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.
That is a big
jump, but we engineers are used to creating things that didn’t exist before
so it was mostly the craftsmanship portion of the work that worried me. Am
I able to do this watchmakers work, work at such a small scale? To put the
chances on my side I decided to do two things: 1) take the watchmaking
correspondence course of the BHI, which gave me a lot of the basic skills,
but which I have to admit I haven’t even finished the first of three years,
and 2) make a complete CAD model of the movement and watch before
attempt at making a movement was to make one with all the pinions in a
straight line. A simplified movement with the largest possible expansion,
to be able to see and work on everything as easily as possible. Even so
that first attempt at a movement was not crowned with success. But one
learns fastest through failure and the attempt to fathom why, despite ones
best efforts, things did not go right. And learn I did.
are posts I made to an Internet watchmaking forum describing the advancement
of my work during the course of almost a year. From a few square pieces of
cold brass to a working movement in a one-of-a-kind case. One of the joys
of this work was the constant changes in skillset needed. From machinist to
watchmaker to silversmith, etc.. As such the work is never boring, never
repetitive, always new challenges and unknowns to be overcome.
below describe the work to make this watch in approximately chronological
order starting with cutting the first pieces of brass. At that time I had
already spent about 6 months making a complete 3D CAD model of the movement
and case along with production drawings of each piece I was going to make.
Without such complete preparation such a project is doomed to failure from
the beginning. And in spite this preparation, there was still enough that
got changed underway or that I discovered that I had forgotten.
I hope that
you enjoy following this odyssey into the very esoteric world of
Watch Nr.2 is finished and beyond my expectations, click here
to see its evolution from bare brass to a finished watch.
Watch Nr.3 is finished, the Dresdener Regulator, inspired by a pocket watch
made by Seyffert in 1807 in Dresden. Click here to see more.
NEW: April 2009
Watch Nr.4 is finished, another the Dresdener Regulator, this time in a rose gold case. Click here to see more.