Alfred Helwig Watchmaking School Celebrates 10th AnniversarySpecial Glashütte Original exhibition presents curriculum and career opportunities
The 4th of July 2012 saw the official opening of a special exhibition at the German Museum of Watchmaking Glashütte. The exhibition, entitled "German Watchmaking School Glashütte - 10 Years On", is dedicated to the first decade of the Glashütte Original educational centre and its instruction in the craft of watchmaking.
The exhibition focuses on the start of watchmaker training in Glashütte in 1878, the ten-year history of the Alfred Helwig Watchmaking School, the curriculum followed by future watchmakers and toolmakers, and the contents of the examinations set by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the WOSTEP Swiss Examination Commission (Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Education Program).
Also on display are a series of impressive works by apprentices, which highlight the creative and artistic aspects of the watchmaker's craft. The exhibit also illustrates the numerous and diverse career opportunities for young graduates, who find work around the world, either for Glashütte Original or for another Swatch Group brand abroad.
Günter Wiegand, managing director of Glashütte Original today, was tasked some 15 years ago with the job of setting up a training facility for apprentice watchmakers. In his comments at the opening ceremony he declared, "You can buy machines, you can buy screwdrivers, you can buy workbenches, but if you don't have the right skilled workers, who have dedicated heart and soul to learning the craft, then nothing will come of it."
The first two apprentices, Uwe Bahr and Gunnar Müller, were ready to give just that - heart and soul - from their very first day.
Thomas Goldbeck, one of the school's first students of watchmaking, is himself active as a teacher at the Alfred Helwig School of Watchmaking today. Speaking to the guests on hand for the opening, he offered a striking description of his experiences as an apprentice and later as an instructor at the School.
The exhibition runs through September 23rd at the German Museum of Watchmaking Glashütte, open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Manufactory began training watchmakers and toolmakers in the year 2001. In 2002 the firm founded its own school, which bears the name of a famous Glashütte master watchmaker and inventor, Alfred Helwig. The objective formulated by Glashütte Original is to pass on to young people the knowledge gained and accumulated over generations, and in this way to secure the continued existence of the tradition-rich craft of watchmaking in Glashütte - above and beyond the personnel requirements of its own manufactory. To date Glashütte Original has offered an attractive career opportunity as a watchmaker or toolmaker to 161 apprentices. At present there are 46 apprentices in training at the School.