CORRECTION: Using the world "chemical" in the description of the bluing method Paul Gerber uses in the course is wrong.
The bluing of the screws is also the result of heat. The disolved "bluing salt" (an oxidizing mixture of potassium nitrite and sodium nitrate with traces of sodium chloride, potassium chloride and sodium bromide) can be heated to 300° C without the fluid evaporating or blackening the parts (like oil would do). Paul Gerber heats up the screws to 290° to 300° for the desired blue colour in this fluid to ensure the exact same colour of all four visible screws of different sizes (treated in one go). This colour control is exceedingly difficult by flame bluing, usually on a bed of brass shavings, because the way the screws are lying in these shavings has a direct influence on the heat transfer. The method used in the course gives the pupils a small time window to judge themselves visually what exact colour they want, and then stop the process by removing the screws from the fluid. It just shows again how keen Paul Gerber is to give his pupils the means to be actively involved in the creation of details of their watches.
Many thanks to you, skyeriding, for giving me a hint and an opportunity for corrections (I must have been asleep when Paul Gerber explained it all in the course, so I have now asked him for a private lesson...). And your kind comments are also much appreciated.
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Paul Gerber: Amateur Watchmaking with the Master
“Initiation Courses” have become very popular within the watch industry. Almost every manufactory visit is interrupted by a workshop to give visitors the illusion of being watchmakers. With me, this illusion vanished quickly, even when dressed in a white ...
for a wonderful and illuminating posting. It inspired me to try to go on one of these courses. I enjoyed reading the whole post (rare for me). Your depth of knowledge and modesty are an example to us all. The pics were excellent. All-in-all it ranks as on...
I love posts like these! Thank you for taking the time to share this.
Thanks for the great write up! Aleays great to see finishing skills by the masters of horology
This is probably the most in depth course I have seen so far, short of a full degree course. Thanks for sharing. BTW the course what language was the course conducted in?
Paul Gerber instructs in German
because he feels not at ease doing it in English. But there are courses with English speaking participants, with at least one "mixed-in" who can do all the translations. Thanks also for your kind comment.
Your writing has always been a pleasure to read - this one however I find is especially exceptional. I think only a handful of people can truly claim to have a personal watchmaking session with an experienced master to this level of depth. The insights pr...
A wonderful, detailed post about a great guy and a nice watch
As owner of several Gerber watches, and having met the watchmaker and his wife a few times, I am envious and admire the work you have done. And truly appreciate the work and time it takes to report so convincingly to the rest of us. Cheers, Cazalea The fi...
A wonderful post Bjorn...
and an experience of a lifetime. Paul Gerber is certainly an unsung hero in the horology world and to get to work along side of him must have been inspiring. A really nice watch you came out with too!
Thank you and contratulations!
Dear Bjoern, your post is nothing less than extraordinary. I was particularly impressed by one point: the infinite care Mr. Gerber puts in every single aspect. This is definitely the proof of the uniqueness of the Man and the Master. Three years ago I've ...
PG - one of my favourite watchmakers (I have just re-read your post again) ...
What can I say, Björn...
Time for a book for sure and I’d love a copy of the first edition! Another truly astounding article and looking forward to reading more soon...