So here I go,
Let me just first throw you an aerial view of a watch, by breaking it down into its parts.
- Hands – the needles that tells you what time it is right now.
- Dial – The surface on which numbers from 1 to 12 are laid down.
- Crystal – The transparent clear glass that you see on top of every wrist watch. It separates the outer environment from the inner, of the watch dial.
- Band or Strap – The thing that holds the watch on your hand. It can be a leather strap, silicon strap or a stainless-steel strap or a wooden strap like in our case.
- Clasps – Stainless-Steel links that helps you to tighten up your watch or makes your watch fit to your wrist perfectly.
- Crown – Round thing on the right side of your watch, that helps you to adjust the time.
- Movement – The entire internal machinery of the watch.
Anyways, coming back to the business, let’s start this step by step guide on watch making.
Step 1 – Choosing the Wood Type
Since we are here making a wooden watch, so the first thing is to decide on what kind of wood are you looking for.
I’ll keep it simple for you. Just finalize the texture of wood you think will be suitable for your watch.
After all It’s Your Watch.
I am listing out below some of the different types of wood.
There are a lot of different wood types available, so do some research and find the perfect looking wood for yourself.
Step 2 – Preparing the Watch Parts
After finalizing the wood, you must make sure that you have all the following parts, before I move on to the next step of watch making.
Also known as the entire internal machinery of the watch. There are several popular quartz movement in the market, like, Chinese quartz Movement (around $2), Miyota Quartz Movement (around $5) and Swiss Quartz Movement (around $9).
I prefer Miyota Movement as it is similar in performance to that of Swiss Quartz Movement.
Miyota is also known as Japanese quartz movement.
Was that too much of a geeky stuff?
I know you must be wondering that at the beginning of this post I just introduced you to some of the parts of the watches, and now I am making it more complicated. Then, believe me I am not.
Everything I said about the parts at the starting of this post was true.
I am just trying to give you a little brief as this is going to help you in future, to identify the best parts that you want in your watches.
So, in a quick and simple language.
You need a machinery for your watch, besides having an external body.
If you have any question about, what is a quartz watch? Then, always remember it is the internal machinery of the watch that runs it with a battery. I mean, a watch cell. That’s it.
An Additional knowledge bite: There are two types of movement that you can have for your watch. One is the quartz movement and the other is mechanical watch movement. The former I just explained you. As the latter is concerned, just remember it doesn’t need any battery to operate.
Here goes your first part,on how to make a wooden watch..
Choose your movement and buy it.
This is the second part that you must have. It’s the crown, which helps you to adjust the time on your watch.
A crown is connected to the internal machinery with the help of a tiny pipe like thing, called as a winding stem.
This part, again I explained you because I wanted you to know about it.
Anyways, you don’t have to purchase it. Because you can get it in a complete set of quartz movement.
Whichever quartz you choose, it will come along with it.
Now you just need few other things, before I can move on to the process of making the wooden watch.
Rest of the parts
- Watch Crystal
- Watch Band Clasps
- Watch Batteries
- Watch Band Pins (to connect the strap of the watch with face dial)
- Watch Hands
- And a Watch Gasket (it protects your watch from dust, water and other residues)
- You can either buy you own watch bands, like a leather strap or a silicone strap or a wooden strap.
Tip – try looking for an old unused watch, if you have any at your home. Or any watch that you are about to giveaway to someone else or just about to throw it in the dump. You can disassemble the parts carefully and use it to make an entire new one, here with me.
Till now, it might be a bit boring for you.
But, let me assure you that the steps from here on are really very easy and fun to read.
Step 3 – Preparing and Planning
Decide on the size of the dial, that you want your watch to have.
Like, 32mm, 34mm, 38mm, 40mm, 42mm, 44mm, 46mm and 50mm. To get a visual image of how big your watch must be, try to google the sizes I just mentioned.
This size is going to be the inner diameter of the watch. So, make sure it matches the diameter of your watch crystal. Use the ruler.
Once you are the done with the size just use a ruler and compass and draw a circle with diameter of your choice on a paper.
Once the circle is drawn, cut the circle out from the paper and then, place it on the wood you are using to make the watch.
Draw an outline along the boundary of the circle cut-out you just placed on the wood.
Mark the outline accurately. Once done, create another circular boundary, using the compass and the ruler. But this time, the radius should be larger than the previous circle, you just marked on the wood.
This is going to be the wooden boundary of your watch face.
After making all the plans on the wood, use you watch crystal to make sure that the size you are about to cut is accurate. The watch crystal must completely sit on the inner circle, covering it properly.
Cut the wood carefully along your circular markings.
And, you will get the circular ring.
Step 4 – Visualizing the Plan
Let me give you a rough idea about the dimensions you will now cut out on the wood.
The thickness of the quartz movement ranges from 0.70mm to 2.35mm, depending on the movement.
Thickness of the crystal is also the same as that of the movement, depending on the brand.
To make things easier to understand from here, I will be considering, for example, that the size of your watch is 42mm.
Now, all I need to cut out is 2 hollow wooden rings with an inner diameter of 42mm and an outer diameter of 44mm, and the thickness of around 2mm.
Yeah, so just cut out the two rings from the wood with the dimensions stated above.
The next thing you must do is to cut two circles of the diameter 44mm from the wooden sheet.
It’s time when I must give you a visual image to where exactly we are heading to.
By now, you should have to wooden circle cut outs of 44mm diameter each and 2 wooden circular rings.
Take a moment to see this yourself, whatever I am about to tell you.
First wooden circle cut out sits at the bottom, then comes the circular ring. After that comes your second wooden circle cut out and then again comes your circular ring at the top.
The top opening of this arrangement is where the Watch hands and the numbers will be drawn, which can later be covered from a watch crystal.
It kind of looks like a sandwich shape, and that is how it is.
Before we move further, just quickly watch this video on How to Make a Wooden Watch. It’s a 3-minute video on making a wooden watch. In this guide, we will be using ready-made straps to make wooden watch.
Step 5 – Sanding the Wooden Parts
All you now must do is use sand paper to sand out all the pieces you have, to smoothen the rough edges and surface.
Step 6 – Finalizing the Watch
Take any of the two circular wood cut-outs and make a tiny hole in it, just so that the quartz movement can easily be able to sit on it.
After that, place the Watch hands on the other side of the circular wood cut out. It’s time that you glue both the circular wooden rings on each side of the circular wood cut-out.
Now, the side facing the Watch hands will be covered by a watch crystal using a glue and watch gasket and the side where the watch machinery is sitting on (the back side of the watch), will get covered using the other wood cut-out. You don’t have to glue the back side of the watch. Instead, try to drill or create super tiny holes and use screws to cover the back side.
Use a watch gasket at the back of the watch also, as it provides protection from oil, water, and other residues from getting inside of the movement.
Step 7 – Touch Ups
Before placing the watch crystal on the top, make sure you mark the numbers using a blade or any sharp object that will give you an idea of what time it is.
Now, all you must do is attach your watch straps. Do some tiny drilling on both sides of the watch.
And there you go.
Your watch is ready.
I hope you enjoyed reading this step by step guide on how to make a wooden watch.