots and burnishing the dome at the end of them, Alex progressed well on his pointed nose vice and Pierre learned how to make the Breguet hairspring, he practiced making the double bend raise with special tweezers. Oh! If you like unusual mechanisms and watches go to the Naked Watchmaker, he featured some cool looking old pocket watches from my collection, really awesome photography too! https://www.thenakedwatchmaker.com/  and here you can find some of my watches; https://www.thenakedwatchmaker.com/ See you next week and have a great weekend!

Friday, September 11, 2020

GRADUATION!

 WEEK 75

Pierre Aubert, James Punshon, Jayne Zhuo
Origin : Sydney, Australia. Toulouse, France. Singapore.
Age : 38
Watchmaking class: Technician Course
Current mood: James here, for the final time! Graduation day! It came around so fast!

So sorry to be leaving! Had such an amazing experience. Wouldn't change a thing! So sad to be leaving, I'll be returning in a month for the Chronograph Short Course. Excited for that!

Final exams went well, very pleased. Never thought we'd get to the level we got to, in such a short time!

Time to venture out in to the big wide world, and find work in the industry. Hoping to set up a workshop from home and repair and restore gorgeous vintage timepieces.

Thank you Henrik and Svenja for an incredible 8 months! Will miss you both dearly! 

Until next time!

James

Hi Everyone, Jayne here! Can't believe today is our last day of school. Thanks Henrik for being the most patient teacher. The journey wasn't easy but I learned so much skills from this course. I will miss KHWCC family sooo much! T.T Looking forward to begin the next chapter of horology journey. If you want to learn watchmaking, KHWCC is the school! Farewell readers. =) 


Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: This week I continued with the gear train trial exams focusing on consistency, quality and finding new methods through experimentation to maximize time along with results. This went very well and I was able to raise my basics substantially whilst improving the efficiency of all the various tasks for the gear train module. 
Although tiring this week went very well thanks largely to the various different micro mechanics I’ve tackled.


Michael
Origin : Malaysia
Age : 28
Watchmaking class : 2 years Fullskill Program
Current Mood: Another busy week, after turning blue steel with HSS gravers now advancing to Hard Metal gravers to make pivot gauges. It is so much easier, however, the finishing seems better with HSS in a way. Looking forward to learn burnishing next week. On the other hand, Congratulations to James and Jayne for passing the technician course! Well done! Definitely going to miss both of you!



Alex
Origin : Kaohsiung, Taiwan 
Age : 27
Watchmaking : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: It's been a diverse week. Learned and practiced on how to oil the winding and setting, made some tools, finally lock down the design and in the process of making the pointed nose vise. Overall a nice week!! Oh and the technicians graduated. Will sure miss them!!!


STEP 1: GRADUATION DAY! (JAYNE & JAMES)
Everybody smile!


STEP 2: PRIVATE REPAIRS! (MARKUS)
Nice vintage watches from Markus that he will repair later in the course.







STEP 3: SCHOOL WATCH! (PIERRE)




Drilled bridge holes, ready for the next step.

STEP 4: PIVOT GAUGES! (MICHAEL)
Michael progressing well with the pivot gauges.


STEP 5: CELEBRATION OF THE TECHNICIAN COURSE STUDENTS! (ALL)
Apero in the nature!







HENRIK's WORDS:

Today (Friday) was the last day for the technician course! I am very proud of their hard work and always staying so positive! It’s always a bit sad when the students leave but also great for them as a new chapter in their life begins. We wish both Jayne and James the very best continuation on their watchmaking journey. As a celebration we all went to an amazing typical Swiss farm house restaurant, which was an awesome experience as well! We will miss both of them and hope to see them later in life one way or the other! Pierre has been working a lot on his school watch and is nearing the completion of his bridges, faster than I expected! Everything else is going very well for everyone, Michael is trying out to make square holes which means he has to first make the tool for it so that he can broach a round hole into a square hole, this technique may come in handy for him later if he would one day need to make for example a ratchet wheel or sliding pinion in restoration or his own watch. See you next week and have a great weekend!

Friday, September 4, 2020

STAY CALM IT’S THE FINAL EXAM!

 

WEEK 74


HENRIK's WORDS:

 

We arrived to the final exam for the technician course therefore had no time for the blogpost this week. Its unbelievable how fast 8 month passes by! For next week we will share more interesting pictures as Pierre has done good progress on his school watch that might be interesting for you to see. See you next week and have a great weekend!


Teaser for next week;

Pierre's bridges taking shape, here the recesses on the underside of the bridges turned out in the Schaublin 70 lathe, more to come next week. 

Friday, August 28, 2020

PREPARING FOR THE BIG EXAM!

                                                                      WEEK 73



Pierre Aubert, James Punshon, Jayne Zhuo
Origin : Sydney, Australia. Toulouse, France. Singapore.
Age : 38
Watchmaking class: Technician Course
Current mood: Hi everybody, Jayne here!
Our technician course is coming to a close :( It's hard to believe how far we have come! Had a full on week of preparing for our final exam, working on perfecting the 2892 and the 7750.
Hopefully everything goes smoothly on the day!
Will be sad when school is over, has been a blast!!
Wish us luck!


Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: 
This week I continued to expand the gear train module with last week focusing on getting back in and tackling both theory and servicing of the gear train, including the areas such as the barrel.
This week I continued with this section making tools and expanding the module to include the  end-shake and jewels.
This was a good week as I was not only able to tackle more of the technical aspect but get back into the routine whilst preparing for the gear train exam. 


Michael
Origin : Malaysia
Age : 28
Watchmaking class : 2 years Fullskill Program
Current Mood: After finishing the winding stem restoration, Henrik introduced to turn between the centres in the 8mm lathe and start making some pivot gauges. It was challenging to turn blue steel with HSS gravers. Looking forward to the actual burnishing of the pivot.



Alex
Origin : Kaohsiung, Taiwan 
Age : 27
Watchmaking : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: Back to the school!!! Been preparing tools for the upcoming course as well as organizing notes. Gonna start practicing on the assembly and disassembly of some movements and shock absorbers!! Excited for what is to come!! 


                                                STEP 1: SPECIALIZED TOOLS! (MARKUS)
                                Markus making special supports for the horia jeweling tool


                                        STEP 2: DEAD CENTER TURNING! (MICHAEL)


                                     STEP 3: BACK TO THE DREAM! (PIERRE)
                                        Pierre started to make bridges for his school watch, using the jig-boring                                                    machine to drill the holes.



HENRIK's WORDS:

We are already preparing for the technician final exam, lots of overhauling of watches! Very intense week for sure! Michael got introduced to turning between dead centers, this is a very important skill for any watchmaker to obtain to the highest personal level as its one of the most important part of classical watchmaking, indeed one of the most important skills for the art of watchmaking! Alex got introduced to the technician course and we talked about screwdrivers tweezers and the shock-absorber manipulation. Markus is progressing well with the geartrain course and has covered all the different parts of it and will be ready soon for practice exams. See you next week and have a great weekend! 

Friday, August 21, 2020

BACK TO WORK!

 WEEK 72



Pierre Aubert, James Punshon, Jayne Zhuo
Origin : Sydney, Australia. Toulouse, France. Singapore.
Age : 38
Watchmaking class: Technician Course
Current mood: James here! First week back after a lovely Swiss summer break. Hardest part of this week was remembering where I put all my rodico!
Finished off our repair module this week, which for my self included a restoration of a 1920's Lemania Chronograph, which i really enjoyed. Strangely enough, this was made here in La Chaux-de-Fonds, but I purchased it in my home country of Australia. It made it around the world and back again!
Preparations have begun for the final exams. The next few weeks will be busy, but I think everyone is excited to show what we have learnt!
Until next time!


Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: 
This week: After a long and necessary holiday we returned back to school, this was a good change of pace for me as I was able to get back to the work. 
Specifically this week I continued to expand my knowledge of the gear train the engineering and the protocols. Specially altering, checking the wheels and servicing the barrel.
This although straightforward had certain complexities that made it a new experience being both challenging and rewarding.


Michael
Origin : Malaysia
Age : 28
Watchmaking class : 2 years Fullskill Program
Current Mood: It’s good to be back after the summer holiday. Managed to finish the winding stem restoration project. Firstly, calculate all the required dimensions using calipers and profile projector. Made a brass piece sample and a steel winding stem is then produced with better finishing and better fitting. I am very glad with the results although the polishing could be better. Looking forward to next week. More micro mechanics!  



Alex
Origin : Kaohsiung, Taiwan 
Age : 27
Watchmaking : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: n.a.


STEP 1: REPAIRS! (PIERRE)
Pierre had an issue with one of his repairs, here he is analyzing if there was a problem coming from the escapement as the new Witschi timing machine has the possibility to compare both sides (entry and exit) noises, this gives us the possibility to compare the amplitudes, for entry and exit sides, for example, if one pallet had a deeper total lock it would have lower amplitude on that side of balance arc.


STEP 2: QUARTZ! (TECHNICIANS)
The technicians also learn to analyze quartz watches.


STEP 3: PRIVATE REPAIRS! (JAMES)




STEP 4: RESTORATION! (MICHAEL)
MICHAEL WORKING ON HIS RESTORATION PROJECT.
WITH THE REAL ONE AND THE BRASS PROTOTYPE

PROTOTYPE LOWER, UPPER IS THE REAL ONE.



HENRIK's WORDS:

First week of school after summer holidays! It feels great to be back at normal work again.This first week was also nice as we learn a lot of new things, Markus got introduced to two new subjects for the gear train course; inspecting wheels for faults and truing them in the flat as well as how to service the barrel with mainspring. The technicians also learn several new things; Automatic and calendar mechanisms, how to water resistance check a watch as well as how to do the final control of the completed watch repair, Michael completed his winding stem for an antique pocket watch where he had to learn how to design a new one as it was missing. During my break I also met with Peter from The Naked Watchmaker and we did some more projects together which was really nice! enjoy one here; https://www.thenakedwatchmaker.com/blog/2020/8/5/school-watches-le-locle-1941-1945 I also got invited to talk with Dan and Johnny at the In The Metal podcast That was a new experience for me as it was also live, you can find the talk here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoTAWSZHeOM it was very fun for sure! See you next week and have a great weekend!


