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Watches


#1

Hi, folks, The discussion of the noisy clock drew my attention to the
fact that there are people on this forum who are quite familiar with
time pieces… I have wanted, for quite some time, to create a watch
for myself (and maybe for others), but I don’t know how to go about
it. I don’t want to become a horologist-- I just want to create the
case, face, and band. If anyone would like to give me a leg up on
this, that would be great! And one other thing… For years, I have
been wearing a very UN-artistic (ugly, even) digital watch, because
it has a feature I find so handy. It has a one-button interval
timer. Push the button once, it beeps in one minute. Twice, three
minutes, and so on, for 1, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 minutes. I find
this feature enormously useful. It reminds me of everything from the
etching bath to the clothes dryer. Has anyone ever refitted a dinky
watch like this into an attractive form? Or heard of a "classy"
watch with this feature? Thanks for any input! --Noel


#2
I have wanted, for quite some time, to create a watch for myself
(and maybe for others), but I don't know how to go about it. I
don't want to become a horologist-- I just want to create the case,
face, and band. 

Noel,

If you are going to create the case, dial, and band all you have left
is the movement, movement ring (if needed), hands, stem, and crown. I
would suggest that you get a copy of Cas-Ker’s Movements catalog
(www.casker.com). The catalog provides you with a wide assortment of
sizes, shapes, and types (date, day/date, sweep, etc.). The movements
are shown actual size and all dimensions are listed. Any movement
you purchase will include a battery and stem. The hand sizes are also
listed, as is the tap size for the stem/crown. There are many other
fine watch suppliers who can supply the same materials to you, but I
have found the folks at Cas-Ker to be very accommodating. Once you
settle on the movement you want, you can ask them to include the
appropriate hands and crown, et voila, you’ll get everything you need
mailed to you within a couple of days. The most popular movements run
about $10.00 wholesale.

Del of Designs of Eagle Creek in Beautiful South Texas where we are
now replicating record high temperatures set many years ago.


#3

Hi Neol,

Making your own watch using a commercial movement isn’t too
difficult and over the years I have made several incorporated into
bangles, rings etc. You can buy the movement from suppliers such as
Otto Frei http://www.ofrei.com/page_182.html or A.G. Thomas
http://www.agthomas.co.uk/catalog_watch_movements.htm . These
suppliers will also supply winding buttons, pushers, dials,
separator rings and the other bits of hardware you are likely to
need. For your first watch you may like to consider using a
ready-made dial as this is the most difficult part to make a
convincing job of. The ‘glass’ can be either a commercial type or
you can make your own from thin slabs of a hard stone - I have used
synthetic sapphire, quartz in its various forms and even cut down
microscope slides. A particular favourite with me is smoky quartz
(Cairngorm) bezel set over a silver dial.

If you are using a quartz movement you need to consider that it is
electrically powered and so your design should be such that the
metal parts of the movement don’t press on the metal case back etc.
This is why commercial watches often use a plastic spacer ring. For
a first project it may be worthwhile to start with a complete watch
and utilise the original case back. Positioning of the sleeves for
the winding stem and push pieces must be accurate as any error here
will put strain on the movement and will also compromise dust
sealing. This is an important aspect of the watch design and every
effort must be made to prevent dust from entering the movement -
particles of skin are constantly shed and the watch also lives in a
constant atmosphere of dust particles from your clothing abrading as
you move. (It is also worth mentioning that the worst thing you can
do to a watch is to take it off at night and put it on a bedside
table. While the watch is on your wrist it is at a fairly constant
temperature and the air in it is stable but, remove it from your
wrist and place it on a dusty table and the watch will cool down,
the air inside will contract and it will suck the dust from the
table into the watch through the winding hole and, mixing it with
the oil around the wheel pivots, it will make a very effective
grinding paste. If you really must take your watch off at night, put
it in a zip-lock plastic bag and seal it up.)

My suggestion to you would be to get hold of a cheap or old watch
and look carefully at how the case is constructed and particularly
how the movement and dial is held in place in the case. Then buy the
movement you are intending to use and sit and look at it for a long
time while you contemplate the differences between this movement and
the one in the watch you have dismantled. Then you can start to
design YOUR case. If you need any more help you can contact me off
list…

Best Wishes
Ian W. Wright
Sheffield UK


#4

Hello watchman…I saw your post on orchid and am wondering what
type of watches you design and make. Are they 14 karat? Quartz?
Lady’s or gents.Do you have any pictures? Price range wholesale.
Thanks Alexia from michigan in the USA