Friday, July 22, 2016

Christmas in July at rebelde HQ

***Christmas in July

Christmas has come early for Tyler and Josh who just received a small parcel this morning. 


































The content: engineering software for watch parts design and manufacturing. Yes, the very same software Patek uses their design and manufacturing process.  Writing a cheque for $12,800 was not easy but planting the first seed of Australian watchmaking was a rewarding experience.


We will have more great news coming soon, so stay tuned.

Happy collecting,
Nick

Why I Love Watches

By Tyler, the apprentice 


Today I thought I’d quickly address one of the questions I’m often asked: Why do you like watches? The first and easiest answer I usually give is I just do. I’ve always liked them. It’s something you’ve either got or you don’t, there isn’t necessarily any rationale for it.

But I do have some more concrete reasons. They’re the only universally accepted jewellery that men can wear. Conversation starters. An expression of your personality and your mood. You might even use them to check the time.





Watches are the product of painstaking research, merging many different fields to make them a reality: mathematics, physics, metallurgy, chemistry and design. The list goes on. Watchmakers are artists that weave these different, often conflicting, fields together to produce something eternal. You can’t carry a sculpture or painting around, but your favourite timepiece can accompany you anywhere you go.



Few other things we own are as personal as a watch. It goes through what we go through, always there to reassure you and evoke memories. A single glance at your watch can bring a smile to your face. What else is passed down across generations like a watch? There lies a lot of power in this fact. It speaks volumes to the importance a watch can have in our lives.


Beyond even owning the watch, the discovery process is equally thrilling. The thrill of the hunt, the hours of research that lead you to your favourite piece and the joy that comes when you’ve found something that ticks all your boxes. It’s addicting.


As the weekend approaches, here’s hoping you get a chance to wind up your watch and unwind yourself. One of my favorite quotes is by playwright Françoise Sagan who said: “My favourite pastime is letting time pass, having the time, taking my time, wasting my time, living out time - against the current”.


Only in those precious idle moments are we able to take a step back and properly assess life as a whole. Paradoxically, work gets done when we take the time to do nothing. Watches remind me of the need to take time off and enjoy the quiet moments, to be more like my watch itself; content with letting time tick by.


Enjoy your weekend!

Until next time,

Tyler


Monday, July 18, 2016

Apprentice Corner - Week in Review

***As promised, here is my review of the book and tool we added to the workshop this past week.




For my first book I decided to pick up The Watch & Clock Makers’ Handbook, Dictionary and Guide.
First published in 1907, by F.J. Britten who served as Secretary of the British Horological Institute for 33 years. The book is a classic reference that has been used by watchmakers over many generations. Having undergone numerous revisions over the years, the book’s content remains just as relevant today as it did when it was first published.


You needn’t even be interested in watches to be fascinated by it - the book’s beautiful illustrations and diverse range of topics could hold anyone’s attention. Not just a reference for tools and parts, it also references some of the important figures in the field and their contributions, such as Robert Hooke, an extraordinary scientist who spent much time trying to solve the horological problems of his day, and Abraham-Louis Breguet; arguably the greatest horologist ever.

Despite the huge breadth of topics, the author still finds time to cover some topics in great depth. Indeed, its entry on repeating watches (a watch that chimes the current hour and minute at the press of a button) spans some eight pages.




























Of course, more could be said about repeating watches than could possibly fit on eight pages, but the intention of the book is to condense difficult topics into understandable short passages that encourage one to enquire further. An example of the author’s ability to do just this is its entry on astronomical clocks. Watches that map the motion of the moons and planets have always captivated me. The ingenuity required to make them cannot be overstated, and their development spurred on advances in many other fields, including one that is of particular interest to me: computer science. Though incredibly complex, the book does an excellent job of summarising the workings of such a complication, giving one a basic idea of how the gears interplay to produce the magic.



























It’s a book I’ve already found myself referring to multiple times a day and it’ll have a permanent place on my desk for years to come. I’ve only scratched the surface; one post simply isn’t enough to do it justice, so I’ll likely write about it again sometime.


