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A Simson Schwalbe restored by my Dad. Probably it does not mean a lot to the ppl who did not enjoy the hospitality of the soviet/eastern block of Europe in the second half of the 20th century. I love every bit of it and I am going to be the happy owner of it! :D

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    • A while ago there was a statement in the HJ that they would start discouraging this by steeply jacking up the exam prices for people who didn't purchase the course material.
    • Hey John, I completed the technician's grade a few years back and worked my way through year 2 and 3. I've done final exams last year and only have the record of repairs left (not needed for year 1). I'm taking much longer with that since I have periods of being busy, and periods where I seem to lose all interest in watchmaking, until it flares up again. Self discipline has never been my strong suit -- even though I was pretty good at getting myself through the rest of the DLC. I'm in Singapore btw, where my hobby is seen as crazy/outlandish. a) I used a tutor, and would recommend it. It was the only way to getting any kind of feedback on practical parts and theory for me, since I know nobody IRL who's into technical horology. b) Very much, but no choice. c) Yep. Benefited only as a personal accomplishment. d) I'm lucky enough to have a spare room for a workshop, with equipment for horology, metalworking and electronics. All tools were painstakingly gathered over more than a decade. e) Hard to say, it depends on what you want or expect, and on your personal situation. Prices have increased sharply since I started things. This is not a cheap hobby to begin with, if I look at my tooling 🙂 Take classes at Upton Hall for example. They sometimes have a class that I'd love to join, even though it costs like 400+ pounds for 3 days, etc. All moot anyway, since I can't just drop by.. f) I haven't done Mark's course, but I love watching his videos. The two courses are very different, with the DLC being more thorough and academic, and Mark being more hands-on. The DLC teaches basic metalworking skills in order to start making parts, but none of the tutor-related communication involves feedback on actual watch work that you may be doing. The first feedback you'll get is when you service a quartz watch for the exam, which is kind of crazy. Many people complain that the DLC includes quartz watches and clocks. I found that high-end quartz watches are actually not bad to work on, and I like clocks anyway. I've picked up several tips and tricks over the years from watching Mark's videos. If Mark's course was available 10 years ago, I probably would have started with that, if it wasn't too expensive (no idea about pricing). One thing I value is that if I would ever start taking in repairs for customers, being recognized by the BHI would be a good thing.  Back in the days I was looking into doing a WOSTEP course, but I was not in a position to just drop everything and be off for two years, just like yourself. I also had and have zero interest in working for some big watch manufacturer doing part swaps on the same model all day. Cheers,      Rob
    • Yes, I reckon this shockproof setup will certainly work more effectively than yours, especially as it appears to only be shock-proofed on one pivot.
    • Hi, I attend a horology school which runs various classes every day, and they decided that they would run a weekly class to cover the BHI material which was covered by two tutors over two years. I don't think it would be easily possible to ask a similar institution to do something similar, if you could find such a thing.  I just used an 8mm watchmakers lathe. If I were you, given your geographic location, I'd try to get an American WW-pattern lathe. They are usually built like tanks. An ER collet set from China which fits a standard 8mm drawbar expands what sizes of material you can mount if you are short on conventional collets. I reckon you could probably get a decent lathe for maybe around $300 US if you look around.
    • Dial spacer clearance? Does the day date align with the dial off? If so some thing is fouling. 
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