Time’s Gamble: Making a Miniature Roulette Table Wristwatch

Choosing My Aesthetic
In my previous post, I dived into the vast and intriguing world of wristwatches and the many possible aesthetics that they could fall into.  Ranging from minimalistic to luxurious to an open-concept skeleton watch.  After much contemplation, brainstorming, and ideation, I have decided to mend the mechanics of timekeeping with the thrill of gambling in Las Vegas.  And what exactly does this mean?  A wristwatch that isn’t conformed to just the task of telling time and looking interesting, but also brings a miniaturized interactive roulette table right to your wrist.  Las Vegas, known for its extravagance, and excitement, and where dreams can lead to a pitiful demise, expresses an aesthetic that is both captivating and intense.  Neon City, Sin City, Gambling City, The Entertainment Capital, whatever you may call this city of lights, where fortunes are made and lost in the blink of an eye is the aesthetic I am going to capture with the wristwatch I plan to make for this project.  The aesthetic of dazzling neon lights, architecture blends from all around the world, and the love relationship between risk and reward is what I seek to express through this wristwatch.  When I think of Las Vegas, what sticks out to me is the classic green, red, and black colors that scream casino tables, playing cards, and images of plush roulette wheels.  To me, these colors symbolize the intensity of the high stakes and glory of gambling – the color red for the excitement and emotion, green for the money you risk, and black represents the uncertainty and unknown of the outcomes of gambling.

These colors, emotions, and senses are exactly what I am trying to capture in my aesthetic for this wristwatch.  By incorporating the iconic roulette colors and a functional miniature roulette wheel into the watch’s design, I will capture the very essence of the gambling world while being able to enjoy the thrill myself.  This watch will not only tell time but will also resonate with the excitement and glamour of Las Vegas, embracing the unique blend of luxury, chance, and the unknown of Las Vegas  And hey, who knows, maybe it will help me choose what to put money on next time I’m at a roulette table.  Shown below is an image of a wristwatch that I am going to use for inspiration and one that I like a lot.
Casino Tourbillon | Jacob & CoTraveling to Vegas | Aesthetic Revolution Las Vegas

One quote that stuck out to me as I was brainstorming the Las Vegas and gambling aesthetic while undergoing ideation on how I could make a miniature roulette table and how to plan this project was this: “They say time is money; in Vegas, time is a roulette wheel.”. And in reading this quote I then dived into how I was going to allocate my time for this project and made a timeline for my progress and my progress to come:

Project Direction

  1. Week 1: Concept Development & Inspiration Gathering
    • Days 1-4: Researching aesthetics, possible project designs, and general ideation.
    • Days 4-7: Brainstorming session for initial concepts, blending watch and roulette features, speakers, and a walking cane.
  2. Week 2: Detailed Design & Material Acquisition
    • Days 8-10: Finalizing my project aesthetic and project direction.
    • Days 11-12: Brainstorm materials and components, including watch mechanisms and miniature roulette elements.
    • Days 13-14: Sketching preliminary designs and deciding on materials and components.
  3. Week 3: Prototype Development & Initial Testing
    • Days 15-17: Sketching the first basic prototype to brainstorm the roulette mechanism’s integration with the watch.
    • Days 18-19: Reviewing and adjusting CAD designs based on component specifications and assessing the aesthetic alignment with the Las Vegas style.
    • Days 20-21: Analyzing feedback and making adjustments to the design as needed.
  4. Week 4: Refinement & Secondary Prototyping
    • Days 22-24: Develop a prototype based on earlier feedback.
    • Days 25-26: Testing my prototype, focusing on the accuracy of timekeeping and roulette features.
    • Days 27-28: Making refinements to improve the aesthetic and functional aspects.
  5. Week 5: Final Assembly & Detailed Testing
    • Days 29-31: Assembling the finalized version of my watch, ensuring performance and visual appeal.
    • Days 32-33: Performing comprehensive testing on the final product, such as roulette mechanism endurance and mechanism.
    • Days 34-35: Final adjustments and preparations for presentation.
  6. Week 6: Documentation, Reflection, & Contingency Planning
    • Days 36-38: Documentation phase: comprehensive sketches, photos, and videos for the blog post.
    • Days 39-40: Reflecting on the project’s challenges and successes, and preparing a final presentation.
    • Days 41-42: Finalizing my final blog post, submit the project, and present it.

