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Pictures Of My Own Watch


Monaque
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Hi Everyone.

I was asked if I would post some pictures of a watch that I built so here goes.

Firstly I will post a link to a thread I started over on WatchUSeek; not sure if anyone is interested in looking at the progress of my build, the thread itself is rather convoluted and over described in places, but it gets there eventually.

 

https://www.watchuseek.com/threads/designing-and-making-my-own-watch-a-journey.5159539/

 

Secondly I wanted to describe my particular kind of watch build. There are a lot of levels, shall we say, of watchmaking. At the very top there is the complete build, everything by hand, every part except those you just can't. A level or two down from there is where I am, designing and building a watch using a bought in movement. In my case I also bought the straps. In total I bought in the glass, the rubber gaskets/o rings, dial feet, the movement, the straps, and the M1.6 SS screws - which I also altered by manually turning a radius on the head and polishing them.

Bezel - Aluminium Bronze

Body - Aluminium (hard anodized)

Back - Titanium

Movement Ring - Aluminium

Lug Pins - Titanium

Hands - Titanium

Buckle, Buckle Tongue, and Buckle Pin - (all three) Titanium

Dial - Aluminium

Crown - Aluminium Bronze

All the above parts I made. I don't have any machine tools of my own unfortunately, I use my boss's machines after work. I would love to be able to own my own Rose Engine, Watchmakers Lathe etc, not to mention the dozens of tools you need to create your own movement, but just don't have the funds for that at this time.

I used both CNC and manual machines in the process of building. Both CNC and manual lathes for making the body and Bezel, plus a Wire Eroder for the outside and lugs of the body. Wire Eroder for creating the shape of the hands, which were dry blasted and then cut to width using the Eroder again - polished after by hand. CNC and Manual Mills for the holes in the Body, Back, and the Bezel. Manual lathe and CNC Mill for the Movement Ring. Lug Pins all manual turned and polished and then drilled and tapped for M1.6 SS screws. I used M1.6 screws all round on this build, with a Torx No 5 driver. All the screws were altered after and hand polished.

The dial turned out to be the most interested, time consuming, and pain-in-the-ass job of the whole build. Simple enough to turn the part to size, and then create a fixture for holding the dial to skim to width after. Also had to create a special fixture so I could mill two counter-bores on the reverse to fit the dial feet. Fitting the feet was harder, eventually settling for gluing using a positional fixture that also doubled as a pressure fixture. Took a couple of goes on that to get it to work. My movement used special clamps and the pressure applied had to be right; too much and they broke the feet off, too little and they wouldn't hold. Then there was the issue of pad printing the face. I'd never heard of pad printing, and I've been involved with manufacturing for over 30 years. It's a whole other world, and a pretty large industry. I had a particularly tricky design, as you'll see below, and also couldn't afford to either buy my own pad printer or use the services of some of the better pad printers. Eventually someone from Australia did it for me for a decent price and we eventually got it right, well, good enough for my first watch anyway. But pad printing is an eye opener.

Lot of polishing of parts of the Bezel and Back, Crown face - although the crown profile was blasted. I was hoping to create something that had a contrasting finish, part reflective, part grainy. The black of the hard anodizing also helped in that respect, which gave the body a scratch proof finish while also giving it some contrast.

 

Here are some photos, both watch and box, which I also made.

KW4.1_Finished1.jpg

 

KW4.1_Finished7.jpg

 

KW4.1_Finished11.jpg

 

KW4.1_Finished15.jpg

 

KW4.1_Buckle_3.jpg

 

watchlongbox_1.jpg

 

watchlongbox_4.jpg

 

watchlongbox_10.jpg

 

watchlongbox_13.jpg

 

The strap I got made for me from some burgundy Ostrich I found online, which complemented the second hand. The second hand is made from Wood, believe it or not, a special kind of wood called Pink Ivory, which only grows in three countries. I also lacquered some areas where the Aluminium and Bronze came in contact.

 

Overall I'm happy enough with my first build. I made mistakes and some processes didn't go as planned, and I know that are aspects about the build that I can do better, I can improve, although the design for the next watch is quite different.

If you need to know something, or I've forgotten to include something (which is certain) then feel free to ask.

Thanks for looking.

Chris.

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Wow. Seriously, apologies for breaking the protocol of decorum that we try to adhere to, but f*****g WOW!

When you said you've just built your first watch, I assumed 100% purchased parts and put together (which still impresses the he'll out of me, flat pack furniture is about my limit!), I considered that maybe there may have been some engineering of things, reshaping a crown or altering lugs, but the amount of work and the level of craftsmanship there is astonishing, genuinely incredible to me.

