Friday, April 28, 2023

Tour de Romandie!

 Week 17

This week we had a nice surprise when the Tour de Romandie passed through the town in the afternoon!

Traffic in and out of Le Locle was backed up all the way to La Chaux de Fonds!


Workshop B
    Åsmund, Dean, Francesco, Robert, Tetsu, Xin

    This week Åsmund, Francesco and Robert took a trial exam for the hairspring. Afterwards Francesco and Asmund took the real exam.

    Åsmund also assembled a 6498 hairspring and changed the greiner collet for an older style collet.

    Tetsu and Dean also took two practice exams but for the escapement. Their goal was to increase the quality of their work while reducing the amount of time required to perform all the checks and adjustments.

    Additionally, Henrik provided the final lesson in their gear train lesson regarding the barrel. Freedom of movement between the barrel and bridges is important, as is ensuring it does not encroach on other movement parts while in operation.

    For repair points projects, Tetsu completed making and installing a barrel bridge bushing for his vintage IWC.  .  

New bushing in worn barrel bridge

Bridge after "magic rhodium", the bushing stayed its natural color.

    Tetsu used “magic rhodium,” a brass whitening liquid to repair the partially worn barrel bridge while keeping the bushing its normal colour.
    Dean white rhodium plated the main plate and bridges of his WWII-era Oyster Raleigh.
Oyster Raleigh disassembled for repair

Oyster Raleigh mainplate pre-plating
Oyster Raleigh barrel bridge pre-plating

Oyster Raleigh parts after cleaning Rhodium plating.

    Dean also repaired a damaged pallet jewel from a Longines 53M wristwatch movement.
Chipped pallet jewel

Pallet jewel glued to a brassplate to do repairs

Repaired pallet jewel installed

    Dean also registered an Omega pocket watch for a future repair project.

    This week Xin passed his hairspring exam and is now on the final part of the technician course! He has also been completing practice movements and is trying to deepen his understanding of how to achieve better timing by making different adjustments to make it more accurate.

    Henrik also introduced to all of them new lessons such as cannon pinions and how to set the tension for proper operation, escapement lubrication, and the use of Episurf Neo which is a chemical used to prevent the spreading of oil to unwanted areas.

Tools to adjust the cannon pinion. From top to bottom: smoothing broaches, removing tool, cannon pinion, crimping tool to tighten the cannon pinion and a 6498 movement.


Workshop A
    While making one of his tools, Amer made this amazing fibonacci spiral!


 There will be a long weekend because of Labor day on monday, so we'll be having a shortened week.




 Thank you for reading and hope to see you again next week! 

Friday, April 21, 2023

New Week, New Format!

Week 16

We're revamping our blog with key highlights each week from one of our two workshops!

The weather this week was crazy! it went from warm, to cold to suddenly snowing one day!


Workshop A


    Amer, Dunham, Daniel, DavidMiguel

 Daniel, David and 
Miguel practiced making winding stems and heat treatment for the upcoming trial exam.

Miguel also did some polishing on his steel angular rule.

Amer finished his poising plate, balance bridge holder and learned to sharpen screw drivers.

Dunny finished his balance bridge holder and started practicing for his first filing exam.


Workshop B



Here are some watches that Xin registered as repair projects!


There will be a watch market in Zurich this sunday. Looking forward to seeing what interesting things we'll discover!

Friday, April 14, 2023


 WEEK 210

Team A

Origin: Sweden, The Philippines & Taiwan
Name: Daniel, Miguel, & David
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood:

This week we learned heat treatment and how to make a steel winding stem from turning it down from a solid bar to hardening and tempering.-Miguel

Team B

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

Tetsu and Dean advanced their escapement knowledge by understanding the relationship between the pallet fork and the roller.  Henrik introduced Tetsu and Dean to the function and safety controls of the Swiss lever escapement, which comprise the lateral clearance between the roller jewel & notch, control of horn clearance, and control of guard pin clearance.  The role of the banking pins was also covered.  Henrik followed up by providing a lesson on the angle of draw, an important feature of the Swiss lever escapement in the context of security to ensure the pallet fork remains locked notwithstanding the presence of shocks associated to the wearing of wristwatches.  This knowledge of the angle of draw was the segue to the adjustment of the total lock, which is the sum total of the “drop” and “run to the banking.”  To adjust the total lock, Henrik showed Tetsu and Dean how to use the escapement metre to depth the pallet stones.

With what they’ve learned from this lesson, Tetsu and Dean went to work on their seven movements, ensuring the escapements were checked and adjusted as required.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tetsu & Dean

Team C

Origin: Italy, Norway & USA
Name: Francesco, Åsmund & Robert
Watchmaking class: Fullskill 
Current mood:

Balance Hairsprings.
This week we continued working on the small hairsprings that are involved in the back-and-forth rotational movement of the circular balance wheel in a watch.
"Flattening" of the hairspring, so it isn't tilted. Then making sure the coils have the same space between them, which means the weight of the hairspring is as evenly distributed around the balance staff as possible, and so no coils will touch each other as the spring expands and contracts during it's winding and unwinding.
Then the studding of the hairspring, and setting the regulating curve in it. It is a great feeling to have adjusted the regulating curve so the spring has room to vibrate between the regulating pins of the regulator as it is moved along the arc of the regulating curve. Finished with the first spring studding, now on to the next spring!

Team D

Origin: Finland
Name: Xinying
Watchmaking class: Technician
Current mood:

I am starting to finish seven practice movement and managed to do two in this week. It is nice to see the progress and handing finished movements back to teacher.

Team E

Origin: Serbia
Name: Amer
Watchmaking class: Upgraded Technician
Current mood:

This week was very fun and interesting, i learned lots of new stuff and gained knowledge about new things.

I learned how to use a drill and how to make a hole and make a thread. I also started learning how to work on a lathe.

I made a few tools that i will need in the future and i am quite happy how they turned out.

Team F

Origin: USA
Name: Dunham
Watchmaking class: Upgraded Technician
Current mood: 

This week I learned how to make simple brass watchmaking tools by filing them within various tolerances. Additionally I learned how to use the drilling machine as well as the lathe. Using these tools I now have the necessary skills required to make a balance bridge holder which I plan to finish next week.

Amer busy filing!
Dunham busy preparing the lathe for turning!


Dunham almost completed his first tool!

After quenching the rings were tempered!
In preparation of making complete winding stems Daniel, David and Miguel make protection rings for when they will file the square!

Basket to protect the winding stems during quenching!


Winding stems and protection rings after heat treatment.


Asmund submitted some nice vintage watches that he will soon overhaul!




We got some heavy snow fall during one of the Easter days and it has been rather cold this week as well! We also got two new students! Amer from Serbia and Dunny from Texas, USA! Xin Continued servicing and repairing complete movements! Francesco, Robert and Asmund finished vibrating hairsprings and learn how to pin them up to the stud, forming the regulating curves and making double bends! Dean and Tetsu continued on the escapements checking notch, guard pin and horn clearance as well as adjusting the pallets to make them functional with minimal total locks while still being safe!  Due to Easter the week was one day short and became rather busy! Have a nice weekend everyone!