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KelSolaar

British School of Watchmaking Course

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Hi all. I just applied for their 1,800 hour course which runs from Jan 2019.

If I get past the application stage there will be an assessment in August which will include a 'numerical and problem solving' test.

I'm not sure how to prepare for that because I'm not sure what it is exactly, so don't know how to bone-up beforehand.

The other parts of the assessment are an interview and a dexterity test, they seem self explanatory.

Anyway, aside from my worries... I'll keep you guys posted should it be of interest. I wonder how many applicants they get, seeing as they only let about 8 people on to the course. 

 

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Good Luck!

I'm sure that many people here would like to hear about your journey as you move along. That is, assuming that you will have the time and inclination! Could be a great help to future potential students. 

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Thank you people.

My next planned step is to wait until the chap confirms he has my application and then ask via email if there's any tips he can give me to help prep for the numerical/problem solving test. I'm currently assuming this is an 'iq' test, but you know what they say about assumption.

Will certainly keep this thread updated, would be a pleasure.

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Quick update:

Yesterday they confirmed by email that they have received my application and will be in touch following the application deadline in July.

I emailed this morning asking if they were able to give any insight into the theory (numerical and problem solving) test ie online resources or copy of practice test. I don't think they will reveal anything, which is fair enough as this is a cheeky question to ask them, but it can't hurt to have asked. 

Edited by KelSolaar

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On 5/24/2018 at 4:12 AM, KelSolaar said:

Quick update:

Yesterday they confirmed by email that they have received my application and will be in touch following the application deadline in July.

I emailed this morning asking if they were able to give any insight into the theory (numerical and problem solving) test ie online resources or copy of practice test. I don't think they will reveal anything, which is fair enough as this is a cheeky question to ask them, but it can't hurt to have asked. 

Curious to know, did they respond?

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On 03/06/2018 at 5:18 PM, Bumps said:

Curious to know, did they respond?

Hi, yes, forgot to say I got a response on the 06th June. They were gracious enough to let me know about similar material online to help. 

They gave me a link to a diagrammatic reasoning test which is similar  to their logic test. And a numerical reasoning test which apparently is a little different to the numerical test but should still help.

I was also advised to spend time with fractions and rearranging formula.

As expected, they were unable to provide practice example tests.

Very happy to get such an informative response. Not least because - at best - I 'm very rusty at a lot of the above.

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Quick update: I received an email today to say I have made it to the acceptance stage, which means attending the school in Manchester for the assessments mentioned before and have a good look around the school of course. That's going to be at the start of September. Cheers.

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No time left nowadays for any of that. Too old. Does the course go into things like Draw, Drop. Geometric and Dynamic Recoil etc. Basic math for the gearing is certainly useful as are shake clearances etc. I have forgotten almost all of it now and am just a Jobber. Very good wishes to you Kelsolaar. and welcome to this nice forum.

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Well - unfortunately I didn't shine amongst the stiff competition and didn't get a place on the course. But I can always try out again in future.

It would have been part time - 1800 hours over a year (wouldn't have minded the fulltime, but applied to late).

No idea about draw, drop and geometric recoil I'm afraid. They would have been able to tell me on the open day, but I wouldn't have been able to ask without prior knowledge.

Oh well, my old line of work - IT - has been kind enough to call me back, and I will be doing that again in the next week or two.

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There are several online courses you can join were the instructions is via video via YouTube the instruction I free in s kind of search for topic to learn from ie straighten a hair spring or the author instructor , Mark Lovik (I think that’s the name);runs his own sunscribed watch repair, cleaning and other horological knowledge. I think he’s s natural patient Teacher. Whatever it’s worth checking out and you seem enterprising maybe it’d be a good relaxed route back to the more formal learning once you’ve developed more skills and knowledge. Join forums read up online books make friend and continue to ask questions. It not that you failed to get in it’s just they only had enough room for people a bit more prepaired. Good luck eh!

 

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On 11/1/2018 at 10:55 AM, KelSolaar said:

Well - unfortunately I didn't shine amongst the stiff competition and didn't get a place on the course. But I can always try out again in future.

It would have been part time - 1800 hours over a year (wouldn't have minded the fulltime, but applied to late).

No idea about draw, drop and geometric recoil I'm afraid. They would have been able to tell me on the open day, but I wouldn't have been able to ask without prior knowledge.

Oh well, my old line of work - IT - has been kind enough to call me back, and I will be doing that again in the next week or two.

I'm in IT too, and realised just a year ago or so that I should probably have dedicated my life to watches (watches have captivated me since childhood). Whenever I've spent a day or or so servicing/repairing a watch I somehow feel very satisfied, relaxed and happy, like I've really accomplished something. Watches magically revitalises my spirit. I'll turn 57 next year, have a family and two quite young children (10 and 13) so I guess it would be quite irrational (perhaps even irresponsible) to try to go from IT  to watches, and the money in IT is "unfortunately" good.

