Thursday, 9 September 2010

Neuchatel Part2- WOSTEP

For all it's reputation, WOSTEP turned out to be a very unlikely place. It is a charming former house on the lakeside road. I was told it was built in 1907. I had expected a high rise set-up humming with activity. Instead it is a very cosy place with just 6 students in the 2 year full training programme. It is obvious they focus on quality :-)

Since I have got prior experience with watches my test was a little different. The others were asked to file a block of brass into as perfect a cube as was possible. I, on the other hand, was asked to service an ETA 2892. This is an automatic movement with (quick-set) date complication. I had never worked on this movement before. It has some unusual features e.g. the winding gears & the offset train. So, I took quite a bit of time to do this task. I am happy to say that the movement was working after I was done with it :-)

The next task was to cut a piece of brass in a 'V' shape.
like this....
And then it had to be filed so that it matched perfectly, one way......

...or the other.
Looks easy but it takes a lot of careful filing to get the two pieces to match perfectly. If the job is well done, one should not be able to see any light gaps between the two pieces.

For the last task, we were given a couple of hairsprings & tweezers.

We were asked to form numbers from 0 to 9 with the hairsprings. This was probably the most delicate task. Hairsprings have a mind of their own & there is a knack to getting the shapes one wants. Here is what I managed. In my defence I will say that my handwriting is terrible as well :-)

Apart from these three tasks, we had to fill out a questionnaire with some maths problems and questions on gears & levers. So that is what the two day test was like.



  1. Another wonderful read. I too was expecting a totally different kind of a building when I thought of WOSTEP.
    The tests really are very interesting and unusual, but I can understand how they can test the skills of the watchmaker. All the best for the rest of the programme.

  2. For me, it was like two days in heaven :-). Each bench was comprehensively equipped with a pictorial laminated inventory, the tools were the best quality and things are done they way they should be done. No compromises!


  3. Very interesting! When do you get your results for the test? I'm sure you did very well. Your hairspring numbers are fantastic!

  4. AD Sambhare ! so when do u join ? and btw have become a fan of urs !!

  5. Thanks Alan & Kannan! They said a few weeks. It would be great if I qualify for the short course. The two year programme seems infeasible at this moment.