Expanding Operations

Taking on my first apprentice

Well it’s not just me at the watchmaking desk anymore.

Last week while I was feeling a bit under the weather my youngest daughter Ginny, who will soon be five years young, took an interest of the tools at the desk and asked for some wheels to repair.

Note the glove on the left hand (just like me)

I was a bit flattered by her interest as up to this point it’s only been the family cat who has found my being hunched over the desk intreguing, but I think Scooter finds the work relaxing as he generally falls asleep within minutes of my picking up the tweezers.

Ginny’s interest has been growing little by little over the past few weeks. It started with her pulling volumes of the Esembl-O-Graf from the lower drawer of the desk; she liked to read about the watches and was particularly interested in the “tires” (her word for wheels) within each movement. Shortly thereafter she began borrowing my Rodico which I would usually find later on her nightstand; I believe in her view any job that lets you play with Play-Doh is a good job.

Here’s the barrel bridge

Last week she took the final leap and asked to work on one of the watch movements on top of the desk (I currently have two chronographs that are waiting for parts under plastic domes). Naturally I wanted to oblige but figured she should start on something a bit simplier so I rummaged around the junk drawer and retrieved a broken movement for her. She immediately went to work on it with the brass tweezers and a screwdriver. To my utter amazement, when I returned home from work that evening the movement was completely broken down on the desk! Astonished, I asked her if she had disassembled it herself, and she nodded incredulously.

She exclaimed that the hairspring gave her some trouble

I’m not sure what to make of this…  I limited her tool use to the brass tweezers, a bit of Rodico, the three largest screwdrivers, and a 5x loupe. Could she really have disassembled an entire watch movement with just those tools and five years of experience on this earth?

Give her a few more months and I’ll probably need to send her off to WOSTEP.

Author: JPMoeller

Amateur watchmaker and California resident

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