Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Summer Time

The big cleanse before the break
Its that time of year again where the students get some time off to relax until the next semester.  Henrik will be keeping himself busy this Summer teaching courses in the AWCI in America.  For our American friends, this is a good time to visit the man that started this school in person (The course Henrik is teaching is, sadly, already full!).  The students will have a chance to go back to their countries to visit family and friend.
Shuai drilling a brass anvil

Eddie burnishing the tip of his handmade gyroscope

Shuai experimental pivot burnisher

Eddie's Gyroscope

The students tried to squeeze in some customized  tools before leaving for break.  Because no new topics were covered, the students had time to make some specialized tools they previously didn't have time to do.  Some experimental stuff were also made to test out different methods.
Tomas doing some final timing before going away for break

We wish everyone a good TIME (pun intended) during the Summer and will see you all in 3 weeks!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Alma Mater

Brad showing some ultra secret techniques he has learned since he started his job

Sharing knowledge is priceless

Robert showing the students techniques he has developed
Last weekend a KHWCC alumni visited the school to share with the student his first year of adventure after being sent out into the wild.  Brad is currently working in a private shop in Toronto, Canada.  He has been sent to Switzerland for Patek Philippe level 2 training for the next month or so. Before Brad went into training he came back to visit Henrik and his beloved school to share watchmaking stories with the students.  Brad gave the students tips for the bench tests, what to practice more on, what is more important in the work environment and much much more.  The students learned a lot from Brad's stories and experiences and now knows more what to expect working as a professional watchmaker.
Eddie's homemade attachments to the 50mm lathe

 In school Eddie and Shuai prepared all week for their escapement exam.  They have their practice exams in the mornings and then are able to relax and do their own stuff in the afternoon.  Eddie was able to finish his lathe modification and Shuai was able to finish decorating some of his tools.
Tomas turning an axle for the project

Theren boring holes for the prototype

Tomas and Theren milling out a part for the project on the pantograph
Theren, Tomas and Simone continue to work on the secret project, getting very close to making the first prototype in working conditions already.  There are many adjustments to still do, but things are looking optimistic!
Rough tin plates ready to be finished

Swedish diamond files for all!

In less than a week Henrik will be heading over to Harrison, Ohio to teach his polishing and complicated course in America.  The students have also helped finish the last of the tools that Henrik will be bringing to America.  This also means that Summer vacation is just one week away!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Tripod Invasion

Tripods, sandblasted, beveled, and with the KHWCC logo
The tripods are complete; all 18 of them!  The students have also added some fancy decorations on the pieces for an extra oomph!  This was also a good chance to refresh the students' micromechanics skills, such as using the lathe, drilling machine, tapping, jig boring, sandblasting, beveling, and all the stuff in between.  All that is left to prepare are the tin plates using Henrik's secret recipe.
Eddie made a locking pin for his pulley 

Shuai milling out the Ying and the Yang

Theren following his inventor designs to make a tool post for his lathe
 With the spare time the students have also made additions to their tools or made more accessories to their tools.  Shuai is in the process of making a Ying-Yang symbol on his personal polishing tripod while Eddie is making the missing parts to his newly purchased lathe.  Theren is also making a graver tool post for his new lathe.
Tomas milling a slot for a stud

The main project the students are working on before the break is the secret project they are entering next Year's AHCI Young Talents competition.  We can't give much details about the project, but there are a couple of teaser photos attached above and below!
Simone drilling some holes and Theren milling some bars 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Passion in timing and technology

The Legendary Witschi Factory

Mr. Urs Häni, Watcher turned Witschi Sales and Consultant
On Thursday of this week, the school organized a school visit to Witschi Electronic.  Witschi makes one of the best timing machines along with some pressure testing machines.  Mr. Urs Häni was an extremely kind host to the school, starting the tour with a presentation on their Q1 Analyzer (The super advanced machine used for analyzing quartz watches).  After the presentation Urs showed the students their current product line, from the Chronoscopes to the ChronoProof.  Because the company looked so extremely nice from the outside, the students asked if it was possible to visit the indoor facilities.  Urs brought the students into the lab where all the machines are assembled and tested and also to their machine room where small productions and prototypes are made.  Overall, it was an incredible experience for the students to learn how and where the machines they have been using for the past few months were made (much more was made in-house than you would think!).
Going Modular!

The Q1 in it's unfinished state

Try hand turning in this lathe!

In preparation for Henrik's trip to America, the students have started a production line to mass produce the polishing tripods Henrik will be using to teach his course in fine polishing.  Although an easy process when made start to finish by one person, in a production line things aren't as simple due to the planning of the efficiency of production along with the communication that goes along with the process.  Good thing the students are one happy family and are already nearly finished with the 18 tripods they set out to make.  Stay tuned, for we will show the final results next week!
Sawing out the rough outlines
Chopping them into individual pieces

Drilling the threaded holes 

Turning the pin for the polishing support

Turning the Polishing support

Prick punching the locations for the holes

Marking the angles for the tripod sides

Press fitting the polishing support and pins

Milling the shape of the tripod

Boring the hole for the pin vise

Adding a little KHWCC magic! (you shall see in next weeks post!)

Friday, July 1, 2016


Look at that poster!
This past Saturday Mr. Simonin held a special sale where all profits go to the Mandela Foundation where they help South African kids with AIDS. The students were extremely happy to find a wide variety of tools and also have the opportunity to help people in the process.  All we can say is that everyone left happy, and with a lighter wallet.
Mr. Simonin and his daughter

Drooling over tools

The week passed by extremely fast with the students working on their unfinished exercises.  Shuai and Eddie continue to work on the escapement, prepping for their exam in a few weeks while Tomas, Theren and Simone tried to finish the timing exercises.
Tomas centering the hairspring

Simone making his snapback caseback
Eddie checking the clearance of the horns

Shuai adjusting the pallet jewels
Tomas' finished see through caseback

To spice things up a bit the students also worked on some personal projects such as making clear case backs for their personal watches.
Didier Cretin explaining his work

Mr. Boulanger passing the torch

On Wednesday the school went to the Musee International d'Horlogerie to witness the presentation of the new creation from  Gruebel Forsey.  It is a beautiful project promoting the heritage of classical watchmaking.  The new student they have picked is Didier Cretin.  We are all excited to see how collectors are going to respond to the finished product in the near future.
Assembly and disassembly exercises

Also joining the school this week was Sif, coming all the way from Iceland.  Sif enjoyed the bench test, having the chance to really understand what a watchmaker does.  She was even greeted by our local Icelandic watchmaker, Robert.  She hopes be back in 2017!

The biggest festival in Le Locle is happening this weekend, time to head out!