Why you should build your own watch from scratch

Why you should build your own watch from scratch

Making your watch with the help of a watchmaking kit can satisfy your creativity. Watch enthusiasts can explore a new dimension in electronics by DIY Watchmaking kit. Watchmaking is an adventure that people of all ages equally enjoy. There are various reasons for which one can use a watch building kit. 

 

Many people can use a DIY watch kit as a hobby. It gives them a pleasure to build their watch on their own. You can also gift this watchmaking kit to someone on important days. These watches will be a pleasant surprise to your friends and relatives. Finally, it is fun to try something new using a DIY watch kit in your free time. 

 

It is a special feeling to wear a watch built by you with the help of a watchmaking kit. You will have an extraordinary sense of this watch. Everyone receives regular alerts as a gift but receiving a DIY Watchmaking kit will always be memorable. It is always satisfying to implement something we have learned in school in our daily life, like assembling a watch building kit. Some people find building a DIY watch kit as a source of entertainment. 

 

Watch lovers can enjoy a new experience with the launch of the latest watch from their favorite company. The best part is that you can build it yourself! This article will guide you through all the steps to create your own unique, personalized watch.

 

The first step is to select the materials you will need. You will need a watch case, movement, dial, hands, and strap. You may want to choose a replacement battery as well.

 

Next, you will need some tools for the job. A few of these include pliers, a screwdriver, and a hammer.

 

The watch case is the foundation of your watch. It is essential to select the correct size and shape for your project. The movement is the engine of the watch and determines its accuracy. The dial tells time, while the hands indicate the time. The strap holds it all together and completes the look of your watch.

 

Once you have selected your materials, it is time to begin building your watch. The first step is to open the movement case by removing screws with a screwdriver. Be careful not to lose the screws.

 

Use pliers to remove the dial from its case, and set it aside. Next, insert a battery into your movement by following the instructions in your kit.

 

Line up the movement with the case and use screws from the kit to attach it. Be sure to put your watch back together in the same order you took it apart.

 

Now it is time to add the dial. Align it with the movement hands-on before you close up the case.

 

Place your dial back into its spot and use pliers to attach it with screws from the kit.

 

Attach the hands of your watch to the movement by pushing them through from behind. Be sure that you line up with all three marks on the dial.

 

Your watch is now complete! You can attach the strap by opening up the clasp and slipping it through the hole in the case.

 

Now you have your very own custom watch! You can enjoy it for years to come, but remember that this project requires patience and attention to detail. 


How much does it cost to build your own watch?


Short answer: it depends.


Long answer: well, if you take the cheap route (DIY) and do everything yourself (design, circuit board layout, etc.), you can get a custom watch for under $300. If you want someone to take care of the parts & labor for you, expect your project price to be in the $3,00-4,00 range. Either way, you can't expect to get a high-quality wristwatch with an in-house movement for peanuts.


In this article, I plan to go over some of the components and labor prices involved when building a custom watch from scratch. The goal is not to make you an instant watchmaking expert but to give you a ballpark figure on what it might cost to build a watch that would meet your expectations.


Of course, if the featured project will be a limited edition piece, all bets are off – I won't even try to guess how much something like that will cost. And obviously, prices go up exponentially if you're planning on using more expensive materials (gold, diamonds, etc.). All I'm going to give here are the prices of components and labor involved in building a timepiece for someone who isn't afraid of putting in some work.


I don't actually know how much these hands cost because I didn't buy them myself, but I have seen them offered online for around 25 bucks. They are hands that you can bend to the shape of the watch case, which means they are not particularly heavy-duty or fancy-looking. The nice thing about these hands is that they are already made you'd expect for this kind of project, so there's no need to improvise when choosing indicators.


You can choose from different grades of movements, depending on how much you want to spend. For example, you can get a bare Swiss ETA 2824-2 for around $130, but the more common choice would be an ETA 2824-2 "Elite" (standard grade), which sells for about $250.


The Elites are guaranteed to be accurate and reliable by their manufacturer, and they come with a 42-hour power reserve. This is more than enough for your typical one-watch guy, but if you want to increase the power reserve (to 72 hours, for example), it will cost you an additional $100.


The price difference between a 2824-2 and an ETA 2892-A2 (a chronograph caliber) is only around $25. Still, for that, you get an extra jewel (21 vs. 24) and a higher beat rate (28,800 vs. 25,200 BPH). Note: if your watchmaker has access to the movements, the price of the parts should be much lower than what I'm listing here.


There are plenty of other choices out there, but they're not necessarily better. If you're looking for a basic movement that won't cost you an arm and a leg, look no further than the ETA 2824-2.