Congratulations, the box alone (if you stick around, you'll appreciate that from me that is high praise) is a work of art.

If I had a hat to doff, I'd doff it across the room.

I am actually wondering if I might be wise to try and commission something before you get savvy enough to be too far out of a price range that would not mean Mrs B has to take away my credit card!

 

4 minutes ago, SolaVeritate said:

Quick question.. why put so much detail into designing a box thats not being presented to someone else?

You take that back, you take that back right now! You know how important the box is*

 

 

 

*(to me):partytime:

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9 hours ago, SolaVeritate said:

Quick question.. why put so much detail into designing a box thats not being presented to someone else?

I have a different approach to that sort of idea. A lot of people would dial down their work when it comes to themselves, I don't. My work is of the same standard, doesn't matter where it's going, or who it's going to; or at least, I aim to.  :laugh:

9 hours ago, Bricey said:

Wow. Seriously, apologies for breaking the protocol of decorum that we try to adhere to, but f*****g WOW!

When you said you've just built your first watch, I assumed 100% purchased parts and put together (which still impresses the he'll out of me, flat pack furniture is about my limit!), I considered that maybe there may have been some engineering of things, reshaping a crown or altering lugs, but the amount of work and the level of craftsmanship there is astonishing, genuinely incredible to me.

Congratulations, the box alone (if you stick around, you'll appreciate that from me that is high praise) is a work of art.

If I had a hat to doff, I'd doff it across the room.

I am actually wondering if I might be wise to try and commission something before you get savvy enough to be too far out of a price range that would not mean Mrs B has to take away my credit card!

 

You take that back, you take that back right now! You know how important the box is*

 

 

 

*(to me):partytime:

Thank you, Bricey, very kind words. There are a lot of different levels of watchmaking, with my background (I work in engineering, specifically manufacturing) it felt right to build my own rather than just assemble.

I've actually been lookiing at costings, spreadsheets created etc, and the results were surprising. I'm not against the idea of doing watch commissions, put it that way, just know it wouldn't be cheap. Of course, cheap is a relative words isn't it, it depends on your resources. :biggrin:

 

2 hours ago, JayDeep said:

The work that went into this is as impressive as it gets, end of story!

The box is to die for!

The dial sucks.

Thanks, JayDeep, appreciate you looking. You know, the dial is rather polarizing. People either hate it or love it. There is supposed to be some interraction between the holes in the hands and the spots on the dial as the hands rotate, perhaps that isn't obvious, or perhaps it just doesn't interest some. I wanted to design something a little bit conceptual, I guess, rather than the norm, not something that my pad printing sub-contractor thanked me for.

Anyway, thanks again for your comments.

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Well done, that must have taken many hours to make. I like the case design, and screws, and the box is beautiful too!

I recently looked into dial printing, I was just thinking of using an old Vostok dial as the base, but it does look very tricky and expensive. There was a YouTube video where a chap laser printed onto a film, then put it on the dial and into the oven! It looked pretty good to me, but probably wouldn't be up to your standards.

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49 minutes ago, Monaque said:

I have a different approach to that sort of idea. A lot of people would dial down their work when it comes to themselves, I don't. My work is of the same standard, doesn't matter where it's going, or who it's going to; or at least, I aim to.  :laugh:

Thank you, Bricey, very kind words. There are a lot of different levels of watchmaking, with my background (I work in engineering, specifically manufacturing) it felt right to build my own rather than just assemble.

I've actually been lookiing at costings, spreadsheets created etc, and the results were surprising. I'm not against the idea of doing watch commissions, put it that way, just know it wouldn't be cheap. Of course, cheap is a relative words isn't it, it depends on your resources. :biggrin:

 

Thanks, JayDeep, appreciate you looking. You know, the dial is rather polarizing. People either hate it or love it. There is supposed to be some interraction between the holes in the hands and the spots on the dial as the hands rotate, perhaps that isn't obvious, or perhaps it just doesn't interest some. I wanted to design something a little bit conceptual, I guess, rather than the norm, not something that my pad printing sub-contractor thanked me for.

Anyway, thanks again for your comments.

No I definitely saw and understood that, but yes, I'm one of those that is not into it at all. Still, very cool piece and work. 

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There was a question the other day about can a watch be made that isn't a copycat or at least reminiscent of other already created watches.   Well you proved it.   By going back to first principles and solving them in your own way you created something with new aspects.