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Mark's great, I've done his courses. You can see a watch I constructed on his Facebook page with the seagull movement I used for the course. 

 

Yes, watches are great and were the one few possessions I was allowed as a kid. I can still remember the smell of Cornfords jewellers. It was a place of wonder. 

The great thing about clocks and watches is that IT guys like us can still have it as a really cool hobby. 

Edited by KelSolaar

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On 11/22/2018 at 9:24 AM, VWatchie said:

I'm in IT too, and realised just a year ago or so that I should probably have dedicated my life to watches (watches have captivated me since childhood). Whenever I've spent a day or or so servicing/repairing a watch I somehow feel very satisfied, relaxed and happy, like I've really accomplished something. Watches magically revitalises my spirit. I'll turn 57 next year, have a family and two quite young children (10 and 13) so I guess it would be quite irrational (perhaps even irresponsible) to try to go from IT  to watches, and the money in IT is "unfortunately" good.

I know what you are saying, I spent a lovely day bringing a pinset pocket watch back to life the other day, a fully polished movement and case sat working away and kept time to within +5 mins over 30 hours in dial up position, ok not cosc standard but hell I remembered later on that I had forgotten to oil 2 of the train wheels whoops!! That's a job for the next couple of days.

Anyway my point is this, although working away on watches, pocket watches and now clocks is very satisfying and very relaxing and very rewarding could you do it everyday and make enough money to pay your mortgage bills and everything else. I learnt that turning a hobby into a business is very hard and to be honest I'm keeping mine as a hobby.

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If I live to retire and will be in good health (you never know) my plan is to dedicate a lot of time to this wonderful hobby and perhaps even be able to make some extra money doing it. I really don't know if there's any money to be made by building quality watches and try to market them and sell them on eBay, but I'm going to give it a try. Perhaps branding is more important than I imagine, but I'll see. Also, I've been asked by several people to "have a look" at their old mechanical and automatic watches, but so far I've denied it, having too little time even for my own projects.

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14 hours ago, VWatchie said:

If I live to retire and will be in good health (you never know) my plan is to dedicate a lot of time to this wonderful hobby and perhaps even be able to make some extra money doing it. I really don't know if there's any money to be made by building quality watches and try to market them and sell them on eBay, but I'm going to give it a try. Perhaps branding is more important than I imagine, but I'll see. Also, I've been asked by several people to "have a look" at their old mechanical and automatic watches, but so far I've denied it, having too little time even for my own projects.

If I were you and planning to build watches and sell them on eBay, I think I would consider 2 ways for doing that.

1 - restored and serviced watches :

Buy watches on the net, as low as possible, restore the cases and service the movements then sell them back for a fair price ... by "fair" I mean fair for the buyer AND fair for the seller who would get some money as a payment of the time passed working on the watches.

2 - custom designed watches :

Choose a "brand name", buy full watches or parts (cases and movements), design custom dials with the "brand name" on and print them or order them on Alibaba, find a way to put the brand name/logo on the cases and crowns.

Then build the "custom branded" watches and try to sell them on eBay ... still at a "fair" price.

So not exactly a micro-brand but really close.

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VWatchie branding seems to be the way to go there are loots of examples of that.
One fellow Swede seems to got it right with his brand "Daniel Wellington" he started with cheap plastic quartz watches from china ,later on made an own brand and now Selling for millions. You just have to make up an interesting storie to go with your Product. Here is some interesting reading in Swedish for you. (VWatchie I assumne since your located in Sweden you can read Swedish ;) )
https://www.va.se/nyheter/2015/09/01/rekordsnabbt/

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@HSL Ja inga problem, tack! ;)

My idea of selling on eBay came from this; I was considering buying a black new or used STOWA Marine, but felt it was a bit expensive. So I got myself a NOS pocket watch housing a genuine Unitas 6498 (approx. $100), sourced a really nice case very similar to STOWA's (approx $50), a high-quality black Marine enamel dial complete with hands from Germany (approx. $50), and finally a polished Milanaise mesh bracelet (approx $25). So in total approx $225. Having serviced, demagnetized, and regulated the movement meticulously I put the parts together and the end result surpassed my expectations. In my eyes, it looked stunningly good.

So, this made me think, a brand new STOWA would have cost me approx $1600. Of course, it would have had the brand name, a decorated movement and flame-blued steel hands, but other than that, I had basically saved myself roughly $1375 by putting together my own Marine watch.

The million dollar question is; had I put my black Marine up for auction on eBay, let's say with a starting bid of $449 (of course marketing with some great pictures and explaining about movement and the service - using only the highest quality Moebius Swiss oils in exact accordance with the service schema -, the demagnetizing, and the regulating, and so on), would anyone bid on it, and what would the winning bid be?

There are options looking just as good (I'd guess) from China costing a $100, so I guess the market (people into quality and a bit of knowledge) for my Marine watch (and similar projects) is pretty limited. Perhaps too limited!? The idea isn't to try to make a living out of this, but simply try to make some extra money to add to my future pension.

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