Friday, March 16, 2018

It all comes down to the escapment and balance!

This week we started learning about the escapement and the balance, how it is all connected in the watch.
We learned how to adjust the pallet fork to the escape wheel and the balance, for example in what division it's supposed to be in, how to remove the shellac of the pallet fork with the alcohol, add the shellac and how to adjust the jewels in the fork, also how to move the axel up and down.
So we guess that soon we will be able to understand the watch completely not maybe 100% but it's getting closer and closer.

Here we are disolving the shellac in alcohol.

Looking at how we should place the pallet fork in the Horia tool in order to move the axel up and down.

We all got a chance how to see how it looked like.

You gotta have the right anvils for the work you are doing, Yi-ting is making a new anvil to fit her work.

Here we can see how the perfect shellac on the pallet fork is supposed to look like.

If the jewels make a straght line when they are put together impulse plane to impulse plane, we can assume both angles are the same, and no risk of mixing them up since they are the same on both sides. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Flea Market, Bushing, Tool Auction

Last weekend we visited an antique flea market to look for some tools we may need in the future. Also this week we visited a factory which had closed and were auctioning their tools and machines which are ready for sell. It was very interesting to have an inside look at a factory like this to see how a watchmaking factory would look like and to learn what machines and tools they use during production.

Some machines we don't really know how they work.
Next week we'll start to manipulate the escapement. We will learn how to properly select pusher and anvil to remove and instal shock absorbers.

Here we also share some of our trouble shooting work in our daily life. CJ had a problem of a damaged thread in the mainplate. Instead of replacing a whole mainplate we have to find practicle solutions to fix it. We decided to make a bushing to friction fit in and create a new thread. it was a really a good exercise where we were able to combine our micromechanics skills with watchmaking.
Damaged thread for barrel bridge.

CJ turn a bushing which could friction fit to the hole he reamed from the original thread.

Making a thread after friction fit the bushing.

You think this is finished?

After Henrik's magic finishing, it's really hard to tell where bushing is.

Friday, March 2, 2018

New Student, Geartrain Lubrication and Cannon Pinions

Last week, we all survived our first exam for this semester, winding, setting and greatrain exam. It is not as hard as we thought it could be, and it was just about being careful for small details. This week We are still working on our movements that we have been working on to overhall the parts which we already learned, and we also learned how to oil the geartrain jewels and cannon pinions. These two oiling need lots practice to make the oil at the perfect amount. Hope we could get used to this oiling asap.
Last weekend, we had a Finish watchmaker join us to learn restoration techniques. There are fewer places to teach watchmakers restoration today so he came to us and learn it in order to do the restoration job. He learn the process of restoration and new micromechanical techniques to make parts, and he is defintitly coming back to learn more. It  is really good to know that there is a school willing to teach something that most schools are abandoning. Hence, we are welcoming all people who are interested to learn more.

Finish watchmaker turned a windingstem.
Nice thread!

Students checking the setting of the removal of the tapered pin in the hollow cannon pinion system.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Jump (excuse the pun) to our first second year test exam

This week we had our first second year test exam.; Winding and setting, barrel and gear train exam.  We have nothing too special to report back this Friday due to that we have been practicing the same exercises as last week in order to be fully prepared and more experienced for the real exam next Friday. Yi-Ting also brought an interesting hand wound pocket watch with fly-back retrograde minutes and digital jump hours to show everyone, she plans to restore this piece later in the course.

Yi-Ting's special pocket watch with fly-back retrograde minutes and digital jump hours. 

CJ practicing mainspring installation.

Yi-Ting working on wheels. 

Friday, February 9, 2018

Beginning of the Eyesight testing

This week, we started to practice truing wheels and put the jewels flush with the mainplate. These are the last two parts for our upcoming exam at the end of this month. Truing wheels is much harder than we thought. Our target iss not only make the bended wheels functional but also make them as flat as possible. We even tested our wheels under the microscope. Haha i think this is more about eyesight testing than watchmaking. Installing jewels is a little bit simpler than truing wheels. We just need to choose the right size of anvil and pusher. We dont want to damage the most expensive part of the watch. Next week we will practice more and will be well-prepared for the exam. Ciao.

Getting ready to make wheels flat.

Stan is checking the wheel.

Discussing with each other make us more easier to get the hand of  the skill.

Yi Ting is looking for the bent point.
That's the quality we want for flatness.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Oiling Winding and Setting Mechanism

We worked on assembling and oiling winding and setting mechanism this week and today spent a day and half introducing both theory, manipulating, and oiling about barrel and mainspring. Still, the most important thing is Cleanliness and well Organized.  

We start practice oiling from winding and setting mechanism of 6498 and several ETA caliber such as 2824, 2892, 7750 and so on.

We clean our table everyday when we start working as a habit, and during work also try to organize ourself.

And the rest is keep practicing and make ourself fimiliar with the mechanism in different caliber.

Flatness, Straightness and cleanliness are important in watchmaking. Stan is observing the flatness of the barrel. 

Always see something after oiling. In winding and setting part, we prefer more than less oiling.
This could become our Friday tradition. But we expect ourself lose as less parts as possible in the futrue. 

Friday, January 26, 2018

SIHH 2018, Visitor, shock absorbers, and Movement assembly

 Last week was SIHH 2018, and Yi Ting and Stan went there to join this big event for watchmakers and watchlovers. This is our first time to join this kind of event. In the SIHH, the more interesting section for us is some indenpendent watchmaker brand. For this small brand, they normaly  dont have as many as different calibers or models than the big brands, but they always show the amazing hand-finishing and unique innovative design for the movement. Hence, these indenpent brands more attract our attention. We will certainly come back next year.
    This week,We change to white coat as a real watchmaker,and we learned a lot new stuff. We learned how to oil the shockabsorber and disassamble and assamble the ETA movement. Both are new and challenging for us. By doing these things, we feel we are closer to the real watchmaker, and it feels great. Really excited for the upcoming challenges.

Felix practicing shock absorber manipulation

Disassembly, oiling and assembly of shock absorbers.

Practice movements for all.
We also got visitors, to the left Julien working for Laurent Ferrier  and his friend MaĆ«lle (right) who is studying watchmaking in Bretagne, France, both super passionate about watchmaking and we wish both of them the best watchmaking experiences for the future. Its really cool for us to meet the real people in this industry we feel very lucky!
Taking notes about safety when using special screw disolving acids.
One click screw broke by over tightening it in the barrel bridge so we had to also learn how to cook it out with a special solution called vissin, this acid does not disolve the brass bridge but only the steel screw, genious!