OLD THREAD - Design Thread 6: Case Material & Finish
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  1. #1
    Member Uwe W.'s Avatar
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    Off Topic post OLD THREAD - Design Thread 6: Case Material & Finish

    Project THOR – Design Thread 6

    Case Material and Finish

    So far we have established five key elements of the Project THOR design through our discussions and votes: our watch will be an original design inspired by jet-age cockpit clocks, limited to a cost of €1000, and will be powered by a Soprod 9335 GMT movement housed in the Military 42 case.

    The next step will be to determine the material the Military 42 case should be made from, and which finish it should have.

    Take time to examine the following two lists of available options and decide which combination of material and finish would best convey the look and feel of an aviation cockpit clock. Under the lists you will find notes from Triton, our project designer, who addresses this design step; you should carefully read his comments and factor them into your decision process.

    Finally, we ask that everyone keep the discussion on topic. Other design matters, such as the bezel and crown, are not a part of this step and will be covered in a subsequent design thread.


    Available materials for the Military 42 case:
    • Stainless steel
    • Bronze

    Name:  Case Materials.jpg
Views: 608
Size:  68.5 KB




    Available finishes for the Military 42 case:
    • Brushed (matte look)
    • Polished (glossy look)
    • Media-blasted (textured look)
    • DLC (black)
    • PVD (multiple colours available)



    From the Designer’s Desk:

    "The Military 42? Good choice! The case is readily available in stainless steel, but I've also included bronze as an option. Bronze would be a special order, but it would be available for when the project reaches the production stage.

    The bezel on the Military 42 is not part of the case, so it is possible to design one different to the one currently being used. Adding a turning mechanism is not an option as too many changes would need to be made to the case itself.

    Concerning the budget, bronze as a case material is more expensive than stainless steel, roughly 50% more, so I would advise against wasting part of the limited budget to hide the bronze by covering it with a tough, scratch-resistant DLC coating. It would take an immense effort to achieve a worn-off (patina) effect with a DLC-coating.

    The choice of movement used up more than half of the budget already; however, the Military 42 case is fortunately one of the simpler constructions, which makes it rather budget-friendly – even if bronze was the chosen material. Adding machining/tooling cost by designing a new bezel, and/or a new crown, would have a greater effect.

    With all this in mind, I would highly recommend not changing many case components as the machining costs are rather high and would eat up a large amount of the remaining budget, thus limiting future choices for dial and hands."


    Examples of a few combinations of materials and finishes:

    Name:  Case Material and Finish Combinations.jpg
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    Last edited by Uwe W.; April 25th, 2015 at 04:46.


  2. #2
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    Re: Design Thread 6: Case Material & Finish

    Thank you for the helpful preamble. It helps put things in perspective. So while bronze would be more expensive, it's still not out of the realm of possibility to do. My initial suggestions would possibly to do a DLC stainless steel. Something that might be unique might be to do a SS or DLC (steel) case with bronze bezel. As it patinas, it will give the watch a little more character. I think I will be happy no matter which way we go, though.


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    Re: Design Thread 6: Case Material & Finish

    Hot dog! Was anyone else excited to see Uwe's post? Thanks team for all the behind-the-scenes work.

    As a visual guy, I would love to see examples of all the options. Is this possible? Sorry if this is extra work...

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    Re: Design Thread 6: Case Material & Finish

    Very helpful to get advice from the designer. Puts things into perspective.
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    Re: Design Thread 6: Case Material & Finish

    I'm going to struggle here - love bronze but is it right for this project?

    I also find things hard to visualize.

    Would using bronze unduly limit other options further down the line?


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    Re: Design Thread 6: Case Material & Finish

    Thanks, Triton, for the info...VERY useful description. As always, thanks to Uwe & CzechMate.

    It's stainless for my choice. Bronze just doesn't do it for me...and there's the cost issue.
    I could be swayed on the finish.
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    Re: Design Thread 6: Case Material & Finish

    Just getting my first impression/gut feeling recorded before all the campaigning begins. I think media blasted stainless sounds cool. Cheaper with stainless, but still get a unique finish that I think would make it look a little more "rugged" like cockpit clock should be. Possibly with a bronze bezel, that sounds kind of cool.
    Last edited by smatrixt; April 23rd, 2015 at 00:10.
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    Re: Design Thread 6: Case Material & Finish

    Great to get some design insight from Triton. It really helps frame the discussion. Many thanks.

    as I've said before...'Bronze? I just don't get it and I don't feel it'. So for me it's SS. Factor in the budget issues and It's a No brainer.

    (I might be persuaded to go for a bronze bezel in the later rounds, we'll have to see what we decide here, but I'll need some convincing and as I'm also rubbish at visualising things, some killer pics will be required!)

    DLC? I like the look but I hate scratches even more than I hate bronze, and I worry it will scratch too easily. But, I'm open to persuasion on this one.

    I'm looking forward to this thread because I think I can be turned. Bring it on guys!
    Last edited by Macdaz; April 23rd, 2015 at 00:17.
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    Re: Design Thread 6: Case Material & Finish

    Uwe, Frankie and Simon seem to be always working in the background. I can just barely imagine all the thinking and weighing of options they must have done before presenting it to us. While our impatience works, these guys toil to get us the best and this is not just praise, but it's visible in the work when a thread opens up to our salivating minds. Honoured to be one of your audience here, mates.

    I have always loved bronze and I still do. The only thing that could put me off a full bronze is the budget issue, well highlighted by Simon.

    More so the budget needs to be considered because of the tooling/machining cost we could be paying for the bezel. And we should be paying this.

    Now I said this about the bezel because Simon has clearly given us an option and I would love to take it, personally, and go for the rigged bezel of the earlier military. Just for the rigged bezel and to keep cost safe even with the rigged bezel I would be totally ok with a ss case.

    Media blasted I don't understand well. Sand blasted i do understand. So I don't know if it's the same or not.

    Yes an ss case matte or media (maybe, if seen) and a bronze RIGGED bezel would seal the deal for me.

    I don't think polished really would suit our theme, in my limited thinking, so that option is about out for me.

    I am only voicing my opinion and i feel it could change considerably as we see more thoughts on this from more knowledgeable and tasteful people here. Oh, we have plenty of them here, literally all of you, good lads.
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    Re: Design Thread 6: Case Material & Finish

    This is going to be pretty straightforward for me. I'm not a fan of bronze so I'm going for SS, factoring in the budget and the possibility to change the bezel later makes it even easier IMO.
    I have no real favorite finish, kinda like 'em all, but a media(sand) blasted finish will look best with our theme IMO. I could be persuaded in either of the other finishes though.
    Last edited by twintop; April 23rd, 2015 at 00:42.
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