Linda Holzwarth freshly achieved a master craftman’s certificate in watchmaking. During the master class Linda already started working for CORNEHL Watches. We talked with her about her passion and motivation for watchmaking.
Linda, you just graduated a couple weeks ago successfully from your master class in watchmaking. How did you become interested in watches in the first place?
After high-school in 2009 I wanted to do an apprenticeship to become either a goldsmith or watchmaker. So I actually applied for both classes, as they teach both of them at the same school. At that point I wasn’t sure about my choice, finally I picked the apprenticeship to become a goldsmith. However I always was interested in both areas. After I worked for some years at a jewellery shop I wanted to develop skills in watchmaking. I was very interested in the techniques of watches and was fascinated about the different features of a watch. So I started with an apprenticeship and right afterwards continued with a master class.
What makes you fascinated by mechanical watches?
It is not easy to find the right words for it … . I think I am fascinated by the fact that an entire movement developes out of many different small pieces. Mechanical watches are much more precise than many quartz watches. And you don’t throw away a mechanical watch after some years. Almost all pilots or divers wear a mechanical watch. They can rely on the mechanics. Such a watch can last over a 100 years or even longer. Normal watches have a limited lifetime and at some time people just throw them away.
What about yourself? What kind of watch do you have at your home and what kind of watch are you wearing?
To be honest, most of the time I am not wearing any watch. And even at home I don’t have a watch hanging. That is probably very unusual for my profession. But especially during work a watch is rather bothering and disturbing for me. If I am wearing a watch, there is a special story behind that piece or it has a sentimental value for me.
As part of your masters exam you had to design and build your own mechanical watch? How does your master piece look like?
The piece is very modest and has a clean look. It is a table clock, however it looks different than many usual clocks as it has no dial or a case. The design is very open and although it has no dial the clock shows second, minute and hour. One special feature is the display of the power reserve.
That means … ?
The clock shows how long it works before you need to wind up the clock again. I think that the display of the power reserve is very special. The mechanics behind it is quite complicated. For my piece I had to use a differential for the construction.
You are working for CORNEHL watches since a couple of months? What made you working for a small independent brand?
At CORNEHL watches I can practice classic watchmaking craftsmanship. The restoration and revision of antique clocks and watches is something very special. Sometimes I can work on very extraordinary pieces: old pocket watches, marine chronometer, … .
What kind of techniques or working steps do you like most? Are there any you are particular good at?
I like the diversity of techniques. So far there is nothing outstanding that I prefer. Generally I love to bring old watches back to life. That is very exciting.
Finally, one more question about the future. Now you have finished your master in watchmaking. Do you have any plans for the future?
Right now I just want to work and achieve more experience in watchmaking. And of course I want to earn some money.
Thank you very much Linda, for your time.
This interview was conducted in German and has been translated.
A Guilloché is a decorative and precise repetitive pattern. Such a pattern is engraved by hand with a rose engine lathe on the dial of a watch. My colleague Jochen Benzinger from Pforzheim crafts the Guilloché for our watches since several years.
Crafting the Wheels
I craft some of the wheels, for example the wheel of the clockwork or the power reserve display with traditional techniques.