Friday, March 5, 2021

WEEK 100!

 WEEK 100

Willy, Yuriy, Alex, Michael
Origin : Singapore, Canada, Taiwan, Malaysia 
Age: n. a.
Watchmaking class: Technician & Fullskill 
Current mood: Another week has passed! This week was the week of creativity since we had just finished the final exam for the escapement. Apart from learning how to do centering on a 70, Yuriy continued with his numerous personal repair projects. Michael finally completed all of the 13 pivot gauges and is on his way of making balance staff. Willy was making some interesting wood pieces. Alex did frosting, corner filling and some servicing. It was a good, relaxing week!!


Pierre Aubert
Origin :Toulouse, France.
Age : 24
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: Exam preparation..! Have a good weekend everyone! See you next week.


Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: 
This week I focused on the hairsprings finishing the last stages and assembly. This went well as I was able to make very precise adjustments to the hairspring something which was challenging when I started.
Overall this has been both a good week and a good section being challenging at certain points especially with dexterity and motor skills and pushing through this section was very rewarding and necessary.


STEP 1:  BLACK POLISHING! (YURIY)
In one of Yuriy's pocket watches this mismatching and scratched cap jewel setting was found, he decided to correct the size and remove the scratches with the black polishing technique he learned previously.
Cap jewel setting glued on a platform that would be fitted in the polishing tripod.
After re-sizing and polishing.


STEP 2: TOOLS! (ALEX)
Alex filing a step on his pointed nose vice.



STEP 3: MAINPLATE CENTERING! (ALL)
Everyone tried out to center the barrel bushing with the help of the tailstock microscope on this discarded mainplate.


STEP 4:  (ALEX)
Alex received a vintage classical column wheel chronograph that he will use as his school watch later on.





HENRIK's WORDS:


Interesting diverse week, the technicians had their last escapement theory lesson and finished all escapement exercises, so for the rest of the week they were free to work on their own projects, as we are transitioning to the balance and hairspring course next week. The highlight for me this week was that we had Philippe Narbel as a visitor to the school;  https://www.instagram.com/philippe_narbel_watchmaking/ He has an incredible passion for skeletonizing and finishing work in watchmaking which I, and probably all students also share! Thank you very much Philippe for coming by and sharing your passion! We hope to soon visit you as well!

This is also the No.100 week since we started this new blog format with Pierre and Harman!

Since Yuriy soon needs to re-bush some of his movements, as the center wheel bushings and barrel bushings are worn on many of his repairs, we also practiced centering the mainplate in the lathe using the tailstock microscope. Michael and Alex took the opportunity to finish some old tools, and pivot gauges as well as Michael started to learn how to turn the balance staff for a pocket watch repair. Pierre started to practice for his final exam by overhauling and repairing the 7 ETA exercise movements and Markus continued with hairsprings, now doing the final adjustments of flatness under the bridge with the balance attached very soon he will start timing. Have a great weekend everyone!


Friday, February 26, 2021

TASTER COURSE!

 WEEK 99

Willy, Yuriy, Alex, Michael
Origin : Singapore, Canada, Taiwan, Malaysia 
Age: n. a.
Watchmaking class: Technician & Fullskill 
Current mood: We all had our real exam this week. I am sure everyone did their best. Alex was making some tool and try to service a customer’s watch same goes to Michael as well. Yuriy restored and black polished a balance bridge for his client. Willy made a black polishing attachment for bridges. Looking forward to next week for the new hairspring and timing course!


Pierre Aubert
Origin :Toulouse, France.
Age : 24
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: n/a


Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: 
This week I continued with the last section of the hairsprings applying the regulating curve and double bend too a few of the 6498 hairsprings I had prepared.
This was demanding since the hairsprings had been prepared over many hours for a specific balance meaning they couldn’t be replaced the same way as that test pieces could. Thus element made the adjustments more demanding but additionally incredibly rewarding.


STEP 1: THE HOROLOGICAL BROTHERS VISIT! (PIERRE)
They do amazing looking watches that's for sure!

Lucky Pierre got to visit their workshops and got with him this amazing book as well!



STEP 2: VINTAGE REPAIRS! (MICHAEL)
The way we should not repair watches was discovered in one of the vintage watches for repair, this one has a regulator that has been glued on to the balance bridge to keep it in place rather than correctly fitting it, it also looks terrible!
Even the entire Incabloc is tilted!



