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Thread: Converting pocket watch to wrist watch

  1. #1
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    Converting pocket watch to wrist watch

    Having seen Senraw's great looking military WWII watch recently, it has reminded me of a project I was thinking about a while back.
    I know that there are some that don't approve of pocket-to-wrist watch conversion, but I see it as a good way of saving a nice piece from being consigned to the back of a drawer.

    So, has anyone had any experience of this?

    Many smaller sized pocket watches I've seen have the sub seconds dial at the 6 position, but the crown at 12, I presume these aren't suitable?

    Any advice/links/who, where, when would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    I've never seen a conversion that didn't look like a dog's dinner. I'd leave well alone.

  3. #3
    Master Marios's Avatar
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    Converting pocket watch to wrist watch

    ^I'd have to agree unfortunately. Have yet to see a pocket to wrist watch conversion that looks nice. Happy to be corrected if anyone has managed though.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by iml View Post
    I've never seen a conversion that didn't look like a dog's dinner. I'd leave well alone.
    That's a rather sweeping statement, many can be executed very well indeed..
    Just look here: http://www.davidsokosh.com/NewFiles/watches.html

  5. #5
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    Here's one I converted.......



    .......I went for the simplest approach I could think of & chose a watch with a hinged bezel.
    The crown ring acts as the top lug. I knocked out the bezel hinge pin & installed a bent wire to create the bottom lug.
    The strap's a Juri Levenberg 'Aviator'.

  6. #6
    That's a rather sweeping statement, many can be executed very well indeed..
    Just look here: http://www.davidsokosh.com/NewFiles/watches.html
    They look like recased pocket watch movements and dials, which certainly can work OK (although the watches generally end up too big for my taste). But actual pocket watches (movement, dial and case) converted into wristwatches never look right to me, and that's what I thought you were referring to.
    Last edited by iml; 26th October 2012 at 11:48.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by iml View Post
    They look like recased pocket watch movements and dials, which certainly can work OK (although the watches generally end up too big for my taste). But actual pocket watches (movement, dial and case) converted into wristwatches never look right to me, and that's what I thought you were referring to.
    Ah right.. I see..

    What I mean is: There are some smaller WWII pocket watches (around 40mm-42mm) that I am thinking about re-casing into a regular wrist watch case.

  8. #8
    Master Marios's Avatar
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    Converting pocket watch to wrist watch

    ^Thanks for clarifying Stewart. I also had misinterpreted what you meant.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dapper View Post
    Here's one I converted.......



    .......I went for the simplest approach I could think of & chose a watch with a hinged bezel.
    The crown ring acts as the top lug. I knocked out the bezel hinge pin & installed a bent wire to create the bottom lug.
    The strap's a Juri Levenberg 'Aviator'.
    Clever - bit cyberpunky ;)

    Of course, re-casing a pocketwatch movement isn't hugely complex - even if it has sub dial(s)... if you are willing to replace the main dial as in those posted further down this thread. If you want to keep the dial then the orientation of the movement and the subsequent positioning of the stem is pretty much fixed...

  10. #10
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    Thanks Cirrus, so I really need to find a pocket watch with a regular centre sweep seconds hand.

    I have a MM' Pam 'homage' that I rarely wear (I feel a bit of uneasy with it, if I'm honest), I love the case, but think that a vintage dial/movement would work really well in it - something that I would happily wear.
    Last edited by europa; 26th October 2012 at 12:08.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by europa View Post
    Ah right.. I see..

    What I mean is: There are some smaller WWII pocket watches (around 40mm-42mm) that I am thinking about re-casing into a regular wrist watch case.

    If the size suits, you could try one of Manbushijie's top crown cases......


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dapper View Post
    If the size suits, you could try one of Manbushijie's top crown cases......

    Hmm.. thanks, but not really what I'm after, looks fugly IMHO!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by europa View Post
    So, has anyone had any experience of this?
    I've had a few in for servicing over the years. Brazing lugs onto the case is one way to do it; this IWC is one example (though more has been done as the stem is now at 3 instead of 12) - I'm not a fan of it personally, but hey.





    The other problem is the size, you'd ideally need to pick a small PW or it will look like a clock with a strap. Here's another that I couldn't resist taking a wrist shot of. Again, not my bag at all...







    The other option is to put an old PW movement into a modern case, which has it's own problems. I put a Hamilton 917 into a Getat 44mm Panerai case and the result is ok, but it turned out to be quite a lot of effort as the main plate diameter had to be reduced, and the stem/dial and hands all had to be modified to make it work.





    The guy you mentioned in NY is doing this too, but looking at his stock they all seem to be based around the 6497/8 for which there are lots of aftermarket parts available - and at a nice markup too... I think I'm in the wrong part of the sport.

