It was the book Watchmaking by George Daniels, that started it all.
Christian Lass read this book in 2002 and it spoke directly to his heart. “That was all I had dreamed of,” says Christian.
Using my hands to create things and using my head to understand complex concepts is something I’ve always loved.
The book explains how to build a watch from scratch; The engineering skills and the degree of perfection needed in the craft are quite special.
Christian therefore started at a local watchmaking school, but soon found out that what he learned here had more to do with servicing and restoring than building new watches.
Fortunately, he studied at Søren Andersen, which according to Christian was the best workshop for the restoration of antique clocks and instruments.
Among other things, Søren Andersen was responsible for the maintenance of Jens Olsen’s world clock, consisting of no less than 15,448 parts.
My apprenticeship gave me the appetite of learning everything there is to know about watchmaking, says Christian.
After the apprenticeship, he traveled to Switzerland the mecca of watches, where he worked with Vianney Halter, one of the true masters of contemporary watchmaking.
Christian spent several years in Vianney Halters workshop, where he finally learned what he had always sought after. “The art of building watches”.
The years of restoration of antique clocks and watches were in no way wasted.
On the contrary, the expertise Christian acquired from Søren Andersen, together with experience with Vianney halter paved the way for his later position at the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva.
Since 2009, Christian has been the watchmaker and restaurator of the museum’s collection and has restored a large number of different watches from the best watchmakers over the past 500 years.
Sharing his passion:
His great passion for watches and all the knowledge he has gathered over the years is something Christian wants to share.
Therefore on the website learnwatchmaking.com he offers a range of online courses and live workshops for professional watchmakers and dedicated enthusiasts.
I have regular online courses and in addition I do courses tailored to people’s individual needs.
It is usually watchmakers or enthusiasts who want to educate themselves and learn something that you do not learn at a normal watchmaking school, for example how to use vintage tools and machinery to make parts or how to make a watch from scratch.
My students often come for a week or two, then they return to them self where they perfect what they have learn here.
Many of them comes back on a regular basis in order to learn this amazing craft, Christian explains.
He is dedicated to the old craftsmanship and the use of vintage tools and machinery which is an almost lost skill for many watchmakers today.
With simple techniques and the ingenious constructions of the old tools it is possible to build and produce even complicated watches directly on the watchmaker’s workbench without the need for the big machines used in high production today.
I only know I handful of people who is using these rare techniques today.
It’s a shame these skills are slowly lost, the watches we admire the most today mainly from before the 1950 most of them are created with these techniques. Christian explains.
Christians website : Learnwatchmaking.com – also has all the necessary tools to get started.
Christian has had over 1,500 online students from all parts of the world.
The latest course is called Masterclass 1 deals with the one subject that has fascinated him the most: “The art of building watches”.