Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Glashütte Original - Festive Graduation Ceremony at the “Alfred Helwig” School of Watchmaking

On Wednesday July 8, 2015, 13 young watchmakers received their graduation certificates from Yann Gamard, Managing Director of Glashütte Original, and Gunnar Müller, Head of the “Alfred Helwig“School of Watchmaking. The two gentlemen also took pleasure in presenting two toolmakers with their diplomas, six months in advance of the scheduled conclusion of the students’ period of studies.
The warm and sunny summer day was a perfect match for the high spirits of the newly minted graduates of the manufactory’s own “Alfred Helwig“ School of Watchmaking: 13 young watchmakers celebrated the official conferral of their graduation certificates in the manufactory’s atrium, in the presence of their families and teachers from the school. Two toolmakers were equally proud to accept their diplomas and have already begun working at their new jobs with Glashütte Original. With much dedication and steady hard work, the two young people sat all of the necessary exams early and were thus able to complete their training as toolmakers in 3 rather than the usual 3.5 years.
Almost all of the 15 young specialist workers already started work in the manufactory’s modernised and enlarged production and Customer Service departments at Glashütte Original. There, together with their more experienced colleagues, the young watchmakers begin immediately to assemble the exclusive timepieces made by Glashütte Original, gaining a profound knowledge of them in the process.

During their studies the graduates have already proven to be both talented and persistent. In these three years of training, for example, a number of particularly committed young watchmakers have made an apprenticeship watch.
The basis of this “journeyman’s piece“, which is at present assembled voluntarily and in addition to the core curriculum, begins with the movement blank of a pocket watch. The students apply different finishings, galvanisation techniques and skeleton cuts, but also mount highly technical complications. In this way, they build a unique souvenir of their time as a student.
Every year since 2001 the Saxon watchmaker has trained watchmakers and toolmakers in the company’s own training facility. In the modern, well-equipped “Alfred Helwig“ School of Watchmaking the students acquire the very highest level of watch- and toolmaker craft skills. Along with theoretical knowledge, the students’ compulsory curriculum calls for them to gain insight into the practice of their trade. Thus during their apprenticeship the students undergo practical training in Glashütte Original’s assembly and customer service areas.

Conformity with international standards of education in the field is also highly valued, and its importance is further underscored by a cooperative exchange, unique in Germany, between the “Alfred Helwig“ School of Watchmaking and the Swiss watchmaking school, WOSTEP (Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Program). As a result of this partnership, students graduating from the school receive, in addition to the German skilled worker certificate, the WOSTEP diploma.

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