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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ran into this site serendipitously.
Some of you savvier people may know of it already.

It got me thinking about getting a watch or two custom made.
Not "modded" but almost "bespoke".
(Although what makes for the ontological difference between the two could be an interesting topic.)

As of now, I do own 2 that were quasi custom made (by Torsten Nagengast of Timekeepers), insofar as they were made in very small quantities, and made from parts both old (1911 Eterna movement) and new.

The article reminded me how satisfying this has been - having/wearing a watch that was made with YOU in mind.

Does anyone have custom made watches?
if so, do tell how that came about, what it entailed, and what you think about said ontological difference, if any, between "modding" a pre-produced/assembled watch, and getting one made "from scratch" by way of "assembling" independently pre-made parts.
 

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My I suggest Benzinger?

http://www.jochenbenzinger.de

Entry will cost you around $6K and it goes up from there. Old World craftsmanship that is pretty difficult to find these days at a somewhat reasonable price.
 

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By the way, that is a really nice blog/web site you ran across. Didn't know about it.
 

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Depends on what you mean by "custom".

I'd call starting with off-the-shelf parts (vs. having unique parts custom manufactured for you, specifically), to put together something unique, from scratch, building a "custom" watch - though, IMO, it seems to meet the minimum criteria for that label.

If that qualifies, I've owned several.

It's very rewarding, especially when you do it yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Depends on what you mean by "custom".

I'd call starting with off-the-shelf parts (vs. having unique parts custom manufactured for you, specifically), to put together something unique, from scratch, building a "custom" watch - though, IMO, it seems to meet the minimum criteria for that label
That's about where I would put it too - as the minimum criterion for 'custom'.

One could theoretically go to some absurd extreme - gears bathed/washed in Ecuadorian ants' urine, map of the world engraved unto the rotor, - but they would be mere perversity, adding nothing to horological excellence and meaningful uniqueness.

So in that sense, I think meeting the 'minimum' criterion already gets you 80-90% of what is possible and desirable, within reason, in a custom-made watch. The rest is differences in materials and finish.
 

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That blog has the response of the month:

Hello Everyone,
I have a Rolex replica that I like to wear. It’s really quite pretty and I could never afford to buy the real thing because I’m on a pension. I only wear it out in the evenings for fun. It has a Chinese movement that doesn’t keep good time and sometimes stops for no reason at all. I would like to switch the movement and replace it with an ETA Swiss made movement, but have no idea whether to use a 2824-2, 2836-2, 2892 ? or what, and I can’t find any cross reference information of any kind. Specifications:
Oyster Perpetual DayDate. Width NOT counting the crown is 33 mm and with the crown 37 mm; Length from lug to lug is 41.5 mm; Between lugs for bracelet is 17 mm; Thickness is 10 mm; Hologram on back marked 16233...


Gold!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The clueless fool!
Could he possibly be a member here?


That blog has the response of the month:

Hello Everyone,
I have a Rolex replica... It has a Chinese movement that doesn’t keep good time and sometimes stops for no reason at all....

Gold!
 

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First nice site, thanks for sharing.
Yes I agree you do get a certain satisfaction about a unique watch. I have put together a few from either bought parts or from parts left over from different projects. I have given some away as presents and keep several that I wear often. The people that I gave them to really appreciated something put together by me and the ones I kept, I know are quality pieces and give me a certain good feeling. I have gained a lot of experience and I am planning a complete new watch with my own case and dial design just waiting for the right time to start. I wish I could do the movement as well, but that is beyond my capabilities........lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
First nice site, thanks for sharing.
...I am planning a complete new watch with my own case and dial design just waiting for the right time to start.

My pleasure.

And,
DO post pics when they're done!
I might order me one. :)
 

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Interesting concept.

I've always wondered if traditional companies would accommodate requests for customization (i.e. I really like the ALS Saxonia Thin, but would like it at 38mm, not 40mm).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Interesting concept.

I've always wondered if traditional companies would accommodate requests for customization (i.e. I really like the ALS Saxonia Thin, but would like it at 38mm, not 40mm).
Certainly worth finding out.

I figure, as long as they're in the business of doing custom made watches, they ought to be able to procure similar, if not identical, parts from the same factories - unless the ALS was 100% in-house, which is unlikely.
 

