Need advice: I want to assemble a custom vintage watch
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Thread: Need advice: I want to assemble a custom vintage watch

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  1. #1
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    Need advice: I want to assemble a custom vintage watch

    Hello all. I'd like to recreate a facsimile of my existing wristwatch (pictured below) with:
    - identical case (steel but can consider 18K). Can you tell me about this case style? and
    - movement (Landeron 42, but can consider valjoux or venus three-register equivalents), and
    - a custom-printed BLACK dial (somewhat like the second one pictured below, but with a telemetre added). I can provide the vector design file for the dial.

    I'd be interested in enlisting the services of a watchmaker for this. Can anyone recommend a watchmaker with an eye for finding parts such as these? Thanks everyone.

    My existing watch.
    Name:  PastedGraphic-4.jpg
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    Example of dial, but with telemetre added:
    Name:  marvin-1.jpg
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    Last edited by sookoon; June 4th, 2015 at 21:05.

  2. #2
    Member mkws's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice: I want to assemble a custom vintage watch

    Well, I guess you simply need to find NOS generic parts, and of course an "orphaned" Landeron. Case and dial will have to fit the movement, so you have to look for components to fit this movement only. There are companies which make custom dials, can't recommend any, as I haven't ever been interested in getting one, so get a ruined dial to match the movement and send it to such a company. Google will help you in finding one.
    I honestly don't know, why would one want to make a copy of a watch already owned. The concept smells like counterfeiting to me.
    Unless you just wanna have a custom watch which won't be pretending to be something else. Then it'll be fine. But still the concept of making a watch of generic parts entirely, with all the possible costs of such a project, might result with costs higher than buying an entire chrono on eBay.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Need advice: I want to assemble a custom vintage watch

    Quote Originally Posted by mkws View Post
    The concept smells like counterfeiting to me.
    Unless you just wanna have a custom watch which won't be pretending to be something else.
    No, nothing funny going on. Just love my watch so much that I want a black-dialed version of it. No logo or brand name to fool anyone, and no plans to sell it.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Need advice: I want to assemble a custom vintage watch

    OK. It won't be easy to make it though. Looking for parts will take a lot of time, I think.
    I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it.
    Edgar Allan Poe

    If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
    George Orwell

    (...)but that's what mankind is like: they only prize what they no longer possess.
    Erich Maria Remarque

    For any inquiries regarding vintage Doxa watches, please read the highlighted text in my vintage Doxa thread. Sorry, but I will not respond to PMs on the matter.

  6. #5
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice: I want to assemble a custom vintage watch

    You'd probably be better off to start with a new Valjoux, for which you can source cases and sterile dials fairly easily.
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    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  7. #6
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    Re: Need advice: I want to assemble a custom vintage watch

    You may well be able to supply the vector graphics for the dial, but someone would still have to burn a plate to print the dial for you, which is quite expensive. And, of course, once they have the plate, they'd still have to print it.

    In my experience, most 'proper' watchmakers have plenty of work to do already that doesn't require hours of research into sourcing parts. What budget did you imagine for this project? If you assume that a typical overhaul of a movement takes a couple of hours and you know what you would pay for that work, then I think you could safely say this is not a realistic ambition, unless you are a rich man. There seem to be very few of them on this forum.

    As Lew Grade said about his own, over-budget, film Raise the Titanic, "It would have been cheaper to lower the Atlantic."

    Quote Originally Posted by sookoon View Post
    >snip
    - a custom-printed BLACK dial (somewhat like the second one pictured below, but with a telemetre added). I can provide the vector design file for the dial.

    I'd be interested in enlisting the services of a watchmaker for this. Can anyone recommend a watchmaker with an eye for finding parts such as these? Thanks everyone.
    busmatt likes this.

  8. #7
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    Re: Need advice: I want to assemble a custom vintage watch

    If budget is an issue, it's not impossible to do this yourself at home. Its tricky maybe, but doable, to print the dial yourself with just a normal inkjet printer onto special paper to make your own custom decal. I've never tried doing anything as detailed as a watch dial, but in theory I think it should be possible as long as you have a decent printer etc.
    busmatt and sookoon like this.

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