Watches I

balanceI think it’s about time I return back to the roots of this blog. My watch education.

The Lititz Watch Technicum
Micromechanics, Part I
Micromechanics, Part II
Micromechanics, Part III

Watches I

With all of these micromechanical skills, what’s a boy to do? You see, the WOSTEP program is designed in Switzerland for the Swiss watchmaking community. It’s mission is really to prepare watchmakers for the watchmaking industry. That is why the WOSTEP Curriculum covers watch movements only, and no polishing or case work. Partner schools in the United States have adapted the curriculum so that it better prepares watchmakers for the retail repair environment, although many WOSTEP graduates still end up in the U.S. Watchmaking industry. This may be why Oklahoma State’s new program is geared toward preparing AWCI Certified Watchmakers for the 21st Century instead of WOSTEP graduates. If you visit my about me page (and every post on this blog you’ll see what this boy does with his micromechanical skills.)

Having said all of that; the reason WOSTEP puts so much emphasis on the micromechnaical work is because it: fine tunes hand eye coordination and trains the eye to see very small defects. You see, for six months of watchmaking school we didn’t touch watches. Now, we would.

Unitas 6497Our next set of tasks would prepare us for the WOSTEP gear train exam. We were given an ETA 6497 movement and our mission was to disassemble it completely, clean it thoroughly and reassemble it with every thing working and still clean. Cleanliness is perhaps the most important thing in watchmaking. Once we could handle the screwdrivers okay they began to adjust endshakes and we would have to restore them to their correct positions using our jeweling tool. At this point we didn’t have to worry about whether or not the watch would tell time, it just needed to be assembled correctly with the correct endshakes and ticking healthy. (We didn’t even really have access to timing machines at this point.) After one or two weeks of assembly and disassembly we took our exam and would move on to bigger and better things!

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