Your solution to the lugs for instance.   It certainly looks more satisfactory than spring bars.   I hope the starbolts don't wriggle loose but if not then this looks good.

Good job.

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Great attention to detail, and a fabulous job. Well done indeed! :notworthy: As someone used to woodturning, your use of Pink Ivory interests me. This rare wood has been protected for well over 40 years now, with none allowed to be felled anymore, except under strict licence. Any that you use will probably be at least 40 years old. One thing you should be aware of (if you didn't already know) is that the freshly cut surface of PI degrades to a dull brown colour in the presence of light, even if lacquered, so may be a point to consider. You may have noticed this from the blank you used.

Pink Ivory in its freshly cut state...
Pink Ivory wood from Griffin Exotic Wood

However, it soon turns brown in the presence of light...the second 'egg' from the L is Pink Ivory after around 3 months...

Woodturning.

...as is the 'pear' in the foreground here...

Woodturning.

 

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1 hour ago, Duncan U. said:

Well done, that must have taken many hours to make. I like the case design, and screws, and the box is beautiful too!

I recently looked into dial printing, I was just thinking of using an old Vostok dial as the base, but it does look very tricky and expensive. There was a YouTube video where a chap laser printed onto a film, then put it on the dial and into the oven! It looked pretty good to me, but probably wouldn't be up to your standards.

Trust me, dial making/printing, is a royal PITA. Transfers are ok, there are some good ones out there, but the only way to do it properly is to print is using a pad. Even then, it's a skilled business. I've always wanted to have a go at Rose Engine turning, but I don't have the kind of money it takes to get one. I might try and replicate something on a mill.

1 hour ago, JayDeep said:

No I definitely saw and understood that, but yes, I'm one of those that is not into it at all. Still, very cool piece and work. 

No worries, it's all good, we all like something different. And thanks.

47 minutes ago, Daveyboyz said:

There was a question the other day about can a watch be made that isn't a copycat or at least reminiscent of other already created watches.   Well you proved it.   By going back to first principles and solving them in your own way you created something with new aspects.

Your solution to the lugs for instance.   It certainly looks more satisfactory than spring bars.   I hope the starbolts don't wriggle loose but if not then this looks good.

Good job.

Thanks, Daveyboyz, appreciate you looking. I am always trying to do something different, try new things. Hopefully my new watch will continue in that vein. I might return to spring bars for the next as it does shorten the watch length a little.

35 minutes ago, SolaVeritate said:

I would be happy just to be able to make and swap over a dial.

:thumbsup:

32 minutes ago, Roger the Dodger said:

Great attention to detail, and a fabulous job. Well done indeed! :notworthy: As someone used to woodturning, your use of Pink Ivory interests me. This rare wood has been protected for well over 40 years now, with none allowed to be felled anymore. Any that you use will be at least 40 years old. One thing you should be aware of (if you didn't already know) is that the freshly cut surface of PI degrades to a dull brown colour in the presence of light, even if lacquered, so may be a point to consider. You may have noticed this from the blank you used.

Pink Ivory in its freshly cut state...
Pink Ivory wood from Griffin Exotic Wood

However, it soon turns brown in the presence of light...the second 'egg' from the L is Pink Ivory after around 3 months...

Woodturning.

...as is the 'pear' in the foreground here...

Woodturning.

 

Thanks, Roger the Dodger, and yes, I was aware that wood darkens. I'm surprsed that PI darkened that much, my experiences have shown darkening but not in the browns just merely a deepr red. Perhaps it's a time factor or a difference in tree. My watch will spend a good amount of time in it's box, so shouldn't darken so much. Time will tell I guess. My next watch will be a little different so not sure what wood I will be using.

PI is a beautiful wood though.

I love your turning, very nice indeed.

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1 hour ago, SolaVeritate said:

I would be happy just to be able to make and swap over a dial.

I'm chuffed if I can change a quickest date after a 30 day month, without first going a click too far and moving the time! :laughing2dw:

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Just have to echo the comments above, this is amazing work and a personal creation which isn't like anything I've ever seen before. Better still, you can still tell the time with it, which is more than can be said for some novel creations. I've been trying to do more work on my own watches and I've noticed it not only requires dexterity and other physical skills, but it's also stressful at times and mentally exhausting. So, my hat joins Bricey's in being doffed across the room.

