Conrad's Journey to Constructing his Own Timepiece

When a student embarks on their Matura Arbeit – or graduation project – they are presented with the opportunity to combine theory and practice to solve a problem or investigate an idea in their field of study. One such student is Conrad from our Swiss Gymnasium, who is exploring the development of Switzerland’s watchmaking industry in the last 50 years, with a particular focus on mechanical watches.

14 June 2023

Conrad's profound fascination with wristwatches became apparent several years ago. Consequently, it was evident to him from the outset that his Maturaarbeit would delve into this captivating realm. However, the exact execution of the topic only took shape shortly before the start of the thesis. Conrad is in the process of interviewing professionals in the field, transcribing his interview, and working on the written part. During the summer holidays, he will put his knowledge to the test when he builds his own mechanical watch.

Though nobody in his family has a deep knowledge of this topic, Conrad has acquired a watchmaking toolkit. “I have used the resources to repair vintage watches and alarm clocks as well as to adjust bracelets.” In order to demonstrate his experience with the technique, he attended a seminar where he disassembled, refined, and constructed a watch from scratch, including gold plating, engraving, and handcrafted straps, case, and band. “My ultimate goal of the project is to have a watch of exceptional quality and accuracy, and once the watch is complete, I considering several options: keeping the watch, donating it to the Institut Montana, or customizing it with an inscription of my own.”



Developing his project is a challenging but rewarding experience. “I look forward to gaining a better understanding of the history of watchmaking, to learning about the details of each stage of the construction process, and to discovering more about this type of craftsmanship as a whole.” He also plans to publish his project so that future students can learn from his experience. Conrad’s favorite watch brand F.P. Journe is committed to creating pieces with innovative features and exceptional craftsmanship.

For many students, the Matura Arbeit is the summit of their academic pursuits. In Conrads’ case, his unique project will provide him with invaluable experience and allow him the opportunity to produce an outstanding watch. He has already acquired a wealth of knowledge on the topic and is proud of the project he has set out to accomplish. He is eager to begin his summer holiday soon and to continue working on his project, ultimately transforming his theoretical knowledge into an outstanding timepiece.

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