***This week’s tool is a set of five Horotec Precitec pliers that were recommended to us that we bought for $95. Unfortunately, our experience with them has been rather unsatisfactory. They aren’t of the best quality, something not becoming of a brand such as Horotec, a brand that usually produces the finest quality tools. They’ll have their place, but won’t be used for some of the finer work we do.


























Pliers may not seem overly exciting, I know, but what’s interesting is just how many odd ways we’ve put them to use. When they first arrived on my bench I thought I’d only use them when I needed to adjust a bracelet or cut a stem. They’ve certainly been used a lot for bracelet adjustment, but we use a much more precise power-tool for stem cutting.

The tool is an odd one in that you might struggle to name any uses beyond the two aforementioned, and yet you find yourself reaching for them multiple times throughout the day. Most of the time they’re just used to hold a part while you do something to it with another tool, but occasionally they serve a very specific purpose.

Nick demonstrated a neat little technique of tightening the cannon pinion (on a tester watch of course!). This is done by tightening the cannon pinion by ‘squeezing’ it. The cannon pinion is held perpendicular to the teeth of the end-cutting pliers and downward force is applied by lightly tapping the handles using a watchmaker’s hammer.

It’s a very risky thing to do - an old-school watchmaker’s trick. Not something I would yet attempt on someone else’s watch! Too much force and you’ll split it in two or put an indent so deep that it becomes useless.

Cannon pinion tightening is normally done with other tools (unsurprisingly, there are tools made specifically for this job), but this served as a good lesson nonetheless. Here’s hoping it never comes to that.

Until next time,
Tyler 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Rolex Servicing

Probably the most common inquiry we get is “do you do Rolex repairs?”
The short answer is; it depends.

With the current workload of rebelde watches to be assembled, every moment in the workshop is priceless. In other words, rebelde is, and always will be, our priority. However, there is always that great sense of satisfaction that comes from the repair or restoration of a Rolex watch that was written off as unrepairable or too old to be repaired by Rolex themselves.

Our bottleneck is the availability of genuine Rolex spare parts. Since Rolex no longer supports independent watch makers in Australia, we are forced to search for genuine parts worldwide. In general, the restriction of spare parts makes them more expensive and it takes longer to get them. So if you’re not in a hurry then in most cases, yes, we can help you.

The other group of customers that we are able to help are the owners of vintage Rolex watches who prefer to keep the watch in as an original condition as possible. When it comes to servicing and replacement of spare parts, our golden rule is to preserve the original dial and hands, bezel and bracelet; which means our goal is to preserve the authenticity and collectability of the Rolex, rather than to turn them into factory-new condition.

The third group of customers are Rolex owners who simply find Rolex servicing prices unreasonably high. If you need an independent second opinion and a second quote then again, most likely, we would be able to help you.

The final group of customers are those who find our service more down-to-earth and who prefer a more intimate relationship with the watchmaker. To them, we simply can’t say no.

Our speciality is vintage Rolex sports models like the Submariner, GMT Master, Explorer and, of course, Datejust.  In most cases, the complete overhaul/restoration cost would be around AUD $850.
The only restriction is we don’t work on watches manufactured after 2010, we work only on the older watches.


























Happy collecting,
Josh

Sydney Watches Pty Ltd is an independent watch repair service centre, not affiliated with nor authorised by Rolex, Switzerland.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

1973 Rolex Explorer II Ref. 1655/0

Rolex Explorer II 1973

Big projects call for big decisions.



To finance the acquisition of a CNC watchmaker’s mill, I will be reluctantly parting with one of the watches from my private collection: 1973 Rolex Explorer II.

Stainless steel case and bracelet, case size: 40mm. Black dial.

























What is special about this piece is that it was acquired from its original owner - a gentleman who bought it in 1973. 

The watch has been overhauled by Rolex a few years ago and has not been worn since.

It comes with the original Rolex box and two service guarantee cards - from 2004 and 2013. The serial numbers and model reference numbers are clearly visible and match the paperwork.

