Sandra and Romana

| Beat Weinmann

Since the beginning of August, a new watchmaker has been working at our workshop on Zürichstrasse in Lucerne: Romana Fux. Sandra Flück has decided to study Medical Technology at the University of Applied Sciences in Lucerne. Her studies begin in September.

When told about Sandra’s plans, a client recently told us: “My time at university was the best of my life – it afforded me the opportunity to focus on what really interested me.” And that is exactly the experience we wish for Sandra.

We look back on a fantastic time with her.

Sandra Flück brought watch assembly to Zürichstrasse and established the atelier. She has been responsible for the assembly of all ochs und junior watches – including many custom-made, one-of-a-kind timepieces.

Whenever a watch needed further adjustment, she was the one who took care of the watch which she herself had originally assembled. Without interface, and with the highest level of competence. She knows the stories of all “her” watches and those of their owners from around the world.

She supported Ludwig Oechslin in the development process and assisted him with his innovations – leaving her mark as she helped shape these new timepieces. Implementing the new perpetual calendar so efficiently has been made possible by her tenacity, her flexibility and her intelligence.

I have very rarely met anyone who is as calm and cheerful as Sandra – and is so focused at the same time. She never lost her calm or her nerves, not with 10 guests watching her every move and following her delicate hands as she assembled a mechanism of the perpetual calendar, and not with a camera pointed at her as a TV station documented her work. She always remained cool, deliberate, and poised.

A little shy at the beginning, we saw her grow into a strong, confident young woman who knows her potential and knows what she wants.

Sandra’s hands are incredibly calm. She delivers proof of that in this video, unique in the watch industry, which shows the complete assembly of Oechslin’s perpetual calendar.

Her skill, paired with her targeted and deliberate approach and her courage to take calculated risks if needed, will serve her well in the future – as will a very special ochs und junior that she has been wearing on her wrist since last Saturday. It was a thank-you for all her great work for ochs und junior. Peter Cantieni milled quite a few pieces for this watch, and Sandra herself assembled it. And I was the one presenting it to her on her last day of work – in the same way that I would present it to a client. I have to admit, we both had tears in our eyes … 😉

Sandra can probably vouch that the job we are offering is attractive for a young, curious, and ambitious watchmaker – and so it is no surprise that the position was taken without us even advertising it.

Romana Fux has just successfully completed her degree at the School of Clock- and Watchmaking in Grenchen (where Sandra studied, as well). This is her second career – and her previous apprenticeship as a polytechnician is a great background for working with our designs and parts. It means that her understanding of the work processes employed by Peter Cantieni and the Helfenstein Mechanik AG is all the better.

In the past few months, visitors to our workshop on Zürichstrasse have already had the opportunity to watch Romana at work, collaborating with Sandra. The transition has been well-planned, and Sandra has tried to pass on as much expertise as possible to Romana. Of course, she will continue to help if needed over the course of the next few weeks.

Sandra, thank you so much for all your great work – Romana, welcome to our team!

Beat Weinmann

Ed.: The text below is a personal statement by Sandra, as she sets down her loupe and looks forward to her studies at the University of Applied Sciences in Lucerne.

The time I worked at ochs und junior has been rich in experiences.

From the beginning, I was allowed to handle projects and move into fields that were unfamiliar to me. This taught me to structure my work process in order to carry out my tasks efficiently. At first, everything was new to me and it was very exciting to learn how to coordinate different plans involving several people.

Even though I mostly handled the projects and tasks independently, I could always count on great support from all sides. This taught me to work in a team and to collaborate openly and trustfully.

The regular interaction with clients and media also helped me to develop my self-confidence, which then inspired me further to delve into new projects.

Perhaps the greatest jewel in that treasure chest of experiences is the work on prototypes together with Ludwig Oechslin. I always observed him when he was milling the newest parts, and I, too, learned to operate his CNC machine. I quickly found my way around his work atelier and soon was travelling quite a few times from La Chaux-de-Fonds to Lucerne with a successful prototype in my bags. Ludwig taught me a lot, and among other things that it is possible to realize wonderful products with very simple means. To me, constructing prototypes remains a fascinating and inspiring activity.

Overall, the time I spent at ochs und junior as a watchmaker yielded inspiring ideas, creativity, and a fascination for different materials. These were qualities that were then mirrored time and again in the projects and with our clients. The assembly of each watch for every single customer gave rise to a certain joy – as tacky as that may sound, but it is true.

The close collaboration with the ox team, too, was unique, and I would like to express my deepest gratitude for that. This includes the exchange with the manufacturers, Peter Cantieni and Reto Helfenstein and Daniel Matter.

When I started my job, Peter Cantieni and I set up a direct line of communication that made it possible to get in touch at any time. We were thus able to discuss any changes or challenges personally and in that way, we always found a solution. I learned how important communication is and I always appreciated that the exchange with Peter was so open and frank.

And so, as we realized the perpetual calendar with the manufacturer Helfenstein Mechanik, we again cultivated an open and direct way of communication. This effort deserves great thanks.

I want to take all the experiences that I have gathered during the past two years with me on my journey.

I have decided to enroll at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences in Lucerne to study Medical Technology. I would like to use these experiences, the inspiring ideas, the creativity, and the fascination for different material that I gained to develop technical medical devices that help people.

I am looking forward to my future endeavors and I wish ochs und junior the very best for theirs.

Sandra Flück