Friday, April 30, 2021

0.0ms !!

 WEEK 108

Willy, Yuriy, Alex, Michael
Origin : Singapore, Canada, Taiwan, Malaysia 
Watchmaking class: Technician & Fullskill 
Current mood: Trying and still trying to get it to acceptable state, manipulating the hairspring ever since started one and half month ago. Wonder I am manipulating the hairspring or the hairspring manipulated me lol. Anyway got to do what you got to do. Have a nice weekend cheers. 


Renato & David
Origin: Zug, Zürich, Switzerland
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: David and I continued to work on the tools we need to create. Mainly the balance bridge holder, where we learned how to precisely turn the piece while keeping an accurate angle over the turned length and do respective fine adjustments. On same tool we learned how to do the threading. Outside threading on the lathe as well as inside threading on the drilling machine. I started to work on a piece that requires press fitting and also has narrow sides that are not easy to file to a precise 90° angle. For press fitting, I prepared a test piece and inserts with different sizes in 1/100mm steps to press in next week to get a better feel for press fitting. Turning to exactly 1/100 on the lathe was also tricky, since measurement of the piece diameter with calipers, while it's still in the lathe, needs some practice and is a good lesson in how calipers work in general and how to measure with them under special circumstances. I also catched up on drilling (David did that already earlier) and also on how to check accuracy of drilling markings on the profile projector. Learned quite a bit this week!


Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: 
This week I worked on some personal projects before moving on to the next section.
Specifically I worked on finishing off a few tools and pivot gauges and set up my tools and bench in preparation for the next section.
This went well as I was able to finish some projects that where 90% done and make progress with the pivot gauges leaving only one left to do.
All and all this was a good week and will reduce overall work and make the next section more effective.


STEP 1:  0.0ms BEAT ERROR! (MICHAEL)
0:0ms beat error!! still have to do the timing, but thats really unbelievable! therfore it was checked and confirmed several times!! Well done Michael!! Not that its the most important in timing but still its impressive to see such rare number!



STEP 2:  MACHINING! (DAVID & RENATO)



Tapping in the drilling machine and also threading screws in the lathe!



STEP 3:  TIMING PROBLEMS! (MICHAEL, WILLY, ALEX & YURIY)
A dimple was found in one of the cap jewels giving Michael a 50° amplitude loss btw dial positions!


STEP 4:  BOOKS! (RENATO)

New reading material from Renato! Very nice!!




HENRIK's WORDS:


It got colder this week! and raining! Everyone are very busy at the moment Markus soon moving on to complete watch repairs! that will for sure be very fun for him! David and Renato learning more about machining while Alex and Michael had 2 hairspring trial exams. Yuriy and Willy continued with timing and hairsprings soon they will learn the chronographs! Very divers and interesting week!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, April 23, 2021

TASTER COURSE!

 WEEK 107

Willy, Yuriy, Alex, Michael
Origin : Singapore, Canada, Taiwan, Malaysia 
Watchmaking class: Technician & Fullskill 
Current mood: Another busy busy week! Yuriy and Willy did their trial exam and also their real exam this week. Fingers crossed! Alex and Michael started with the dynamic poising of hairspring and timing the 6498 movement using the Witschi computer. Moreover, Alex and Michael will be having their hairspring trial exam next week.



Renato & David
Origin: Zug, Zürich, Switzerland
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: This week we had our first time using the lathe. We learned the rules about operating the lathe safely, maintaining cleanliness and order of operations. We did our first turning on the lathe successfully. On Friday we tried our first tapered turning on the lathe with a 2.5 degree angle. We noticed that a small degree of inaccuracy in the angle, creates a huge discrepancy at the end of the angle. We worked on adjusting our angle to correct the discrepancy. 


Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: 
Entry: This week I continued with the trial exams for the balance and hairspring. Focusing primarily on improving the work and increasing efficiency, this went better than expected as although their where errors certain parts that where slower in the previous exam became faster. Although the exams didn’t have the perfect result their was an improvment in the general performance which works as preperation for the next trial. 
In conclusion Although this was an intense week I was able to make progress and move forward in preperation for the next trial exam.




STEP 1:  TASTER COURSE! (FRANCESCO)



STEP 2:  TIMING! (ALEX & MICHAEL)
Timing is getting better for Michael and Alex!



STEP 3:  FRIDAY BOOKS! (RENATO)




STEP 4:  MILLING BLUE STEEL! (MICHAEL & ALEX)
Michael and Alex made for everyone a handy wrench for the ETACHRON regulating system, thank you!


STEP 5:  TAPERS! (DAVID & RENATO)
Renato turning tapers.


STEP 6:  PROJECTS! (DAVID)
This will possibly be one of Davids future projects.




