Wristwatch Project: Progress

This Past Week
My past week working on this project was spent with half of my time researching watchmakers and practices while the other half was spent perusing online retailers to find sellers that had parts of watches I liked.  My research showed that if you wanted to make your own wristwatch there were 3 different ways to go about doing so: Buy a watchmaking kit, buy the parts online and build it, or buy used or damaged parts and refurbish them to build a new watch.  Of the options, the most recommended and cheapest was to buy parts online from a retailer like Aliexpress, Ebay or Amazon for tools and then build the watch with the materials ordered.  As for the watchmaking kits, although they are very convenient and less stressful, are overpriced for what they are and do not allow as much personalization or choice in terms of watch design.   And for the buying used or old parts online and refurbishing a watch option, I was warned that there is a lot of risk and extra time required as most of the parts aren’t functioning properly or some may say they are but are not and they have more wear and tear on them.  Thus, purchasing parts that I liked online and building a watch through different retailers was my method of choice.  This method also allowed me for the most customizable design of the wristwatch and allowed for me to have an aesthetic of my choice.

As mentioned previously, one of my main goals this last week was to have all the necessary parts and equipment ordered for my project.  Although I didn’t expect this part to be easy I did not expect it to take as much time and double-checking as it did.  The difficulty with ordering parts for watch-making is that the precision and accuracy of the pieces are so fine that it is very easy to buy parts that don’t fit or work together.  After researching wristwatches and watching many YouTube videos, I found that the four parts that essentially make up the watch are the movement, the case, the dial, the hands, and the band.  The movement is exactly what it sounds like and is in charge of the actual movement of the wristwatch.  It controls the hour, minute, and second hands of the watch and is in charge of ensuring that they are moving at the correct speed and functioning properly.  The case of the watch is what holds the movement, dial, and hands and is where a fair amount of the aesthetic of a watch can be seen as it is the housing unit for the other parts.  The dial is the large circular face that you see beneath the encased case that also can provide a lot of the watch’s aesthetic.  The rest of the parts are pretty self-explanatory and the only other pieces to finish my watch I need are watch-making tools which are similar to what you would see in a regular toolbox except much smaller.

Fork In The Watch
While perusing online for the parts of the watch I previously mentioned, I found it increasingly difficult to find out how I was going to build this watch with the aesthetic of a miniature roulette wheel.  I searched for anything that looked similar to a roulette wheel face and could customize or paint further however then came the difficulty with finding a miniature roulette ball and getting the face to spin as well.  Unfortunately to my dislike, I decided that a roulette wheel-inspired wristwatch was not going to be able to be my aesthetic of choice.  Thus, my backup option of a high-end, upscale and clean watch was the aesthetic I was aiming to achieve.  The photos you see below are the movement, dial, hands, and case that I purchased this week that most fit my aesthetic but can be customized to further enhance this aesthetic as well.

Next Steps
Now that I have my parts and tools ordered, I begin the waiting game and cross my fingers that Aliexpress does not have any problems with the shipping and I don’t experience any delays.  The timing is supposed to work well to have all the pieces arrive with enough time for me to put the watch together and troubleshoot any difficulties before our final expo.

Featured Image:
OpenAI’s DALL-E. “Wristwatch.” Digital image. Created on 04/10/24. OpenAI.
Parts In order from left to right and top to bottom.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Oliver White
    April 15, 2024 8:42 am

    Maddox, it is unfortunate that you had to switch your desired aesthetic due to sourcing issues. The same thing happened to me during the upcycle project. However, the parts you were able to find look great, and I am looking forward to seeing the final product!

  • Hi Maddox this project looks great so far!! It’s unfortunate to hear that you had to abandon your first aesthetic but it sounds like you are really dialed into your new one and can achieve this at an extremely high level! I am curious if you are planning any secondary operations to really make this watch your own.


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