Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Date: July 8, 1994
Paul Gerber’s little big wall clock is a one foot high pendulum clock with an hourly striking mechanism, moon-phase and equation indication. The movement measures approx. 3 x 4 cm...! And yes, Paul loves small mechanisms!
A small production of cannon-pinions (chaussée) needed to be manufactured. You want to know how?
Take a steel bar, turn the 3 steps and drill the hole
Mill the square part and turn the recess
Mill the teeth, cut the pinion and turn the back steps
Then place the pinions into a brass piece with a center hole and harden both together. This prevents the tube from going out of shape during the sudden cooling process.
The last process is the most delicate; grinding and polishing of the pinions and teeth. This point is essential to the long term functionality of the item. The better the surfaces are polished the less friction the piece shows.
I was using an old machine which polishes pinions using wheels made out of wood. The shape of the wooden wheel is crucial for a perfect polishing of the theeth and the automatic stepping of the cannon-pinion.
With this note I’m ending the highlights of my 1st year of apprenticeship with Paul Gerber. I hope you enjoyed the journey and are ready for the 2nd year. Fabergé will feature among other interesting topics...