HENRIK's WORDS:


This was another very busy week! Francesco arrived from Italy to do the taster course it was nice to see him and hopefully he will join us in the near future! Renato and David got introduced to the lathe learning the basics and also trying out turning long tapers. Michael and Alex continued with hairsprings and precision timing and also Markus made another practice exam. Willy and Yuriy had their exams this week. Although it was an intense week it was also very enjoyable!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, April 16, 2021

NEW BLOOD!

  WEEK 106

Willy, Yuriy, Alex, Michael
Origin : Singapore, Canada, Taiwan, Malaysia 
Watchmaking class: Technician & Fullskill 
Current mood: Greetings, lovely people! The activities between technicians and Fullskills are starting to diverge. The technicians are having their trial exams for their version of the hairspring exam which both of them get a strong pass!! Meanwhile, the Fullskills carry on moving towards their version of the exam. Needless to say, it's another week of endless tasks, sucking the life force out of all of us like an ever-hungry blackhole. Cheers~


Renato & David
Origin: Zug, Zürich, Switzerland
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: David joined this week (welcome!), I (Renato) already freshly started last week. We're both busy with creating various watchmaking tools, most of which will also be graded. Lots of filing and measuring taking place. Developing and experimenting with the best techniques to get the pieces to measure. This will be important later when under more time pressure. Funny, how far one can dive into details at steps that (at first glance) seem simple. Precisely filing corners and edges to measure is just one example... so many different files and customized tools to explore. In short: many things to learn and we're certainly looking forward to it!!


Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: 
This week I focused on the trail exam for the hairspring and timing section.
This went a lot better than last week as I was able to more efficently tie everything together compared to the first trial, additionally I found my performance to be a lot more efficent than last time taking less time for certain parts and being able to improve certain actions. This made this a good week but incredibly intensive. 


STEP 1:  NEW FULLSKILL STUDENT! (DAVID)
David arrived from Zürich enjoying the tool making!



STEP 2:  EXTRACTING THE STOCK MATERIAL! (RENATO & DAVID)
Before making the tools the material needs to be extracted.
One very long 8 mm thick brass bar ready for further sizing.
Renato sawing the stock to more manageable size.



STEP 3:  NEW TRADITION! (RENATO)
Renato had a great idea and offered to bring one of his watchmaking books each week for everyone to enjoy and learn more. Great idea!!



STEP 4:  ANGLES! (RENATO)
Renato measuring the angles on one of his tools.


STEP 5:  2ND PINNING! (ALEX & MICHAEL)
Michael checking his 2nd pinning point, inner and outer pinning points should align within 10°.



STEP 6:  STUDDING UP, REGULATING CURVE & DOUBLE BEND! (ALEX & MICHAEL)
After the 2nd pinning, Alex and Michael learn how to stud up the hairspring as well as how to form the regulating curve to a radial shape from spiral and separating the body of the hairspring from the regulating curve with a double bend.



STEP 7:  TUNING TOOLS! (YURIY)


Yuriy got some time in between trial exams and upgraded the spring of his escapement meter and also the gear bearings he upgraded with jewels, to reduce friction and make it more sensitive.



HENRIK's WORDS:


Busy week! David from Zürich in Switzerland joined the Fullskill class which was very nice to see! The technicians continue with hairsprings and had 2 trial exams both went very well! Probably next week they will do the real one. Michael and Alex learn how to do the 2nd pinning and also towards the end of the week they learn how to do the studding up, regulating curve and double bend. Markus continue with another trial exam and is getting closer to the real one. Renato had a great idea to start a new tradition; he will weekly bring a new book from his watch book collection for everyone to enjoy and get inspiration from! Thank you Renato! Although it was an intense week it was also very enjoyable!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, April 9, 2021

NEW ARRIVAL!

 WEEK 105

Willy, Yuriy, Alex, Michael
Origin : Singapore, Canada, Taiwan, Malaysia 
Age: n. a.
Watchmaking class: Technician & Fullskill 
Current mood: Busy week for all of us, we had a new student this week, Renato. We did some theory lecture regarding the effect of external influences on isochronism and on the period of oscillation. However, the Fullskill will be having a different hairspring exam which requires counting/vibrating the hairspring with ‘Master Lüthy’ the hairspring vibrating tool, second pinning and studding up next week.



Renato
Origin :Zug, Switzerland
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood:


Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: 
This week I started the final preperation’s for the hairspring and timing exam.
Since the balance, hairspring and timing section is such a big section with many sub sections and disciplines it was neccesary to prepare and go through each sub section thouroughly.
This went well as I was able to go through each section succesfully, being able to make the various complicated adjustments such as poising, vibrating and hairspring adjustments such as the regulating curve and double bend relatively easily. Although these sections went well the overall preperation was neccesary as certain small areas such as the set up was a bit rusty making this week a neccesity and good week in preperation for the exam.


