Good day watch lovers!
It has been a while since we last updated the blog, but interesting things has been going on here in the workshop.
Due to the celebration of the 150th anniversary of one of the most prominent watch boutiques in Sweden, we have made our very first watch!
When it comes to craftsmanship we can proudly say that there is a lot to this watch.
Just finishing the movement takes us several days.
The dial of the watch is 0.8 mm thick and made of 925 sterling silver, the hands are Swiss vintage blued steel of finest quality and the balance cock is hand engraved by master engraver Jochen Benzinger in Germany.
Every part of this beautiful watch is made in Europe.
Case, dial, base movement have been made of highest quality and every tiny detail has been under our supervision before leaving the workshop since long lasting quality is very important to us.
That is all we can tell for now, but we promise to soon be back whith pictures of the workmanship that goes in to making this watch. Until then we show some pictures of our first prototype.
Gustav, Anton and Fredrik.
It has passed some time since we wrote anything new here. So I thought it would be perfect with an article of a very interesting man, Jochen Benzinger.
Jochen Benzinger lives and works in Pforzheim Germany, an old watchmaking town where you can also find for example the watch brand Stowa and you can find dial and case makers. In the early 20th century there was a lot of movement makers active there, for example Durowe (Deutsche Uhren-Rohwerke) and Laco. Mr Benzinger is specialized in hand engraving, skeletonizing and hand guilloché (engine turning) with antique manual machines.
He has his own brand of watches (Benzinger) and he also works together with the watchmaker Grieb, they have a company called Grieb & Benzinger, they make very high end watches (unique pieces) usually based on antique Patek Phillip movements, with for example advanced chronograph and minute repeating mechanisms.
Benzinger also works for big brands like Glashütte original, IWC and Fabergè.
I'll show some pictures that I took during our visit.
Finally here after a long trip!
A wall of watches is meeting us while we walk in to the workshop.
Some more! With the amazing IWC tourbillon watch in the middle, skeletonized, engraved and engine turned by Benzinger. Amazing how many watches he has made.
Glashütte Original Tourbillon. Engine turned dial.
Finally at place in the workshop, lots of fine old machines. Here Anton and Fredrik is talking about watches with Mr Benzinger, while waiting for the coffee :)
No less than five engine turning machines, each one adjusted for its specific task. It's an art just to use them, one needs to apply exactly the right pressure and use precision in every move. Doing one fault will ruin the result.
Deep discussions about design and technical subjects. Mr Benzinger is a very humble and nice person to talk to, and a real enthusiast.
Benzinger Regulateur Black dial. Engine turned chapter rings and wave patterns on the bottom.
Benzinger Regulateur white dial. This is our favorite dial of Mr Benzingers current watches.
Engine turned silver dial with genuine Breguet frosted finishing.
Benzinger skeleton watch with a lot of engine turned parts! Even this skeleton dial is engine turned and frosted in classical Breguet style.
The back of his skeleton watch, just as beautiful as the front! The watch cases are also made in Pforzheim and are of very high quality.
We want to end this article with a video showing the artists at work with one of their nicest creations, The Blue Danube. Here you can see the work in progress and the skill that is needed for making such pieces.
See you next time!
I thought I should post some pictures of my Illinois watch that I serviced recently. I think it is beautiful and it deserves to be at our blog.
The dial is dirty and got some cracks on it. Lets put it in the ultrasonic cleaner.
The movement is in the baskets. Ready for cleaning!
The base plate of the movement.
Cleaned, assembled oiled and adjusted. The amplitude reaches 300, great! This is a beauty of a movement. Screwed gold schatons throughout the movement, solid gold wheels in the entire going train. Gold plated screws and swan neck fine adjuster.
Engraved case back .
So the dial got clean. The cracks disappeared and the violet blued steel hands are nice and clean to. Great!
Thanks for watching! Svanberg & Werner.
In my last year at the Swedish wostep certified watchmaking school I spent one of the training periods at Lang & Heyne the independent watchmaker based in Dresden near Glashütte, Germany.
Lang & Heyne are specialized in making small series of high end watches with typical German handcraft and tradition stemming back from the 19th century. inspired by the classic Lange & Söhne and similar pocket watches.
It was a great experience to spend time with them and I feel honored to have been given the opportunity to learn from such masters of watchmaking.
Mr Marco Lang, one of the two founders of the brand, was very humble and helpful during my time there and I was given the chance to learn about the whole process of making the watches. From the creative process in computerized CAD-programs to the production of the raw parts and the finishing. It's not an easy thing to get the finishing right and the Germans were very strict, so only perfect is ok. I can tell you that I got a little frustrated more than one time in the process. But without training you will never reach a perfect result in the end and I am the type that will continue training until I get it flawless. First I will show some pictures of the parts I did the finishing on and after that I will show some of the extraordinary watches they make at Lang & Heyne.
Here are the screws that I had to finish. There were 30 of them at the beginning and not everyone was usable in the end I can tell. ;) I did the bevelling on the outer edges, bevells on the slot. Polished the thread, head, and the tip of the screw.
Bevelling in the lathe. The important thing here is to make sure that the edge is perfectly uniform, otherwise the polished part of the head will not be perfectly circular.
Polishing the crown wheel. Here a special polishing paste is used and the metal piece on the right is turned in the opposite direction to the wheel to get the special "solar finishing". Often used in German watchmaking.
Here is the pallet bridge. First sandblasting, after that it had to be polished with a German silver brush and in the next step I made the special Lang & Heyne silvering procedure. I had to do bevelling on all edges and holes, even the ones that was not visible. In the end it was gold plated and fitted with a jewel in a gold chaton and with the blue screws of the type I did before.
The silvering process. It was made with a bristle brush and a mixture of salt and silver powder. The silver is rubbed in to the piece to make the frosted finishing really shine.
Here is the adjuster fitted into soft wood prepared for polishing the inner bevel.
Polishing the inner bevel of the adjuster.
Swan neck fine adjuster before and after finishing.
To do the polishing a tin plate is used, with different polishing paste on it. From coarse to very fine.
A piece of soft wood to hold it with while polishing.
Swan neck and click spring, black polished.
Now I will show you some of the watches and movements.
The Model Moritz Von Sachsen. This watch has the following complications:
Day of the week
Declination Angle, if you wonder what it is, check this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declination
Hand engraved and frosted bridges, screwed gold chatons.
Albert Von Sachsen. One of the nicest choronographs made today (IMO) single pusher, handmade hands, enamel dial. Beautifull movement.
Caliber IV chronograph movement.
Caliber V with one second remontoir mechanism (constant force).
We would like to share our experience as watchmakers, our projects and what we do in our workshop. To show clocks and watches that we find interesting och think deserves more attention is what this watchmaking blog is all about.