Friday, June 28, 2019

It's HOT in Le Locle🌞

                                                           WEEK 12
                                                  It's HOT in Le Locle🌞

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 😁

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..!!πŸ˜‡

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 pinionπŸ˜‹

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! πŸ˜†
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 πŸ˜†!! 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 😁!!


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 πŸ˜†

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 πŸ˜‰). 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 πŸ˜†


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 πŸ˜‚ and was left with a full hole rather than a nicely milled area around my previously drilled hole(Bottom right)
#3 Finally got there!! 😎 (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

Friday, June 7, 2019

Summer Arrived In Le Locle!

WEEK 9:

Harman Wadhwa 
Origin : New Delhi, India
Age : 28
Watchmaking class : 8 month Service & Technician course
Current mood : This week was better than expected, I had my first intermediate exam which went pretty well πŸ˜πŸ’ƒ. In coming days I have to keep practicing for my final gear train exam which is on 21st of June, so till then will be finishing my exercises on barrels and gear train.



Pierre Aubert
Origin : Toulouse, France
Age : 22
Watchmaking class : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: Very Exciting week!! Most of my school time was dedicated to modifying my files so that I can file the appropriate and desired sharp angles required for a few tools. I love grinding on the lathe haha!! It is very satisfying. 
 As for my after school time 😎, a lot has happened. Or at least from my perspective πŸ˜†. I finished preparing my Yoke design and the required sequence of operations to make it on the Jig Borer. It has come out very nicely πŸ˜‰!! I will let you see the pictures (STEP 3 onward) and read the step by step description!! Feel free to ask any questions about the process!! I would be happy to share watchmaking experiences! Have a great weekend and see you next week!!

Markus Mc Donald
Origin : Stockholm, Sweden
Age: 20
STEP 1: HARMAN's TEST EXAM

Harman to the wheels:  why you are so complicated?

Bought these goodies from Herrli.






Interesting Franco Indian merger 

What to invest on? Harman's confusion at its apogee 😝

Sunny day in Biel/Bienne

STEP 3: MARKUS & THE LATHE 


STEP 3: 
PIERRE SCHOOL's WATCH => GETTING AHEAD WITH THE YOKE

Jig Boring Sequence of operations! 

 Setting up my work


It is actually coming out nicely and along the lines of my initial design! 

 Sawing a rough shape of the yoke for grinding operations. Grinding on the lathe has then allowed me to remove the bulk material and get closer to the required shape. Final adjustments are made by hand filing!

After a day of filing 😍 => The Yoke is fitting nicely on the main plate. The next step is hardening the Yoke before I bring it to final dimensions. Why? As I decided to combine the Yoke and its spring into one piece, I have a very thin section that can easily bend. I don't want it to snap. Hardening and tempering it will prevent this, and will allow me to file the spring section afterwards. Then, I will refine my angles and start beveling it!

 Hardening => Such a fascinating process!!! There is so much science involved in it..!! I loved it. 

 Tempering

HENRIK'S WORDS
What a lovely diverse week and hot! The summer finally came! we were melting on Tuesday as we were not yet used to such high temperatures! Harman was very busy getting ready for his first practice exam on the gear train, which went well. Pierre continuing on his school watch project and tool making, which is going faster than what I expected, and Markus got introduced to the Schaublin 70 watchmakers lathe, and finally we all ended the week together practicing heat treating steel. As I have been too busy preparing and teaching courses this week I got no time with my sapphire project, but will notify the next time I get a chance making something for it. As I was in a hurry last week I did not get the time to show all the pictures of Francesco's Restoration II course, so I put some more below, see you next week and have a great weekend!!

Rhodium plating watch parts


Practicing making and polishing screw chamfer's

Practicing circular graining and bluing.