Another watch design project!
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  1. #1
    Member Nadim's Avatar
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    Another watch design project!

    Hi all,

    I'm new to the forum and I registered to share a project of mine with you guys and maybe get some help and/or feedback.

    Watches have been a passion of mine for some time now. I've also been doing design and creative work for many years, and I have an engineering background. When you put all this together, you can guess what the result is. I've decided to design and build my own watch.

    I'm still in the early stages of the project. I've touched base with a few OEM manufacturers and the project seems totally feasible. I believe, since I'm still learning a lot about watchmaking, that it would be much easier to go with one single OEM manufacturer than source all the different parts from different specialists and have someone assemble the watches. Much less room for problems when dealing with one single company.

    Right now I'm finalizing the design. I've been looking at a lot of watches, reading a lot about the history and the different styles. I have decided to design a pilot style watch, simply because it is a style that I like a lot. So I'm also learning a lot about airplanes of all kinds, flight instruments, the military, etc...

    I have decided to do 1 design with 2 different finishes: brushed stainless steel, and black PVD finish. The style is highly influenced by flight instruments, and the original B-uhr and will therefore have similarities with brands such as Laco, Steinhart, IWC etc...

    As for the strap, I have a thing for suede and its rich texture. Dark brown suede, and tan suede is a must. I will see what shade exactly will go nicely with the dial and case once the design is done. Is there a reason why so few brands offer suede bracelets? Is it because suede requires more care and maintenance?

    As for the movement, ETA was my #1 choice, but apparently the movements are hard to find now and are insanely expensive. One OEM manufacturer has suggested using a Seagull movement, the ST19. After reading a lot about this movement and its history, I have come to appreciate it and I'm actually excited about using this movement in my watch.

    Now you may be wondering how I plan on tackling this project without putting myself into too much debt. My plan is to design the watch, have a prototype made, and put the project on Kickstarter to collect the funds prior to ordering a batch of 300 watches. I've already had a successful campaign on Kickstarter (with a totally unrelated project), and I'm confident this watch project will be even more successful! I want to keep everything open so that if someone else wants to do the same thing, they will have a lot of information already on hand.

    Here are a few mock-ups of a few variations of the design as it sits right now. I'm still tweaking it and I'm still not decided on a few aspects as you can see the differences in the 4 mockups below.



    What do you guys think about it so far? Looking forward to hearing your feedback!

  2. #2
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    Re: Another watch design project!

    Hello Nadin,take a look at the WUSF project watch,look for it in the Chinese watches,the forum does this every year they do about 150 watches ,see if you find it OK good luck with your project I like watch # 2 and keep me in mind if you ever do your watch.

    jorgef2002

  3. #3
    Member vdub007's Avatar
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    Re: Another watch design project!

    the number 1 looks good!

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  5. #4
    Member Perseus's Avatar
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    Re: Another watch design project!

    I love two dial chrono's. I'd love to see a post with the link to kickststarter when it launches.


  6. #5
    Member mpalmer's Avatar
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    Re: Another watch design project!

    I don't want to rain on your parade, but I want to warn you against this. If you decide to undertake this venture, make sure that you can afford to loose all the money you have invested and not have it adversely effect your life in any permanent way. The overwhelming majority of people who start down this path are not successful. If you can afford to loose the money invested, or a significant portion of it, then go ahead because designing your own watch may provide you enough joy to offset any losses you will incur.
    "The stuff that dreams are made of…" - RGM ‘801 EE Motor Barrel’

  7. #6
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    Re: Another watch design project!

    Good luck with your bold venture.
    Let us know when you have put something together.

  8. #7
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    Re: Another watch design project!

    My vote goes for #2. Let me know if the project goes ahead.

  9. #8
    Member tigerpac's Avatar
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    Re: Another watch design project!

    #4 for me please!

  10. #9
    Member Nadim's Avatar
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    Re: Another watch design project!

    Thanks all for the feedback, it is really appreciated.

    I forgot to mention, the case has a 44mm diameter. I will post a mockup of the watch with the black PVD case soon to give you an idea of how it'll look.

    jorgef2002, thanks, I will have a look at the WUSF project. Seems interesting!

    mpalmer, as I explained in my first post, my plan is to have a prototype made (well, 2 prototypes, 1 in brushed stainless, 1 in black PVD), the cost is reasonable, and I can definitely take the hit for this. With the prototypes in hand, I will try to raise funds on Kickstarter to be able to pay for a short production run (300 units seems to be the minimum order quantity with most OEM manufacturers). If it fails, well, I'll have 2 nice watches :P If it is successful, it will be the start of a new brand :)

  11. #10
    Member Levelman's Avatar
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    I like #2, but I'm not moved by pilot watches anymore as they all look exactly alike. I have to be able to read the name on the dial to know who makes what.


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    akasnowmaaan likes this.

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