Friday, June 18, 2021


 WEEK 115

Alex, Michael
Origin : Taiwan, Malaysia 
Watchmaking class: Technician & Fullskill 
Current mood: We both had an introduction to the making of the ETA 6498 hour wheel and had our Hour wheel Exam during the week as well. The P.P. Thornton wheel cutter was still in great condition despite being used over the past ten years or so. Hopefully the summer will ‘soon’ go away because working in SWEAT is definitely not nice! 

Renato & David
Origin: Zug, Zürich, Switzerland
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: This week I worked on designing the pointed head nose vice. After determining the exact dimensions of the rectangular shape, I worked on determining the angles of the pointed head. I made a 10x larger drawing on millimeter paper, which helped reduce the possible measuring error from the thickness of the pen used to draw the lines. After placing the drawing in the profile projector it was easy to measure the angles of the pointed head. I then took the 2 angles and made a test piece in the milling machine with the angled vice attachment. On this vice attachment the angles can be set on different axes. During this I was faced with an error. The piece was milling in an angle, which took time to realize that my test piece was not perfectly square. I had to mill all of the sides flat to ensure a stable and equal grip in the vice. Doing this corrected the error, and I milled the two angles that Measured in the profile projector. Taking the test piece I went back to the profile projector to measure the angles, where I found that my angles were indeed correct. Another challenge was calculating how much to mill down to get the perfect dimensions on each side. This was calculated by drawing parallel lines with a protractor to be able to measure the distance between the outer corner to the depth I would have to mill down. I moved on to milling my final piece which was already prepared last week. On one side I made an error, where I milled too much by accident, which I had to rectify, this will result in losing some points for that side during grading. Altogether it was a very successful week, where I pushed through many obstacles. Next week I will have to finish all the angles of the final piece, and then move onto drilling the holes, threaded and pressure fitted. (David).

Did another few base pieces on the lathe to make Horia pushers/anvils later on. Then prepared the brass base for my own design of the pallet fork holder. Besides that I spent quite some time with preparing 3 different gravers for hand graving on the India stone and Arkansas stone. Then I finally did a test piece on the jig borer, since we had the intro by Henrik and later on I started drilling the holes on the brass anvil on the jig borer. Unfortunately the 1mm drill broke during the automatic feed, so we'll have some fun dissolving it in acid next week (extraction). Also got a pretty cool aluminium saw from China and it's actually working perfectly (with proper blades) and build quality seems great. Very light as well :) Cool week! (Renato).

Francesco, Åsmund & Robert
Origin: Italy, Norway, USA
Watchmaking class: Fullskill 
Current mood: Hello, my name is Åsmund and i am from Norway( I am the first Norwegian attending the two year course, that’s quite cool!).

This is my second week and i have mostly been filing for two weeks straight. I got drawings of tools I am going to use during our course and it’s going to be useful for my career later in life as well. So that’s pretty interesting that I already started with something that will be useful for me, that way I will make sure it will be something I will be proud of. The four tools I have been making are balance bridge holder, brass wheel truing guide and a poising plate with square screws. The last one we could make our own design on it, so I tried to make it like my first letter in my name. ( see pictures, keep in mind that it’s far from finished. - will update later when it’s finished ) 

Until now I have been practicing sawing and filing thus far, mostly coarse filing and a little bit finer for maintaining flatness and making the corners sharp. Henrik has just showed me how to drill holes and threading which we are going to use on the tools, so I might start on that next week. 



Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: 
This week was focused on the preparation for the final exam.
Specially both the theory and practical, for the practical I did practice exams. These went well and where necessary as I was able to work on potential blind spots and do the entire movements according to the specifications of the exams which although stressful was worth it.
For the theory, I re read a chunk of theory for the various sections.
All and all this week was quiet intense but good preparation and additional preparation for next week will be done on the weekend. 

Alex and Michael working on making hour wheels!


Checking the profile in the profile projector!
A practice hour wheel made during the week!

Francesco practicing tapping a hole!

Renato was doing a number of rather diverse and interesting things this week!
Test brass piece to make some practice pointing and scribing on!

Can never have too many anvils for the Horia tool! To be made with different hole sizes whenever needed!

Very light and rigid aluminium framed piercing saw that Renato got, seemed rather good quality!

Pointing holes to be drilled in the jig borer!

With cutting tip modification for shoulder turning!


For anyone who like Universal Geneve chronographs these are must have books!


Renato brought some of his vintage watches to school, which sparked some great discussions! Very nice!

Åsmund working on his special design balance support!

Standing on its own!



Another busy week and hot! temperature keeps going up, now I need it to go down! 😅 The new Fullskill students got introduced how to drill holes with the drill press as well as how to tap with it, since they will later need to make some threaded holes for their tools. Michael and Alex got introduced to the hour wheel making, we all made one together and then they made one each as practice exam and the real one after. Renato got introduced to the jig boring machine and did some trials with it and David worked on his pointed nose vice in the milling machine. I also helped prepare Markus for his upcoming final exam next week as well. Very diverse and interesting week!! Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, June 11, 2021


  WEEK 114

Willy, Yuriy, Alex, Michael
Origin : Singapore, Canada, Taiwan, Malaysia 
Watchmaking class: Technician & Fullskill 
Current mood: New blood has arrived!! The workshop is more lively than ever before!! Just listening to the filling is giving me the illusion that I am 2 years younger already. Apart from that, we had lectures on calendar and automatic mechanism, casing, how to differentiate crystal as well as the installation. We will learn the making of hour wheel along side with its exam next week. Yep, see you next week!

Renato & David
Origin: Zug, Zürich, Switzerland
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: This week i worked on milling the brass anvil. This tool was of 50x50mm diameter and 8mm thick. At first I had to hand file the brass piece. I used a practice piece to test my milling accuracy, then I moved on to the main piece. In the end the piece turned out nicely (David). Renato finished milling the detachable pieces for his design of the head nose vise in the lathe. Then glued them to the main vise parts and will continue with milling them next week. He did his own design/drawing for a balance wheel/bridge 'vise' that will be used for poising. He also did the design of a pallet fork holder. Besides that he turned several base pieces to make custom Horis tool pushers/anvils later on.

Francesco, Asmund & Robert
Origin: Italy, Norway, USA
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: Coming soon!

Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: 
This week was fast and intense being focused on practical and theory preperation for the final exam week.
Specically for the practical I did movement work including a vintage Omega 284 to practice the execution for clients watches and real world trouble shooting that would be foundamental to the practical side of the exams. Additionally we also had some small demonstrations such as with the case. For the theory side of this week I would work from 5-7 everyday going through the questions and additionally today we had a lecture where we went through various questions.
All and all it was an intense week but a good week as I covered a lot.

New Fullskill students Checking the filed bottom side if its straight and flat against a square.

Asmund seems happy with the design of one of his tools!

Robert extracting brass for his tools!

Francesco making his own design on the balance support!

David practicing milling slots with the Aciera F1!

Renato was machining his replaceable jaws for the pointed nose vice! 

Extracting the 8 mm thick brass plate for larger tools!

Brass is money!

We got 3 squares each for the larger tools!


Very nice books from Renato!




Very busy week! we had 3 new Fullskill students starting on Monday, I was mainly busy introducing them to the workshops and the basics of filing and sawing, I also got some time to introduce David and Renato to the jig boring machine as well as having another session on cases and crystals for the technicians. Very good week!! Have a great weekend everyone!