This Rolex Explorer II with the bright orange hand is one of the most popular vintage Rolex models and is sought after by serious collectors. However this particular watch has been meticulously restored so it is perfectly suitable to be worn daily - if you choose to do so.

It goes without saying that my preference is for the watch to remain in Australia. My price is AUD $27,000 + GST. However, if the watch is to be exported, then the export price is USD$20,900.


Available for inspections: please call for an appointment.




Panerai PAM 112 Twins

Hey, Josh here.


This doesn’t happen every day so I thought “let’s frame it”.

Two identical Panerai PAM 112 arrived to our workshop with the same problem: a broken main spring. 

Working on two watches simultaneously is great fun. And the job can be completed almost as fast as when you’re working on one piece. The Panerai were powered up by ETA 6497-2 movements.








The only thing that left me under-impressed was the Perlage finish of the main plate. The only finishing was done on the externally visible parts of the main plate, whereas the areas under the bridge were left raw and unfinished. This would be as if a painter painted your whole house, but not the areas covered by furniture. 

Obviously Panerai is not in the business of impressing watchmakers.







































Happy collecting,
Josh



Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Apprentice Corner: Week In Review

This is Part One in what is intended to be a weekly series. As the workshop continues to expand and I continue to learn, Nicholas has committed to buying a new tool and a new book each week. That, or we’ll pull a book out of the shop’s library or dust off an old tool that has sat dormant for many a year. I’ll then do a write-up of that tool and a review of the book, highlighting anything I find interesting. Both the historical and technical aspects of watchmaking will be covered and I’ll do my best to demystify some of the more complex topics. I hope you’ll find it interesting!

A short post today, only covering the tool. The first book has just arrived so next week’s post will include a detailed review.


The latest tool in the shop is a Horotec Bezel Remover (MSA 07.117) that removes a snap fit or friction fit bezel, such as that on a Rolex Datejust. These watches require a tool that ‘digs’ under the bezel in order to pop it off the case. Taking off bezels can be tricky business. Years of build-up gets into the grooves and makes them very hard to pry open.

There’s not much to say about this tool - it performs a very specific function, but it’s almost always frightening to use a new tool and this one is no exception. There’s no easy way to tell if the blades are correctly aligned with the grooves - you’ve just got to put on your loupe and carefully inch it into place. One of the nice things about bezels like this is that you don’t have to worry about the build-up that gets into the grooves in screw-on bezels that makes them hard to twist open, but this is usually only something that occurs on very old watches that haven’t been opened for decades.

The dangers of using this tool are clear: If the blades aren’t correctly aligned there’s only one other place they can go - straight into the watch case. This will leave a permanent cut on your expensive (sometimes irreplaceable) case. I’ve only practised on a tester watch thus far; I dare not try on one of the Rolex’s in stock!


With the addition of this bezel remover my workbench is beginning to look like a Horotec display. The characteristic red of the tool makes them stand out. It’s a name I’ve become already become well acquainted with - they seem to be the producer of the finest quality watchmaking tools. They’ve been supplying high quality parts since 1946 so they’ve got a reputation to uphold. They aren’t even paying me to say this! As I flick through the catalogue, Nick tells me we’ll eventually own most of them as we expand our capabilities. The company claims to have over 3,500 products - where will we put them all?!



A teaser for next week's book:




Until next time,
Tyler

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Most Essential Watchmaker's Tool

From the Apprentice's Corner

Before I even touched my first watch movement I had already heard many watchmakers speak on the importance of the screwdriver as if it were some magical tool that could solve any problem. Well, it sort of is, as I'm beginning to find out. It's hard to truly get your mind around just how important a well-made and well-maintained set of screwdrivers is until you actually start working on a watch yourself.

Screwdriver sharpening is itself an art form. There are stories of how apprentices at Patek Philippe spend their entire first week sharpening screwdrivers. Ask any watchmaker what they do and they'll half-jokingly tell you they sharpen screwdrivers for a living. Different screws call for different sharpening methods. Some screw heads have a very shallow and wide slot which calls for a screwdriver sharpened with a very steep angle. A screw with a different slot profile requires another screwdriver altogether. Ideally, it should fit snugly and uniformly across the length of the screw and not touch the bottom to avoid marking the visible part of the slot. How exactly this is achieved when the entire screw itself is less than a millimetre wide remains a mystery to me - my 6 hours or so of practice doesn't quite suffice, to say the least. 

