Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Celebrating Inquisitiveness

***When it comes to watchmaker lathes and manual turning, my skills could be best described as at novice level. I am more familiar with 'large' clockmaker-size work and tool making, something you do on a Myford ML7 size lathe. 

Earlier today I was looking at carbide and tungsten gravers blanks, suitable for hand engraving of fine pivots. The seller was located in the US and the price was right - but what really dampened my enthusiasm was a line above the tool description: "If you need instructions on how to use it then it is not for you".

A statement like this is both arrogant and obnoxious. Mastering hand engraving is a life-time journey and any piece of information that would come with a new tool would be more than welcome. Lathe work is like playing a guitar; each player has their own technique, of which some are better than others. 

When it comes to the precision, speed, accuracy and repeatability of turning then every detail, no matter how unimportant it could be, could make the difference between a good job and a fantastic job. If a seller is unwilling to share their knowledge then I really don't want to do any business with them.

The same applies to our customers. The watches we sell - both new and preowned – do require some level of 'introduction' to the new owner. While I have handled tens of thousands of watches in my lifetime, I am often surprised with a function or a detail I haven't noticed before. Just couple weeks ago, a buyer of an Omega Moonwatch asked me if the 1861 Calibre was fitted with a hack function. I really couldn't remember - despite disassembling that very same calibre hundreds of times.

Asking questions should be encouraged, and inquisitiveness should be rewarded, not ridiculed.
Unfortunately the way we teach - from kindergarten to postgraduate studies - is by flooding the students with knowledge expecting them to absorb it without providing any feedback in return. No wonder kids hate school, teachers are frustrated and customers are unhappy.


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