Tag: UTC Watch

Watch Project Update

I’m endeavoring to make my own watch, which actually means making all the components that encapsulate the actual mechanics of a watch. The mechanics of the watch are already sorted, in the form of an Eterna Calibre 39 manual wind.

The component design for the case has been reworked and refined, and the main case size reduced to 45mm. While still large bu purist standards, it’s a comfortable size that most people could wear.

For the sake of visualising the design, I modelled up a decent representation of the movement. Previously I just used a photo of the movement mapped on poly which looked terrible!

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I also realised the size of the leather strap & bund looked cool but were actually impossibly long, so that has been resized and rescaled a bit.

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I’m now pretty close to a final 3D print run to make sure at all goes together and feels right before pressing ahead with getting the prototype CNC’d in 316L

Watch Project

[fancy_header2 variation=”orange”]UTC Aviator GMT [/fancy_header2]

[fancy_header3 variation=”orange”]Introduction[/fancy_header3]

Over a year ago now I started out with the idea of designing a watch. On the face of it the basic premise is easy enough, but the further you go along, the more you realise how many factors you have to account for, not least the specifics of which movement will be used. Quartz or mechanical, Chinese, Japanese, or Swiss.

What became apparent pretty quickly was how insanely expensive it is to make a watch. The costs are either astronomical for mass production, or insanely high for low quantity production. The latter does have the benefit of needing less capital from the outset at least.

 

[fancy_header3 variation=”orange”]The Design[/fancy_header3]

I knew roughly what I wanted when I did the initial design concept. This rough drawing features the design cues that will remain throughout the development process.

As I worked on the design, I gradually came to realise an easy pitfall of digital design, in as much as when working on virtual components, it’s easy to loose focus on scale. The side retainers which hold the strap bars in place are impossibly small. Ultimately this will lead to the design changing from the sleek slimline design to a much more rugged and masculine item.

 

[fancy_header3 variation=”orange”]Evolution[/fancy_header3]

This was the first shaded render, and really did hit home the scale issue. As the design evolved, the main case shape would prevail, and the strap bars too, but everything else would have to change to be viable for manufacture. It’s fair to say that when I drew up my initial design, I was overly confident that I had cracked it on the first try. Oh dear!

 

The first and biggest change was the strap bar retainers. To be machinable they needed to be much much bigger, and the also had to be secured with top and bottom fasteners, not screwed in from the side as I had originally envisaged.

 

[fancy_header3 variation=”orange”]The “Final” Design[/fancy_header3]

After a great deal of tweaking, adjusting, and noodling, this is the design as it stands, and in all likelihood it is not going to change much more. As can be seen, the design now features a prominent crown guard, along with totally redesigned hands, replacing the IWC type hands. The cheesehead screws have given way to slightly more pleasing Torx fasteners.

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I will soon detail more the construction of the watch, in respect of the movement which will be used, and the manufacture costs for a limited run product.