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by Jordan Ficklin

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  1. J.Peter
    Posted May 12, 2008 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Test comment suggestion, make sure this function works.

  2. Ryan
    Posted May 14, 2008 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Hi J. Peter,
    I am currently looking into applying to the Lititz Watch Technicum and I had some questions about the process. I’ve read your blog posts that cover the general application process but I have some more specific questions that I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind answering.
    I would prefer to do this via email so I am hoping that you will read this and get in touch with me.
    Thank you!

  3. Posted May 19, 2008 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Peter, I have recently acquired a Rotary le0005/06 automatic watch, and an electric winding box with it. I am worried that if I leave my watch turning in the winder every night, the movement will experience unnecessary wear and tear. Am I better off winding it manually, and leaving it motionless, on a table say, overnight? Thanks, T. Sharples.

  4. gigfy
    Posted May 23, 2008 at 10:21 pm | Permalink


    I am a member of the WatchUSeek Chinese mechanicals forum and we have been discussing the origins of the Chinese 6497/98 movements. I believe we have been able to determine the differences between the two manufacturers (Sea-gull and PTS-Hangzhou).

    I believe your fake Panerai started out as a Sea-gull ST36. I would like to think that Sea-gull is doing a better job than that. But what I believe is happening is that unscrupulous watchmakers are buying the movements/ebauches and adding/modifying them to make fakes.

    I understand there are many websites and forums that discuss these Chinese movements only to try and make a better fake. That is not what we are all about.

    While researching these two Chinese movements, I began to wonder, why are they different and what Unitas/ETA calibers they were trying to clone. Unitas 97/98, ETA 97/98, ETA 97/98-1, or ETA 97/98-2.

    I read on the Unitas reference website that they were acquired by ETA in 1983. And that ETA retained the name and calibres for a while. How long did ETA use the U stamp and when did they stop using it? When did they first make the ETA models?


  5. Posted May 28, 2008 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I found your report on pin vises informative and would like to followup with a question via direct e-mail to you so I can upload a photo of an item I’ve been looking for. Please contact me at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

  6. Aaron Halverson
    Posted August 10, 2008 at 12:38 pm | Permalink


    I was referred to you by someone in the Chronometer Club. I was thinking of joining the Chronometer Club and since we’re close to the same age it was suggested I talk to you to get your input on it. If you need more specifics send me an e-mail and we’ll continue this that way. Thanks.


  7. Erin
    Posted August 27, 2008 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    What a great blog! I’m hoping you can help me out with something — I’m doing an article on the Lititz school for a national magazine and was hoping to ask you some questions about your experience. Can you email me, please? Thanks!

  8. Posted September 14, 2008 at 5:48 pm | Permalink


    Just wanted to introduce myself. I have followed your blog for about a year now and I really enjoy reading it, particularly the watch-related posts.

    I am the founder of, a new online community for watch owners, collectors & enthusiasts. We just launched the site and also our blog.

    As a fan of your blog, I would like to refer Members to your blog by adding you to our “Friends of” blogroll. Would you be interested? Let me know! And keep up the good watch blogging!

    Kyle Stults

  9. Steve
    Posted November 8, 2008 at 4:34 am | Permalink

    Question: I am considering applying to watchmaking school and I was wondering if you have any advice as to how I can prepare for watchmaking school.Thanks!

  10. J.Peter
    Posted November 8, 2008 at 8:13 am | Permalink


    You might try the following posts:

    Tick Talk


  11. Ryan
    Posted December 10, 2008 at 4:01 am | Permalink

    My grandfather was a watchmaker. He says that back in the day all clocks and watches were set to 18 past 8. In all ads, etc. That this was also supposedly the time that Lincoln was shot.

    Just thought that was interesting.

  12. J.Peter
    Posted December 10, 2008 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Ryan, that’s interesting. I would love to see some old vintage ads with the time set at 8:18

  13. Posted December 17, 2008 at 8:50 am | Permalink


    You mentioned before that you made your own J.Peter watch. Can you make a post about that and show a bunch of pictures? It sounds like an awesome project.


  14. JK
    Posted December 30, 2008 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Hi J. Peter,
    I read your post on the Lititz Watch Technicum. It sounds very interesting and I actually live about 15 minutes away. Before you enrolled I was wondering how you knew that you would enjoy a career in watch making after wards? I’m trying to figure out if it’s something I can enjoy and be passionate about before even thinking about taking the plunge with a wife and 3 kids to support. Thanks again for your interesting blog!

  15. Luiz G Mendes Jr
    Posted December 30, 2008 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Im looking for the complete lessons of Chicago School of Watchmaking. Please, if you have its, please send to my email. Im a brazilian hobbist watchmaker. Thanks.

