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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey

I'm new to this forum and watchmaking. I've browsed around a little bit now I would like to try and build my own automatic mechanical watch. I've been reading information here and there and hope I have everything figured out for my first project. I'm thinking about ordering this parts from Otto Frei. These are the parts I'm thinking:

Movement : ETA 2836-2
Dial : DIAL-24HR-36B-LUM
Case : CASE-1-SASDC
Hands :
Second Hand : HAN-6710
Hour/Minute Hands : HAN-6492

My few questions are:
1) Will these parts work with each other?
2) What else will I need (other then tools) to assemble these parts?
3) Will I need to do anything else to make a functional automatic mechanical watch?

Any and all comments are welcomed. I've also emailed Otto Frei directly as well. Thanks for the help!
 

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How many books on watchmaking do you own or have read. Are you here to take a shortcut. I suggest you back up and do some homework before you order anything. Discover movements are fitted to cases, all the parameters that need attention, how dials attach to movements, how to fit a stem and crown, how.......
to pay your dues so when you poop out your watch it doesn't look like a pile of u no watt! No shortcuts is your new motto grasshopper!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't own any books or have even read any... I've always loved to build stuff myself (learning as I go) and I was hoping to build an automatic mechanical watch. Looks like I have a lot to learn. The people at Otto Frei haven't emailed me back yet either....

I thought I could just buy the right size movement (eta 2836-2) then buy and install the right sized dial (28.5mm) the right sized hands (90/150/250). Finally put in the right sized case (
diameter is 36 mm with a height of 10.40 mm). Add a strap and you got yourself a new watch.
 

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I don't own any books or have even read any... I've always loved to build stuff myself (learning as I go) and I was hoping to build an automatic mechanical watch. Looks like I have a lot to learn. The people at Otto Frei haven't emailed me back yet either....
well after this statement i can say one thing

GOOD LUCK!!!

YOU WILL NEED IT!



br
emso
 

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I've always loved to build stuff myself (learning as I go) and I was hoping to build an automatic mechanical watch. Looks like I have a lot to learn.

I thought I could just buy the right size movement (eta 2836-2) then buy and install the right sized dial (28.5mm) the right sized hands (90/150/250). Finally put in the right sized case (
diameter is 36 mm with a height of 10.40 mm). Add a strap and you got yourself a new watch.
So, if you decided you wanted a new car do you think you could wander into an auto supply house and buy random components that were the 'right size' and you got yourself a new car? If only it were that easy we'd all be driving round in new cars with new watches on our wrists.
 

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I would like to encourage you in your desire but also suggest you consider the advice of experts. This is very common thread and you may get some idea of what you are interested in by using the search feature. There are many, many threads about the same idea. You will get a more positive response here if you do some homework and come back with more intelligent questions. Just loving to build stuff is not the principal talent required to build a watch. You need to learn the vocabulary so you can communicate with knowledgable people and supply houses. You need to understand how a watch works. You need to understand that Ofreis doesn't do email.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the advice and comments. Again I realize I have a lot to learn and my questions were a waste of everyone's time. I didn't think putting together 5 parts of a watch would be so complicated, but now I understand there's a lot more to it.
 

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You're a quick study, now hit the books and come back with some 'good' questions we can get excited about like you are. We want to help, really. If you want suggestions on studies, I am sure members would be more than willing to make suggestions. After all, we already read most of them and have studied horology for years.
 

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Hello,

Don't let anyone say you can't do it, I think you are on the right track interns of building a watch yourself.

However, my recommendation is to buy a cheap beat up watch and practice. you can find a half-working used ETA 2836 based watch on ebay for less than $100. Disassemble and reassemble. buy a few stems for the eta while you are at it. replace the old stem with the new stem. practice on that, and then buy the parts you are talking about once you are confident. You'll probably break a stem or two. and if you are like me, you'll learn that there is a reason the baseplate has a weird cutout at the stem release. ;) that will force you to learn how the keyless works are put together, and in the process let you learn how the date wheel works.

the practice will also let you get used to the tools you have, and probably make you aware of the need for certain tools that you don't already have.

