Friday, April 29, 2022


 WEEK 159-160

Team A
Origin: Thailand & USA, 
Name: A, Kate, David & Leilani
Watchmaking class: Technician
Current mood: 

I hope everyone enjoyed their Easter holiday.
The technicians came back from break feeling refreshed and ready to work! David had a great time visiting Paris while Kate, A, and I enjoyed the long weekend exploring Zurich. 
We have all passed our Escapement exams and spent the short week finishing up our total lock and pallet fork cleanliness homework. Now, we are all starting to work on various movements for repair points to qualify for our final exam. 
To end the week, the technicians had a lecture about escapement theory and discussed some interesting escapements that have been developed over the years. It’s incredible to think that over 600 iterations have been made! 
Have a great weekend
- Leilani 

Team B
Origin: Japan/Switzerland & Canada
Name: Tetsu & Dean
Watchmaking class: Fullskill 
Current mood:

This week (20-22 April 2022) was a short one on the heels of the Easter weekend, so Tetsu and Dean caught up with working on their tools from the previous week.  Tetsu worked on his brass anvil, which he gave to Henrik for a progress check, and the base for his poising plate.  The brass anvil has a significant number of milling and drilling operations, so adherence to tolerances are especially important here.  The base of the poising plate has an angled slot, so this tool, although not as complicated as the brass anvil, still requires attention to detail to maintain symmetry and proportions.  On this tool, Tetsu is also experimenting with surface finishing.Dean worked exclusively on his pointed head nose vice, which is another tool involving angles which need to stay within the scope of the predetermined dimensions.  Once the basic brass pieces are cut, they will be glued together, where they will remain as a single until until the cutting, drilling, and threading operations are completed.Suffice to say that Tetsu and Dean have their work cut out for them for next week!Have a great weekend everyone!Tetsu and Dean

This week, (25-29 April) Tetsu and Dean continued working on their tools.  Tetsu finally finished his brass anvil, which was graded & passed, in addition to completing work on his poising plate.  He is now working on his polishing tripod.  In so doing, Tetsu spent the majority of Friday at the jig borer to create four holes using drills and a bore cutter.  He also used the three-jaw chuck to reduce the diameter of the pin vice to be used in the polishing tripod.  Dean has almost completed his poising plate and is preparing to make some of the angled cuts on his pointed head nose vice.  In order to make this happen, Dean will need to use the milling machine the rotating table with angle indicator to obtain the perfect shape for the nose of the vice.Have a great weekend everyone!Tetsu and Dean

Team C
Origin: Switzerland, Norway & USA
Name: Renato, David, Francesco, Åsmund & Robert
Watchmaking class: Fullskill 
Current mood: 

Designed the balance staff for my split second pocket watch movement before the Easter holidays. Taking the measurements was interesting, as there is always some uncertainty in how accurately one can measure. After double and triple checking them, I then started making the staff on the big lathe with the microscope and finished on the 8mm lathe and Jacot tool. Very many steps are needed and one can optimize the process individually. Extremely interesting task, probably one of the hardest part to make in restauration. Staff is done now and it fit pretty well. Roller and balance will be fitted later but end and side shake are good. Pretty cool! -Renato

Another winding stem week, perfecting making winding stems to various dimensions as given by Henrik. Turning the stems with hand-held gravers is the first part of these trials, the second part is doing the hardening, tempering, and any straightening necessary. A dial indicator is very helpful for straightening, showing precisely where, and the amount of the error that is to be eliminated. Then using various limiting devices to prevent the winding stem from exceeding it's elastic limits (breaking) during straightening. Fortunately, it seems that a straight stem that starts the heat treatment process will stay straight. But knowing various methods to solve problems are always good arrows to have in one's quiver. -Robert


Renato finished his balance staff for his pocket watch!

Pictured: St. Peter Church in Zürich displays the largest clock face in Europe.

Leilani got these vintage watches to service and repair, very nice blend!
The technicians started to repair vintage watches, this is one Leilani is working on!

Renato was working on one of his old tools the polishing tripod!

Francesco was working on multiple things, here he is going to make a perspex support for one of his micrometers!


David came with these interesting books about electronic watches!


David in the technician course made a threaded bushing for one that had a stripped thread in the mainplate!


Renato show everyone this interesting spring detent escapement pocket watch, which was very exciting to see!


