Assembling a wrist watch?

Mr. Time

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Hello all!

First off, moderators if this subject matter is in the wrong section of the forum please move it to the appropriate area?

Really don't know exactly where this subject was to be posted at so anyway here is a Christmas gift that I received yesterday.

For me this is unique because this will be my very first time assembling a wrist watch.

I had never heard of the company ROTATE?.....anyone here in the forum heard of them before?


Anyway....looking forward to assembling it!

All-In-One Watchmaking kit.jpeg

All-In-One Watchmaking kit ii.jpeg

All-In-One Watchmaking kit ii.jpeg
 

glenhead

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That's a pretty cool gift! I didn't even know that such a product existed. It's a very interesting business model.

The website says the movement is a Seagull ST3600. While you'll certainly find people who reflexively slam all Chinese movements, the Seagulls I've worked on (including an ST3600) have all been pretty well made and have been strong runners.

Advice on approaching the kit: Take your time, follow the directions closely (and I really hope they're as user-friendly as they say they are), and don't force anything. If they included finger cots in the kit, USE THEM. If they didn't include cots then go to the butcher counter at the grocery store (or somewhere like that) and beg a few pairs of plastic or latex gloves from them. Don't touch any of the inside parts with your bare fingers (or any other skin).

I'll look forward to seeing your comments about how the kit goes and how the watch performs. It certainly is a nice-looking piece. Best of luck!

Glen
 

Rick Hufnagel

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That is pretty neat. Definitely the st-3600. My experience with this movement is the same as Glenhead. I like them and wear one often.

Should be a fun project! There are a few assemble your own watch kits available around the internet. It seems to be getting popular.
 

Mr. Time

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If you clicked the website link that I posted in my original post, you are able to download an instructional guide, etc. on building your watch kit and also provide another instructional tutorial video as well.



All-In-One Watchmaking kit iii.jpeg
 
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Roy Gardner

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I've seen where simpler kits are available from Alex and Timeless Creations. I think the Rotate kit is more serious, and can be ordered with the movement disassembled.
 
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roughbarked

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In the video she's guessing the stem length and chopping bits off. This usually ends up with the stem a thread or two short.
Far easier to measure that and cut while the stem is in the watch in the case.

All I hope is that nobody does it the same way she does with railway tracks on the hands and little regard for breaking off the subseconds pivot.
 

Mr. Time

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Well here it is!

I finally set aside the time to dedicate all my effort into starting and accomplishing my attempt at this watch making kit.

I am proud to post that it is complete.

No not perfect but definitely "Perfect" to me.

The whole task took me approximately 2-1/2 to 3 hours tops.

THE WRIGHT watch from ROTATE All in one watchmaking kit iii.jpeg

THE WRIGHT watch from ROTATE All in one watchmaking kit.jpeg

THE WRIGHT watch from ROTATE All in one watchmaking kit ii.jpeg

THE WRIGHT watch from ROTATE All in one watchmaking kit iv.jpeg
 
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Rick Hufnagel

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Looking good! Nice dial.

Pretty cool feeling when you get everything together. How about those tabs to secure the movement to the case?? They are no fun!

You can trim that stem down to get your crown on properly. I like to screw the crown all all the way onto the stem and insert it like you have shown. Then measure with a caliper the distance between the crown and case. Then pull it back apart and cut that much off of the stem. Maybe cut a little less than that and then check it and do the final wee bit with a stone to give you a nice end on the stem and prevent you for taking too much off. If you cut too much, then you are stuck waiting for a new stem to arrive. Learned this the hard way.

Watch out, building your own watch is a slippery slope! I fell down that slope a few years ago and ended up with a handful of watches. It's too easy with these 6498s because they make all sorts of dials, hands and cases for them.
There are a few in this media folder sorry about the photo quality, it was an old camera at the time.


