Friday, September 24, 2021


  WEEK 129

Origin : Malaysia 
Watchmaking class: Technician & Fullskill 
Current mood: We went to visit Mr Simonin today. It was great to see him and the weather was fantastic as well. He was explaining the methods to make bimetallic components such as the Bimetallic thermometer. I have been preparing myself for the final exam which is in two weeks time. 

Renato & David
Origin: Zug, Zürich, Switzerland
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: Worked exclusively on a winding stem for another high grade chronograph (pocket watch) movement. Started directly with silver steel, no brass prototype. The existing winding stem was broken and not original, i.e. cannot be used as a basis. Someone screwed the squared press fit crown onto it, excellent.... Taking the measurements on the movement was interesting, because most cannot be measured directly. So, pivot gauges and other tricks have to be used. Stem looks good now after heat treatment and tempering. Just have to make and check the slot for the setting lever spring. Afterwards I can do the finish/polishing next week. Can't wait to see the stem in action! This movement will also get a clear display case afterwards, which will be interesting to make. Renato

This week I again worked on practicing making winding stem slots in hardened and tempered steel. I had to modify the specialised slot graver that I have previously made from tungsten carbide steel. The reason being is that I left graver too long and too high. I used the Agathon diamond grinding machine to modify the graver to the desired dimensions. Turning steel in the 8mm lathe is still easy with this tool, but the right technique needs to be applied to achieve the correct results. David

Francesco, Åsmund & Robert
Origin: Italy, Norway, USA
Watchmaking class: Fullskill 
Current mood: This week I started with the Aciera F1, I’ve chosen the brass anvil for the first project. The first part was quite easy, I had to do several cuts with four cutter diameters.
The tricky job was doing the rectangle in the back part of the tool. After some hours of calculation and several trials, I got the right dimensions for each side. I’m pretty happy with the result, now I’ve to hand-file a triangle into the rectangle. Have a nice weekend! Francesco


We started the week with Monday off since it was a holiday, which were convenient since I had a visit from Norway last weekend. We went around for a sightseeing to Neuchatel and Saut du Doubs. 

On Tuesday I started the day with some test milling which was a great challenge for the brain, compared to turning on the shaublin, lots of different variables to consider. That’s part of the fun with machining 

For the rest of the week I finished my brass wheel holder and the steel angular ruler, so now I only need to wait until we’re having the finish courses to make it look presentable before I give it to Henrik for evaluation. 

We also went to Simonin today(Friday), got a good pile of good books for watchmaking and complications. Probably need another 10/15 books before I get everything I need 😂

Renato working on his winding stem, adjusting the fit to the crown as its a friction fit square type!

Tapered square!

Before heat treatment, slot cutting and finishing.

The movement he is making the winding stem for!

Francesco squaring up brass stock for one of his tools!

Asmund checking out a pocket watch from Mr Simonin collection!
Francesco checking out some watchmaking tools!

Mr. Simonin explaining the concept how one could make the bimetal part of the bimetal thermometers for watches for example, as its very hard to find any literature on this rather specialized subject.

Asmund setting up the drilling machine prior to drilling one of his tools!

Another nice book from Renato!

Michael checking the 24 hour timing of the ETA 7001 movement!

Zenith 8 day onboard watch/cockpit clock, bezel wound and with one interesting feature; at 12 o'clock when it is enough wound the small dot turns white!


This week was short due to Monday being a holiday in this area of Switzerland. We had a great visit to Mr. Simonin book store this week as well, as we have not been there for a while it was a large order this time! Had amazing weather as a nice bonus too! Renato nears the completion of one of his winding stems for one of his pocket watches, only finishing left to do! Michael continued repairing movements to practice for his upcoming final exam. All in all it was a short but pleasant week!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, September 17, 2021


 WEEK 128

Origin : Malaysia 
Watchmaking class: Technician & Fullskill 
Current mood: I have finished the parts that was requested by Yuriy and was very satisfied with the results although I have to modify the cutter and learned a lot about cutter making as well. On the other hand, we went to the EPHJ on Wednesday and it was an eye opening event for me. It was great to meet different people and various companies such as dial makers, case makers, movement suppliers and so on. There was also many interesting new start-up companies showing their sleeves. Then, I am back to more repairs and preparing for my final exams in early October. Have a great weekend everyone! 

