Four years ago I wrote a course for complete beginners to watchmaking, delivering 120 hours of training over 40 weeks, which I taught at Epping Forest Horology Centre (EFHC) in Essex. I then went on to write a second-year course focusing on servicing automatic and chronograph watch movements, as well as the processes and techniques such as tool making, pallet jewel replacement and setting, balance staff replacement, dynamic and static poising of the balance, burnishing and polishing, bushing, jewelling, hairspring manipulation and using a watchmaker's lathe.
Four years after writing that first introduction to watchmaking lesson, I decided to create my own place of learning for enthusiastic horologists of all abilities. I now teach the same first and second-year watchmaking courses at Wimbledon Horology Centre, in South London.
These courses are ideal for complete beginners who want to learn how to service their own watches and the second-year course is a linear progression from the first-year course, as well as for the more seasoned enthusiasts.
A well-equipped workshop for up to six students in each class is the ideal setting to learn how to service watches, but also to understand the theoretical aspects of watchmaking, as well as helpful hints and techniques you just won't find on the internet. Through the aid of detailed PowerPoint presentations with plenty of hands-on help and guidance in a small class, students are able to build the confidence and ability to diagnose and alleviate most faults in a watch movement.
Each motor-driven height adjustable workbench has its own simul focal stereo microscope which is displayed on a projector screen helping see the work properly under high magnification, but also helping the tutor see where the student needs any help and guidance, especially regarding delicate escapement work.
Private one-to-one tuition is also catered for.
Students at Wimbledon Horology Centre, London
Watchmaking Taster Days
The watchmaking taster days are tailor-made experiences so you can dip your toes into the fascinating world of horology.
It is an ideal gift to give to someone interested in watches and all things horological.
The day will begin with understanding how a mechanical watch works by way of videos and PowerPoint presentations.
There will be a further two presentations over the day; one for completely disassembling the watch movement and the other to aid in assembling the watch.
You will be working on a Swiss pocket watch developed in the 1940s and widely used in modern-day wristwatches.
The ETA 6497 is a very big watch movement, which helps when using tweezers, fine screwdrivers, and a loupe, which magnifies the work, especially for those using these tools for the first time. There are also high-powered stereo microscopes on each workbench to help with seeing the micro world of watchmaking.
Jon the Watch will expertly guide you through the disassembly and then assembly of this iconic watch movement, explaining how each part of the watch works and how they all interact with each other.
This is an amazing opportunity to experience what a watchmaker does every day in a small class of up to seven students.
The next Sunday taster days are 10th December 2023 and 7th January 2024.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place.