To be perfectly honest it’s probably a silly idea to want to make a watch from start to finish, but I’m a contrary type of person. If it was easy to do then everyone would be doing it, and while I like the easy way as much as the next person, I feel that this could be my “thing” that people know me for.. 

I also keep having ideas for dials and case materials that I would like to try, which if I were to have made by other people would feel detached from, so learning all the skills required is the best way for me to try everything out…

While I would like to do the whole thing from start to finish in one go, from manufacture of all of the wheels, pinions etc. I sounded out Peter Speake-Marin on my basic plan while he was here in Melbourne on his world tour, with the following advice. (in relation to using a pre-made gear train in a newly made layout of plates)

 “If  you want to do it for yourself as a learning curve then make your life as easy as possible the first time and the learning process will be such that you still learn much along the way, finish the first piece in a shorter time, build your level of knowledge and confidence before designing every element in the second watch. “

One of the main reasons for doing this is to build additional skills prior to manufacturing all components, this will also let me see if my train layout will work, as the way i have planned it allows for maximum barrel and balance wheel size and the uses the smallest amount of space possible for the remainder of the train, this uses different lines of force from the original layout of most gear trains, which may have problems by itself. (The most efficient layout would be a completely straight line of force, similar to the Corum “Golden bridge” )

 I will also be changing the design of my movement to use the standard co-axial escapement as designed by Dr George Daniels, as opposed to the extra-flat version (also designed by Dr George Daniels) or for at least the first finished movement i may use a standard Swiss lever escapement.

As I now have to re-set out my movement from the start before returning to my original plan, I can show the progress as I go, unfortunately it also brings it’s own problems.. First off, which gear train to use?  How to convert the train to my design?  and most important… Would it look good?  

To be continued



Peter Speake-Marin

George Daniels


Video of Corum Golden Bridge

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