Friday, January 29, 2016

Feeling Cheezy

The students browsing books and tools at Mr. Simonin's

The school's new vibrating tool (and a raw piece of ruby)
Last weekend the students made another trip to see Mr. Simonin and his wonderful establishment.  Besides the wonderful book selection, Mr. Simonin also has a wide variety of watchmaking tools.  None of the students left empty handed is all we can say.

Raclette party

We had our first bench tester, Sam, this year coming from Australia to see what watchmaking is all about.  He feels that assembling and disassembling was a lot of fun and the hardest part was the filing.

After having Swiss fondue for three times we decided to mix it up a bit by switching to another traditional Swiss speciality, the Raclette, which is melted cheese poured onto potatoes.  The students enjoyed the food and the movie afterwards.

Shuai working on an extremely decorated tripod

Beautiful brass anvil made by Shuai

Friday, January 22, 2016

Cours d'échappement

Tomas flushing the pallet fork jewels

Simone adjusting the axel of the pallet fork

Theren making correct endshakes on the escapement
Continuing on the escapement course, the students started with the endshakes of the balance and pallet fork and escape wheel, since they are closely interconnected with each other.  It is a very delicate subject where one little adjustment could change everything
Shuai boring the holes for his brass anvil
After finishing his exam, Shuai continues to work on his tools, starting this week on his brass anvil.  Things get very intense as you can see from the video below.

As many of watch enthusiasts know, this week was also the 2016 SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie) where it is an invitation only event.  Eddie was lucky enough to have been invited.  It was a great opportunity to see new products from many of the big brands.
Look at these two studs

A.Lange Sohne movement display

Roger Dubuis' Knights of the Round Table

Friday, January 15, 2016

Getting back in rhythm during a snowy week

Shuai sawing out the pieces for the practice exam
More preparation
Shuai spent the week preparing for his first exam.  Although filing seems like a simple task, Shuai still discovered some new techniques from the practicing.
Unknown movement with a missing winding stem.  New winding stem made by Theren.

Theren did an exercise where he made an unknown winding stem for an unknown pocket watch movement.  He had to use different measuring techniques to figure out the different lengths and diameters of the multiple parts of the winding stem.
Theren tries oiling the geartrain for the first time

Simone checks his oiling in the microscope

Tomas, the wheel straightening expert

Henrik showed the students this week how to oil the geartrain.  Henrik expects the highest quality of oiling, requiring the students to even make a progression of oil amounts.  Also shown this week was how to achieve the correct endshake and division on barrels between the mainplate and bridge.  The students must make sure nothing in the geartrain runs into each other.
Epilame used to prevent smearing and spreading of oil

Henrik also showed the students how to "cheat" in oiling by using a solution called epilame.  Epilame prevents oil from spreading and getting into places it should not be.

Antique style of cannon pinion with a hollowed out center wheel
Method to remove the pin and cannon pinion

Students trying to get used to this

Friday, January 8, 2016


A turning Eddie
Welcome to 2016, we're back and ready to start a whole new year of watchmaking!  We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.  We're excited to be back and working on exciting projects again.
Left: Rolex
Right: Seagull tourbillion 

JLC Reverso, Cartier tank, and Glashütte Original

Benrus Ultra Deep, Tudor, Leonidas, an unknown antique repeater pocket watch, and a Doxa pocket watch
The students all brought back some watches for servicing and repairing for the next part of the course which requires a certain point value of repairs.  The collection of watches the students brought back contains brands such as:  Rolex, Seagull, Tudor, Omega, Benrus, Doxa, Tag Heuer, Certina, Slava, Wyler, Cartier, Jaeger LeCoultre, and Glashütte Original.  The students are all extremely excited to almost be able to work on real watches owned by themselves or friends' and families'.
Theren adjusting the cannon pinion

Tomas organizing his newly bought staking set

Simone customizing tools for cannon pinion adjustment

To start off the new year, the students learned how to oil and adjust the different types cannon pinions.  They also had to customize tools for the adjustments.
Shuai operating the Jig Borer for the first time

Doing the exercises on the jig borer 
Shuai also started with the Jig Borer, the last big machine he will learn in his micromechanics course.  He is now fully prepped to make all his tools!