It may seem ridiculous, but when the blade fits into the slot nicely it makes all the difference. It allows you to act with confidence and helps prevent accidents. A tiny slip can be disastrous. I've been working on a movement with a Côtes de Genève (Geneva waves) finish on the main plate. The finish is only one micron high, so a scratch can't simply be polished out - doing so would completely ruin the effect. 





It's nerve-racking to say the least, especially since I'm still developing my motor skills. Damned shaky hands of mine.(Personal tip: avoid caffeine beforehand, and remember to keep breathing. I've almost fainted after putting some tricky screws in place because I was concentrating so intensely that I forgot to take a breath.)

Whilst daunting, I still find it fun to think just how much I've got to learn. There are many thousand-page books that attempt to catalogue the different types of watchmaking tools, and to think that I'll be spending hundreds of hours to just master one of them is mind-blowing. There are even books written for individual tools themselves, like this one I found that details the use of the staking tool.

I'll be writing more on some of the tools I encounter over the next few weeks so stay tuned!

The screwdrivers within an arm’s reach of my bench. There must be a thousand of them hidden around the rebelde workshop.

Until next time,


Tyler.



Thursday, July 7, 2016

Taking a leap into the world of Horology

Hi all, Raven here! 

Recently we have been receiving a lot of emails regarding how to increase ones knowledge of Horology. (Something I am in need of too!)  Because of this Nick, Josh and Tyler have given their recommendations for a few books which they think are the best for a new starter.

1. Complete Price Guide to Watches written by Richard E. Gilbert, Tom Engle & Cooksey Shugart. 
This is around $20+ on Amazon. A new one is released each year. Here is a link for the current 2016 one. 

2. Omega - A Journey through Time written by Marco Richon.
This one is a lot more expensive and rather difficult to find. The ISBN: 978-2-9700562-2-5. It is however the best book written on the brand and very highly valued. It's voluminous and extremely worth every cent.

3. Practical Watch Repairing written by Donald De Carle. This one is our apprentice watchmaker, Tyler's pick.
You can find this on Amazon for $6.99+ here. This book will enhance your appreciation for mechanical watches.

4. Longitude - The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time written by Dava Sobel.
This book is available on Amazon for just a couple of cents. The link to purchase is here.
Longitude is Josh’s choice to recommend to beginners. This book is written in the form of a novel and will open a whole the new world of horology.


Together, these four books will be up to a year’s worth of reading, and the cost isn’t too vast. The knowledge you receive in return is priceless.

Happy collecting!
Raven




Wednesday, July 6, 2016

From the Apprentice Corner

One absolutely critical part of watchmaking is measurement.  The importance of which has already been well drilled into me. As the old adage goes, “measure twice, cut once”, but I’ve found this advice is defied here. The process used here can be better summed up as “measure twice, with three different tools, cut once”.

Most watch manufacturers follow an assembly-line process. The parts are produced en-masse, large batches of single parts are allocated to one worker and they add their part into the watch as it is passed along the line. Little measurement is performed; if it fits and appears to work, job done. Pass it along. Of course, this is fraught with danger. It might work, but if the components aren’t precisely the right size, parts will rub, gears won’t mesh exactly, springs won’t expand and contract properly. It all comes full circle eventually.

Though it’s early days yet, I’ve already got a feel for how things are done here. Every step is preceded by careful measurement to make sure the parts meet exact parameters. It’s a painstaking process.

Perhaps too pedantic, honestly. But it doesn’t hurt.  When you’re working with components 1/10th the width of a human hair there is no margin for error. It fits exactly, or not at all.

We’ll be working on something soon that requires measurement to a thousandth of a millimetre. I’m not even sure what such a device would look like, but it probably won’t come cheap. Whilst a good pair of callipers (which measures a 10th of a mm) might cost $50, a micrometre tool (100th of a mm) costs $500. Extrapolating out, a tool to measure a thousandth of a mm might well cost $5000 and above.

