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Dear RWG members,

 

Please excuse my ignorance as we are new to this forum and there is much we don't know.

 

My stepson and I have decided to embark on a personal project to create a limited edition custom watch.  We have access to a fabrication lab with state of the art 5 axis CNC's, 3D printing, spacecraft raw materials and plating.  However, this lab will only be used to create prototypes and one of a kind watches  In the end, despite our limited edition, we need to source movements and other parts from a reputable overseas maker of watch parts.  In addition, we will need this dealer to assemble the watches.

 

Can anyone guide us to the best dealer for such a project?  Someone who can machine custom dials, cases and buttons for us?  Someone who can source reliable mechanical movements that will not break down in a couple of years?

 

Thank you,

J&A

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Essentially what you are proposing is to become a microbrand. I would suggest that you need to do a lot of homework before committing money to a project like this. Overseas in this game generally means China and is fraught with problems. There is the language difference and the difficulty of getting a clear understanding of what you exactly expect. Many who have tried have become disillusioned. Really this forum is not really focused on projects like this and we can give only limited advice. 

 

By by chance I was looking at these guys last night, I'm not sure how useful they would be to you, but it is something to look at for a start.

http://www.fullswing.com.hk/collection.html

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Hi Sogeha,

 

Thanks for your response.

 

I do realize this project is a bit of long shot and is fraught with loads of potentially insurmountable hurdles.  However, it is a dream project that my stepson wants to attempt and I am here to help him.

 

I do have Chinese relatives who live in Beijing and HK who can possibly help with some of the language difficulties.  Which are the recommended parts manufacturers that produce reliable parts?  Obviously, of particularly importance is the movement.

 

Others on this forum must have purchased parts to franken their own watches before.  Who are the trusted suppliers of such parts?  Have many here used fullswing before?

 

THanks again,

J&A

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There is a difference between a franken or replica and what you are aiming for so most of our sources won't be suitable for you. Perhaps if you give us some idea of the style of watch and case size you are aiming for we can tell you what to look for. Chronograph, automatic, Quartz, date, GMT or over size watch. These things clearly affect what you need to source. It is an interesting project, I will help to the best of my limited ability and of course we would like to see the results please.

 

For hands, I might be able to find a contact in I think, the Ukraine, who can make hands to any design you wish. I can probably hook you up with a couple of custom dial guys. Movements in quantity, I don't have anything in mind, but if I have a better idea what you need, I can ask a few contacts and see if anything turns up.

 

Designing your own case is laudable, but at least first time around a lot of microbrands have found it more fruitful to use an existing case. 

 

Nothing is ever insurmountable, but be prepared for lots of frustration and parts that weren't what you wanted. Every microbrand owner tells that story.

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Hi Sogeha,

 

The following are the preliminary features we are considering;

 

- 42-45mm case

- brushed SS or titanium, perhaps with interesting surface treatment and passivation for scratch resistance

- chronograph

- automatic

- maybe GMT

- waterproof to 100m

 

We would love to get hooked up with some of your sources.

 

We have an industrial designer on board who will come up with hand-drawn preliminary designs, which will get translated into Solidworks model.  Then we will 3D print a prototype from that model in our lab.  There will likely be several iterations for consideration.  Final design review may include a handful of working or non-working prototypes.  That part is easy for us, the hard part is production and sourcing parts for production.

 

If you can help us with that, it would be much appreciated.

 

J&A

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Just my 2 cents:

Chronograph means many holes... Many holes means that it will be not easy (or more difficult) to make it waterproof to 100 mt.

Why don't start with a simple sub? (I know, there are a lot of them on the market...)

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