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1 hour ago, spinynorman said:

Just have to echo the comments above, this is amazing work and a personal creation which isn't like anything I've ever seen before. Better still, you can still tell the time with it, which is more than can be said for some novel creations. I've been trying to do more work on my own watches and I've noticed it not only requires dexterity and other physical skills, but it's also stressful at times and mentally exhausting. So, my hat joins Bricey's in being doffed across the room.

@spinynormanThanks :thumbsup:

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20 hours ago, Bricey said:

Wow. Seriously, apologies for breaking the protocol of decorum that we try to adhere to, but f*****g WOW!

I just noticed this, you mention breaking the protocol of decorum?

9 hours ago, Roger the Dodger said:

However, it soon turns brown in the presence of light...the second 'egg' from the L is Pink Ivory after around 3 months...

@Roger the Dodger Just a quick note. I did come across the fading question with a friend from work, as he carves spoons and utensils out of hardwood mostly. We bought some Purple Heart hardwood and we were curious about that fading, apparently it doesn't if you apply a certain finish to it. Let it sit in the sun for a few hours, after final polishing, then apply a kind of finish that protects it from UV radiation. Not sure if you've come across that.

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22 minutes ago, Monaque said:

I just noticed this, you mention breaking the protocol of decorum?

@Roger the Dodger Just a quick note. I did come across the fading question with a friend from work, as he carves spoons and utensils out of hardwood mostly. We bought some Purple Heart hardwood and we were curious about that fading, apparently it doesn't if you apply a certain finish to it. Let it sit in the sun for a few hours, after final polishing, then apply a kind of finish that protects it from UV radiation. Not sure if you've come across that.

Yes, I 've used purple heart in the past for making pens and lace bobbins. It's a bit of a strange one in that it starts off greyish purple, then gets deeper purple with exppsure to light, finally fading to a brownish colour with hints of purple. Apparently, there is a UV inhibitor that slows the process, but I've not used it. Sadly, I no longer have a woodturning lathe as I have no room. It's probably 30 years since I did any.

The egg at 3 o'clock is purple heart...

large.20191023_114627.jpg.013a617a6d68c56a3ef53d3796e82e8b.jpg

...as are the plums and cherries in this selection of turned fruit.

large.20190824_075938.jpg.8c28bdec9d4dc7bf57069f7906322a36.jpg

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1 minute ago, Roger the Dodger said:

Yes, I 've used purple heart in the past for making pens and lace bobbins. It's a bit of a strange one in that it starts off greyish purple, then gets deeper purple with exppsure to light, finally fading to a brownish colour with hints of purple. Apparently, there is a UV inhibitor that slows the process, but I've not used it. Sadly, I no longer have a woodturning lathe as I have no room. It's probably 30 years since I did any.

The egg at 3 o'clock is purple heart...

large.20191023_114627.jpg.013a617a6d68c56a3ef53d3796e82e8b.jpg

...as are the plums and cherries in this selection of turned fruit.

large.20190824_075938.jpg.8c28bdec9d4dc7bf57069f7906322a36.jpg

Ah, that's a shame. But yes, the UV inhibitor is the thing I was thinking about. I'm also curious as to just how much light causes the change in wood colour. I have had a lot of PI and PH and still do, none of it has lost its colour, but it doesn't get direct sunlight where it is stored.

Perhaps its direct light that does the damage.

Made these a while ago out of various woods. I'm guessing they will fade if worn, although the African Blackwood has nowhere to go really. :laugh:

 

Family1.jpg

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21 hours ago, Monaque said:

Hi Everyone.

I was asked if I would post some pictures of a watch that I built so here goes.

Firstly I will post a link to a thread I started over on WatchUSeek; not sure if anyone is interested in looking at the progress of my build, the thread itself is rather convoluted and over described in places, but it gets there eventually.

 

https://www.watchuseek.com/threads/designing-and-making-my-own-watch-a-journey.5159539/

 

Secondly I wanted to describe my particular kind of watch build. There are a lot of levels, shall we say, of watchmaking. At the very top there is the complete build, everything by hand, every part except those you just can't. A level or two down from there is where I am, designing and building a watch using a bought in movement. In my case I also bought the straps. In total I bought in the glass, the rubber gaskets/o rings, dial feet, the movement, the straps, and the M1.6 SS screws - which I also altered by manually turning a radius on the head and polishing them.

Bezel - Aluminium Bronze

Body - Aluminium (hard anodized)

Back - Titanium

Movement Ring - Aluminium

Lug Pins - Titanium

Hands - Titanium

Buckle, Buckle Tongue, and Buckle Pin - (all three) Titanium

Dial - Aluminium

Crown - Aluminium Bronze

All the above parts I made. I don't have any machine tools of my own unfortunately, I use my boss's machines after work. I would love to be able to own my own Rose Engine, Watchmakers Lathe etc, not to mention the dozens of tools you need to create your own movement, but just don't have the funds for that at this time.