  16. justin
    Posted January 15, 2009 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    hi. I, like many other posters here, am also interested in attending the lititz watch school. Can you email me any advice you have for getting in? How did you support yourself while in school? Are apartments cheap and plentiful? Did you have time to work to pay for school, or are loans a necessity? I am currently 29 and in graduate school work on my MA in anthropology, so more loans would suck….

  17. J.Peter
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 8:39 pm | Permalink


    You might check out the LWT post.

  18. Posted January 21, 2009 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Topic idea: more and more restrictive mfr. controls on parts availability: good or bad for owner? One the one hand it can help limit the ability of battery-changer hacks to pollute the pool of qualified professionals as their numbers continue dwindling, but can also add to time, difficulty, and expense of servicing vintage watches especially. Some have also accused manufacturers of using parts supply chains to restrict the ability to service older watches and attempt to force consumers to buy newer models.

    I’d be interested to see an intelligently written professional insider’s opinion.

  19. jj
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Suggestion: discuss possible ways

  20. Wes
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    I am in a bit of a pickle. I’m 24 and my lovely finance is going to college here in Alabama. We must stay within 10 minutes of where we are living for the next 4 years. I hate my Career in IT even though I’m doing very well for myself. I wish to start a career as a watchmaker/repair but the closest school is a 5 hour drive each way at Bishop community college (Mobile AL). I Would love to go to Lititz Watch Technicum but because of the above mentioned situation it is out of the question. my question. or suggestion for a post is how can one with work obligations and that is location locked find his/her way into the watch making trade.
    I specific thought of attending the AWCI academy classes that are 5 days long and held throughout the year. covering lathe to watch repair and quartz watches. Do you think after attending all of these classes I could obtain a AWCI certification and Find work in perhaps a retail shop repairing watches? Of course reviving / restoring time pieces from flea markets and ebay in the interim. please give me your thoughts or suggestions. a Blog or direct email would be fantastic. this is an issue that causes me great heart ache as I have such a passion to enter into this trade.
    Thank you for your time.

  21. Posted January 23, 2009 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    As a novice restoration person that has been repairing movements for only a year, I feel like I have a lot of simple, everyday useful tips to learn.

    One post I would like to see is “Simple Tools on My Bench That I Made”.

    In a poll/thread on TimeZone a few months back, someone asked about people’s favorite tools. Someone mentioned a needle, with a 90 degree bend, be put into a dowel for a handle. Already having made several without bends, I didn’t know the 100’s of uses I was missing with the bent needle (e.g. letting down mainsprings).

    I suppose most everyone knows the magnetic strip to find parts. That’s another example. You get the idea.

    Some of the best tools are the ones made out of necessity.

    What an amazing, fantastic to read blog you’ve made!

  22. J.Peter
    Posted January 23, 2009 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Wes, thanks for the suggestions. Keep them coming. I’ll see what I can do about addressing this and other isssues in a blog post.

  23. J.Peter
    Posted January 23, 2009 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Mike, that’s a great idea. I’ll work on it.

  24. Bruce W.
    Posted March 18, 2009 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Have you tried the Horotec screw driver sharpener yet? I finally got the one I have set up and it’s pretty sweet. Perhaps you can give your opinion of it on the Blog.

  25. J.Peter
    Posted March 18, 2009 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    I do not have access to this tool but have used a similar tool in the past and found it to be a huge disappointment. The best tool I have found is a simple India Stone.

  26. Aaron Sarauera
    Posted March 20, 2009 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Hey J. Peter. I have a question for ya. I got a watch the other day and the company’s website says it is a 25 jewel swiss movement but when I opened it up it says 26 jewels. Anything weird about this or is it common? It’s an ETA 2824-2 movement in a Nixon Ceramic Player.


  27. J.Peter
    Posted March 20, 2009 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Could be a simple mistake, or it could be it has the Selita ETA copy movement in it which I understand has 26 jewels instead of 25.

  28. Aaron Sarauer
    Posted March 21, 2009 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    Is there any way to tell if it’s a copy? I would really like to know if I paid too much so I can deal with it.

  29. J.Peter
    Posted March 21, 2009 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    The selita movement should be marked as such. They do not produce counterfeits they are producing clones of the ETA movements for which the patents have expired. They are SW200, SW300 calibers, etc. If it is marked with the ETA in a shield then it is an ETA most likely and the jewel count is just a mistake. ETA makes about 10 grades of any caliber and they are bound to have different jewel counts.

  30. Don Ross
    Posted March 21, 2009 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    I am a retired (76 year old) Mechanical/Nuclear engineer who has taught himself to make parts for clocks and pocket watches. I took several 2 week courses after retirement at AWI. I am also collect watchmakers tools so I have been reading your tool postings. Your bow mill should have a set of miller with it to size the watch case to receive the Bow. If you are interested I can also send you a picture of an early manual demagnetizer that was made for the watchmaker. The Bergeron cutter you showed to reduce the OD of say a dial foot also has a mate to just clean up at the base of the dial foot. If interested I would be happy to send pictures of these tool for your information. Reading your information add to my knowledge that I gathered from AWI classed with Ron DeCort and Philip DeFore. The future in watchmaking is being able to make parts for old high grade watches requires expensive tools or making the entire watch which requires lots of time before any payback. We all have to eat while we are getting established. I wish you the best.


