Could I make a single hand watch from a standard kit/ standard parts?

Hello there,

do you think that I could make a single handed watch from a standard kit available on DIY watch club?

I’ve never fiddled with a watch, but I do fiddle with everything else - computers, children’s toys, HiFi/ speakers, … Maybe it isn’t possible as a first attempt.

I think that I will need:

  • to replace the minute and second hands with spacers so that the hour hand can stay supported/ in place (or ‘break’ the hands that I don’t need so there are no hands)
  • a custom/ plain face depending upon the style I decide on

I would quite like midnight at the bottom of the watch face and midday at the top of the watch face - so potentially I could invert the mechanism and adjust/ replace words or numbers on the face that would reveal it is upside down.

What do you think the pitfalls/ limitations will be?

I’ve cleaned my watches and replaced my watch batteries, this morning. My mind started wandering to customising a watch. That led me to the internet and to this club!

Thank you for your help and advice :slight_smile:

As far as I know, you can simply install the hour hand and that’s it. It’s installed on the hour wheel post, so it does not require any more “support” from the other hands. But if you want to cover the center, you might want to saw off the two ends of a second hand and just install the central portion on the second post. It might require some polishing work to make the central portion looks good.

I don’t have much experience with dial mod. But I suppose I’ll start with a fresh base of spray paint and then work from there.

Nice idea, but I am a little bit confused. Do you mean you want to mod your existing quartz watch (as you said something with watch batteries) with the kit from DIY watch club?

If that is the case, the tools from the kit will definitely help (you’ll need to remove the hands, do mod works on them, then re-install the one hand you want. the kit has the specific tools for removing and installing hands), but the components most probably won’t fit, since the hands are for a mechanical movement (Seiko Nh35) and those probably won’t fit your existing watch.

Hello @bryantf and @vanBaerle, and thank you for your replies.

Single hand:
It’s great to know that the hands fit on their own posts. I think that I would like a central cover and thanks for explaining how to do it (eg the ‘spacers’ I envisaged but couldn’t explain.

Could I fit the second hand onto the hour post? eg the single handed watches on sale use a single, long hand (like teh length of a second hand).

If I made mechanisms, I naively think that I would manufacture the diameters of the posts different to each other so that they avoid each other… but I don’t know how watches work!

Dial mod:
The approach that you’ve described makes sense. I could probably keep trying until I could get the face looking professional - or pay for one to be manufactured/ 3D printed, etc…

I think a mechanism without the date function means that I can easily ‘switch’ 12AM with 12PM at the top and bottoms of the watch face.

Thanks for the explanation that using a single kit will mean everything should (!!) fit rather than putting the DIY kit into my own watch (which I will avoid). I won’t mix and match - understood, thank you!

My idea/ thought process initially was to investigate making or modding my own watch - and then I discovered the my DIY watch club products. I think that I would prefer to start with a ‘paint-by-numbers’ watch kit with all the instructions, before I attempted to customise any other quartz, etc… like the DIY watch club if I can.

I am undecided on how best to make a watch, and even if it would be possible - so thanks for your help.

I’ve done some more research based on what I think could be the problem getting a single, long hand for ‘my watch’

I think the diameter of the minute hand/ second hand will be smaller than the hour hand.

In your experience, will I be able to adapt the minute hand to fit on the hour hand post?

If you mod the minute hand to be a longer hour hand, theoretically it is possible, but it would be prohibitively difficult, since the hands are installed onto the posts via friction fit, i.e. the hole needs to be very precisely the size of the post. Plus the hand is pretty thin metal, so any modification will be exceedingly difficult without warping the hand or the hole. You could try it but don’t have any hope on it.

I think you’ll benefit tremendously from a DIY watch club watch kit. Their video tutorial is really detailed, and contains a lot of information that will be useful in your modding process. Like you’ll understand what does the second, minute, and hour posts look like. And that should help you a lot in visualizing what you need to do. They even have tutorials on watch hand removal, which is very useful in your case.

Sounds like an awesome mod! Do you mean a single hand watch like those from Meistersinger? If so, that’s even more awesome!

This is exactly the sort of watch face that I hope I can make!

@bryantf - thanks for the detailed explanation.

I think I need to find a long hand that is compatible with the hour posts in the DIY watch kit, before I start my journey.

Thank you again for your help.

Nice, keep us updated with your mod!