Being a watch collector you want to experience everything: a call from your AD telling you the watch that you have been waiting for is ready for collection, a pre-owned purchase that you consider a bargain and of course, making your own watch, the latter is probably the hardest one to fulfil. Watchmaking is one of those process that is as creative as it is technical, is not easy and requires as much studies as any career in the modern world, in other words without the preparation it is almost impossible to make you own watch.
All that negativity a side, not everything is lost for us non-watchmakers, although the whole making process is out of reach no one said anything about assemble a watch, don’t get me wrong it would still be a very hard task but with the right tools and instructions it would be more achievable than you think, here is where DIY Watch club comes in handy.
I've fulfill the first 2 experiences but I haven't ''make'' my own watch and by taking a look to their proposition I was certain that they would be able to help. DIY offers a kit that will be assisting you through the whole process, you don’t need to do anything else than relax and build your watch, I will try to describe my experience and also describe the finished product.
The tools and the watch:
Inside the box you can find everything to finish the project, there is no need for you to go out in the middle of the day and buy anything extra, it's all there. We got finger gloves, loupes, blue tacks to remove dust as well as an air pump (very high quality one I have to say),
we also got all the screwdrivers and.. Well you get the idea, you will be ready to fulfil the dream of wearing a piece that you brought to life.
The only part that comes semi- assembled is the case, crystal and bezel (not the bezel insert which you have to align yourself). The crown, stem, strap, hands (2 sets and we will get to that later), dial, movement and case back are all for you to handle. Talking about the movement the kit is offered with 2 options, one Seiko NH35 with date or a Miyota 8 series, we chose the no date version which comes with a blue lumed insert dive bezel and a matte dial, this is for me a great attention to detail because they could easily offer the same Seiko NH35 movement and have a dial with no date aperture leaving that awful ghost position on the crown, many microbrands are guilty of this and you know who you are so take note :)
One of the benefits to buy the watch kit from DIY is that it comes with a series of videos (and a mount for your phone) which guide you through the whole process, it was a delight to use and it was very interactive, it took me around 4-5 hours from start to finish (a bit more because I took some pictures) and it was so therapeutic that I did not notice the time spent when I finished.
Regarding the process everything starts by taking out the movement and inserting the stem which brings everything to life, then is once you line up the dial comes the most critical part which are the hands, DWC kindly provided 2 set of hands and a hand removal tool in case you have difficulties, I managed to do it on the first go but I can definitely tell you that this is the hardest part. Once the seconds hand
is ticking (you will always smile when this happens) its all about dust, keeping the dial and crystal clean is key to the final product, insert the movement, then the crown, check everything aligns and put the case back on, the bezel insert and the beautiful marine nationale style strap. Voila, you made your own watch and it’s a looker.
The watch itself is such a beautiful thing, I am not sure if is because I spent so much time with it or is it because is so good looking but it might be both, the diver is a 41mm steel case with polished and brushed surfaces which look very elegant, a 120 click bezel and thickness under 13mm. The no date makes me wonder why there are still divers with dates?
This one looks so clean that I could stare for hours, the bezel has a very potent blue lume and a slight touch of red which pop out nicely indicating you are about to reach the 15 minute mark. The strap supplied completes the motif making the watch comfortable and suitable for any wrist.
I've spent some good time with the watch which at the moment has no name, but I found out that it doesn’t need one, its mine and made it which is more than I can say with some of the pieces I owned.
I decided that I will give this blue diver to my father, the sentimental part of gifting a mechanical piece which I put together feels more special than buying a more expensive watch and wrap it up yourself with a nice card. I think the whole package is filled with sentimental attachment, this kit is more than that, is a perfect gift that you can wear, it's for everyone you want to bond with, to me DWC just created a proposition than almost every watch lover wouldn't be able to resist.
More info https://diywatch.club/
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