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In-Depth: A Visit To Glashütte Original’s Alfred Helwig Watchmaking School

Thomas Goldbeck, Instructor

I should introduce this by expressing that I considered watchmaking at the Nicolas G. Hayek school in Miami, Florida. Like the Alfred Helwig School , the Nicolas G. Hayek School is associated with the Swatch Group , and offers WOSTEP accreditation. The European watchmaking industry is bigger than the American business, and that distinction is entirely obvious in the courses of study and accessible equipment at the Alfred Helwig School.

Like Mr. Helwig, Mr. Goldbeck began as an understudy at the school from 2001, preceding becoming a teacher in 2007. The understudy ages range from 16 to 30 years, with a 50/50 split between people. The school utilizes seven teachers altogether, and the current class has 24 understudies. Mr. Goldbeck clarified that on normal the school sees 200 candidates each year, with 120 welcome to test, and 24 acknowledged as understudies. Similar to the case for most watchmaking schools today the school is subsidized by a brand (Glashütte Original for this situation), so there is no educational cost. Standing out those numbers from the Nicolas G. Hayek School is intriguing. My class had six understudies, who were all men. The age range was more changed, and the quantity of candidates much lower.

Tools made by students.

Glashütte Original makes a ton of their own devices, and necessities toolmakers similarly as watchmakers. The Alfred Helwig School mirrors this, with two specializations accessible – apparatus making and watchmaking. To start, Mr. Goldbeck showed me the device making study hall. I saw a determination of instruments made by understudies, including bench tight clamps, screw polishers, and development holders. The quality and finish of everything was great. The study hall was equipped with various huge machines and plants, with understudies working on machining works out. The other portion of the room was committed to handcraft, with understudies working on the ubiquitous metal kick the bucket work out. The thought with this activity is to make the kick the bucket estimations as even as could really be expected, all by hand recording. Trust me, it is much harder than it sounds.

Next, we made a beeline for the watchmaking study halls, where I saw a choice of school watches that understudies had made in earlier years. In view of the ETA 6497, these watches showed competence in old style and current completing techniques, while utilizing an assortment of extension plans. The first watchmaking study hall I saw was loaded up with understudies working on bench machines, making balance staffs. This activity is mainstream in watchmaking schools, as it requires the understudy to decipher a determination sheet that may have differing measurements and resistances.

The second watchmaking study hall had a gathering of watchmaking understudies zeroing in on escapement hypothesis and change. The study hall whiteboard was brimming with charts clarifying the usefulness of the switch escapement , and the understudies were working on changing bed stones in their bed forks . A huge instructional escapement model on the wall supported in showing the fundamental capacity of the switch escapement. I was glad to see the understudies anxious to show what they were working on. Indeed, even with somewhat of a language hindrance, we caused each other out. I took in a touch of German (hemmung) and they took in a touch of English ( escapement ).

I met a second year understudy who guided me through a placement test practice that elaborate twisting a steel wire looking like the “G” in Glashütte Original’s logo. I did a comparative exercise during my placement test, where I made a number. It is an ability test, to perceive how well an imminent understudy can utilize hand apparatuses and follow bearing. It has been a while since I was in school, and maybe my wire-bowing abilities were somewhat unpleasant. While the understudy was pleasant and said I most likely had passed, I was not entirely certain about that.

After a wonderful morning at the Alfred Helwig School, I left with a sensation of positive thinking about watchmaking in Glashütte. Glashütte Original is putting resources into their future by ensuring future workers are prepared at the most noteworthy conceivable level. For more information on the Alfred Helwig Watchmaking School, visit their website .

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