Jump to content
  • Sign Up to reply and join the friendliest Watch Forum on the web. Stick around, get to 100 posts and be a member for 365 days and gain access to your full profile and additional features such as a personal messaging system, chat room and the sales forum PLUS the chance to enter our regular giveaways.

Making my first watch thread.


Daveyboyz
 Share

Recommended Posts

Well it looks like I am going to attempt making a watch.  I have never done it before but will feel my way through.  

I have been thinking about it for some days and can't think of any insurmountable problems.

It will be a quartz for various reasons and the watchmaking will be minimal (attaching hands, trimming stems) the other aspects will be more strenuous.

I am just ordering some stuff...

18ct yellow gold 30mm x 30mm x 0.7mm (£757.10+VAT)

9ct white gold 25mm x 25mm x 0.5mm (for dial £80.47+VAT)

Silver sheet 1000mm x 1000mm x 1mm (£81.47+VAT)

3 x Sapphire mineral domed glasses

When my metal is recieved I will be sending the back and two strips of silver for hallmarks.    This just dates the thing and ties the origins to London.

I have the basic design in my head but will need to order movements before finalising the dimensions.

 

Multiple glasses by the way as I may break or experiment with them. 

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Daveyboyz said:

Well it looks like I am going to attempt making a watch.  

It will be a quartz for various reasons and the watchmaking will be minimal (attaching hands, trimming stems) the other aspects will be more strenuous.

I am just ordering some stuff...

18ct yellow gold 30mm x 30mm x 0.7mm (£757.10+VAT)

9ct white gold 25mm x 25mm x 0.5mm (for dial £80.47+VAT)

Silver sheet 1000mm x 1000mm x 1mm (£81.47+VAT)

 

When my metal is recieved I will be sending the back and two strips of silver for hallmarks.    This just dates the thing and ties the origins to London.


Sorry, I just don’t get the logic behind this, precious metals & using a ‘quartz’ movement?

Also, why send precious metal for assaying before machining/forming, surely that will limit, restrict, your fabrication, construction processes?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

55 minutes ago, Karrusel said:


Sorry, I just don’t get the logic behind this, precious metals & using a ‘quartz’ movement?

Also, why send precious metal for assaying before machining/forming, surely that will limit, restrict, your fabrication, construction processes?

The logic is that I want the watch to be slim, the crown will be hidden so a wind up won't be convenient.  

Presently I don't have a quartz watch in my collection.  I also don't have the tooling or knowledge to produce a mechanical movement from scratch so if I am buying a unit I may as well buy a decent quartz unit that can be set and need no further attention.

As to the hallmarking.   If I send it after fabrication it will fail because I intend to use silver and silver solder for some parts of the case (the bezel around the glass for instance)   if I send a piece of 18ct and a piece of silver I can place them where I want...for instance the gold hallmark will be in the middle of the back and the silver hallmark will be inside on the housing for the movement..   It won't limit me in the least.   I know it is a little unorthadox to have silver and gold in the same watch but using white gold instead of silver would take the gold content from £1000 to double that as well as some more in wastage. 

 

The logic with the precious metals is I know how to work with them and if I am going to spend the amount of hours on this that it will take me then the materials may as well be as valuable as the time I am putting into them. 

It would be harder for me to assemble in steel... nickel would be the cheap option but gold is more attractive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am curious as to your building method if you aren't machining although I understand if you are working within the skills you have, makes it more efficient. 

Be interesting to see your progress, if you can manage some photos that would be cool. I'm about to start my own thread so there are a few starting this journey.

 

2 hours ago, tick-tock-tittle-tattle said:

Looking forward to seeing your new watch.

I have also thought about making a watch, however I have only considered using more affordable materials for the case construction...

 

 

Seiko_Tuna_Can_1512x.png

Canned watch? :laugh:

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Monaque said:

I am curious as to your building method if you aren't machining although I understand if you are working within the skills you have, makes it more efficient. 

Be interesting to see your progress, if you can manage some photos that would be cool. I'm about to start my own thread so there are a few starting this journey.

 

Canned watch? :laugh:

There's a tun a value doing it that way :laugh: 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It won't be a quick process but I will be using a fret saw, a soldering torch and hand tools.    If it can be made in precious metals I can do it except I am limited by not having access to a full workshop.

I will keep updating this thread with photos as it progresses.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

58 minutes ago, tick-tock-tittle-tattle said:

There's a tun a value doing it that way :laugh: 

I would give you a laugh but it won't let me.

5 minutes ago, Daveyboyz said:

It won't be a quick process but I will be using a fret saw, a soldering torch and hand tools.    If it can be made in precious metals I can do it except I am limited by not having access to a full workshop.

I will keep updating this thread with photos as it progresses.

Look forward to it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I admire your bravery undertaking such a project. I would be inclined to do a mock up using something like copper/brass  sheet before having a go with precious metals. Assembling a watch is obviously much easier than making all the parts yourself. Even parts with a simple form must be difficult to make without specialist tools because of their size and the need for accuracy. It beats me how early watchmakers managed to achieve complex designs.

