Thursday, September 29, 2011

It really doesn't have to be all about watchmaking ...

Well, we had a few interesting people face booking us and so maybe this would be nice to post. And appropriately, its called maybe ...

Maybe…We are supposed to meet the wrong people before meeting the Right one, so that when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be grateful for that gift.
Maybe…it is true that we don’t know what we have got until we lose it, but it is also true that we don’t know what we have been missing until it arrives.
Maybe…the happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of Everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their Way.
Maybe…the best kind of love is the kind you where you can sit on a sofa Together never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best Conversation you’ve ever had.
Maybe…you shouldn’t go for looks; they can deceive. Don’t go for wealth; even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile, because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright.
Maybe…you should hope for enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, and enough hope to make you happy.
Maybe… Love is not about finding the perfect person; it’s about learning to see an imperfect person perfectly. When you do what you can, love will do what you can’t.
Maybe… you should dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go, be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you dream of, and want to do.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

After the battle .........

"I come bearing an olive branch in one hand, and the freedom fighter's gun in the other. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand ...... "

It was a tough battle with a virus running in the school email server but we were victorious ! 

Anyway, no greater way to celebrate the triumph than with a show of Victory ! 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Virus alert

Dear all,

Someone sent a link containing a virus to the school email and it infected Henrik's hotmail account. Therefore, if anyone has tried to email the school and it has been unsuccessful, we do humbly apologize. Furthermore, if anyone has received any emails from the school email server promoting inappropriate medication, that was not sent by anyone in the school. Please delete that email instantly.

All school computers have been scanned for viruses and all viruses have been removed.

We apologize for any convenience caused.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Part 1 : The visit !

More pictures as they come ..

This is Mr Dufour's fridge ! Ha ha ! 

This looks a lot more serious than it actually was ! Mr Dufour was really funny and he speckled the visit with many humorous outburst. Well, for politeness, we can't exactly say what the jokes were but they were really funny and yet, there were profound watchmaking philosophies behind them.

Henrik with Mr Dufour as he shows us pictures of his movements. At the same time, he was constantly encouraging the students to try things out ! Its that simple ! Just try !

Mr Dufour explaining the wonders of modern Macro photography and why its so important to watchmaking. Its so true ! Machines can't do inside corners and when its all magnified, real skills show !

Everyone was enchanted by the many anecdotes and stories Mr Dufour told during the visit. It was really fascinating but we took home 3 numbers. 78, 92 and 2003. Those were the landmark years when Mr Dufour made breakthroughs and it was good advice to us all that watchmaking is a very serious profession.

Mr Dufour explaining the passion behind some of the students he has met. Here, he was recounting the passion and determination of Japanese students. He was very impressed by them because several had slogged through the night to produce a tool to be used the next day. 

Here, Mr Dufour demonstrates a finishing technique with traditional methods and the results which it produces

By the way, that bow is way cool and its even cooler if you see it in real life. It had such an impact that Henrik has decided that his students won't be only using machines but the bow also to do the finishing since both methods take the same amount of time. 

Mr Dufour demonstrating another finishing technique. Henrik innocently asks what paste he uses and to which Mr Dufour cheekily said " its a secret ! ". No no ... he was only joking and he shared the polishing compound with us all ! 

Henrik inspects the finished result and it was fascinating ! Mr Dufour is truly the master !

No. It wasn't just all about finishing and polishing. Here, Henrik and Mr Dufour shares their sentiments on the basics of watchmaking. True to form, Mr Dufour feels very strongly that turning and filing are very important fundamentals which all watchmaking students should have. Well, he won't be disappointed with our programme then since we do those stuff ALOT. More than twice the amount of most watchmaking schools. 

Here, Mr Dufour shows us some basic tools he uses and which he makes himself.

Robert, seen here, awestruck by Mr Dufour and with his machines.

Mr Dufour sharing his knowledge of watchmaking with Henrik as the students look on with horror while Henrik decides to make the programme even harder with Mr Dufour's suggestions and ideas.

Wei checking out the Cote de Geneve machine as both Henrik and Mr Dufour looks intently. Wei ! Be careful ! ha ha ...

This picture was actually taken when Mr Dufour was telling us the story behind the manufacture of his watch cases. If you're interested to know, pay him a visit and you'll know ! Its rather interesting!

Well, Robert looking all poser-like. You know why ? Because he is wearing Mr Dufour's loupe to see something up close ! Ha ha ! Yes, Robert was that star struck !

Thats it for now but more to come soon. Oh yeah, this trip really wasn't about new watches so don't expect any product review or pictures of new developments. In fact, no one asked him about any new watches because we were all already quite awestruck by Mr Dufour's skills and knowledge. Most importantly, Mr Dufour comes across as a person who is not only passionate about watchmaking but also about the continuity and quality of watchmaking education. In the next few posts, we are going to showcase some watchmaking tools which Mr Dufour suggested that our Full Skill watchmaking students  should make as part of their training. 

Watch out for the next post !

Thursday, September 22, 2011

There can only be one .... Philippe Dufour

Guess who we visited today ?