I used both CNC and manual machines in the process of building. Both CNC and manual lathes for making the body and Bezel, plus a Wire Eroder for the outside and lugs of the body. Wire Eroder for creating the shape of the hands, which were dry blasted and then cut to width using the Eroder again - polished after by hand. CNC and Manual Mills for the holes in the Body, Back, and the Bezel. Manual lathe and CNC Mill for the Movement Ring. Lug Pins all manual turned and polished and then drilled and tapped for M1.6 SS screws. I used M1.6 screws all round on this build, with a Torx No 5 driver. All the screws were altered after and hand polished.

The dial turned out to be the most interested, time consuming, and pain-in-the-ass job of the whole build. Simple enough to turn the part to size, and then create a fixture for holding the dial to skim to width after. Also had to create a special fixture so I could mill two counter-bores on the reverse to fit the dial feet. Fitting the feet was harder, eventually settling for gluing using a positional fixture that also doubled as a pressure fixture. Took a couple of goes on that to get it to work. My movement used special clamps and the pressure applied had to be right; too much and they broke the feet off, too little and they wouldn't hold. Then there was the issue of pad printing the face. I'd never heard of pad printing, and I've been involved with manufacturing for over 30 years. It's a whole other world, and a pretty large industry. I had a particularly tricky design, as you'll see below, and also couldn't afford to either buy my own pad printer or use the services of some of the better pad printers. Eventually someone from Australia did it for me for a decent price and we eventually got it right, well, good enough for my first watch anyway. But pad printing is an eye opener.

Lot of polishing of parts of the Bezel and Back, Crown face - although the crown profile was blasted. I was hoping to create something that had a contrasting finish, part reflective, part grainy. The black of the hard anodizing also helped in that respect, which gave the body a scratch proof finish while also giving it some contrast.

 

Here are some photos, both watch and box, which I also made.

KW4.1_Finished1.jpg

 

KW4.1_Finished7.jpg

 

KW4.1_Finished11.jpg

 

KW4.1_Finished15.jpg

 

KW4.1_Buckle_3.jpg

 

watchlongbox_1.jpg

 

watchlongbox_4.jpg

 

watchlongbox_10.jpg

 

watchlongbox_13.jpg

 

The strap I got made for me from some burgundy Ostrich I found online, which complemented the second hand. The second hand is made from Wood, believe it or not, a special kind of wood called Pink Ivory, which only grows in three countries. I also lacquered some areas where the Aluminium and Bronze came in contact.

 

Overall I'm happy enough with my first build. I made mistakes and some processes didn't go as planned, and I know that are aspects about the build that I can do better, I can improve, although the design for the next watch is quite different.

If you need to know something, or I've forgotten to include something (which is certain) then feel free to ask.

Thanks for looking.

Chris.

Really love the dial.

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31 minutes ago, Monaque said:

Ah, that's a shame. But yes, the UV inhibitor is the thing I was thinking about. I'm also curious as to just how much light causes the change in wood colour. I have had a lot of PI and PH and still do, none of it has lost its colour, but it doesn't get direct sunlight where it is stored.

Perhaps its direct light that does the damage.

Made these a while ago out of various woods. I'm guessing they will fade if worn, although the African Blackwood has nowhere to go really. :laugh:

 

Family1.jpg

Very nice...are they bangles? I like African blackwood, and I think I can see some Tulip wood there too (back right and front middle)

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37 minutes ago, Roger the Dodger said:

Very nice...are they bangles? I like African blackwood, and I think I can see some Tulip wood there too (back right and front middle)

No, rings, finger rings. I used Blackwood, Tulipwood, PI, Ebony, Cocobolo, Black and White Ebony (really rare now they don't allow exports from Laos), Buloke (said to be the very hardest wood in the world), and Lignum Vitae. Maybe some more there, can't remember.

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15 minutes ago, Bricey said:

What other kind of rings are ther.....oh, wait, don't answer that.

 

Ha, definitely not going there. :wink:

1 minute ago, Colin Belfast said:

Such amazing skills to create this beautiful watch and a gorgeous box befitting it.

I'm in awe of the skills you guys have and the wonderful colours and grains of the woods available thanks to mother nature.

 

 

Thanks, Colin. Appreciate you coming by.

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