Thursday, September 22, 2016

See you in a week Henrik!

The three winners of the Prix Gaïa
On Tuesday our school was invited to attend the Prix Gaïa at the MIH in La-Chaux de Fonds.  The Prix Gaïa is a honorary prize given to special achievements in watchmaking under three different categories, arts and creations, entreperneurship, and history and research.  It was packed venue where the students had the opportunity to meet other watchmakers and important people in the industry.
The students making their personal tin plates

Henrik ready for his trip

Henrik will be making another trip to America tomorrow.  He has another polishing course planned for our American friends.  This time he will be traveling to the city of Chicago where the AWCI annual convention will be held.  It is going to be a great opportunity for the watchmaking community to create some bridges across Europe and the Americas.
Simone turning a pivot for the secret project

Theren doing some pre-polishing for his case

Tomas adjusting pallet jewels

Shuai flattening and centering his hairspring

Eddie trying to achieve the 100th mark on his hairspring flatness

Since Henrik will not be here next week, there will not be a post.  See you in two weeks!

Friday, September 16, 2016

It's a Girl!

Simone turning a tool used in the secret project

team effort
Theren, Tomas and Simone has acquired the essential materials to continue on their secret project last weekend and so has begun work on the project once again.  The prototype turned out well and so they can now begin work on the real piece.  After discussion and careful planning the mainplate of the project is slowly taking shape.  A few teasers above for the readers to see!

The tools needed in pinning up to the collet and general hairspring adjustments

Shuai doing preliminary adjustments to the hairspring

Eddie finishing up some personal repairs
Shuai and Eddie has begun working on hairsprings this week.  Henrik showed them how to flatten and center them using fine tweezers and techniques to manipulate them as well as mounting them back to the balance to make them perfectly true.

The pointed nose vice

Polishing tripod with column wheel screws
Last week Shuai tried out a new plating we had, the blue rhodium.  The color is extremely nice, giving off a slight blue tint at certain angles.  The pictures above are the pointed nose vise along with the polishing tripod that Shuai designed and made by himself!

Fresh tin
The school also ordered tin for the students to make their own personal tin plates for polishing which came in this week.  It is time to melt some metal once again!

Yi-Ting extremely focused
Coming from Taiwan this week for the bench test is Yi-Ting.  Yi-Ting has some experience in the watchmaking industry, although not as a watchmaker, and therefore built up great industry in this art.  She showed great interest and skills during the 5 days she was here and so we hope she will be able to join the KH team in the near future!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Strike a poise

The boys picking out treasure 
Last weekend the legendary Mr. Simonin had another one of his sales for the students.  The tools are all left overs from the last time, however, there were still a lot of treasure to be found.  All the students found something they wanted and went home happy.

Shuai slowing down the balance on the poisig tool to find the accurate heavy spot

Eddie doing static poising

In school Shuai and Eddie learned how to do static poising on balances using the poising tool and cutting small holes on the underside of them to perfectly poise them.  It is quite challenging due to the sensitivity of the external influences such as air current, or dust in the air.

Tomas doing some polishing

Tomas is working on a pocket watch with broken pallet jewels.  He has to find a correct sized and angled pallet jewel to replace it with.  There are sometimes not the perfect match, therefore Tomas had to grind and polish it to the correct size and shape.

Theren experimenting with different sunray setups

Theren finished his alarm ratchet wheel from last week and tried to match the original finishing as close as possible.  He has also started to restore the rest of the movement, removing rust and refinishing some of the surfaces.

Simone continues to work on his vintage ladies calibres.  The hairsprings are extrememly small and challenging. Special tweezers are often needed to even be able to manipulate the hairspring.  Timing the watches are also challenging, as ladies movements are innately bad timekeepers due to their small balances.

Friday, September 2, 2016

service and repairs

Theren cutting the alarm ratchet wheel

Tomas adjusting hairsprings

Eddie oiling tthe escapement

Simone looking for spare parts for his repairs

Shuai riveting the balance staff
This week the students took time off from the project to work on some unfinished work and personal repairs.  Theren got a Vulcain alarm watch during the summer holidays that he started to do repairs on.  It was missing an alarm ratchet wheel and also the hole for the barrel bridge has extreme wear, therefore needs to be bushed.  Simone also got some family repairs during the holidays of mostly ladies calibers.  It is sometimes quite a challenge to work on those tiny movements.  Tomas is finishing up some timing exercises along with timing some of his own personal repairs also.

The setup for boring the barrel hole round

Shuai plating his tools

Shuai's screw heads for his polishing tripod
Shuai and Eddie started on the subject of escapements, more specifically the oiling of escapements and rivetting and repairing broken balance wheels and staffs.  Aside from all the exercises that come with these new subjects they also learned how to operate the electroplating machine.

Lots of work done for just the 2nd week after class started!  The boys are back to going full throttle!
Time to enjoy the weekend!