  31. J.Peter
    Posted March 23, 2009 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    I’d love to see pictures of these tools, I may have them in my shop and not know what they are, or I may not have them at all.

  32. Ole
    Posted April 25, 2009 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    A piece on lathes in Tuesday Tools would be excellent! What types are there, what is the “standard” in the industry, what should anyone interested in procuring one look for, which would be suitable for a keen amateur etc. Thanks!

  33. Ole
    Posted April 25, 2009 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    It would be interesting to see a series on the various techniques used, such as bevelling and polishing etc, and the tools used.

  34. jwoodsy
    Posted April 30, 2009 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    I was wondering if there has been any updates regarding the SAWTA certification? It was talked about in previous posts, but never updated. Just wondering what the status is, and what schools (if any) will be implementing this.
    Also, is there any info on the new Richemnot school in Texas? I can’t find any updates or info about that either.
    Thanks for the great blog.

  35. J.Peter
    Posted April 30, 2009 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t heard any more about SAWTA except that it is moving forward at both Lititz and Oklahoma. I expect it will be in place at St. Paul & Seattle also, but you wont see it at NGH or Richemont, since it is a Rolex venture.

  36. Thomas Carey
    Posted May 1, 2009 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    I just added a new forum devoted to the topic of WOSTEP. You are welcome to take part in this new forum if you would like. Here is the url to this new forum.

    Best Regards,

    Thomas Carey

  37. Tim Nathan
    Posted June 17, 2009 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    I have an asian 7750 repo that needs to be serviced. Do you know anyone that could do this work. Thanks

  38. J.Peter
    Posted June 17, 2009 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    What is a 7750 repo? Do you mean it is a reproduction, if it is than, no I don’t know anyone. If it is a good quality Swiss movement than I recommend using AWCI’s referral directory to find a watchmaker near you. <-- There is a link in the sidebar.

  39. Ron Gubbins
    Posted June 26, 2009 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Hi I really like your site. I have a quick question. You say 47 is the average of Watchmakers. I’m 48 and looking for a career change. Is it too late for me? I’ve done some precision mechanical repair, but nowhere near as small as watches.

    Thank you,


  40. J.Peter
    Posted June 28, 2009 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    No, you are not too old, but most of the Rolex sponsored schools are looking someone who has a full career ahead of them.

  41. Navin
    Posted July 8, 2009 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Dear J Peter,

    I came accross your blog yesterday, and was amazed. I think I stayed up till around 3am reading! 🙂

    I have recently decided that I would like to pursue the career of Watchmaking. For some reason I cannot find your e-mail address on your website (perhaps you may not have it posted). I was wondering if its possible to speak with you privately about your schooling at Litiz, PA as that is my top choice as well. From what I hear its the “cream of the crop.”

    If you don’t mind please let me know your e-mail address to my email address if you don’t mind. I have lots of questions! 🙂 Honestly, this is the first time I’ve been truly excited about a career. (I’ve always had trouble figuring out what I want to do until now.

    Thank you for your understanding, and your help. If for some reason you decline, its no problem, and I will not take offense. If you do respond, I will be greatful.



  42. wackyvorlon
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    I was wondering if you might post mention of some of the tool suppliers you deal with. I get the feeling that I’m not dealing with the big names.

  43. Kimberly
    Posted August 19, 2009 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    I have a technicum chantal pocket watch. I think made in Bienne, for it says that name on the timepiece. How can I find out about it?

  44. Posted August 30, 2009 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    This is a reply to Wes’ question. Since he did not leave any contact info, I am hoping he will see this. Wes, I am in the same boat as you are. I definitely want to go to the Litiz Watch Technicum, but with my wife going to school right now I can not leave my career in IT for the moment. So what I am doing is, I am taking distance learning classes at the british Horological Institute ( which are paid but not toooo expensive, and I also introduced myself to the local watchmaker in my small town, who has over 20 years of experience, and he was only to happy to be a mentor on saturdays. I imagine that you should be able to do something similar. Please don’t let your current circumstances prevent you from pursuing your dreams.

    I hope this helps. If you need to contact me, please feel free to do so.

  45. Posted September 10, 2009 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Thanks again for your blog, and the recent posts. I just accidentally typed my last post as “—–” instead of jwoodsy. I don’t know if you can edit that or not. Anyhow, I previously asked in this above link about the SAWTA certification, and you responded. I just want to know if there is anyone currently enrolled in the schools that might be able to update us about this, or shed any light on the subject. Now Rolex has dropped the WOSTEP part of the certification and is continuing on without it. What will this mean? and what will it’s effect be?
    Thanks for any help.

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