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Interesting concept.

I've always wondered if traditional companies would accommodate requests for customization (i.e. I really like the ALS Saxonia Thin, but would like it at 38mm, not 40mm).
I would be very surprised if ALS was willing to do it. Big watch companies tend to avoid doing "one-off" watches because 1. they aren't the most accommodating to their customers and 2. they may fear that it would devalue the brand. The most you could probably get away with is a custom engraving on the balance cock- of course it would have to be one of their "high-end" pieces (such as the pour le merite) as they would probably not do it for their entry level watches.

The exceptions to this rule would be for someone who is extremely wealthy and willing to pay highway robbery prices for the customization or a celebrity who will bring with their purchase a certain level of notoriety. I believe Lange gave Philippe Dufour a rose gold Datograph with a black dial (the black dial being traditionally reserved for the platinum version, but Dufour apparently didn't want to pay "platinum prices") but he is definitely a celebrity in the watch world and brought Lange quite a bit of "street credit" with his purchase.

Anyways it wouldn't hurt to ask :D
 

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If you don't mind me saying, i do some stuff myself. Cases, movement alterations... Those of you who know me, know what i mean :)

Ondrej

PS: not trying to do PR here, just saying :)
 

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If you don't mind me saying, i do some stuff myself. Cases, movement alterations... Those of you who know me, know what i mean :)

Ondrej

PS: not trying to do PR here, just saying :)
I you search on the above poster, you will see that he creates some incredibly interesting pieces.
No, I do not have an economical interest etc etc.....

But I have been searching for a fully jewelled Ladies Pocket watch, fullt working, for Papi to encase the movement. He does not know about it yet.
 

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I've come across two companies that allow you to do extensive customization of the cosmetic appearance of their watches:

http://www.121time.com (mostly quartz fashion watches; price range $300-$800)
Dwatch design your own watch (heavy duty dive watches;price range $1000-$2000)

They do require you to build from a limited repertoire of case+movement combinations, but they're surprisingly affordable.
 

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I ran into this site serendipitously.
Some of you savvier people may know of it already.

It got me thinking about getting a watch or two custom made.
Not "modded" but almost "bespoke".
(Although what makes for the ontological difference between the two could be an interesting topic.)

As of now, I do own 2 that were quasi custom made (by Torsten Nagengast of Timekeepers), insofar as they were made in very small quantities, and made from parts both old (1911 Eterna movement) and new.

The article reminded me how satisfying this has been - having/wearing a watch that was made with YOU in mind.

Does anyone have custom made watches?
if so, do tell how that came about, what it entailed, and what you think about said ontological difference, if any, between "modding" a pre-produced/assembled watch, and getting one made "from scratch" by way of "assembling" independently pre-made parts.
Hahaha, I was driven by exactly same thought when I got my custom watch made by Ribordy Watches. I made a post in another thread, buy here it seems more appropriate.

The same watchmaker who owns 121time also owns another site (www . RibordyWatches . com) where you can create a watch using similar "configurator", but in addition you can write your own name on the dial. I bought watch from them and very happy with it. Here is my review from my blog about all my watches:



Jean-Loup Ribordy (Custom Made) Swiss watches review

Recently I saw my friend wearing watch with his name on a dial. It was custom made in Switzerland by Jean-Loup Ribordy watchmakers. So by recommendation I decided also to try and get one for my great self.
First, it was interesting process of designing it on the manufacturers website
www . RibordyWatches . com using "configurator" (e.g.builder). It was simple enough. Delivery took about a month and here I am - proud owner of a cool swiss watch with my name on it! Great conversational piece during dinner with friends or in men's company.

Friend owns a £500 option, I went for the more expensive option with diamonds which set me back for a cool thousand quid, but it well worth it. Comes in a box, nicely packaged, very good quality, diamonds got certificate (!!).

cost: about 1k pounds (+ £200 customs bill)
pros: great quality, many designs to choose from (literally you are building your own watch!), swiss custom made - expensive big boy's toy
cons: it's quartz

my mark: 10 out of 10

P.S. I blurred my name on dial for obvious reasons :))

 

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