STEP 3: TOOLS! (MICHAEL)
Michael fitted his pin vice on a wood table which looks nice and as an example the pallet fork is held in it and many other small pins or other small watch parts can now be held by it.




STEP 4: VINTAGE REPAIRS! (ALEX)
Alex started to repair an alarm movement here is the mainplate from a Memovox.




HENRIK's WORDS:


Very busy week! We had Asmund from Norway and David from Zürich for a taster course/bench test, both of them did really well and we all hope to see them here in the future! Also, the technicians all did their exams for the escapement course, next week we will have the results of Alex and Willys exams. Pierre went for an interview in Holland to the Grönefeld Horological Brothers, he must have had an amazing experience as he came back really happy and said he had an amazing experience there! I absolutely love their design and execution and level of finishing, outstanding watchmaking!! https://www.gronefeld.com/  Markus continued practicing the double bend and adjusting the hairspring flat and centered under the bridge as well as practicing the regulating curve, which is really hard to do perfectly since the only way to become good at it is to spend hours practicing. Although it was a really busy week for me it was incredibly enjoyable and rewarding!! Have a great weekend everyone!


Friday, February 19, 2021

TRIALS!

 WEEK 98

Willy, Yuriy, Alex, Michael
Origin : Singapore, Canada, Taiwan, Malaysia 
Age: n. a.
Watchmaking class: Technician & Fullskill 
Current mood: Escapement exam is coming, so for us the week is rather stable/boring. We had 2 trial exams which, to our surprise, everybody passed with flying color. Other than that, Yuriy worked on his many side projects and Willy on his 7 movements. Alex made 2 bushings on the 7001 main plate while Michael made a really cool sliding pin vise. Next week, if without accidents, should be our final exam. Fingers crossed, just kidding, we don't need luck.  : )


Pierre Aubert
Origin :Toulouse, France.
Age : 24
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: Another busy week in the workshop: we’re getting closer to the final exam and my time is split between final exam preparation, school watch finishing and finding a job! More on that really soon :)!
I have spent most of the week learning bevelling by hand and bevel polishing by hand! The task itself is very “straightforward” but is very very subtle..! Knowing the theory is just a strong base, but doing and OBSERVING are what I found to be key. I have learned massively and will show it to you soon. I cannot afford to spend as much time as before on the school watch but this doesn’t matter to me as I am simply learning more..!
Have a good weekend everyone!


Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: 
This week I finished the last sections of the hairspring adjustment, specifically establishing the regulating curve and double bend. Both adjustments  where tricky and had a learning curve as the risk of damaging the hairspring was very high depending on technique and dexterity for the best result, making them challenging. However I was able to push forward and finish both adjustments making it very satisfying.



STEP 1: TOOL MAKING! (MICHAEL)
In between trial exams Michael made this cool standing sliding pin-vice to hold small watch parts with, very handy tool indeed!








STEP 2: TOTAL LOCK! (TECHNICIAN)
The total locks adjustments from the technicians are improving and getting smaller while keeping them still safe. Few more trials and then they are ready for the real exam.


STEP 3: REPAIR JOB! (ALEX)
On Alex 7001 mainplate one screw thread got stripped, which gave him a golden opportunity to re-bush it with a new threaded bushing to save the mainplate. Very good repair simulation, as for certain vintage  watches which you can no longer order or find a new mainplate for, the only way then is to repair it.





HENRIK's WORDS:

 

We had two escapement trial exams this week which went really well for everyone, looking like some of the students may do the real one next week. Pierre is doing really well and continued on his school watch, practicing flank graining and beveling of the barrel bridge. Markus got a good hang of the hairspring regulating curve forming and started to practice making the double bend. The technicians finished all the pallet adjustments on the exercise movements and did two trial exams and will most likely take the real exam next week. Michael and Alex got some time in between the trials to do some machining which was nice to see! A very solid week! Have a great weekend everyone! 

Friday, February 12, 2021

VINTAGE WATCHES!

 WEEK 97

Willy, Yuriy, Alex, Michael
Origin : Singapore, Canada, Taiwan, Malaysia 
Age: n. a.
Watchmaking class: Technician & Fullskill 
Current mood: Understand the relationship... "Swiss Lever Escapement"
Horn and guard pin clearance, safe drop, run to the banking and total lock. All interrelated to create a safe system, what a wicked invention. Technical nerd like me, total fascinated with this distributing system.