We don't need to spell his name ... just see for yourselves !!!

Firstly, we just have to say this. 


HE was very helpful, very educational, very passionate and just amazing !

Almost all our students went together with Henrik and Robert and what can we say about the whole experience ?


So, what did we learn today ?

For start, 1 blog post is NOT ENOUGH. Mr Dufour was very kind to show us many of his tools, how to use them and why we should have them. Not only that, he also contributed many watchmaking philosophies to everyone who went. And yes, we not only agree with his philosophies and thoughts about watchmaking education ( oh, Henrik couldn't nod his head fast enough in recognition and agreement with everything Mr Dufour said ) , Henrik has even decided to permanently include one of his ideas of constructing a watch tool into the Full skill course.

Ok ! Its late and we just got back to Le Locle but we will have a FULL series of posts about the whole experience in a few days. 

Watch for it !

The man himself here, showing us his clock watch prototype. His very first.

We couldn't help ourselves. We all rudely got Mr Dufour to autograph his name cards for all 6 of us but he was so kind to do that for us !

Here we all are ! 
From left : Robert, Henrik, Thomas, Mr Dufour, Daniel and Wei

The most awestruck fan ever ! Robert ! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Safety glass loupes

We have a safety glass loupe for sale. Its CHF 20 if anybody is interested. It can rotate 360 degrees and can clip onto most spectacles and safety glasses. Have a look at it in action !

If anyone is interested, email us at

One of the students using the loupe while working on the lathe.

This is what it looks like. Very useful and easy to use.

This is the outfit on a safety glass.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

We are visiting Dufour this week !!

Woo hoo !

We got the green light from Mr Dufour to visit him at his Atelier this week ! Everyone's quite excited and we can't wait !

He was an absolute gentleman to correspond with and truly a very humble Watchmaker extraordinaire who was very accommodating to our request.

Good times ahead !

And the following day, the school will also be visiting other Independents in Neuchatel.

What an exciting week ahead of us !

Pictures will be up the moment we return !

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rumour mill ... Ulysse Nardin Blog !

If you to the watch pro forum website here, you can see that someone just announce that UN has a blog too ! How exciting ! It should be quite cool with lots of information and bits about Ulysse Nardin and what they do in the company ...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What we see from our window ...

A regular occurrence from our neighbors .. a vintage F1 car due for some kind of workshop restoration opposite the school ....

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Our 2011 student's blog ...

Introducing Thomas White ...

Watchmaking Student ....

Started his adventure in 2011 ....

And this is his blog .... 

The first fellowship ...

Henrik had a visit from his old student, Mark Cull during his WOSTEP days. Mark needed some guidance on hairsprings and Henrik was delighted to have his old student visit him.

The Master at work with his apprentice ...

Hairspring adjustments 101

Mark, meticulous and intent, on conquering his hairspring ... 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Factory visits !

Well, you can't stay in the school all the time and learn all there is about watchmaking. So, we have started to email watchmaking factories and Independents to request for visits. So far, these are the few brands/Independents we have sent our emails to :-

1. Officine Panerai
2. Thomas Prescher
3. McGonigle
4. Phillipe Dufour

Monday, September 5, 2011

Getting jiggy ...

This high-tech looking machine is our school jig-borer. Here we have Daniel, one of the full skill students, being taught the intricacies of this engineering megalith. By the way, we have a disclaimer ! It looks pretty high tech but this machine is more than 20 years old ! It looks pretty dam cool because of the LCD panels but yeah, this is a grandpa. Make no mistake though. Precision machines like this jig borer aren't made very much nowadays and this was a rare find. 

Anyway, once a student masters the jig borer, he can pretty much do almost every micro-mechanic or precision machining on everything else. Pretty cool because in a week's time, Daniel will be able to make his own main plates, bridges, cases etc etc etc ... the list goes on ...

Our jig borer

Jig boring exercise ... click on the picture to enlarge to see the tiny holes ... they are precise to the micron

Henrik on Daniel ... 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Balance Wheel Support Tool

We have a stock of Balance Wheel Support Tool for sale. They are brass in construction and hand finished with steel screws. Its something which many watchmakers use everyday and its purpose is to support the balance wheel while poising the balance.

Have a look at the demonstration clip to see how the tool is used.

For now, the tool is priced at CHF 30 each. For bulk department orders above 10 pieces, each tool shall be 25 CHF.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Screw polisher .. Piece number 2

We have a photographer attached to the school at the moment and its great fun. 

We've made a polishing tool and we're selling it first to high level watchmakers who use it for polishing screwheads, bridges and other difficult parts. This is piece number 2 and it was designed in the school. Its being sold for approximately CHF 350 but this is because piece number 2 has straight grain polishing and other types of fine polishing. 

We are selling a series of 10 pieces first with different finishing and for abit of fun, we're going to have different finishings. We are even going to try and engrave patterns and pictures on the top. Maybe even a smiley face for the mischievous watchmaker ! 

If anyone else is interested, drop us an email at We're in the process of making a video on how to use this tool very soon too !