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Watchmaking is a hobby?
September 3, 2006 2:48 PM   Subscribe

Making a watch by hand. In these days of “fast” and “convenient” I decided to commence a work of “painstaking” and “craftsmanship”, making my own wristwatch. I have had the idea for a certain arrangement of the watch dial, as on the image at the right, for a while now. My investigations into available movements showed that no production movement would give me this layout. After a long period of indecision and wondering what I was really getting myself into I decided to make my own movement, followed by the case and dial.
posted by caddis (21 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Very neat!!!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:50 PM on September 3, 2006


Having toured a factory in Switzerland staffed by ex-watchmaking technicians now building sub-miniature implantable medical devices this micro technology really amazes me. Everything was done through a microscope yet manipulated by hand. This is a dexterity far beyond what I think I could perform. Of course these devices were then implanted by neurosurgeons, some of the cream of the surgery crop. However, here is a guy in his basement building his own watch. Wow. Color me impressed. I think it looks pretty nice too.
posted by caddis at 2:53 PM on September 3, 2006


Maybe for his next project he'd enjoy building a medieval castle using only a hammer and chisel.
posted by Flashman at 3:10 PM on September 3, 2006


Wow. And to think humans have been doing this for more than 500 years. Cool.
posted by DenOfSizer at 3:11 PM on September 3, 2006


Fascinating process. Thanks for the link!
posted by CodeBaloo at 3:16 PM on September 3, 2006


Wow. Agreed, cool stuff.
posted by craven_morhead at 3:18 PM on September 3, 2006


That is a helluvalot of tedious work. The design itself isn't what I'd call the top of the aesthetic heap, but then again, the Rolex oyster doesn't scratch my itch much either.

I just read an article in Wallpaper* or Surface about a Frenchman, hand-building Swiss watches with his own innovative carbon-fibre springs. It is supposed to be the next big thing in Swiss movement. (Or would that be French movement?)
posted by isopraxis at 3:18 PM on September 3, 2006


cool!
posted by owhydididoit at 3:21 PM on September 3, 2006


The design itself isn't what I'd call the top of the aesthetic heap, but then again, the Rolex oyster doesn't scratch my itch much either.

Agreed... but now I'm thinking a watch imitating a classic analog instrument panel, with 3 separate dials laid out in a line (either horizontally or vertically), would be a cool geeky watch.
posted by Foosnark at 3:39 PM on September 3, 2006


A lot of work for something so ugly in the end.
posted by delmoi at 3:54 PM on September 3, 2006


He said "movement". That's cool.

But he's got nuttin on this guy.
posted by LordSludge at 4:02 PM on September 3, 2006


Maybe I'm just a watch-making idiot, but I'd like a little more explanation. So many terms (including cool ones, like "going train", that remind me of Robert Johnson), so little definition. Watchmakers would know what he meant, but...
posted by imperium at 4:30 PM on September 3, 2006


More watch geekery at TimeZone. I've slowly come to understand why a nice mechanical watch may cost $20,000 even if it's in a steel case with no jewelry. Fantastic hand craftsmanship.
posted by Nelson at 5:16 PM on September 3, 2006


Nice to see some lathe and mill work on this site!!
posted by Iron Rat at 11:22 PM on September 3, 2006


That is so cool, caddis! Do you have any estimate of the cost of your one-of-a-kind watch, with or without the price of instructional materials?
posted by Cranberry at 11:36 PM on September 3, 2006


Who knows? I would guess that the materials were relatively cheap, perhaps no more than one or two hundred dollars. The fancy bands might have even been that much. The tools though, I would guess they were quite expensive.
posted by caddis at 6:13 AM on September 4, 2006


I think he thinks that you made it.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 6:49 AM on September 4, 2006


Watch porn! Man, I wish I had the patience and eyesight for something like this. I've also become aware, after knowing a few, that engineers are wired quite differently from the average Joe (or Joanne). Of course having the right tools doesn't hurt, but there's something about designing this kind of stuff on this small a scale that's just awsome.

And delmoi, the aesthetics of this thing are in the bits that don't show.
posted by SteveInMaine at 6:59 AM on September 4, 2006


Fascinating. Thanks, caddis.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:10 AM on September 4, 2006


This is very cool. Thanks. I want to make one.
posted by exlotuseater at 8:11 PM on September 4, 2006


That is so cool.
posted by dg at 10:48 PM on September 4, 2006


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