Friday, July 5, 2024

Manufacture Visit!

Week 27

 This week we were grateful to have the opportunity to visit the manufacture of Laine!

 He showed us around the workshop and explained their different workstations.

Here is their media room. The inside has photography equipment and a small studio for taking professional photos. There is also a 3d printer that they use for making custom tools and other useful items.

The next room was where they kept the rose engine and straight line machine.
Mr. Laine demonstrated how the rose engine is operated and explained how its functions and features.

He also demonstrated a rare piece of machinery, a straight line machine! It is a similar machine to a rose engine, except that it only makes straight lines while a rose engine works in circular patterns.
Here is their assembly room where they do the final assembly and timing of their watches.
He showed us their small oven that they use for heat treating, tempering and for firing enamel items!
Here he is demonstrating how to operate their profile projector. It is used for precisely measuring the dimensions of items.
This is the main work area. It is where they have the lathes, polishing, and finishing stations.
In the back is where they keep the 3 CNC machines they use to make their own parts, pinions, wheels, and other essential components.

It was a very enlightening experience for us students who have goals of making their own watches, to see how a workshop is run, what essentials are needed and what are the problems and challenges we will face when operating our own workshops.

We are very grateful to Laine for granting us a good learning opportunity!


Workshop A+B

    Art, Daniel, David, Miguel, Mun, Nine
    Craig, Dunham, Ivan, Louis, Sheikh, Varun


    This week Art and Nine did more practice tests for winding stems.

    This week Daniel, David and Miguel finished their chronograph course! Michael also taught them how to use breguet tweezers and how to form breguet curves.

Here Michael is teaching them how to properly use the Breguet tweezers. You must align the cylinder properly to hold the hairspring in place for bending.

    This week Miguel worked on servicing and restoring an EMKA Geneve Ladies watch.

Here is the dial out of the case. There is a lot of dirt and tarnishing on the edges where it is close to the case.

Here is the dial after some cleaning. There are still some very hard stains from tarnishing.

Miguel also made a case tube for the watch. Here it is fresh from the lathe.

After plating it with white rhodium to match the silver case of the watch.

Here it is after being installed in the case of the watch.
He had to use the milling machine to open up the top of the case tube because of the way it is design to put in the movement.

     This week Mun started his gear train lesson. He is currently learning how to oil and service the parts of the winding and setting.

    This week Craig finished his first winding stem!


Thank you for reading!

Hope to see you again next week!

Friday, June 28, 2024

Busy week!


Week 26


Workshop A

    Art, Daniel, David, Miguel, Nine, Sheikh

    This week Art and Nine did several practice exams for winding stem.

    This week Miguel took and passed his hairspring exam! He also made 3 custom Horia tool anvils to support the roller table when putting it on the balance and when putting on the collet and hairspring.

After turning the all the dimensions before finishing.
Plating them in white rhodium to protect the surface.

The pieces after plating and finishing. The necks were tapered to create a strong but still stable support for the roller table.

    This week Daniel, David and Miguel started the chronograph course.

Here Michael is teaching them the parts of the chronograph using a Valjoux 22, column wheel movement.

Next he showed them a Longines pocket watch

This particular chronograph is special because it has an instantaneous jumping minute counter.

Finally he showed them a Zenith El Primero movement to show different executions of the column wheel chronograph.

To practice, they each have an ST19 column wheel movement which is a copy of the Venus 175 movement.
    This week Sheikh started the technician course. He cleaned and prepared his tools and supplies and started his first lesson, which is to diassemble, clean, and oil 30 incablocs.


Workshop B

    Craig, Louis

    This week Craig started on making winding stems. He learned heat treating, how to grind hard metal on the agathon and started making a steel ring to protect the large cylinder when filing the square.
Here he is learning how to shape hard metal on the Agathon to make slot gravers.
    This week Louis started restoring a Marine Chronometer.

It has a cylindrical hairspring.
The pivot of the center wheel has very thick rust from disuse.
In the process of cleaning up the rust.


 Thank you for reading!

Hope to see you again next week!

Friday, June 21, 2024

Tour de Suisse and Bench Test!

 Week 25

This week we had a nice surprise when the Tour de Suisse passed through the town in the afternoon! 

They closed the road in front of the school all the way through Le Locle and up to La Chaux de Fonds!

We also had a new bench tester! Sense from Thailand!

 Here he is black polishing some screws on a tin plate.


Workshop A + B 

    Art, Daniel, David, Miguel, Nine, Sheikh

    Craig, Dunham, Ivan, Louis, Mun, Varun 

    This week Art did practice exams to prepare for the winding stem exam.

    This week Daniel finished his case design for his school watch. It is made from 7 separate pieces screwed together.

    This week David tested bending and regulating a CGS 7.1 hairspring for the 6498.



    This week Miguel took several trial exams to prepare for the hairspring exam.

    This week Ivan, Louis and Varun started learning about the escapement. How to fix the lock of the pallet fork, how to fix the endshake of the pallet fork and balance wheel and how to adjust jewels and manipulate shellac.

Thank you for reading!
Hope to see you again next week! 

Friday, June 14, 2024

EPHJ Visit!


Week 24

This week we had a school trip to the annual EPHJ exhibit in Geneva.

    We got to see the different companies who produce the furnishings and other components for different watch brands.
Here is an assortment of loupes customized for different brands.
Here are several different designs for automatic rotors.
We met a company who is able to 3d print cases in titanium.
A multi axis CNC machine milling a watch case.
One of the movements from Dubois Depraz.
LESS SA's new product, eye glasses with an attached loupe
Their lighting technology is placed around the rim to illuminate the work piece.
A familiar looking sapphire case.
A company who specializes in making ceramic parts for bezels, pushers and crowns.
A company who was doing a demonstration of using a rose engine for hand guilloche.
    This week we also say goodbye to our good friend Faris as he finishes his 2 month extension to work on his own projects and he is returning home.


Workshop A+B

    Art, Daniel, David, Miguel, Nine, Sheikh
    Craig, Dunham, Ivan, Louis, Mun, Varun

    This week Art took a practice exam for winding stems.

    This Daniel has more progress on his bridges and mainplate design. Daniel has also passed his hair spring exam this week.

    This week Craig and Mun learned how to blue screws using the electric heater.

    This week Louis made a new 4th wheel and pinion for his his LeCoultre 5 minute repeater.

Louis hand spoked the 4th wheel

Louis remade the pinion as well the original pinion is the damaged one above,
The new one he made is underneath.

    This week Varun also finished adjusting the jewels and endshake for the gear train of the 7 movements and he also completed his geartrain exam.




Thank you for reading! Hope to see you again next week!