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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm very new to the world of watches, so please forgive me if I'm not using the proper words to describe what I'm looking for. I'll do my best to provide pictures to try and convey my thoughts.

Is anyone aware of a manufacturer of thin watch cases? When I use the word "thin", I'm talking about the thickness of the case's wall, kind of like these:







I can find them used with no problem. The only problem with that is that they typically come with lots of scratches (nothing wrong with that; it's just not right for what I'm doing right now).

And to go along with that, I'm looking for the "bubbled" glass/crystal. I've checked ofrei for the case-type listed above, but the site seemed to carry the thicker, bulkier cases. If no one makes any of these types anymore, that's fine, and I'll get some used watches and cobble things together. I was just curious. Here's an example of the crystal-type I'm looking for.




I don't feel that it's proper for me to be posting these kinds of questions on this forum. Is there somewhere that general questions like this are typically posted?

Thanks!
 

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Speedmaster coaxial on Forstner Komfit
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It sounds like you want a case with a thin bezel. I.e. it doesn't necessarily have to be the smallest possible case for a given movement, but you want the dial to be as large as possible for a given case diameter.
Do you know which movement you want to use? I'd start there and then see what cases are available for that.

Polishing a used case and crystal might be the most cost-effective approach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
LCheapo said:
It sounds like you want a case with a thin bezel. I.e. it doesn't necessarily have to be the smallest possible case for a given movement, but you want the dial to be as large as possible for a given case diameter.
Do you know which movement you want to use? I'd start there and then see what cases are available for that.

Polishing a used case and crystal might be the most cost-effective approach.
That sounds like my intentions put more succinctly. Thank you.

I have just recently taken this up as a hobby, and I suspect that I'll never be proficient enough to call myself a "watchmaker". I have no real experience with different movements; I wouldn't be able to discern one from the other at this point. Everything I'm trying to do is from an aesthetics point of view, which I'm not really comfortable with, because it feels backwards to how this should all be done.

How do you choose which movements you like over the others? I suspect that the hobbiest wouldn't get enough time with the different movements to make the decision as to which he/she finds to be better than others. And I would also guess that preference would most often come down to familiarity or necessity. The professional watchmaker, I would guess, sees the same movement models all the time, and therefore gets well acquainted with which ones seem to have higher failure rates (and which components fail most often). He/she also gets the added benefit of being able to compare one model to another with a considerable amount of experience.

So how does the hobbiest choose a movement? How can I use others' experience on the matter to select a movement for function, price range, or both?

Thanks!


Medusa said:
Have you seen this supplier? They have a very good selection of modern and antique cases.

Watch Cases
I'll give them a look this morning. Thank you very much!

Edit: This was actually the site I used initially. I'll go through it again and see if there was something I missed on the first pass, though.
 

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I have just recently taken this up as a hobby, and I suspect that I'll never be proficient enough to call myself a "watchmaker".
I'm no great expert either. I see several possibilities:
a) you find an old watch you like that still runs (kind of), polish the case and the crystal, clean the movement (or have it cleaned), maybe have the dial reprinted (with the same or maybe a different design).
b) you find a new watch you like as a starting point, and modify that (different hands, dial reprint, different band, maybe different crystal; I don't think you can do much more).
c) new movement in old or new watch case: you need to learn a little bit about the relevant movement measurements (diameter, thickness, stem height, hand pinion diameters), and then find one that fits. If the case donor watch is not too old, it might use an ETA movement from a family that's still available. A more economical alternative to a new ETA movement might be to find a Chinese replacement type that fits. (See e.g. the table in the 'Chinese mechanical' forum reference section).

Have you decided what overall size (diameter) you are looking for? Old watches are often in the mid-thirties (mm), contemporary standard seems to be around 40mm, and above that you get into the territory where you can transplant pocket watch movements (or use gigantic movement holder rings :-d ). The bezel on a bigger watch might look smaller (in proportion to the dial).

If you search this forum you should be able to find different projects people have worked on, and that should give you an idea of what can be done.

For crystals there are several dealers (some with selections of new old stock) on the internet, and also on ebay, including the higher domed ('bubble') versions you seem to be looking for. Measuring and replacing can be a bit tricky; ordering more than one is probably a good idea. Ok, enough of my rambling.
 
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