Renato & David
Origin: Zug, Zürich, Switzerland
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: Finished polishing the big cylinders on the practice winding stem. Had some scratches there and pegwood with a special diamond paste fixed that. Finally moved on to my first restoration project(s)! Two high grade pocket watch chrono movements that need some attention. For the first one I made a brass prototype winding stem. Very interesting, as there was no original stem at all for it. Taking the measures and seeing how it fit is great. More to come on this one later. Started a steel winding stem on the other movement as well. It came with the wrong (and broken) stem and the crown was screwed onto it. They crown is a conical square press fit though... looking forward to see that one work again. It will also get a custom display case. Nice! Renato

This week I worked on practicing making winding stem slots in hardened and tempered steel. To do this I had to make a specialised slot graver from tungsten carbide. I used the Agathon diamond grinding machine to modify the graver to the specified dimensions. Turning steel in the 8mm lathe was easy with this tool, but the right technique needs to be applied to achieve the correct results. David

Francesco, Åsmund & Robert
Origin: Italy, Norway, USA
Watchmaking class: Fullskill 
Current mood: I've been practicing on the lathe with a hand-held graver. The project eventually ends as a reverse/female cone, "eventually" this is a skill that will take some development. This is one of those steps that keeps popping up and filling me with admiration for those that have mastered this art of watchmaking and all it's skills...and we are starting off with the easy steps.
Speaking of "easy" steps, I did two filing trials. It seems that each time I do this exercise, I think of another way to speed up a step, or combine two steps, or increase the accuracy of the finished parts. The last filing trial was code-named..."Scientific Process". In addition to the usual calipers, I used some precision parallels, light waves, and atomic-level shearing to make the two parts..."light waves"- provided by the bench's overhead light tubes, I had to see, after all...and "atomic-level shearing"- fancy term for making metal chips, this is what filing does, separates bonds between atoms.
Every week there seems to be a new way of looking at something we've learned, and having the opportunity to explore it, and get better at it...and that's why we are here!

Hello everyone.

This week has been passing very fast, we only had four days of school since me and David went to the EPHJ on Wednesday, which was very good. Got to see lots of interesting tools and equipment for the industry. Also met companies that made very beautiful dials, both artistic and engine turned dials which is very interesting. Got many ideas for my future watch design! 

We also have been introduced to the Aciera F1 milling machine and how to use it. Next week I will be practicing milling, I am looking forward to that. 

Have a good weekend. 

This week I finished some tools for the grading at the Schaublin 70. After the lesson I did a lot of practice on zeroing at the Aciera 1 with the microscope. You can reach an high precision with it, I got only 0,03 mm off. For the final touch I needed a dial indicator, with which I reached the perfect straightness.
Then I did some practice on a thick brass piece  on which I have learnt how to cut with some different endmills in the correct position. 
See you next Friday! Francesco.


Michael made an experimental pinion for a compressor case watch crown to turn the internal bezel, Very interesting work!


Renato design and made a winding stem for one of his pocket watches, this one is the brass prototype, after he will do the steel one since this one worked perfectly!


Renato also practiced polishing his first winding stem and the result looks rather good!


We got a surprise gift from CJ who graduated a few years ago, Thank you for these very lovely treats!!!


Nice treat from Renato!

Robert squaring up stock!

Francesco using the milling machine!



David made his first slot graver to be used to make the winding stem slot!


