Category archives: Making a Watch

All about making a watch, the case, dial and hands, but not the movement - I'll leave that to others!

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Making a watch case (part 17), making a movement holder

Making a watch case (part 17), making a movement holder

The watch movement is considerably smaller than the watch case I've made, so it will need some sort of holder to secure it in place. I'm making this ring from solid brass, so a bit different to the other method of making the ring from a bar, soldering and hammering into a ring.

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Making a watch case (part 18), putting on the strap

Making a watch case (part 18), putting on the strap

I've been a bit worried about how to put on the strap for some time. I don't want to drill a hole all the way through the lugs and it seems impossible to get a drill access to put in a blind hole on the inside of each lug.

But, as with nearly all of this project, I don't want to think about it too much! I'll just do what I can and, by experimenting and making mistakes, the solution should present itself. It's rather like thinking with my hands.

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Making a watch case (part 17), tapping some holes

Making a watch case (part 17), tapping some holes

The base fits snugly into the middle watch section but it's going to need some screws to make sure it stays fixed. I'm using the middle watch section to position the mill table, using the previous holes as guides and a wiggler to centre the spindle.

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Making a watch case (part 16), adding some curves

Making a watch case (part 16), adding some curves

I'm going to curve the back section to get rid of the right angled edge. I've written this g-code routine already for the top watch section so I'll use it again. Strictly speaking the back section is not supposed to be an ellipse shape, but if I tweak the parameters then it becomes a very shallow ellipse and will be fine for this initial design.

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Making a watch case (part 15), fitting the back glass

Making a watch case (part 15), fitting the back glass

I'll be using a flat watch glass for the back section which is quite a bit smaller, in diameter, than the front watch glass. First, though, I cut the back ring diameter to match the middle watch section.

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Making a watch case (part 14), cutting the back watch section

Making a watch case (part 14), cutting the back watch section

Now the ring is made it needs to be fit into the middle section.

In this case I'm cutting the inside of the ring first, to get this fully concentric, and clamping the outside. There is no particular preference or benefit of doing the inside or outside first since both should be near circular from the hammering.

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Making a watch case (part13), preparing the back section

Making a watch case (part13), preparing the back section

I make a recess in the middle watch section to take the back piece. I'm cutting down 2.0mm into the back of the middle section to leave a 1.7mm thick shelf inside the middle section. This gives strength and acts as a border between the top and bottom watch sections but I think it could be slimmer in future.

The middle section wall thickness is 0.5mm, so it's important to make sure the middle watch section is properly centered on the lathe before making this cut.

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Making a watch case (part 12), putting in a gasket ring

Making a watch case (part 12), putting in a gasket ring

The watch is going to need some sort of protection against water and dust. I'm not planning on making this a diving watch but some sort of gasket mechanism needs to be put into place.

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Making a watch case (part11), cutting the ellipsoid into the top section

Making a watch case (part11), cutting the ellipsoid into the top section

To cut the ellipsoid shape into the top ring section I've programmed the ellipse in g-code so that the lathe table will follow this shape. The cut gets incrementally closer to the final cut. In the diagram, above, the solid white lines are the tool paths yet to be followed and the red ones are the paths already done.

On the final cut I increase the lathe spindle speed to give the finest finish.

 

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