Until next time,

Tyler


Two modern measuring tools, and on the right, 1920s callipers handmade by a French apprentice watchmaker.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Announcing rebelde50

At exactly 10pm on August 19, 1930 the arch was successfully joined.
Dr JJC Bradfield, the Chief Engineer and father of the Sydney Harbour Bridge could hardly contain his excitement: it was his vision, engineering expertise and detailed supervision of all aspects of its construction which had brought the long-held dream into reality. 
The bridge was almost ready, and soon, the last of the 6 million Australian-made rivets were driven through the bridge platform. The following month, it was test-loaded with 96 steam locomotives. Eighty-five years later, it stands as firm and as strong as on that day it was finished.

Engineer Bradfield was a dreamer - but in his mind, from the very beginning of the project, he knew exactly what he was doing: he was building an imposing piece of stone and metalwork which would last for generations.

So did Utzen, when he designed the Sydney Opera House. 
The rebelde office is located in the Culwulla Chambers Building - another monumental Sydney project. It was built in 1911 and at that time, it was the tallest building in Sydney. Actually, it remained the tallest building in NSW for the next 50 years!

Great ideas, big dreams and grand plans don't always become a reality. But for those that do, they appear to have something in common: the vision to achieve and accomplish something that will last for generations.


This week Josh and I have built two watchmaker’s benches in our workshop. Of course, we could have easily ordered them from Switzerland, but we choose to build them ourselves. Josh picked thick Queensland Maple and Tasmanian Oak planks and we spent 3 long weeks cutting and polishing this magnificent Australian wood. The benches are now almost ready, and we are proud of our workmanship: the 2.8m long double bench contains not one screw or nail. Many nights we stayed up well past midnight, sometimes arguing, sometimes joking, yet we thoroughly enjoyed the project. At times when we felt tired and discouraged we told each other that if we could not build the best watchmaker’s bench ever, then we don't deserve to design and build a watch and that thought kept us going. The bird-eye spots in the maple are just magnificent. The thick bench will easily outlast many watchmakers who will work on it.
The bench is here to stay, as well as Culwulla Chambers, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge we cross twice every day. There is simply something money cannot buy: the feeling of lasting achievement.

In the day and age when goods are built to last for only a year or two - five if you are lucky - Josh and I are proud to be part of something much larger and much more lasting. Today, we would like to offer you a very special opportunity: to become an owner of a watch which will not only last for the next fifty years, but which will be GUARANTEED to be fully operational for next 50 years.
Our offer is simple: if you invest in rebelde50, your watch will come with our written guarantee that for the next 50 years you will not have to spend one cent on servicing or spare parts replacement and this will include even a leather strap replacement! We will take full care of your watch and whenever it needs any repair, you will just bring it to Culwulla Chambers and we'll repair it FREE OF CHARGE for the next 50 years!

Yes I know this offer sounds absolutely crazy, but hey - we are serious and we are committed to offer you something no other watch brand in the world can. I sincerely hope I will be around long enough to look after your rebelde50 for at least the next two decades. And Josh who is now 18 will ensure that your rebelde50 is ticking at least until his retirement in 2066.

No one knows what the future will bring. But we know that the Harbour Bridge is here to stay and that if we think big and bold then rebelde will be here to stay as well. If Josh and I can't help you personally, someone else will. The idea of a 50 years guarantee is powerful enough that it will always attract one clever watchmaker who will proudly take the project over and look after your watch.

We are ready to take your order for a limited edition of 50 pieces of rebelde50. You pay a one-off price of $5,000 for your watch and you will never, ever, for the next 50 years have to pay one cent for servicing or parts. It’s simple as that.

