Thursday, August 6, 2020

"This is the only thing grandpa took with him when he left Berlin". No pressure...

If you wondered why you didn't get the newsletter since Thursday: well there wasn't one sent. We had simply run out of time recording the new 'behind the bench' video. As the person in charge of our YouTube, Bobby came up with a plan to install a 2.5 kg camera right over the bench which would allow us to film above the bench shots. That required a mini crane and some fine balancing, but once we assembled the rig, the rigidity and balancing was even better than expected. So we got carried away recording the restoration of a 1910 Glashütter pocket watch.
The restoration was one of the most difficult projects recently undertaken. The entire watch was completely gummed up. Fifty or sixty years ago, it was over-lubricated with the wrong oil. It was most likely one containing animal fat (which was not that uncommon back then).  Not a single gear could move - despite the fact that the main spring was still fully coiled. Dissembling the watch 'under full power' is a recipe for disaster, but there was simply no other way of doing it.  I am not going to spoil your enjoyment, but you should definitely take a moment and watch the video. 
This week we will start transferring our Seiko DIY project onto YouTube. This is a project for hobbyists who want to take up watchmaking as a hobby.  Over the years thousands of students all over the world undertook our online course and managed to disassemble and reassemble their Seiko.  I am still receiving complimentary emails from happy students. Since we now have enough man power to create YouTube videos, this mini video series called 'Seiko for novice horologists' will soon be available online. The first chapter starts with a list of recommended tools and quick show and tell on how to sharpen the screwdrivers properly. For investment of around $300-$400 in tools, you would be on your way in no time. I can not recommend a better hobby for anyone regardless of age, gender or your skill level- than watchmaking.  Every step of disassembly and reassembly will be recorded and explained in detail so there is no doubt that it can be done. The secret? Patience following instructions, quality tools and plenty of light.

The sense of accomplishment once your Seiko is reassembled is simply overwhelming.  Even if you lose or break a part that would be just a temporary hurdle. Most Seiko parts are still available so there is no reason not to complete the project. Just to point out the obvious: an investment in quality watchmaking tools is a priceless investment in itself.

Stay tuned for more! 

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