Thursday, July 28, 2011

Our new benches have arrived ...

Thats it ! After re-arranging all the benches, we realised we actually have ALOT more space than we thought we had. And oh yeah, the height of our benches can be adjusted electronically. How cool is that ?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

To a Great Teacher ...

Antoine Simonin. Picture taken from his Linkedln account.

While we were slogging hard at changing the curriculum, we took a step back and we looked at what lay ahead of us. It was a monumental task when we embarked on it and its still going to be work in progress when the 2011 students go through it. We know it will work out since the curriculum we are using has its roots from almost at least 50 years of modern watchmaking. So, we felt we should recognize the people who has made this possible.

Where did it all start ? Not surprisingly, our new curriculum shares its roots with the likes of Kari Voutilainen, Peter Speake-Marin and many other modern watch makers.  It all began in WOSTEP Neuchatel.

Therefore, it is only respectful and right that we have a tribute to the man that made it all happen.

Antoine Simonin.

He created the modern watchmaking education which everyone now knows and he also captained WOSTEP for many years until he left in 2003. Antoine Simonin has not only created and fathered modern watchmaking education, he has also nurtured generations of modern watchmakers.  And even when he left WOSTEP, he didn’t leave watchmaking. He continued his passion and love of watchmaking by running his own bookshop which specializes in watchmaking books. ( Bookshop website here; They have english books too )

And the whole idea behind KHWCC’s creation was  inspired by his passion and ingenuity. Like he said in an interview, “my passion was born as I was a student in the Bienne watch-making school. I must say, this was mostly due to some good teachers with very good training who pushed me on this way” . ( Interview article can be found here. )

Keeping such ideals in mind, we have modeled our curriculum on 4500 hrs instead of the 3,200 hrs instituted in other watchmaking schools. Mr Simonin was right on the target. Good watchmakers can only be produced if there are good and dedicated teachers who are willing to push their boundaries and also of their students.

Mr Simonin also said in another interview that ““Our responsibility towards the young people of today and tomorrow is to enable them to master a profession, to enjoy it and to be able to offer well appreciated services through their knowledge and skills. “ ( Interview article can be found here. )

That also inspired our curriculum review to include aspects of watchmaking which are creative and fun. For example, workshop safety is of paramount importance, and to encourage workshop safety, the school has a record of all safety infractions. Any student, whom in a space of one year, has a clean record gets 20 CHF as a reward at the end of that 1 year for being safe. Henrik also incorporates elements of wholesome competition in his teaching like occasionally having mini competitions where students get prizes for doing some tasks to a high standard.

Antoine Simonin was truly a visionary. He lived a life of watchmaking, of teaching watchmaking but importantly, inspiring watchmaking.

Therefore, KHWCC salutes your effort and we will continue with your aspirations because you inspire us all at KHWCC.

His Linkedln profile can be found here.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Another interesting watchmaking blog ..

This is a screen shot of Blixt's blog.

Check it out ! It shows him chronicling his construction of his 6497 based watch from start to finish.

Have a read below :-

Oh yeah ! Like Henrik, he's also from Sweden and is Wostep trained.

Friday, July 1, 2011

We have a topping tool ...

This just arrived in the mail today

Thats the cutting portion .... 

You place the wheel on the vertical bed and you crank a shaft to bring it close to the cutter on the right.

The wheel to be cut is brought to the cutter. 

We bought this last weekend to work on a special project and it arrived today from Portugal. It looks nice out of the box but because all the joints are loose, Henrik is going to refresh and restore it before its useable. Otherwise, its in a pretty good condition considering its more than a 100 years old.

Our Luthy hairspring tools ..

We thought we might post these Luthy hairspring tools pictures for fun since they look so cool. Actually we have 4 of these and they are really rare. Nobody makes them anymore sadly.

Our website designer : Tino

Tino on the left and Henrik on the right

This is our school website designer  ... Tino ....

He came to the school to meet Henrik. They are long time friends. He's from Denmark and he's at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival now !

Check out his website here.