We are not in a hurry so take your time to decide. Whether we sell one or fifty pieces is totally irrelevant: what matters is the message we are sending out: rebelde is here to stay and we are committed to a project like no other watchmaker out there. With an offer like this, once again, we have proven that rebelde has no competition. If you wish to become a part of our big dream then you are more than welcome to join us - not only as a customer but as a visionary. Your support is truly appreciated. 



rebelde50

Technical description:


- Batch of 50 pieces, individually numbered F01 to F50
- Case: 44m Surgical Steel 316L brush/high polished
- Pilots-style ribbed bezel
- Sapphire crystal top, see-through case back crystal
- Movement: Honey Gold Plated Swiss movement with rebelde laser-engraved bridge. Exclusively custom-made for rebelde swan neck regulator and gold balance wheel.
- Manual wind.
- Water resistance: 10 bar
- Leather strap and rebelde steel buckle
- Guaranteed for fifty years: rebelde50 comes with 10 complete overhauls at 5 yearly intervals and up to 20 leather straps. Guarantee includes parts and labour. (*Damage resulting from lack of care/accidental damage will not be covered by guarantee)




- Price: $4,545 + GST (AUD $5,000)
 














Note: we are planning on re-issuing some of our standard sold-out models of Pilots and Control Tower in the future. The price of stainless steel models will remain the same at $2,500.

Happy collecting,

Nick

Hello From Tyler

***Hey, I’m Tyler, the new apprentice in town. Born and raised in Sydney, I have a background in Computer Science and Mathematics. I’ve also learned Chinese for a number of years, having studied in both China and Taiwan.

Though it may seem rather odd that I’d choose to pursue this field given my background, it feels only natural to me. I have long been interested in watches - as far back as I can remember. I’ve been interested in a thousand different things over the years, but my love for mechanical watches has never waned (despite never having owned one!). It seemed inevitable that I’d one day end up doing something related to watches. When the opportunity to work alongside someone as experienced as Nicholas popped up I leapt at it without looking back. My previous studies will only help me along the way.

This past Friday was my first official day. I was like a kid in a candy shop; the opportunity to get my hands on some incredible watches and play with some fancy machines was thrilling.

In just one day we covered so much ground that it’s hard to know where to begin; timing machines, correcting time keeping of watches, pressure testing, bracelet adjusting and tool handling to name a few. We also had a lengthy discussion of the mathematical properties governing the function of a watch’s balance wheel (something Nick has touched on in a previous blog post here.
It was so exciting to finally see some of the mathematics and physics I’ve learnt over the years play out before my eyes. Though it’s a long way off yet, I’m looking forward to the day I can put some of this knowledge into practice. I love to learn and the field of horology is one with a boundless horizon. There’s so much to cover and so much room for innovation that I can get a bit ahead of myself sometimes. Patience, Tyler.

Equally exciting is the opportunity to meet those who are as interested in the history of horology as I am. I’ve already had far ranging conversations with customers about the wondrous work of some of the masters from George Daniels to Jean-Antoine Lépine. The world of watches attracts an incredibly diverse range of people, and though not everyone is interested in the historical side of things, they all seem to be united by a few defining characteristics. To love watches is to have an appreciation of fine craftsmanship and ingenious engineering. They’re a special, super-curious breed. This transfers over into all of their interests and leads to fascinating conversations on all sorts of topics. All the more reason for me to get involved!

The search is still on for a second apprentice. Whoever that might be will find themselves in a tight-knit environment learning at a break-neck speed whilst contributing to some big things that are in the works. I can’t wait to work with them.

Until next time,

Tyler




Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Next Generation

"So how's business Nick?" asked two acquaintances the other day.

"Exciting! I will be training a new apprentice watchmaker as of next week!"


"Oh Nick" - said one, "You’re so naïve. Good luck with that... You will spend countless hours with him but most likely your apprentice will leave you in 6 months taking with him your best customers. That is precisely what happened to me".


"... and the only way to protect your business from loss is to NOT to pass onto him any core knowledge of your trade. That's what I do" said the other.

And both of them were absolutely spot on: that’s precisely what happens when a fool trains a fool.

Hacko family watchmakers have been training apprentices since the 1950s. At the last count, my grandpa and my father trained over 200 watchmakers. Four of them, who were trained in our workshops, are now practicing trade here in Australia: two in Melbourne running their own business, one works for TAG in Sydney and one is in Queensland. Our ex-apprentices, now qualified watchmakers, all run businesses in the US and all over Europe. So I guess we know what we are doing.


