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 ever dreamtof,” 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 started at a local watchmaking school, but soon realised thathe learnt here had more to do with servicing and restoring, rather than building new watches.
Fortunately, he studied at Søren Andersen as an apprentice, 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 for learning everything there is to know about watchmaking,” says Christian.
After his apprenticeship, he traveled to the mecca of watchmaking: Switzerland. There, he worked with Vianney Halter, one of the true masters of contemporary watchmaking.
Christian spent several years in Vianney Halters’ workshop, where he learnt everything he had always wanted, “The art of building watches.”
The years of restoring antique clocks and watches were in no way wasted.
On the contrary, the expertise Christian acquired from Søren Andersen, together with his experience from Vianney Halter, eventually paved the way for his position at the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva.
Since 2009, Christian has been the sole watchmaker and restaurator of the Patek Philippe museum’s collection and has restored a large number of historically significant watches from the best watchmakers from the past 500 years.
Sharing his passion:
Christian wants to share his great passion for watches, together with all the expert knowledge he has gathered over the years..
That is why he offers a range of online courses and live workshops, for professional watchmakers and dedicated enthusiasts on learnwatchmaking.com.
My students are often watchmakers or enthusiasts who want to educate themselves and learn something that you do not learn at a regular watchmaking school. In my courses I review for example how to use vintage tools and machinery to make parts, or how to make a watch from scratch.
Christian is passionate and dedicated to the traditional craftsmanship and the use of vintage tools and machinery. An art that is almost lost among 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 watchmaking today.
I only know a handful of people who are still using these rare techniques today.
It is a shame that these traditional skills are slowly lost. Even the watches we admire the most today are often created before the 1950’s and with exactly these techniques, Christian explains.
Christian’s website: Learnwatchmaking.com – 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, and deals with the one subject that has fascinated him the most: “The art of building watches.”