The next thing you need to figure out is how much it will cost for your watchmaker to actually build the movement into the case. This is where things start getting tricky because there are many variables at play here – where are you located, who will do the work, etc.? Some things I can tell you, though:


If you're getting a third-party movement and putting it into a generic case, be prepared to pay $75-100 for the labor. Suppose your watchmaker is more high-end and has specialized equipment (such as specific machines or training). In that case, you might get away with paying less. If any special requirements need to be met (for example, a specific feature in the case), then you might be looking at an extra charge.


Next, if your watchmaker fits a custom dial on the movement, add another $75 for that. It's definitely worth it, though, because you can create something one of a kind that will express your personality and style perfectly.


Suppose you are planning on using a custom dial. In that case, I'd recommend getting your hands on some paper or cardboard and making several mockups before having the real thing made. A cheap way to test out the design is to print it out on regular paper, cut it into several strips, and stick them behind the crystal one by one. Having a mockup will allow you to catch minor mistakes early on, which means less frustration and more time for beer drinking!


A word of advice: if you're having custom dials made, I'd suggest finding an experienced watchmaker in your area who is familiar with the process. That way, if you have a problem with it, they can fix it right away and save you from having to deal with shipping the watch back and forth, which will eat up time that could be better spent enjoying your beer!


It's also worth mentioning that you will need some extra parts if you don't have the tools to make your own bracelet. If you want a decent one, prepare to spend about $220 on the clasp, pins, etc. This is not as much as it may seem because those parts will also be available for future repairs (so they eventually pay for themselves).


So now we've got everything we need to make our watch run. That's the hard part over with now, right? All that's left is adding some bezel action!


Well… not quite. There are a couple of things you need to consider before deciding whether or not it makes sense for you to have bezels custom made:


First off there are the prices of the materials involved. A sandwich dial will cost you around $45-60, a printed one is more like $130, and engraved metal ones get up to $350. 


Second, what are your watchmaking skills like? Would you prefer to have someone else make the bezels on your behalf? On the other hand, if you actually enjoy doing this sort of thing, then more power to you! There are plenty of forums and websites out there that will help guide you through the process.


If you do decide on making your own bezels, then here are some tips to help things go smoothly:


It's better to stick with simple printing or sandwich dials at first. When it comes to engraving, you want to make sure that the metal is thick enough (at least 1mm). If it isn't, don't bother trying because it will crack easily! Some metals are stronger than others, but if you're using copper or brass, I wouldn't recommend working with anything thinner than 2mm.


Printing your dials is easier in some ways since you have more design freedom and can use any font or image. However, if you mess up the size of the dial, it won't look good at all. Die-cutting the paper is also a delicate process, so you need to be careful when handling it. If you're going with printing, I recommend using a vinyl cutter and/or vector graphics software (the only drawback is that they cost money).


Sandwich dials can be pretty interesting to make since they use an actual watch part as the base material. Now, this option is not exactly cheap either. Still, you could at least mix things up by using other components like bezels or movements (the latter should be done with extreme caution, though).


The best thing about sandwich dials is that you can choose your parts before ordering supplies. Not only that, but since they offer some degree of customization, they are also less likely to crack. The downside is that if you get it wrong, then the end result will look pretty bad, but I guess that's what practice is for!


Sandwich dials are not all that popular on their own, so there isn't a whole lot written on the subject. Also, if you want to do some engraving, you're more likely to get results with printed dials (since it's easier to get things done on that end).


Printed sandwich dials are pretty decent for practicing, so I'd recommend starting out with them first. Just remember to take your time and double-check everything before you start working with the metal.


Frankly speaking, engraving can be pretty tricky if you're not used to it. You'll need all the help that you can get too, so I recommend buying one of those magnifying glasses with LED lights in them (they usually run for around $15). They are pretty handy when doing engraving, so they're worth getting, in my opinion.


If you want to have any hope of making your own dials, then you'll need to either learn how to do engraving or find someone else who can. The non-watchmaking skills required are minimal when working with metal, but it's still not something you can learn overnight.


Some suppliers offer engraving services too, so it may be worth starting there first if you want to take the easy way out. There's also a neat workaround where you can use your laser cutter for dials (which I did), but that only really applies to printed dials.


I had done some engraving in the past when I made my own dials, so if you want to know more about it, please feel free to ask. Just remember that it's always better to try things yourself before asking someone else for help!


If you're looking for a beginner project where you can practice making your own dials, I recommend buying vintage watches. It'll be easier to take them apart, and you won't feel guilty about breaking them (unlike if they were brand new). The downside is that they cost money instead of costing you time, but at least the parts are collectible.


Of course, it might have been luck, but you can give yourself a better chance of success by buying watches in sets or with other parts.


I've only ever bought vintage watches, so I don't really know what newer ones are like, though there is one known brand that offers dials with their watches (which is where I got mine). They are not premium in any way, but they're decent materials that'll hold up to some mild crafting.


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