This six-week plan accounts for the previous two weeks of the ideation and brainstorming phase followed by a more thorough exploration of design concepts, detailed prototyping, and comprehensive testing, to best prepare for a final project and aesthetic that I am happy and proud of.

The Fabrication Process

  1. Design Sketching: The first step for this project was to decide what exactly my aesthetic would be, and what my project would be, and from there begin sketching.  My initial sketches revolved around my project choice of building a wristwatch.  In doing so I tested out a variety of aesthetics for wristwatches until I decided on my Las Vegas roulette wheel watch.  I then sketched the watch design and focused on how to incorporate a miniature roulette wheel into the watch’s face. This required careful planning to ensure readability and functionality.
  2. Component Selection: Choosing the right components will be crucial for this project as I need a durable watch casing, a precise movement mechanism, and a tiny, yet visible, roulette ball that can be placed on a miniature “roulette wheel”
  3. Learning Watch Assembly: I will need to allocate time to understand the delicate nature of watch assembly, ensuring I can combine the timekeeping elements with the roulette feature without compromising either.
  4. Prototype Creation: My prototype will help identify design flaws and functional limitations. This prototype does not need to be a fully flushed-out watch, but maybe parts of each component of the watch.  For example, I will prototype just the miniature roulette wheel and then I will prototype the actual watch but not have either of these necessarily combined yet.
  5. Refining the Design: Based on prototype feedback, I will make adjustments accordingly such as a smoother roulette feature, a better overall design, or a cleaner watch face.
  6. Assembly of the Final Product: This involves work to fit all components together within the watch casing, ensuring both the timekeeping and roulette functions operate seamlessly.

New Skills
A few new skills that I will have to learn for this project include watch mechanisms, the intricacy and precision required with this, and how to build a roulette table in miniature size.  The most challenging part I feel that I will face will be combining the actual watch face with a roulette wheel because I am assuming that it will be hard enough for me to build a watch but then I will also have to add a button in it that initiates a roulette ball spinning as well too.

Fabrication Equipment and Machines
My plan as of now is to purchase a watch-building kit, hopefully, I will be able to find one with a relatively large round face casing that can fit a roulette wheel.  From there I will purchase online stickers or paint that I could use to change the watch face to look like a roulette wheel and I will also find online a miniature sphere to be the ball to spin around the wheel.  I don’t plan on using any 3D-printers or laser cutters but I can see myself using the machine shop to resize or reshape pieces of the watch kit to what I need.  Shown below are sketches for my ideation process for how I will complete this project to my liking.  I have also attached videos of people making their watches and how I could incorporate my aesthetic into this.

Where I am going from here
From here I plan to browse online for a watch-making kit and find people who DIY their own wrist watches.  I will then purchase the watch-making kit and start modifying it to my specifications through the machine shop and maker space at CU Boulder and with some minor paintwork and precision will have a fully functional miniature roulette wheel wristwatch.

DIY Watch Club | Make your own mechanical watchMake My Own Watch Classic 40, Build A Mechanical Watch Kit

[left] https://diywatch.club/

[right] https://www.esslinger.com/make-my-own-watch-kit/


[quote source] https://iqhashtags.com/las-vegas-instagram-captions-quotes/#:~:text=%E2%80%9CThey%20say%20time%20is%20money,machines%20sang%20me%20a%20lullaby.%E2%80%9D

Previous Post
Post 8: Design Preview
Next Post
Design Preview Report: Scale model of long range spacecraft

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Maddox, great post. You definitely have a very ambitious idea; it’s clear you’re very passionate about the kind of artifact you’re going to build, and I think you’ve chosen a really cool and unique combination of aesthetic and function. It does seem like a lot to get done in the amount of time left in the semester, especially considering how much of your process planning seems to be ‘figure out how to do this’. Are there any parts of the fabrication process where you can say for sure you’ll be using skills you already have?

  • This sounds like a great project, I think it will be difficult to execute this but it looks like you have been prepared to deal with the tiny scale and intricate watch modifications you will need to make with the resources you provided here. I like that you have a very detailed schedule as well, I think you are well prepared to complete this project. Are you planning on purchasing a new watch to modify, or are you making this from scratch. Or do you already own a watch that you have in mind for this?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.