CONTRIBUTION WRITTEN ON 10. October 2018 BY Luise Rueffer

How I came to Wempe

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, they say. My sister was already working at a jeweller and told me about her tasks and the most beautiful products. I was completely mesmerised.
To me, watches have always been more than just an adornment, but I did not fully understand their true value until I visited the Wempe store on Maximilianstraße in Munich. The master watchmaker there explained the particulars of the movements and what craftsmanship and finesse goes into each and every watch. I knew then that I wanted to learn and understand this craft. This is how I came to watchmaking and how my enthusiasm for the craft was ignited.

During my apprenticeship in the Wempe training workshop in Glashütte, I was introduced to the incredible variety of different watches and their many extraordinary functions. I learned how to work with premium watches and was taught step by step how to repair a watch, regulate it and manufacture new parts for the movements.

After my apprenticeship, I deliberately chose the Wempe service workshop in Hamburg (Europe’s largest independent watch repair workshop), so that I could continue working with watches. Of course this is possible at the showrooms as well, but at the service workshop I can work on a watch from start to finish, take it apart, find the fault, reassemble it, regulate it and close it up again. It is an incredible feeling for me to turn over a finished watch and know that I can make a customer happy.

Another advantage of the workshop is its location in the most beautiful city in Germany, so I was able to move from the Elbe River in Dresden to the Elbe in Hamburg.
Starting work at the workshop was very pleasant. My colleagues there welcomed me with open arms as a “Hamburg newbie” and are always there whenever I need help with anything.

At the moment I am in what you might call a fourth year of apprenticeship. That means I am given plenty of time to become familiar with the different facets of work. Here in our Hamburg workshop, the Rolex brand is the “starter brand”. That alone is extraordinary, because right away you are allowed to work on one of the world’s top brands.

CONTRIBUTION WRITTEN ON 16. June 2017 BY Luise Rueffer

Tips for a successful final exam for watchmakers

We, the third-year watchmaker’s apprentices in Glashütte, are currently right in the middle of preparing for our final exams. Even long before the tests, we got together and discussed the various ways we can make our studies as effective as possible. We all agreed on one point above all: That it would be best to retake the exams of the relevant vocational training subjects to achieve an optimum level of recognition.
We also formed a study group.
This gives us a double benefit: Those who have questions can ask them and quickly get answers. Those who answer the questions enjoy a repetition effect and can test their knowledge.

All in all, the exam preparations for the theoretical exams looked like this: Writing index cards on the most important and most difficult topics of watch technology and repeating them daily, retaking all exams from the three years of apprenticeship again, meeting with our study group several times to talk through all exam-relevant topics again and practicing technical drawing, practicing the multiple choice questions with the business studies app, preparing questions for the respective topics of the consultations at vocational school, and repeating theoretical knowledge with our instructor at the training centre.

With these methods, we successfully passed the theoretical part of the exam two weeks ago. Next is the practical part. As for the theory exam, we have been getting prepared for the practical test for three years. The main task falls to Elisabeth Gläser, who over the past three years taught us and trained with us everything from the very basics all the way to special watch technologies. Through it all, she was always available to assist us with any problems. Her preparation for the practical exam includes, for example, a Nomos Tangente in which she has installed some defects. We have to completely repair the watch. Afterwards, our instructor evaluates our work on the watch, gives us direct feedback and, if necessary, suggestions for improvement. Apart from the mechanical watch, we also have to work on a quartz watch for the test. In our training centre, we practice disassembling and assembling various types of quartz watches and measuring with the quartz watch test devices. Another part of the exam consists of producing a component for a mechanical watch. We manufacture various components of a watch in the time allowed, and our trainer evaluates them to give us a better idea of our skill level.

This intensive preparation is only possible thanks to the state-of-the-art equipment at our disposal at the training centre, the individual support we can receive in our small group of apprentices, and the outstanding competence of our instructor Elisabeth Gläser.

All of these factors allow us to be perfectly prepared for our exams and put us on track for a successful career start with Wempe after our apprenticeship.

Warmest regards,