Friday, February 24, 2017

running out of time

Tomas burnishing his escape wheel
This week we had a taster course scheduled for Dr. Tao, a Chinese molecular biologist working currently in Denmark.  He fell into watchmaking from reading online blogs and quickly built interest into this beautiful profession.  Through the 5 day taster course, he learned what watchmakers actually did and got a taste of what skill sets a watchmaker requires.
A bit larger than molecular biology

This is the last week Simone, Tomas, and Theren will be working on their school watches during the school hours since they will have to start preparing for their finals in mid March.  Tomas assembled his tourbillon and made adjustments and added small details to his complication, such as the banking pins and studding up of the hairspring.  Simone did final adjustments to his chronograph mechanism and started to do final finishing of the components.  Theren started assembling his main movement, also making adjustments to endshakes and the escapement.
Theren enlarging a jewel hole with diamond paste

Eddie cutting a pinion

Shuai taking measurements for his school watch

Simone focused on his chronograph adjustments

Eddie started making wheels and pinions to test out his design.  Shuai continues to design his school watch, starting to prepare the making of the mainplate.
Henrik made finals questions in Trivial Pursuit form to help the students study for the final

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Necessary Evil

Simone's finished bridges
Tomas cutting his pallet fork angles on beryllium copper

Shuai taking down measurements for his school watch design

Eddie using the microscope for precision oiling

Theren and Tomas machining out their school watch
Throughout the week the students continue to work on their school watches.  Shuai and Eddie have started on their designs, Eddie has even started to make some prototype parts such as the barrel cover and drum.  Shuai has been taking down measurements and designing his watch, still undecided on some specifics of the movement.
Tomas begun production of his pallet fork and milled out the spokes for his tourbillon.  Theren finished his balance bridge and pallet fork bridge and is focusing on the completion of the main movement now.  Simone finished all the finishing on his school watch and will start to assemble and adjust the chronograph next week.
The Witschi Q1 is extremely powerful

Theren trying out quartz analysis

Although the school is focused on classical watchmaking, quartz is still something the students will need to know for their future careers in watchmaking.  The students learned how the quartz watches work and how to analyze them for the different types of errors that may occur in the quartz and what they can do about it.  By using the Witschi Analyzer Q1 we are able to see very detailed information about the workings of the quartz watch.  In the end, quartz watches are also very interesting and have their own appeals.

Friday, February 10, 2017


The Breguet template with the Breguet terminal curve

Theren trying out bending of the Breguet

Eddie giving the Breguet a try
This week the students learned how to bend the long awaited Breguet Overcoil.  The Phillips Terminal Curve and Breguet Overcoil is used to overcome the Caspari effect, which is one characteristic that affects isochronism.  It is considered a higher skill to be able to bend an overcoil since it is not so easy and it affects time keeping greatly.

students working hard

Tomas centering a hole from his Tourbillion cage

Geneva stripes testing on the Aciera F1

Shuai turning the chronograph seconds hand tube
Besides learning about the Breguet hairsprings the students continued to work on their seperate projects.  Shuai finished the restoration of a Valjoux 72 and is now working on a second one.  This time he had to make a new chronograph seconds hand tube.  Eddie continued on the design of his school watch while finishing some timing exercises at the same time.  Theren made some bridges for his jumping second mechanism and is now starting to make the pallet fork bridge and balance bridge.  Simone tested out different types of finishing in preparation of decorating his school watch mainplate.  He has tried circular graining and côtes de Genève and will continue to test in the following week.  Tomas made the fixed fourth wheel for his tourbillion and is getting ready to make the pallet fork next week.

Friday, February 3, 2017

School watches and Restoration

Theren making a small bridge

Tomas centering the microscope for his tourbillion bridge holes

Shuai bending the chronograph runner pivot back straight
The students kept working on their individual projects this week.  Eddie continued to design his school watch this week, almost finishing his Inventor drawing.  He has been reading a lot of books for research on different ways of designing the movement.  Shuai is working on a client's Valjoux 72 chronograph, doing restoration work including polishing down a chipped jewel on the pallet fork.  Tomas is making incredible progress on his tourbillion, making the tourbillion cage spin today.  Simone finished adjusting the main movement for his school watch and has started beveling and decorating the mainplate and bridges.  Theren worked on the winding and setting of his school watch all week, finishing the ratchet, crown, and winding pinion.
Eddie making the design of his school watch, taking the omega 265 as his base 

Simone trying out perlage on his school watch

Chipped pallet fork jewel

Polished and restored

Next week the students will learn the theory behind the Breguet haisrping and how to bend them.  Everyone is looking forward to it!