STEP 1:  NEW FULLSKILL STUDENT! (RENATO)
Our new Fullskill student Renato enjoying the filing.


STEP 2:  VIBRATING/COUNTING! (TECHNICIAN)
In order to find the right frequency (18000 Vibrations per hour) we use this tool to compare our oscillator to a master oscillator under it, if they stay synchronized it is the same frequency as the master.


STEP 3:  HAIRSPRINGS! (TECHNICIAN)
Yuriy tweaking a hairspring in the movement for timing purpose.


STEP 4:  HERRLI! (ALL)
We had an amazing visist last Saturday at Herrli's in Bienne/Biel!
Watchmaker Lathes!








Mind boggling how much stuff there is!!



Thank you so much Maurizio for opening up Herrli the amazing watchmakers dream tool & part store!



HENRIK's WORDS:


This week was short of one day due to Easter. Renato from Zug in Switzerland joined the Fullskill class which was very nice to see! On Saturday we had the rare opportunity to visit Maurizio who has Herrli in Bienne, he opened up extra for us despite the Easter weekend, Thank you!! The Technicians continue with hairsprings and are now approaching the exam, we will most likely do the first practice exams next week. Michael and Alex learn the vibrating/counting of the oscillator (balance and hairspring). Markus did his first trial balance and hairspring, timing exam this week, Rather intense week but very fun!  Have a great weekend everyone! 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

FAREWELL PIERRE!

 WEEK 104

Big congratulations to Pierre for passing the final exam!!!

HENRIK's WORDS:

 

Today marked Pierre’s last day here in our school, we will surely miss him a lot as he always gave a positive and warm feel to the school atmosphere! Pierre did extremely well as a student with us and I am very happy for his accomplishments! He is always speaking highly of the school and has always helped out to make sure we are seen through our school Instagram and is always very helpful and kind to everyone! We will all truly miss Pierre and hope he will settle in well in Holland with the amazing Grönefeld Horological Brothers and enjoy life and work there. I am certainly hoping Pierre will not forget us and come and visit us next time he is in Switzerland. Farewell Pierre and I hope to see you soon again to share ideas and here your new experiences. Have a great Easter weekend everyone! 

Friday, March 26, 2021

FINAL EXAM!

 WEEK 103

Willy, Yuriy, Alex, Michael
Origin : Singapore, Canada, Taiwan, Malaysia 
Age: n. a.
Watchmaking class: Technician & Fullskill 
Current mood: Phase of the week "Delicate substance handle with care" . Handling hair spring, messing it up and trying to rectify it. Full throttle plus full concentration .  Only one word "Wonky" . Have a great weekend 😀


Pierre Aubert
Origin :Toulouse, France.
Age : 24
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: N/A, (In practical final exam)


Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: 
This week Pierre had his final exam and I focused on a few side projects during this time, specially the pivot gauges using a sections strategy to make several pivot gauges at once. This meant that I just worked on one section at a time in bulk such as body, pivot, burnishing etc. This strategy went well as I was able to increase the efficiency of my work as changing equipment was reduced.
In conclusion this was a good week although intense as each section required a lot of focus I was able too meet my daily goals.



STEP 1:  PINNING UP TO THE COLLET! (TECHNICIAN)
Pinned up hairspring to the collet.
Checking flatness and centering around the collet in the Bradux tool.



STEP 2:  HAIRSPRING ADJUSTMENTS! (TECHNICIAN)
Yuriy found this hairspring in one of his Zodiac watches for repair, it has the shape of a reversed umbrella which is a very common hairspring problem found on vintage watches, it can happen easily if someone pulls too much on the stud, which in this case is also out of square to the hairspring, he will later attempt to correct these problems.

Its a very delicate watch part!



STEP 3:  COFFEE! (ALL)
As our old coffee machine broke down after years of extreme use! Svenja found this gem, it was one of the talking points during break time this week, we love it! Thank you Svenja!





HENRIK's WORDS:


This week the most important happening was Pierre's practical final exam, which he completed well before the time was up, that is usually a very good sign! next week the experts will come to the school and grade his work, we all cross our fingers that he will pass! For the technician course, since last week they got introduced to the pinning up of hairspring to the collet including how to true it in the round and flat, they continued mostly with that this week and completed almost all of the exercises which is very fast! Some hairsprings got killed on the way, but that's for me expected when learning. Since Markus reached last week the timing course, he continued this week to finish off some old pivot gauges and will resume the timing course next week. Have a great weekend everyone!