 Easter was great this year, we got really perfect weather! As last week was so short, we decided to do the blogpost this week instead. The technicians completed the escapement course and started a new exciting subject; the balance and balance spring course including the timing. We had Simon from England here taking the taster course/bench test which was nice. Renato finished his balance staff for his pocket watch Asmund and Robert practiced making winding stems and Francesco working on tools and also got introduced to turn between centres, It was very busy but enjoyable! have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 13, 2022


 WEEK 157-158

Team A
Origin: Thailand & USA, 
Name: A, Kate, David & Leilani
Watchmaking class: Technician
Current mood:

It’s Spring but it has been raining a long this week, we are still practicing on the seventh movements. The escapement exam is coming next week and we've got already 3 trial exams. The trial exam is quit benefit everyone in the case of practicing, preparing and we are be able to improve the performances very well. All technician students were studying diligently to guarantee that everything was as flawless as possible in the real exam.Kate Raksina

Team B
Origin: Japan/Switzerland & Canada
Name: Tetsu & Dean
Watchmaking class: Fullskill 
Current mood: 

This week, (11~13. April) + last week, (04~08. April) Dean & Tetsu gained new experience, which helped them advance.
Dean comfortably finished his work on the HAUSER 2A3 Jig Borer for his Polishing Tripod Base Plate and moved on to the Schaublin 102 Lathe with a milling attachment for the bolts & nuts.
After completing all the nicely decorated pieces, which were very simple but amazingly stunning & practical, he immediately went to the plating process, making them look even more beautiful!!
Tetsu tried the HAUSER Jig Borer for the first time for his Brass Anvil, making 12 holes in different sizes with drills and an adjustable boring cutter.
He made 2 pieces in a row to get familiar with the machine.
The key factor is again the set-up. Once it is done properly, there is nothing to worry about.
He is now sawing & filing to make a triangle-shaped hole, then going on to the surface finish.
We have learned how to handle most machines here for tool making and will continue working by using the methods and the techniques for the other tools.

We had a special visitor on Friday, 08 April; Mr Robert Michelsen, who used to be Henrik’s student and business partner for sometime.
The details may be mentioned somewhere else but we had a great time with him and gain lots of valuable information. Thank you, Robert!
-Dean & Tetsu

Team C
Origin: Switzerland, Norway & USA
Name: Renato, David, Francesco, Åsmund & Robert
Watchmaking class: Fullskill 
Current mood: 

Spent the week doing jewel shaping/polishing. Very important task in restoration, so I am glad that I could get a good feel for the hard material and how to work with it. Also learned how to open and close beveled jewel seats, i.e. mainly how to rub in the new jewel I made as part of previous task. Looks pretty good for the first time I did it, I think!


The last 2 weeks have been all about making winding stems using the small 8 millimeter lathe and hand-held gravers, and then putting them through the heat treatment process. Not a whole lot to report: repetition, repetition, repetition. Getting comfortable making the stems to the tight tolerances on the drawing, thinking of ways to speed the process along, leave some tolerances big so work can proceed "with vigor" on neighboring sections, etc. A whole new learning process, the winding stems are being made a little faster with each one produced.


Thank you Svenja for the tasty treat!!

Renato finished his jewel modification! the right hand jewel is the broken old one.
Jewel sett up and checked for concentricity with the centring microscope in the Schaublin 70 lathe!
Jewel ready to be modified! 

He reduced the diameter to fit the setting and ground two bevels on both sides so that the setting can be rubbed over to keep it in position!
His modified jewel installed in the movement!

Before making the staff he had to find out what size it needs to be for the specific movement he will be making it for!
Renato getting ready to turn the balance staff in the 70, he will do it in two stages; first he will turn the body of the balance staff with the cross slide as its very fast, precise and minimal risk of making a mistake! And since he will do it with the help of the microscope he can comfortably measure and see everything very precisely without having to take out the staff from the collet which would make it eccentric if taking it in and out of the collet. In the second stage he only has to turn the cone for the roller and the two end pivots which he will do by turning it between fixed centres by hand in the small Horia lathe to keep it perfectly concentric, and at the end he will burnish the pivots.

First stage done, only cone and pivots left to do!

The technicians were very busy with adjusting the swiss lever escapement!

Both Dean and Tetsu were very busy machining their tools, Dean making his screws here with the Schaublin 102 with the milling attachment! 

A nice gift! Thank you Dean and his girl friend who came to visit him!


David (Fullskill) felt that the burnisher he was using was a bit on the heavy side so he made a lot of holes in the handle to lighten it to hopefully receive some more sense of feel when burnishing! 

We all benefited greatly from having a relaxed Q&A with Robert about his watchmaking experiences!


Svenja found this very interesting book and added it to the library. Thank you Svenja!


 Soon Easter! Last week was very busy as everyone is trying to finish as much work as possible before Easter holidays so we had no time to organize a blogpost last week. Last week we also had David all the way from Taiwan taking the bench test/taster course which was nice.  As I write, the technicians are in the escapement exam which is very good timing for them as they have then completed more or less the escapement course! Renato completed his jewel modifications and rubbed it in to the mainplate, he then started to design and make the balance staff for the same watch! David modified his burnishing tool handle to make it lighter to get more sense of feel when burnishing! Francesco also had his winding stem exam, good timing for him as well as he will come back to his school watch after the break! Asmund and Robert continued making winding stems, and Tetsu and Dean continued on their tool manufacturing. We had also a very nice Q&A with Robert from Iceland who was my first teacher many years ago before Michael and now works in his family business in Iceland, it was really great to see Rob again!! Very interesting, creative and intense two weeks!! Have a great Easter holiday everyone!