Imagine firing up a torch and warming up a vessel of brass shavings to the perfect reddish-brown color, then lightly placing an hour hand on the heated brass shavings and watching the silver hand go from a mirrored finish to a deep blue iridescence. Then, you remove it from the heat and cool it to preserve the color. Finally, you mount it to your very own mechanical watch that you’ve assembled yourself. And wouldn’t it be amazing if you could experience the process of making your own watch at home?
Watches have always been an experiential product. A watch can either flop or flourish once it’s been united with your wrist because you either get the feels or you don’t. Watches have sentimental value based on achievements, memories, and celebrations. The most staunch collectors and wearers will vehemently refuse to polish a watch crystal because each scratch holds significant meaning. Watch enthusiasts and collectors enjoy their watches for many reasons, and many love the craft, science, and technology behind the creations of our favorite brands and models. Unfortunately, one can only experience so much from buying and wearing a watch when understanding the work that goes into each timepiece.
This is where DIY Watch Club raises the horological experience and bridges the gap between observing and manufacturing by offering watch build kits that accommodate beginners, advanced enthusiasts, and everything in between. New “watchmakers” are supported with an active customer support team and highly detailed and educational videos that guide you through your entire watch-building process. With over 6,000 watch enthusiasts successfully building its watches, DIY Watch Club continually updates the instructional videos and considers all the feedback from their “watchmakers” to improve their content.
As the minds and facilitators behind the Hong Kong-based watchmaking workshop named EONIQ, the vision to “help more people around the world experience the craft of watchmaking” naturally evolved to DIY Watchmaking Kits shipped to enthusiasts’ doors. The kits can be all-inclusive with tools or just watch components. You can even order parts and tools a la carte, if you desire, and have components personalized.DIY Watch Club has multiple kits to fit your ideal watch style: the Mosel, a vintage-inspired dress watch, the Flight, a no-nonsense pilot’s watch, an everyday field watch called the Expedition, and the classically designed and aptly named Dive watch.
The Mosel watch is the entry kit that can be ordered with or without the tools and three additional variants: a skeleton movement with an open dial, an open-heart dial two-hander, or a sunray dial with a date complication. The kits incorporate features wanted by collectors and enthusiasts who like a vintage design.
DIY Watch Club knows that collectors and enthusiasts may collectively like the general design of a watch, but widely vary on the details, so they allow users to modify and customize the kits to their liking. For example, one of the more divisive parts of a watch is the front-facing crystal. If a hardcore vintage lover wants a period-correct acrylic crystal or a neo-retro enthusiast wants the vintage look without sacrificing the benefits of the higher scratch resistance of K1 heat-treated mineral crystal — DIY Watch Club has you covered.
A unique feature of the DIY Watch Club kit is the level of complementary design elements that coincide with the customizations of your choice. If you chose the acrylic crystal, the case would be fully polished versus the contrasting brushed and polished case that comes with the K1 crystal. The reasoning behind this has to do with the appreciation of aesthetic design and congruency. A polished case was the period-correct look for watches of this era with acrylic crystals.
Its stainless steel 316L case is slightly larger than typical vintage dress watches at 38.5mm and specifically intended to sit right between the sizes of vintage and modern dress watches to cater to a larger audience. The case has a modular design to allow future upgrades and parts modifications.
Inside is a Miyota 8 series automatic movement chosen for simplicity, customization, and height. This entry-level movement is more accommodating to beginner watchmakers than a movement such as the ETA 2824. To ensure a correct look of a vintage-inspired piece, DIY Watch Club designed the exhibition case back to include a box-domed crystal, so the main case body can retain a slim and elegant profile. While the overall thickness of the watch is 13mm, the metal case middle is under 8mm.
All the tools you would need to complete this DIY build are included. To further enhance the experience, DIY Watch Club offers an optional Pro Tool Kit. This kit has a Bergeon dial protector, custom CNC screwdrivers, hand removers and installers, high-pressure dust blower, case opener, case back remover, finger cots, case cushion, a loupe, pegwood, and tweezers beautifully presented in a black case veloured in velvet-like material, allowing for every tool to have its place.
If your inner watchmaker wants more, DIY Watch Club has a Flame Bluing Kit that allows you to hand-blue your own watch hands — not a gimmick where you paint them or have the hands go through a chemical bath to create the illusion of blued hands, but authentic blued hands. This unavoidably means having a few unsuccessful trials and (guaranteed) errors as souvenirs, but DIY Watch Club also accounts for this and gives you quite a few sets of hands.
The Flame Bluing kit is fully inclusive with all the hardware needed to thermally blue the watch hands like your favorite independent watchmaker would: a heating tray and holder, heat-resistant protective mat, torch, brass shavings, and a quenching cup to cool the watch hands once the hands have been tempered to your desired color. I say “your desired color” because this kit is used to temper parts for aesthetic purposes to make the watch your own, whether that means a classic blue, rainbow gradient, purple, or straw color. Currently, DIY Watch Club supplies thermal bluing kits for watch hands along with instructional video content. Additional video guides for bluing movement screws are available for free, as well.
DIY Watch Club looks to replicate its in-house watchmaking workshop experiences, allowing you to appreciate, create and wear a timepiece made by you in the safety and convenience of your home. The DIY roadmap includes bluing kits of other components, lume application kits, movement-related experiences, and more.
The Flame Blue Hands + Watchmaking Experience Mosel Edition includes the Mosel Watchmaking kit (with K1 Crystal), the Flame Bluing handset kit, and the Pro Tool kit for $455 USD. Individually, Thermal Bluing kits are available for $165, and the Mosel Watchmaking Kit starts at $253 USD with the basic tool kit and $338 USD with the Pro Tool Kit. If you already have your own watchmaking tools, the component packs for the Mosel kit start at $203 USD. Start your watchmaking journey and customize your DIY watchmaking kit at DIY Watch Club.
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