Pierre Aubert
Origin :Toulouse, France.
Age : 24
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: Back to the school watch! Files the spring and click for function! They are now working and O must say I am really happy with the functional smoothness and sound crispness of it..!
Have a great weekend and see you next week everyone!


Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: n/a


STEP 1: VINTAGE WATCHES! (MICHAEL)
Michael got these lovely looking vintage watches to repair later in the course.
Not the most high end vintage watches but still humble mechanical movements, great to start learning on!






STEP 2: SHELLAC! (TECHNICIAN)
Michaels shellac application is improving, this one looks really neat!

Also Willy preparing to apply shellac.



STEP 3: ROLLER DIE! (PIERRE)
Pierre tried out how to make threads with the roller die system.



STEP 4: CLICK SPRING! (PIERRE)
Pierre adjusting his click system.









HENRIK's WORDS:

 

Light and positive feel in the workshops this week. Pierre is doing really well and continued on his school watch, making screws as well as finishing some old tools. Markus started to practice pinning up hairsprings to the stud and forming the regulating curve. The technicians almost finished all the pallet adjustments and started to apply fresh shellac on the pallets and practice cleaning them as well, next week they will make 2 trial escapement exams. Turned out to be a nicely balanced week! Have a great weekend everyone! 




Friday, February 5, 2021

TOTAL LOCK!

 WEEK 96

Willy, Yuriy, Alex, Michael
Origin : Singapore, Canada, Taiwan, Malaysia 
Age: n. a.
Watchmaking class: Technician & Fullskill 
Current mood: It has been a very busy week for all of us. Adjusting the appropriate division and endshakes of the escapement, the position of pallet jewel as well to have presence of draw, drop, total lock and also check for guard pin, horn, notch clearances. The theory lessons were very useful because they helped us to understand the Swiss Lever Escapement in detail and enable us to work in a much clearer mindset for what is actually happening. Looking forward to next week for more adjustments.



Pierre Aubert
Origin :Toulouse, France.
Age : 24
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: Exam week! Started off with the hour wheel exam: we have four hours to make a 6498 hour wheel from scratch and finish it. I really like the process and it went quite well! Not too unhappy with the results :) More pictures to come soon. Spent the rest of the time making screws for my school watch! Next: I need to file both the spring and click in order to make them functional! We’re getting there!
Another very intensive week and I must say I am quite tired. Glad this is Friday! Have a great weekend everyone!


Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: 
This week I continued with the hairspring course performing many checks, vibrating and second pinning getting several hairsprings ready in preparation for next week when I move into the next section of the course.
This went well being able to get things done and ready in preparation for the final part of the hairspring course.


STEP 1: TOOLS! (ALEX)
Alex was experimenting with some finish on his polishing tripod, to make this cool looking finish he used charcoal and scraped the surface with it. Recently we heard the term charbonnage for this finish, I have also heard the term grattage (scraping) as is done on milling machines, jig boring machines etc. This finish is nice since the look will depend much on who does it therefore making it look unique every time.



STEP 2: TOOLS! (PIERRE)
Pierre also worked on finishing some of his tools, this one looks very nice as it has two different graining on the flanks as well as charbonnage on the large top surface.




Very nice looking brass anvil!



STEP 3: ADJUSTING THE ESCAPEMENT! (TECHNICIAN)
Willy checking the guard pin division of the escapement.


STEP 4: SCHOOL WATCH! (PIERRE)
Pierre making screws for his school watch.


Raw click and click spring screws ready for finishing.

Tapping the screw hole for the click spring.



HENRIK's WORDS:

It got much warmer this week and we almost lost all the snow otherwise this week was very nice, not as busy as the last one. Markus continued with hairsprings and completed the vibrating and the 2nd pinning, he will learn how to stud it up so it can be attached to the bridge as well as making the regulating curve and double bend next week. The technicians learn how to use the escapement meter to shift the pallets in and out to make them safe and perform well and at the same time have equal total locks on the entry and exit pallets. Pierre is doing really well and continued on his school watch, making screws as well as finishing some old tools. All in all, a very pleasant week. Have a great weekend everyone!