Without any practice, you're at risk of ruining a $160 movement.

good luck!



I don't own any books or have even read any... I've always loved to build stuff myself (learning as I go) and I was hoping to build an automatic mechanical watch. Looks like I have a lot to learn. The people at Otto Frei haven't emailed me back yet either....

I thought I could just buy the right size movement (eta 2836-2) then buy and install the right sized dial (28.5mm) the right sized hands (90/150/250). Finally put in the right sized case (
diameter is 36 mm with a height of 10.40 mm). Add a strap and you got yourself a new watch.
 

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Hello,

Don't let anyone say you can't do it, I think you are on the right track interns of building a watch yourself.

However, my recommendation is to buy a cheap beat up watch and practice. you can find a half-working used ETA 2836 based watch on ebay for less than $100. Disassemble and reassemble. buy a few stems for the eta while you are at it. replace the old stem with the new stem. practice on that, and then buy the parts you are talking about once you are confident. You'll probably break a stem or two. and if you are like me, you'll learn that there is a reason the baseplate has a weird cutout at the stem release. ;) that will force you to learn how the keyless works are put together, and in the process let you learn how the date wheel works.

the practice will also let you get used to the tools you have, and probably make you aware of the need for certain tools that you don't already have.

Without any practice, you're at risk of ruining a $160 movement.

good luck!
This idea of learning by breaking is contrary to the art of watchmaking. The watchmakers mantra is "Do no damage". One should consider that diving head first into a pool of unknown depth can be painful. To develop a repair philosophy where breaking parts in the name of learning is acceptable is not an attractive idea or a good general practice. It also resembles reinventing the wheel. Another practice of little value. Most watch problems were discovered and solved decades (centuaries?) ago. Study will reveal them.
 

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While I agree that there is a lot to learn you don't know the aptitude of the person asking the question. I was always told you can't be a good mechanical and electrical engineer at same time but ignored everyone and pressed on. I can build the vessels, pipe work and mechanical plant, then build the electrical control cabinet, wire it up then program the controller running it all. This isn't a boast as many can do it but I was constantly told it wasn't possible by protective engineers. There is much to learn but sure you will learn lots having a go while reading as others suggest at same time
 

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While I agree that there is a lot to learn you don't know the aptitude of the person asking the question. I was always told you can't be a good mechanical and electrical engineer at same time but ignored everyone and pressed on. I can build the vessels, pipe work and mechanical plant, then build the electrical control cabinet, wire it up then program the controller running it all. This isn't a boast as many can do it but I was constantly told it wasn't possible by protective engineers. There is much to learn but sure you will learn lots having a go while reading as others suggest at same time
...similarly, I taught myself over a period of years to be a reasonably competent electronics repair technician. But I still needed to do a lot of reading and studying in the process...
...my interest in watches is in the same vein: technical with an eye toward repairing rather than actual building. I've managed to pick up some very useful information on the workings of watches by doing some research and then asking questions here. But, just like going to a foreign country, it helps if you've first made an attempt to learn the language before you try talking to the natives...

...by the way, unless you're a professional watchmaker or a registered watchmaking student, O. Frei will not do business with you (e-mail or not)...they even more-or-less say so on their home page...
 

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Totally agree with you regarding reading and learning but some learn better while doing as opposed to reading first. Most of the replies I see to newcomers is very much, go read for 3 years then have a go where if your learning style is like mine you need to have a go alongside the theory.
 

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...Totally agree with you regarding reading and learning but some learn better while doing as opposed to reading first...
...oh, absolutely!...not to diminish the importance of reading and studying, since a certain amount of that is vital, but nothing beats real-world hands-on experience. The theoretical world (as found in books) and the real world (as found on your wrist) very rarely coincide, with the real world usually winning out...the book work will give you a solid foundation, but your building will be rather incomplete...the hands-on work is necessary to put the walls and roof on it...
...of course, given the delicate nature of a watch, we have to approach that hands-on part very carefully...I'd be the first to say that tearing into a five-figure Rolex as your first hands-on experience working on watches would definitely be a bad idea...and I couldn't touch a Rolex with a ten-foot pole to begin with! :-( ...
 
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