Friday, July 24, 2020

SUMMER BREAK!

WEEK 68


The summer break arrived! This was our last week before we take our well deserved summer break. The Technicians continued to practice as much as possible on cases, dial and hands, and how to do the proper clean casing-up. Michael finished his final winding stem exam and started to design a winding stem for an antique pocket watch where it was missing. Alex continued with making some more pivot gauges after finishing his brass anvil and Markus continued studying the winding and setting mechanism and its lubrication. Today we also had our big summer clean and the school now looks like new again! See you in 3 weeks and enjoy the summer!

STEP 1: CASES! (TECHNICIAN) 
Vintage cases to practice case polishing on.


Pierre polishing a steel case.


James polishing an acrylic crystal.


Pierre water resistance testing a watch he just finished casing up.



Friday, July 17, 2020

SUMMER OUTING!

WEEK 67


Pierre Aubert, James Punshon, Jayne Zhuo
Origin : Sydney, Australia. Toulouse, France. Singapore.
Age : 38
Watchmaking class: Technician Course
Current mood: Hi Jayne here. Thought this week will end with a happy note of me servicing my first ever alarm watch with AS1475 movement. So excited with the idea of wearing it with alarm set for my last bus home. Sigh, just at the very last step of completion, I accidentally dropped the movement while setting the time and broke the pallet fork pivot. Guess now would be another good learning point. Yay that's why we are here for the course - to learn to fix things! Other than that, had a great time cleaning up the melted gasket of this vintage 1950s watch. It's all nice and shiny now, almost ready to be worn.


Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: 
This week was very interesting as I continued to build upon the fundamental with Both an Incabloc shock absorber exercise that focused on dexterity whilst disassembling the shock absorbers a crucial part of the watches anatomy that allows for accountancy and performance. 
An introduction to oiling, which is one of the most crucial skills in the technician section of this course and watchmaking as being able to evaluate which areas are in need of lubrication and applying the right amount of oil or grease is crucial in getting the time piece to run smoothly. In conclusion this week was both interesting and educational.


Michael
Origin : Malaysia
Age : 28
Watchmaking class : 2 years Fullskill Program
Current Mood: We went to Interlaken and hike half way up to the Rothorn peak at 2349.7m . It was a great school trip! Been doing trial exams on winding stem for this week. Looking forward to the real exam next week before summer holidays. 


Alex
Origin : Kaohsiung, Taiwan 
Age : 27
Watchmaking : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: The semester is close to its end. Still have no plan for the upcoming vacation due to the outbreak. Anyhow, calling it a day for i am out of words. Until next week.



STEP 1: PRIVATE REPAIRS! (JAYNE, JAMES)
OLD ALARM WATCH WITH CALIBER AS 1475.

RUBBER SEAL MOLTEN AROUND THE EDGE OF THE CASE (BLACK APPEARING RING), THAT WILL BE NASTY TO REMOVE!

 CLEAN!

 DISASSEMBLED WATCH.

ASSEMBLING IT BACK AND LUBRICATION AFTER CLEANING.

 JAMES DISASSEMBLED CHRONOGRAPH FOR REPAIR.

JAMES SEARCHING FOR A MAINSPRING FOR HIS CHRONOGRAPH.


STEP 2: TECHNIQUES! (TECHNICIAN)
PRACTICING THE REMOVAL OF VERY TIGHT CHRONOGRAPH SECONDS HANDS, WITH SPECIAL TOOL!

A TINY PIN IS PUSHING THROUGH THE HOLE IN THE CENTER OF THE HAND ON THE CHRONOGRAPH RUNNER PIVOT WHILE THE HAND IS SUPPORTED UNDER, THEREFORE DAMAGE TO THE HAND CAN BE AVOIDED, THE PIN IS THEN SCREWED FURTHER DOWN ON THE PIVOT AND EFFECTIVELY PUSHING THE MOVEMENT AWAY FROM THE HAND. 

PIERRE PRACTICING HAND SETTING.


STEP 3: SUMMER OUTING! (ALL)
 HAPPY BIRTHDAY PIERRE!

THE BOAT WE WENT WITH TO BRIENZ, DEPARTING FROM INTERLAKEN.

CLASSIC WAY TO GO UP THE SUMMIT!


 VIEW FROM THE BOAT!



 THE STRAWBERRIES ON THE WAY UP WERE DELICIOUS!

THE VIEW! 

THE SUMMIT!

HENRIK's WORDS:

This week was very fun as we went on our summer outing, this year we went to Interlaken to go with boat to Brienz to hike to Planalp to take a steam train to take us to the Rothorn summit. Pierre had his birthday at the same time!
Otherwise work continues as usual, the technicians are working on private repairs very interesting ones! and also learning more how to deal with dial, hands and cases. Markus is moving on with the lubrication of the winding and setting mechanism and other similar work. Alex finished his brass anvil and Michael is now ready for next weeks final winding stem exam. Next week is also the last one before we go on our much deserved summer holiday! Have a great weekend everyone!