Friday, November 25, 2016

On the same page

The Automatic reverser

The auto

A version of the calendar mechanism with quick set and safety features for forbidden hours
It is probably the first time all five of our students are in the same portion of the course.  This week Henrik taught the students about the automatic/self-winding mechanism and the calendar mechanism.  There is a large variation in the types of mechanism for both complications, but the general theory behind them are more or less the same.  The students get to finally put some of their movements together in whole for once!  The students not only get to assemble the mechanisms and learn how they work, but also learned how to oil the different parts of these mechanisms.
Theren doing some written exercises

Eddie finishing some timing

Simone assembling the automatic and calendar mechanisms on the 7750

Tomas working on his school watch

Next week they will start on Chronographs!  Everyone is super psyched! because, who doesn't like chronographs!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Watchmaker's tools


The students have been trying to increase their collection of tools for the past year and a half.  Second hand tools don't always come in perfect conditions, therefore, this past weekend the students made them perfect by powder coating them.  Powder coating is a layer of special paint is extremely rust and scratch resistant.  Because powder coating takes a lot of prep work, it took the students the whole Saturday to finish coating all of their tools.  The results were amazing and everyone ended the day happy and exhausted.
In the oven

Theren's repainted lathe

During the week Shuai and Eddie continue to practice for their hairspring exam.  This is their last exam before the Final, so they are extremely happy to be finished with them now.  All the students will be starting the Calendar and Automatic movements next week, and they are all looking forward to it.
Simone making a column wheel for his repairs

Theren centering his school watch mainplate

Tomas milling out the winding pinion slot in his school watch mainplate

Theren, Simone, and Tomas continue to work on the school project where they made another break through.  They seem to be really close to getting it to work.  All that would be left is decorating it and making it pretty for the jury!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Patrimoine d'Horlogerie

Grattage specialist at Swiss Machines

The Hauser M1, fully restored by Swiss Machines

Bergeon designing their own tools with 3D printed prototypes
Last weekend was the biannual Patrimoine d'Horlogerie day where factories in Le Locle and La Chaux-de-Fonds open their doors to the public for tours of the facilities.  It was extremely interesting for the students to see how the production works in the industry.  The students visited a case and dial making factory where they were surprised to see that not only were CNCs used, but all parts were hand adjusted by real craftsmen in their field and finished by hand.  It was also a great chance for them to create connections with both factories and the visitors on the tour.  Other places that the students visited were a diamond setting atelier, a machine restorer and a couple tool makers.  All in all, it was a great experience for the students and a big eye opener for them to see in person how the stuff they use everyday are actually made.

Tomas working on the school watch

Theren turning pivots for the project

Simone milling special parts for the project
In school, Tomas, Simone, and Theren continue to work on the secret project.  This week they made major breakthroughs, having much more faith in the success of the whole creation.  There is still a lot of fine adjusting left, but we believe the major obstacles have been overcome.

Eddie focused on hairspring adjusting

Shuai adjusting for the best timing
Shuai and Eddie have started preparing for their hairspring exams, which is the final exam before the final exam.  They completed 2 practice exams this week, and must complete 2 more next week before the big day.  Wish them luck!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Timing Time

Shuai checking the conditions of the 6498 for timing adjustments

Eddie fine tuning his hairsprings to get better timing results
Shuai and Eddie has started with the last portion of the program which is timing.  Timing is a very sensitive operation which requires patience and total understanding of a mechanical timepiece from everything the students have learned till now.  This is the time when theory and practice merge into one.

Theren filing some slots

Tomas milling some components thinner

Simone turning special bushing for the project
The other guys started again on the secret school project which is still a challenge due to the complex mechanisms involved.  The project deadline is in the end of January, 2017.  The students are therefore focusing all of their energy and efforts into the project for the next few weeks.

KHWCC Christmas cards in the making

This weekend is also the 7th biannual Patrimoine d'horlogerie in both the UNESCO cities of Le Locle and La Chaux-du-Fonds.  During these days many watchmaking related businesses open their doors to guests everywhere to show the heritage of watchmaking.  The students plan to visit a few establishments and will report their findings in next weeks post!  Stay tuned.