I wish you all the best with your project and look forward to hearing your progress.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I put in another order today.   Firstly for a pair of movements.   1 will be my "clean" movement and the other will be my "dirty" movement used in construction and liable to be full of dust by the time I finish.

These are super thin eta 282.002 typically used in Rado and the like.    This will change my spec a little, I am thinking I can reduce the thickness of my watch to 5mm.

Also I selected some gold plated delphine hands of the correct dimensions which should look ok against a background of brushed white gold. 

It's going to be some waiting for these bits to arrive.

Also I ordered silver solder with three different melting points and some silver wire (I am not sure why yet but it may prove useful if I want to make any hinges or rivets.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Daveyboyz said:

I put in another order today.   Firstly for a pair of movements.   1 will be my "clean" movement and the other will be my "dirty" movement used in construction and liable to be full of dust by the time I finish.

These are super thin eta 282.002 typically used in Rado and the like.    This will change my spec a little, I am thinking I can reduce the thickness of my watch to 5mm.

Also I selected some gold plated delphine hands of the correct dimensions which should look ok against a background of brushed white gold. 

It's going to be some waiting for these bits to arrive.

Also I ordered silver solder with three different melting points and some silver wire (I am not sure why yet but it may prove useful if I want to make any hinges or rivets.)

Goodness me that is thin, only 1.5mm. I haven't seen that style battery that thin before, it is the whole depth of the movement. Do I take it that your watch design is of a rectangular design?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, Monaque said:

Goodness me that is thin, only 1.5mm. I haven't seen that style battery that thin before, it is the whole depth of the movement. Do I take it that your watch design is of a rectangular design?

Yes it will be a rectangular watch but with a round glass and dial.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was trained for a short time as a pattern maker when I left school.   It wasn't for so long but I learned the basic idea of how to solder and use a fret saw etc.

This thing could end up a real dogs dinner but it will be a fun project.    Photos to follow as and when.   

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20210928-105015.jpg

Received some metal today.    I think I may order some more stuff though...  

I was thinking about the glass and think maybe the round bezel should be made from white gold since its harder.   

Also I was thinking that a steel spring bar could wreck a silver lug so maybe I will use 9ct yellow for the lugs as thats reasonably tough.  

I didn't want to buy too much 18ct since its expensive and can see the pieces that arrived aren't 100% square but I can work with what I have here.

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Measured up the 18ct and almost sent it back.   29x29mm and 28x31mm when measured with my calipers.   However when I measured with a steel ruler its over rather than under....   then I see the little mark two millimetres in on the calipers and realise I was reading them wrongly.

So now I need to make these square, three tools are required so I had a look in the garage to see if I still have any jewellery tools (most were adopted into the arsenal of the shop where I did some jewellery repairs 20 years back)

20210928-124619.jpg

I realise this watch will cost me double because I will need to buy tools along the way... though its possible I will use these again (tools are always an investment) though they are heavy so if I migrate soon I doubt they will come with me.

Anyway, I guess this post will be pretty in depth, I may possibly do some videos too so by the end you all might have learnt some stuff that I take for granted.

The photo shows some things I found in the garage.

Small brush (good for painting flux onto joins and applying solder too)

2 needle files, these remarkably are not rusted and the trianglular one has lots of bite, so it feels really sharp.

Parallel pliers.   These are super useful.   Most of the time when working on silver and gold raw finger strength is required.  Holding the article against a wooden "pin" while filing or cutting.   In some instances things must be held and if normal pliers are used it can scar the material but parallel pliers are far less likely to cut into the edges.

So I didn't find what I was looking for... dividers and a half round file.   The dividers are useful to scribe and mark out accurately (like those compasses with a wheel in the middle but sharp at both ends)

I also found a disk of copper.   This might end up being an internal bezel.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Small vice or pliers with protective jaws might be useful to avoid damage to materials. Example in link but I am sure you get soft jaw covers.

https://www.primetools.co.uk/product/knipex-86-09-180-v01-protective-jaw-covers-for-waterpump-pliers-3-pairs/

Alternatively plastic clamps 

Edited by chas g
Added final sentence
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Parrellel pliers solve the problem as the weight is evenly distributed and the jaws are flat but like I say mostly the fingers are used against a wooden pin.

 

999-082D.jpg

Typically this is clamped in the centre of a bench that has a semi-circle cut from it (often turned into the stool you sit on) and a skin hung below to catch any bits of gold that fall.   You just hold what you are working on against it.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

More thinking and buying stuff today, the bill is totting up.   Yesterday I ordered some more tools and today I added a heap of other tools to my basked.   The tools add up but its excruciating how quickly the metal adds up.  

What wasn't so dear were a few bits I ordered on ebay.   Tools for removing and attaching hands and a tap and die set.

I hadn't really intended to use screws but given the low cost involved maybe I will try and make some screws and use these somehow.

20210929-114806.jpg

Also received some watch hands,  they came in a big box full of polystyrene.   Can't be too careful I guess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...