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Discussion Starter #1
Watch + magnetic compass

Hey everyone, I would like to share a watch design idea with the community. I like to design and I'm having
fun discovering and learning the world of horology. What do you think about the design?
Should I continue working on it? Let me know.

The design is an automatic watch inspired by ornate brass compasses of the 19[SUP]th[/SUP] century. The watch combines vintage
and contemporary aesthetics to channel the lustre of grandeur and adventure embodied by the old instruments.
The goal is to revive that old spirit of adventure inside us modern explorers and kick start a journey worth telling.

The watch is designed to be versatile, serving as a statement accessory for the avid wanderer and indispensable
navigation tool for an unexpected adventure in the big cities and in the wilds of nature.

The design is an analog wristwatch featuring a real magnetic compass as its centerpiece and runs on a 2-hands
automatic movement. The watch follows the construction of a dry compass by pivoting a magnetized blued-steel
on a jeweled bearing. The end of the needle pointing to the magnetic north is set apart by a classic fleur-de-lys motif.

Unlike the usual windrose illustration on a compass, the windrose here is cut from a brass sheet and designed as
gilded ornamentation in the shape of a star bisected to 8 sections at angles of difference of 45°.

The round case is made of brushed and polished non-ferrous stainless steel. It has a bi-directional rotating bezel
with cardinal points. The bezel is a brushed alloy with a curved surface and diamond knurling on the corner for
better gripping. The overall size of the case is a more modern 42.0 mm wide sans the lugs while is height is kept at
9.0 mm for a slimmer frame.

The dial is polished steel with the inner dial houses the windrose and the curved outer dial houses 0 - 360° graduations
and 12-hour markers. The dial uses stick indicators without any numerals to decrease clutter.

The case is enclosed in a Sapphire crystal for scratch resistant. Wire lugs and large onion crown were selected to
create a modern design that still captures the vintage feel of old instruments.

One of the main concerns for the design is whether the magnetic attraction of a compass needle will affect the
workings of a watch's movement. I’ve asked a few experts and ended up with conflicting answers. None, however,
has ever work on this kind of watch before. Those with optimistic answers refers to ISO 764 and said weak strength
of a magnetized needle will not affect modern movement.

Overall I am still trying to improve the design i.e. increasing length of the compass needle for better reading;
putting a 60 minutes marker alongside the 360° graduations track; adjusting the curvature of the dial to function
properly on real watch and keeping the watch within a very minimal thickness.

What movement do you think is most suitable for this design ?

Let me know if you would like to see more? ;-)


Mod. Russian, China Mech.
18,200 Posts
It shouldn't be too hard to create a wearable mock-up to test whether the movement and the comapss have any influence on each other. But why automatic in particular? Have you considered also hand-winding or quartz?

If it simply must be automatic, then you want the thinnest generic movement available to maintain a comfortable case height. There are several equally thin possibilities; ETA 2892, Sellita SW300, Soprod A10, Miyota 9015, Sea-Gull ST18, Dixmont DG69.

199 Posts
You could just use a thicker dial made out of iron (instead of brass or ceramic) and make the watch anti-magnetic. The dial would conveniently separate the movement from the compass too.

EDIT: Don't listen to my advice here - that would shield the compass too and would render it useless. Oversight on my part.
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