Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all ..

We've all been in a festive mood the whole winter so nothing much to post about ! Anyway, its awesomely beautiful here now that the snow was really arrived. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

We have a new door sign ..

We think it looks much better than before ! Thank you Ulysse Nardin for arranging this for us ! 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A place of many memories ...

Henrik happened to be in Neuchatel over the weekend and he thought he would drop by WOSTEP to have a look. Anyway, Neuchatel is a really nice place even at night ...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Turning turning ... everyone's turning today ..

Its turning frenzy today in the school ! Everyone's on the lathes ! 

Robert Michelsen. Icelandic turning superstar. On his lathe ..

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Zenith, Le Locle

We had our school visit to Zenith in Le Locle today and it was awesome. We didn't take much pictures because it was not allowed due to Zenith showing us everything in their manufacture ! It was awesome though. We were attended to by one of their Trainers and one of their media communications personnel. They were really friendly and nice. Oh yeah ! And Zenith really had alot of heritage to speak about ! They are still producing their watches in the very same factory for almost 100 years. They also still have their old machines to produce anything from a 100 years ago. 

One of the most encouraging things which they did was to encourage our full skill students to try to apply to work in the manufacture as watchmakers upon graduation. That was very very encouraging and a pat in the back for us !

Zenith truly rocks !

And oh yeah, in all seriously and we are trying not to be biases here but they really do produce very nice looking classical watches ! 

Check out their website at http://www.zenith-watches.com/en/  !

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Benches before christmas ...

The christmas season is before us. Maybe we should do some christmassy things to our benches. Should we ? Otherwise,  they are just as deadpan as the Swiss winter. 

Oh ! And on Tuesday, we'll definitely have something exciting to post since we're going to visit the Zenith Manufacture in Le Locle. Watch out for that ! 

Student Bench 1

Robert's Bench

Student bench 2

Student Bench 3

Student Bench 4

Student Bench 5

Safety first !

I'm sure many are wondering why a blowtorch is being featured today.

Well, this is the story. One of our full skill student was trying to speed things up on the warming plate and he thought that using the blowtorch would hasten the process. Well, firstly, that doesn't work and secondly, what he didn't take into account was that the warming plate is situated next to the solvent cabinet. That was pretty dangerous and naturally Henrik was very concerned. The "culprit" was summoned before him the next day and was given a firm telling on workshop safety. 

So, even with best of intentions and plenty of fire warning labels, people do tend to forget about workshop safety and preventable accidents then happen ! 

Don't let that happen to you !

Safety first !

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cover well !

A shiny example of good watchmaker housekeeping habits. Always cover your components at the end of the day or have dust and other contaminations infiltrate your parts.

Mysterious projections ..

Henrik was being camera shy when this picture was taken. And he claims he needs a haircut ? Metrosexuals and their vain-ness ! 

Anyway, what was he doing ? He was trying to measure a component on the profile projector. Profile projectors are very important in watchmaking. Without them, its almost like driving in the dark without headlights. Not only can you trace outlines of components accurately on the profile projector, you're also able to do accurate measurements. This is a rather important machine for restoration as well as sometimes, you just can't get spare parts for 100 yr old watches and you need to make some parts from scratch. Profile projectors are godsends then ! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

UPDATE : Fullskill course 2012 intake

So far, there have been more than 20 Full skill applicants. 

There are only 4 places for the 2012 Full Skill watchmaking course but as of today, we have only given out 4 bench test placements.

If all 4 candidates pass their bench test, then the 2012 intake would be FULL. 

However, due to the overwhelming enquiries from interested students, we may increase the intake to 6 but that is a BIG "if".

Or you could bribe one of the lucky 4 to swap places secretly ... *wink *

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What a little love can do ....

It was an old watch. 

He came to Switzerland to learn restoration. 

He wanted to do something for her. 

She was his first love. 

And this was his first time away from home .... 

He dedicated his first restoration project to his wife ... 

And this was what came forth .... 

Does anyone know what this movement is or where it came from ?

The school always stock up old pocket watch movements and when we buy them, they often come in batches of about 20 - 100 pieces per box. Anyway, occasionally, we get a few movements in the bunch which we just cannot identify. Does anyone know where this one came from ? Its got pretty high-end finishing in some places like circular perlage etc etc .....

Friday, November 25, 2011

German silver

German silver is an alloy made up of Copper, nickel and Zinc. Most high-end watches are made with this alloy. Even though the namesake suggests that there is silver, in reality, there is actually none contained. The school teaches restoration and often, some of the movements we get are more than 50 years old, so basically, we can't just call the watch company up to order spare parts like we do with ETA movements. What do we do ? We build them from scratch ! And german silver and brass are the usual suspects !

For more information about German, go and read it in Wikipedia ! Of course ! The link is here.

Brass on the left and German Silver on the right.

German silver on the right. Its silvery appearance caused the metal to be called German silver even though there is no silver present in the alloy at all.

We sandblasted and coated this with Black Rhodium.

This is not finished yet but yeah, you get the idea. Ha ha. Its not that we have too much time on our hands but we really needed to do something cool and fun once in a while ..

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A great portable contraption ...

Its not everyday that a great contraption such as this portable macro tabletop studio is found. Unfortunately, we have no clue what brand manufactures this product. Does anyone have any clue and where we can buy this ? I got this off a random world wide web search. The text is in french but its all gibberish when i pass it through Google Translate.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Les Hauts-Geneveys

We had a small getaway at Les Hauts-Geneveys during the weekend. Anyway, all work and no play makes Jack and Co dull boys. Oh, we are not sexist or anything but seriously, not many girls apply to be watchmakers. Not many at all. Enjoy the sights everyone ! And oh yeah, this should attract anyone whom wants to be watchmakers to Le Locle. Les Hauts-Geneveys is only a short 15 min drive from Le Locle.