***The second round of interviews is scheduled for Thursday but I think I've already made up my mind.
Yes, I am talking about the first two rebelde apprentices who are to
commence their training on July 1.
looking for a very certain profile and I think I've found what I am looking
for. The first applicant would be perfect in the customer service area - he
thrives on 'knowing things' but also on fixing things.
The second guy is probably a bit of an introvert, which is one of the core
properties of a successful watchmaker. As a team, the two of them would be
But the search is still open. I've been around
long enough to know that things are not always as they appear to be.
Nevertheless, I am very excited about new people joining the rebelde
Which propels us into a hive of activity in order to get us
Yesterday we went to see Joao Joe Santos, our colleague and watch
And by us, I mean all of us! We've made it a
Sunday affair, all with lunch at the Sultans Table.
love dealing with Joe. He is the prodigious prototype of an
Every tool and piece of equipment I wanted to
add to my basket was questioned, assessed, taken out (I would put it back),
and re-assessed. "Why do you want this particular tool? Are you sure? Wait,
I'll have a better one in a few weeks’ time and it will be also
You get the idea: Joe is not really interested
in taking your cash. He simply loves what he does and he does not care
about making profit. Which makes him a true asset to the Australian
Who can say 'no' to a super-light ball-bearing fitted set of
screwdrivers? Or pass on an unbeatable deal of Dumont tweezers? Do I need
yet another hand removal tool @ $100? No, so I'll take two. How about this
cool screwdriver sharpener? And my goodness, the punch tool for the Rolex
rotor axel replacement is back in stock - so that goes in the basket as
"So you will let your apprentices use the finest Swiss
tweezers?” asks Joe. Probably not, or at least, not for the first
week, but they do need to see what is here, to tell the difference between
non-magnetic, steel and some space-technology alloy. After all, watchmaking
tools are a major part of the fun of being a watchmaker.
loaded ourselves nicely and left Joe in the pouring rain, but excited about
the new project.
Of course, there is a long list of tools on
order, with more arriving in the next few weeks.
automatic Swiss cleaning machine will be delivered by sea freight – a
massive piece of equipment I have always wanted yet found no need to buy
because the old manual one is still working just fine. A major capital
investment, but hey - we need to get ready for rebelde watch servicing and
we want to turn our workshop in a modern, well equipped facility, at least
as good as major Swiss brands.
The Bergeon set of bezel removing tools was probably one piece of
equipment I can live without. $1,250 for a set which will most likely sit
unused for many years. But then again, it only takes that one job where you
need a specialist tool - a job which will separate us from the rest of the
here we are - ready to get back into action. Yes, the availability of spare
parts is a major issue, and we don't expect any improvement any time soon.
But with two new apprentices, there are still things we can and we should
do. For example, we can easily get back into the battery replacement
We can offer very competitive prices and extremely fast
turnaround times - something you simply don't get in the City. Young
apprentices would need the opportunity to learn this relatively simple task
and offer valuable service.
Let's be honest: battery replacement is
not rocket science.
Many years ago, I was able to replace
batteries in any type of watch – except Breitling Emergency Mission
(this one requires a certified procedure) and a few obscure plastic-cased
digital timepieces which are not really meant to be pulled
if you wish to keep my soon-to-arrive apprentices busy, then go through
your drawers and find those 'dead' watches. Bring them in, mention this
newsletter, and we’ll do you a very special deal: five
watches/battery replacements for $50. This deal is for common timepieces
like Seiko, or Swiss stuff under $1000 value.
Naturally we will
charge more for Omega and TAG and similar pieces, and even more for Cartier
and other luxury pieces of course, but still significantly less than the
authorised service centres. And here is the beauty of this offer: if your
watch needs a new seal or winding crown, or any other repair - we will let
you know upfront and will quote accordingly. We will give you a CHOICE and
this is what independent watchmaking is all about: a choice of who you deal
with and choice of how much you will spend on a repair.
Yes, interstate jobs are welcome and we'll throw in free returns
via registered shipping on any repair over $100.