This week got really busy! I will keep it short as I am running out of time, Asmund, Robert and Francesco got introduced to the manual milling machine and had each a try, Robert had his Birthday so we also had a really nice evening celebrating him! Renato learn how to design a winding stem for one of his pocket watches as it was missing and he had to use the interacting parts to figure out the new design, I am sure it must have been an interesting new thing for him to learn! Also Michael finished his special project, which came out really nice in the end!! Anyway, very busy week but also really interesting!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, September 10, 2021


 WEEK 127

Origin : Malaysia 
Watchmaking class: Technician & Fullskill 
Current mood: I did some repairs and at the same time doing a private project from Yuriy regarding a small pinion stem that turns an inner bezel for zodiac diver watches. It was totally a new thing because the pinion that the watch has does not follow any watchmaking standard pinion shape and I have to shape the cutter and learned a lot regarding relieved cutters. Looking forward to next week for more micro mechanics.  

Renato & David
Origin: Zug, Zürich, Switzerland
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: Did not initially think it would take that long, but... this one became a finishing week! At least the finish of my winding stem is 99% done :) It's good though, because this time is needed anyway to get experience with finishing tools and all the polishing compounds available. Tried out tetrabore and diamond based polishing pastes in various grades, as well as fine grinding papers. Application was done with brass, steel and different woods. I think I got it figured out to a high degree, but perfect results require a lot of experience. Each piece is individual and needs to be approached in different ways. It was a lot of fun experimenting and finding my own way to reach desired results. Quite happy, considering it's the first stem I ever made! Renato

This week I worked on the 8mm lathe. I was hand turning which was really difficult. The goal was the same as last week to create a conical pivot that matches a certain predetermined radius. Which is the same process when someone is making a balance staff. The curvature of the radius gauge, simulates the curvature of the burnishing tool edge. After a whole week I finally managed to finish the three pieces with; 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 radiuses. David

Francesco, Åsmund & Robert
Origin: Italy, Norway, USA
Watchmaking class: Fullskill 
Current mood: This was the last week of heavy filing because I’ve finished most of the tools required for the grading. I’ve just finished the rectangular press fit plate. After filing a rectangle, I’ve made three holes with the drilling machine. After the lesson I started practicing with female cones at the Schaublin 70. It took a little while to find the right technique and how to hold the high speed steel graver in the correct way but at the end I’m happy with the result. Now I’m looking forward to learn the finishing techniques next autumn to finish all the tools. 
Have a nice weekend. Francesco 

Hello again! 

Last week me and Fransesco did the filing exam. Did the exam on Thursday and got the results on Friday and got very satisfied with the results. Made it a nice weekend! 

This week I’ve finished the balance bridge holder which were done in the lathe. Took a few tries before i got it to the right measurements.( note to self, always listen to the teacher and not the students 😂) - and started on the steel angular ruler which I’ve been working on for two days. It’s a time consuming task because you are moving back and forth from the bench and the profile projector to check that you are within measurements( +-0.08mm and +- 30 min ) and that the angles are right. I’m using a ball device to hold it and it’s very convenient to use for filing from all kinds of angles. 

Until next time

Indeed very solid benches!

In between servicing watches with ETA movements in preparation for his final exam, he got a special project to make a pinion and for that we decided to try to modify an existing cutter before ordering one, hopefully it will work out!

As Renato completed his first ever winding stem last week, he continued this week trying out various technics of finishing the different areas of the winding stem and got some nice results!

Not bad considering its the first winding stem he ever made!


For any Longines fan or collector this is a must have bible!!


Another restoration project from Renato! One day this will be a beauty once again!


Thanks to a very nice person affiliated to the school, we got two watchmaking benches of really high quality! they will come in very handy soon and enable us to be even more flexible whenever needed! Thank you so much for thinking about the school!! Everyone got really excited upon the arrival of these benches, very solid heavy ones! Renato practiced a lot of finishing techniques on blue steel scraps and later applied some of those technics on his winding stem, it came out really nice! we mostly worked on similar  things as last week so not too much new, hopefully next week we can start with the manual milling machine the Aciera F1 and also some students will most likely go to EPHJ as well. Have a great weekend everyone!