We tried Objectif Horlogerie’s introductory workshop
by Guillaume V - 14/06/2015
A few weeks ago, we talked to you about the creation of introductory mobile workshops dedicated to horology; now we’ve tried them for you… And it was amazing!
That Saturday morning, we met at 8:30 with the other students in a Lille hotel. We were warmly welcome and the atmosphere was relaxed.
First assessment: there is no typical profile to participate to Objectif Horlogerie’s workshops. Some of us are fine watch enthusiasts eager to get a peek behind the scenes, there’s a “watch customization” fan willing to improve his know-how and we even met a 14-year old young man wanting to get a feel of the watchmaker profession to decide whether or not this would be a good fit for him!
Our hosts are Samir and Jean-Yves. The first left a career in finance to become clockmaker and the second – a former pharmacist – shares today his wide knowledge of the field of horology. There’s no doubt about it: this is a gathering of enthusiasts!
Introductions over, the workshop kicks off with a 30-minutes-or-so history of horology. However, this was by no means a lecture. Rather, this was a time of interaction punctuated by historical facts and anecdotes passionately delivered by Jean-Yves. In such an environment, time goes by pretty fast…
The time had come to get into the meat of it and to start manipulating the clock making tools on the workbench in front us: magnifying glass, various-sized screwdrivers, tweezers, rodico (a paste used to remove small screws), fingerstall, pear syringe, dust cover and tray… Everything is there to feel like a would-be watchmaker and to start disassembling/reassembling the provided ETA 6498-1 movement.
The disassembling part turned out to be rather simple, although it required some dexterity. This step was actually more about discovering the parts which comprise the caliber as well as their functions. This was also a chance to grasp how the movement works and to get to know its mechanism.
The movement disassembled, time had come for a lunch break. For the occasion, the all-new Cresus shop in Lille welcomed us and allowed us to try fine timepieces – including a superb Tudor Big Block Chronograph.
The last step of this amazing horology journey was the reassembly of the movement – which, to be fair, we all dreaded a bit. But like for the disassembly part, the diagram cast on the workshop screen and the assistance provided by Samir and Jean-Yves allowed everyone to successfully complete the operation. At the end of the 4:30-long workshop – which went by a wink of an eye – we went our separate ways following the traditional group picture and us getting our first horology degree.
Exiting the workshop, participants were all smiles: a proof that for all watch enthusiasts, these introductory workshops are definitely worth a shot! It’s an occasion to discover what’s going on behind the dial but also to share an amazing moment in good company.
So, thank you to Samir and Jean-Yves from Objectif Horlogerie for your warm welcome and teaching skills. And thank you to Thierry and Cédric from Cresus Lille for the fine food, the visit of the shop and the possibility to try watches on.