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One-of-a-Kind Hairspring Course Offered

Gene Klodzen

NAWCC Member
Aug 24, 2000
Springfield, Virginia


COLUMBIA, PA: The watch and clock repair and restoration programs at the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors’ School of Horology graduated their first independent class on advanced hairspring repair on May 28, 2010. Designed for watchmakers and clockmakers who wish to bring their expertise to a higher level, the workshop’s focus is on the repair and manipulation of damaged and misaligned hairsprings.

This workshop is available only at the NAWCC’s School of Horology and is taught by Sam Sherman, a 17-year veteran of Rolex Watch USA and second-year instructor at the School of Horology. Sherman admits he loves to see “the light bulb go off as students find understanding and begin to show confidence in their craftsmanship.” Sam also enjoys helping students develop their strengths and amend any weaknesses or gaps in knowledge and experience.

The new course, held from May 24 to 28 2010, recently debuted to rave reviews by students. Student feedback made it clear that attendees found the class extremely valuable and would absolutely recommend it to anyone interested in making a difference in their skill. Students were also keen to express their opinion that the caliber of instruction and the tools available at the facility were top-notch. Hairsprings have always been a source of trouble in watch and clock repair and have filled many with apprehension. This workshop provides the opportunity to learn everything that is needed to handle this difficult part of the timepiece. Sherman demonstrated repairs in the round, flat, stacked and bends at the collet. Repairs of Breguet over coils, Breguet bends in the body of the spring, and of crinkled Collins curves were also demonstrated. Repairs were taught in the watch as well as out of the watch for speedy repairs.

The class helped create and build confidence in dealing with hairsprings in general for watchmakers and platform balances for the clockmakers, as John Rives of Worcester, MA and William Lockyer of Fiddletown CA stated, “This workshop takes the mystery out of the heart of the timepiece!”

There has long been a “fear” of hairsprings with new students as well as veteran tradesman of the watchmaking and clockmaking arts. NAWCC recognized the need for this was unfulfilled and asked Sam Sherman to develop the workshop to meet that need. Sherman seems utterly fearless and encourages his students to take heart: “Ever since I was a child I’ve had the innate ability to make sense of chaos,” he explains candidly. “Now I get to apply this ability and dispel the fear that seems to encompass hairsprings.” One of Sherman’s favorite quotes, “Mistakes are stepping stones on which we advance to the future with enthusiasm” by Winston Churchill, encourages him to tell the students, “Make your mistakes now so that we can join together and create a better understanding of the hairspring.”

Future classes will be held in September 2010 and March 2011. Information on all the professional courses and workshops offered by the NAWCC School of Horology can be found at www.horology.edu. For further details and to register for this workshop, contact Director of Education Katie Knaub at 717-684-8261, ext. 237 or education@nawcc.org.

The School of Horology is licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education Division of Private Licensed Schools and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). The School of Horology is dedicated to the preparation of students for entry into horological business fields. The School’s mission is to preserve established skills and knowledge of the art of clock and watch making, repair, and restoration, while encouraging interest in horological research. Class size is strictly limited to ensure students receive the personalized instruction necessary to master the specialized skills.

The NAWCC School of Horology and its Service Center are divisions of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The School has had over 1,000 students come through its programs since 1995. The NAWCC also operates the National Watch & Clock Museum and Library and Research Center in Columbia, PA. Additional information can be obtained by visiting our website at www.nawcc.org.

Kim Craven, NAWCC Marketing & Special Events Coordinator • p: 717.684.8261x231 • kcraven@nawcc.org

NAWCC seeks to encourage and stimulate interest in the art and science of timekeeping.

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