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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Attended a Jaeger-LeCoultre (JLC) Masterclass on engraving in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Recently, during the Swiss Watch Gallery exhibition in the Center Court of Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, I was invited to attend a masterclass on engraving by Jaeger-LeCoultre (or JLC). This invitation only event, allows participants to learn how to engrave by a master engraver from JLC.

Close to the anointed hour, I was already at the Center Court waiting for the class to begin. A small class of just 7 participants.

While waiting, I walked around the exhibition looking at the various watch brands on show. Took a selfie to pass the time.

The lecturer was a master craftsman called Miguel hailing from Switzerland. Unfortunately, he was not able to speak English hence the need for a French translator to be present.

When we entered the room, it was like a workshop with high tables and chairs. We were then asked to don lab coats. To start the class, the lecturer started with a history of engraving in JLC.

On the trays are some examples of engraving that JLC's master craftsmen are famous for. Note that all appear to be from the case-back of a Reverso.

After a brief history lesson, he proceeded to show us how to engrave with different techniques.

The various styles of engraving. Some uses paint, while some creates 3D images. One thing for sure, every piece is hand made.

To engrave require one to use a magnifying eyepiece to see the subject better.

After showing us how it is done and sharing some tips we were asked to go to our individual workstation to start on a simple project. The lady on the right is the translator.

My desk partner fully suited up. At this time we were quite nervous.

Stole a quick selfie of myself while waiting for the final instructions.

All of us were given this very sharp pick. This pick needs to be sharpen after 10 strikes on a target or else it would not be able to cut properly after that. After 5 strikes, you need to rub it against the pick paper to clean off any fine shavings that attached itself to the pick.

To hold it is like holding a pen with the round wooden handle being rested at the palm of your hands.


The project that we were tasked with is to replicate the JLC logo on a small block of steel. Actually, just a straight line to complete the logo. Sound simple but it took us 30 minutes to just complete the task and by then we were sweating profusely with the strain and stress (mentally as well as physically).

At the end, as a gift, JLC gave us this key chain were we can also mount our creation.

A happy boy....

That's not all, we all got a certificate for attending this course! Here is one of the participants receiving it from Miguel.

Here's mine!

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