A. Lange & Söhne offers an educational foray into movement assembly with what they call the “Akademie.” Meant to give retailers a better understanding of the skill and care that goes into each of its watches, the Academy is also a useful tool for a watch-loving journalists looking to test his hand at things like winding a mainspring, placing jewels in palette forks, and engraving a balance cock. This is serious stuff here, folks.

Participants are given a brief tutorial in each process and then told to duplicate what they have been shown. The result is a combination of proud and embarrassing moments – just check out my attempt at engraving a balance cock below. But more importantly, it offers a deep appreciation of the work done on each and every movement that you can’t get any other way than hands-on.