    Rich.
    Last edited by Richie_101; 26th October 2012 at 12:36.

  14. #14
    From this,




    To this,



    made perfect sense to me

  15. #15
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by europa View Post
    Ah right.. I see..

    What I mean is: There are some smaller WWII pocket watches (around 40mm-42mm) that I am thinking about re-casing into a regular wrist watch case.
    Most PW's are a bit too large IMO.

    People often use ladies pocket watches for conversions as they are a bit smaller and you can get them cheaper.

    Worth a thought?
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  16. #16
    Grand Master seikopath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by europa View Post
    Ah right.. I see..

    What I mean is: There are some smaller WWII pocket watches (around 40mm-42mm) that I am thinking about re-casing into a regular wrist watch case.
    why dont you just get a leather wristlet and set it in that



  17. #17
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    Thanks all.. I'll look into it when all my other Heuer 'projects' are clear. Rich - that's useful info, and Shadowman - that's what I was thinking. I've a Getat Pam style watch, and I'd love to fit a vintage dial to it.

    Food for thought, I like the idea of resurrecting an old unwanted pocket watch into something unique & beautiful.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by europa View Post
    Food for thought, I like the idea of resurrecting an old unwanted pocket watch into something unique & beautiful.
    The easiest way is to buy a strap for it:

    www.mkleathers.pl
    Honi soit qui mal y pense.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowman View Post
    From this,




    To this,



    made perfect sense to me
    and me

    Andy

  20. #20
    I still like my nivada (door knob edition) it is a little heavy though, I used a NOS unitas 6498 as there are plenty of parts available,


  21. #21
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    Converting pocket watch to wrist watch

    I love the styling of the lugs of my Radiomir which is essentially based on bits of wire welded to a Rolex pocket watch movement. I think this is a legitimate look, nice bit of re-purposing.

  22. #22

    Made this silver watch case...

    I made this silver watch case to house a 1916 Omega movement belonging to my Grandfather.
    It highlights how watches moved from pocket to wrist during the 1st World War, since watches often fell from pockets during the dreadful battles.
    Brendan,
    webwatchmaker.com
    Hope you can see the picture!!...my first time trying to include one.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huertecilla View Post
    The easiest way is to buy a strap for it:

    www.mkleathers.pl
    Excellent, I've been looking for one of these. Thanks for the link!

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by shadowman View Post
    From this,




    To this,



    made perfect sense to me
    Excellent. Cortebert 616 if I am not mistaken. A Russian sibling of that very movement is ticking away on my wrist as I type this.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by wookie View Post
    I still like my nivada (door knob edition) it is a little heavy though, I used a NOS unitas 6498 as there are plenty of parts available,


    Looks good!

    I used the same case to house this Carvel pocket watch dial......



    ......but changed the doorknob to a more conventional crown

  26. #26
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    Re: Converting pocket watch to wrist watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Webwatchmaker View Post
    I made this silver watch case to house a 1916 Omega movement belonging to my Grandfather.
    It highlights how watches moved from pocket to wrist during the 1st World War, since watches often fell from pockets during the dreadful battles.
    Brendan,
    webwatchmaker.com
    Hope you can see the picture!!...my first time trying to include one.
    It's nice, and sympathetic. Very well done ;-)

    This thread has me looking at my large collection of Smith's / Ingersoll pocket watches and wondering if I should try converting one. I actually suspect that given the simplicity of the movements and the acres of space in them that it might be possible to relocate or duplicate the sub second wheel so that I could position the crown to 3 and retain the original dial...

    Damn you all for stealing my free time!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmarchitect View Post
    A Russian sibling of that very movement is ticking away on my wrist as I type this.
    Honi soit qui mal y pense.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Huertecilla View Post
    Nice shot Heurtecilla. That looks like a 3602 'Kristal' with the fine regulator. The one in my piece is a 3601. The photo below was taken by the chap I bought it from.


  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmarchitect View Post
    Nice shot Heurtecilla. That looks like a 3602 'Kristal' with the fine regulator.
    It is; one from the handcraft, for state use only 2MF atelier. I dropped it in an early sterile Davidsen. Looks better than the real thing with ETA and the lack of in your face branding is

    I have several of those railroad regulator pocket watches.
    Also a 2MF design one-button chrono based on it from that same workshp. AKA as ´Kapitanskie´ or ´Queen´.

    I have most of the different calibers crafted in that small specialised shop in my collection.
    Last edited by Huertecilla; 27th October 2012 at 10:52.
    Honi soit qui mal y pense.

  30. #30
    Master Marios's Avatar
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    Wouldn't buy it, but not a bad conversion I thought:



    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3308189863...84.m1438.l2648

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