Friday, August 27, 2021


 WEEK 125

Origin : Malaysia 
Watchmaking class: Technician & Fullskill 
Current mood: Michael here, the preparation for my final exam has began!! I received 5 movements to complete under exam conditions in order to develop a systematic work sequence for the real exam as well as gathering repair points. There is nothing special other than that for now. See you next week!!

Renato & David
Origin: Zug, Zürich, Switzerland
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: After finishing the slot cutting practice pieces, I finally moved over to making the first actual watch part: a winding stem! Quite interesting, turning unhardened steel for the first time with HSS gravers. Fairly more time consuming than with tungsten carbide gravers (which we'll use later in 'real life') and leaving a finish not as nice as those. However, a great exercise in hand turning that will help handling the 8mm with a higher degree of perfection. Also interesting to work on a piece that requires so many steps and keeping the concentration required. Looking forward to finishing the stem next week and seeing how nice the surfaces will turn out! On a side note: got a very nice old school micrometer that I can measure very narrow slots with :). Renato.

This week I worked on completing the winding stem practice. Next I worked on sharpening my new gravers to a 30° angle. These gravers are really important for the future, as we will use them for hand turning. Fun fact: the smaller Arkansas stone I have is a vintage from 1922. David.

Francesco, Åsmund & Robert
Origin: Italy, Norway, USA
Watchmaking class: Fullskill 
Current mood: This week I started filing the steel part for the brass truing guide. The difficulty in this tool was that I had to check for every step the 45 degree corners and if all measures are in tolerance of 0.08 mm/ 30’’ at the profile projector. After the filing I decided to start the pointed cone for the balance bridge support. After some calculation I’ve set the lathe in order to get the right slope for the cone. The tool is almost completed, I’m looking forward to learn more finishing techniques in the finishing course. See you next week. 


Dean from Canada and Michael from USA came to take the taster course!

As usual Renato brought a very nice book!


Another really interesting pocket  watch movement for restoration from Renato!

Renato in the making of his first winding stem.

He also got himself a very nice school micrometer!


Davids practice squares. 

David trying out his sharpening stones.


Intensive week! we had Dean from Canada and Michael from USA taking the taster course this week which was really nice! Renato started to prepare tools to make complete winding stems and started to make one complete practice winding stem, David completed his square winding stem practice pieces and prepared his sharpening stones and HSS gravers to learn the basic cuts on the 8 mm lathe next week. Michael practiced repairing and servicing several ETA movements in preparation for his final exam, and Asmund and Francesco continued hand filing on their tools which will help them prepare for the filing exam next week. Intensive week but very lively and positive, it was also really great to have both Dean and Michael for the week! Renato show us another really interesting pocket watch movement that sparked a lot of interest! Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, August 20, 2021


 WEEK 124

Alex, Michael
Origin : Taiwan, Malaysia 
Watchmaking class: Technician & Fullskill 
Current mood: N/A

Renato & David
Origin: Zug, Zürich, Switzerland
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: Got to next area on the way to making winding stems: slot cutting on blued steel! Shaped my own carbide cutters beforehand on the diamond discs of the Agathon, optimizing the shape, to be able to cut close to the 8mm lathe collet as the practice pieces are only 5mm long. Prepared several blued steel pieces on the Schaublin lathe with cones on both ends and markings for the slot cutting on the 8mm lathe. Then started hand turning the slots in different widths, see pics. The carbide cutters work very nice on the blued steel. Like cutting brass with HSS cutters :) Fun experience finally hand turning hardened steel. Actual winding stem making is next on the list, cool! Renato.

This week I started working on hand filing winding stems. I created a wooden tool to practice hand filing. The difficulty in this is to file all 4 sides equal, while holding the piece against a slot in the wood with the pin vice. After some practice I moved on to the 8mm lathe where I could equally move the piece 45° to equally distribute the 4 sides of the square. Then started to turn the 5 pieces in the lathe to match the dimensions that are given. David.

Francesco, Åsmund & Robert
Origin: Italy, Norway, USA
Watchmaking class: Fullskill 
Current mood: This week I focused myself on improving my filing, I continued with internal corners and I’ve just started the final piece that will be graded. I started practicing the finishing technique, I decided to start with straight graining which is an important part of my next filing exam. 
See you next week! 


We are back from summer vacation and the first week are over. It was very pleasant to go back to Norway, I went on a road trip to and went to the mountains. Always nice to enjoy the fresh air and views. It gave me more motivation for the others projects and tasks were going to start on.

The past week I started on the brass truing guide and has been working on that since Monday. I finished the internal corners on Thursday and I only have to finish it before I deliver it to Henrik. That was a very fun task to do, and I’m looking forward to do more internal corners. I also did some minor filing on the balance wheel holder. I did not have time to capture any pictures yet, but I’ll take some pictures of the brass truing guide next Friday when it’s finished. 

Robert has been working on the steel angular ruler and as I’ve seen it’s going good thus far, it’s going to be cool to see when he’s finished! 

(Robert adds: This steel angular rule has been a lesson in patience and humility.)

Until next time 

Alex pointed nose vice assembled!

Francesco turning some parts for his tools.


Renato grinding a slot graver from raw stock!

One practice slot done!

Nice books!


Renato brought these very interesting pocket watch movements to show, he will later restore them.

Filing square practice!


Back to work! It was a pleasant and nice summer break, once in a while it’s great to step back from everyday work and have a reflection. Nothing too special happening this first week after the break, the students mostly continued with the work they had before the break, Renato learn something new; how to grind slot gravers in the Agathon Grinding machine free hand, he also tried out these graver’s cutting hardened and tempered steel. Michael and Alex finished some old tools, it was in general a great start of the second half of the year. Have a great weekend everyone!