I wear them often. No regrets! Haha.
 

roughbarked

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Unscrew the crown. fit the stem and push it in to the winding position. Grasp the stem at the outside edge of the pipe with your end nippers, pull the stem out to the hands set position and snip. This should be almost exact apart from a little filing to remove any burr. The action of pulling the stem out before cutting, throws the excess force into placing the stem back into the winding position rather than snapping or bending the stem.
Then take the stem out, put it in a pinvice, touch it with the file and screw the crown on. Test it in the watch. It should be correct. If the crown had a longer thread pipe, it may be a different measurement. Of course, if you are timid, you could cut it a fraction longer just to be sure to be sure. ;)
 
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Mr. Time

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Looking good! Nice dial.

Pretty cool feeling when you get everything together. How about those tabs to secure the movement to the case?? They are no fun!

You can trim that stem down to get your crown on properly. I like to screw the crown all all the way onto the stem and insert it like you have shown. Then measure with a caliper the distance between the crown and case. Then pull it back apart and cut that much off of the stem. Maybe cut a little less than that and then check it and do the final wee bit with a stone to give you a nice end on the stem and prevent you for taking too much off. If you cut too much, then you are stuck waiting for a new stem to arrive. Learned this the hard way.

Watch out, building your own watch is a slippery slope! I fell down that slope a few years ago and ended up with a handful of watches. It's too easy with these 6498s because they make all sorts of dials, hands and cases for them.
There are a few in this media folder sorry about the photo quality, it was an old camera at the time.


I wear them often. No regrets! Haha.

Yes those "tabs" were definitely a challenge!

I found it enjoyable assembling my watch kit.

Though out of the whole entire watch kit, there were just 3 areas (at least for me) of the kit that gave me the most challenging attempts.

1.) Cutting of the Stem for the Crown.
2.) Inserting and installing those Tabs with their screws.
3.) Installing the Seconds Hand.

Other than those three things...everything else was a breeze.

I even purchased an extra watch band.

I also contacted Rotate Watches and gave my feedback, opinions, recommendations, reviews, etc. about it all, along with a few pictures of the watch itself finished.

Yeah I going to have to really watch myself and not get carried away!

Thanks for your kind words and post as well as your helpful info on the stem. :thumb:

Also thanks for posting where one can check out those collection of timepiece's/watches those are fantastic looking!

And yes!.....wear them proudly because I most definitely will whenever I wear mine!
 
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Mr. Time

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Unscrew the crown. fit the stem and push it in to the winding position. Grasp the stem at the outside edge of the pipe with your end nippers, pull the stem out to the hands set position and snip. This should be almost exact apart from a little filing to remove any burr. The action of pulling the stem out before cutting, throws the excess force into placing the stem back into the winding position rather than snapping or bending the stem.
Then take the stem out, put it in a pinvice, touch it with the file and screw the crown on. Test it in the watch. It should be correct. If the crown had a longer thread pipe, it may be a different measurement. Of course, if you are timid, you could cut it a fraction longer just to be sure to be sure. ;)
Thanks for tip! :thumb:
 

Dr. Jon

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Cutting the stem is the tricky part. If yuo have the tools the way to do it is screw the stem into a die, it can be a nut or a screw plate and cut it off close the right length. The file it. Lastly unscrew it. This refinishes the threads.

Ideally the watch kit should include a nut for finishing teh stem cut.

It is OK t cut it a bit short, not too far. Yuo can then unscrew it for a close length set up.Then I use lock tight to set it the the correct length.

Movements hands and cases are still fairly standardized so with some effort you can buy a movement in various grades up to chronometer rated and various dials hands and cases.
 
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karlmansson

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The website says the movement is a Seagull ST3600. While you'll certainly find people who reflexively slam all Chinese movements, the Seagulls I've worked on (including an ST3600) have all been pretty well made and have been strong runners.
I think a lot of the bad rep that Seagull (and even the mechanical Miyota movements sometimes) gets comes from this exact process, only done by assemblers that do it in retail. The movements may be good when they leave the factory but sub-standard cleanliness at the place of assembly will lead to poor performance no matter what movement you put in a watch.

I've also had good experience with the Seagulls I've serviced. I think there would be other factors to be concerned with though, such as worker conditions and a disposable approach to manufacturing. That, however, with the watches the movements end up in tends to be due to other factors than the movements themselves. Such as choice of case material or poor hand/fitment of them.

Regards
Karl
 

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