Tyler signed up yesterday. He is 23 years young, and has a double degree in Mathematics and Computer science. He has an unquestionable thirst for horology.


No one can be certain if Tyler will stick with us for 3 years and complete his watchmaking training. But if he leaves us prematurely, that will be his loss. We run the most reputable business and we are located in the heart of Sydney: inside of the prestigious Culwulla Chambers. From his workbench he will have an unobstructed view of three Rolex dealers, the Cartier building, the Omega store - and every other top Swiss brand you can think of. We deal in high grade watches – and we legally sell more pre-loved timepieces than any other second hand dealer in Sydney. Our client list is impressive and he would have a rare opportunity to work on anything from Seiko to Patek, from simple time-only movements, to complex repeaters: the variety and complexity of watches we handle is simply amazing.


But even more exciting is the fact that we are the only watchmakers who both design and assemble our own mechanical watch, here in this very workshop.


No other business in Australia could offer such opportunity for learning and creativity. Not to mention that we are extremely excited about manufacturing possibilities with a goal to actually one day make watch components in our own workshop.


In addition, Tyler will work with Josh, the fourth generation to-be watchmaker who at the age of 18 is already well versed in business. Josh just passed a bunch of exams at Sydney Uni, within the faculty of Mechanical Engineering. For both of them in the watchmaking trade, only the sky is their limit. I would be greatly disappointed if Tyler doesn’t top the class at TAFE and becomes the apprentice of the year. If he achieves that goal, then this time next year, he and Josh will be on a plane to Switzerland attending the Watchmaking and Precise Engineering Trade Fair – with all costs paid for by me.


I am not looking for cheap labour but rather a young, capable, smart, hard working apprentice who is enthusiastic about being a part of an Australian watchmaking story. And I am absolutely ready to let the next generation take over all of my customers! When that day comes, I will finally have time to do what I always wanted to do: to learn more about horology.






Friday, June 24, 2016

Dirty Deeds





















We had a very special visitor today in the office to meet with Nick: former AC/DC bassist and the nicest guy ever, Mark Evans. Mark came into the office to collect his 'Mark' rebelde pen and to sign Nick’s personal copy of his autobiography. ‘Dirty Deeds - My life inside and outside of AC/DC’ is the only AC/DC book written by the actual band member. Together Nick and Mark will be working on a very exciting project which you will find out all about in due course. Trust me, it’s worth the wait. 




Thursday, June 23, 2016

Welcome to Raven!

Hello all!

It’s time to introduce myself to the world of watch enthusiasts. My name is Raven, and I’m from a small seaside town in the north of England named Cleethorpes. It’s my second day here at Nicholas Hacko Fine Watches and I’ve been  welcomed into the quaint office with warming arms. Feeling a little foreign to the magic of time keeping surrounding me, I sit with Nick and talk about his life’s work. Yesterday was only day one into the watch business and what better way to be introduced to the industry than to learn all about the “Rolls Royce of polishing stones”. These are the words of Nick. It’s difficult not to share Nick’s excitement when you can plainly see how hard he and his team have worked in order to one day possess these silky-smooth Japanese stones.

Whilst Nick was informing me of their quality, they were compared to when a musician finally purchases that precious new amplifier they’ve always desired. And how Japanese products are always associated with quality and cost. Grades 8,000 & 1,200 these two stones can be used to polish the head of the screws before the blueing process and to sharpen the screwdrivers - ready for a new apprentice to join us soon. These things don’t currently make a great deal of sense to me, yet I can’t help but feel eager to begin my new position here with Nick and his team.

Japanese stones feel fresh, almost as though you wouldn’t want to use them in the fear of spoiling their fine exterior. I’m looking forward to starting a new role here in the office, alongside the new beginning which the King Deluxe & Gold Stone both have ahead of them here too. I’m here to fill the big shoes which Ellie will leave behind - we wish you the best of luck for the future Ellie!
Happy Collecting!
Raven