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Thread: Bespoke watch box project

  1. #1
    Journeyman
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    Bespoke watch box project

    For a while I've wanted a box to house my very modest collection, primarily to keep my watches safe and to showcase them (purely to myself!), but also to try and prevent the collection growing beyond five, which I've decided is a sweet spot after much thought in the 7 years since I got into the hobby.

    My specs are quite specific:

    • Space for five watches, max 42mm lug-to-lug and around 15mm case thickness
    • Clean, modern design incorporating leather and wood
    • Glass lid so watches are always visible
    • A housing that angles the watches forward 10-20 degrees or so for better 'viewing'
    • Incorporating a decent-sized drawer for straps, buckles, tools etc, with soft-close damping for that luxury feel

    It soon became clear that I wasn't going to find what I was after on the market, and that I'd have to make it myself (this design came close but it didn't have a drawer, so I based the design loosely around it). Unfortunately I possess no such skills, but luckily I have a very talented friend whose day job is building and restoring high-end pianos, and who does the occasional side project in his spare time. Rob recently designed and built from scratch two vintage-inspired racing wheels for his sim-racing rig (he detailed it all in a thread on another forum, I'm sure you'll be blown away by his craftsmanship even if you've never heard of sim-racing!)

    So I started working on some sketches:
    (Apologies for atrocious perspective and proportions!)






    Started making rough measurements:






    Tested a scale drawing. Watch head too close to lid, measurements need work!





    Final scale drawings that Rob will work from, with compartment height raised to give watches more clearance to lid.





    Along the way I've also been sourcing parts (happy to share links etc if anyone is feeling inspired).

    Cream leather cushions custom-made by someone on Etsy. She also provided a large piece of the leather for us to cover the centre section of the box with. The
    compartments will be lined with felt in a similar colour; we figured leather on leather would be too grippy.



    Deciding on hinges for the glass lid. Ultimately I've gone with the larger one because I felt the brushed effect was more modern and understated. Ordered the drawer pull in a similar finish, and sourced some soft-close triple-leg drawer runners in a size that works.



    A sample of the rosewood veneer offcuts Rob will use. I think it'll go really nicely with the cream leather, the combo reminds me of high-end luxury saloons (we're both very into our cars). Handily, Rob says the most interesting grains are the least useful for pianos!




    We now have everything we need to start the project, bar the glass lid that's the most expensive component as it needs to be cut to order, so it makes sense to do that last in case the measurements are tweaked during the build process, as they inevitably will be! The design means the tolerances of the glass measurements will be pretty tight in order for it to sit at the right angle when open.

    Ultimately I'll treat this as something of an heirloom, to one day be passed down to my two sons along with whatever five watches are within it at the time. I'm not sure how they'll split one box and five watches, but I guess that will be their problem not mine

    I'll update this thread as Rob goes along. Any feedback or advice welcome!

  2. #2
    Craftsman
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    Really liking the design, Any chance he'd make another and sell it to me??

  3. #3
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Look forward to seeing this completed. You've made an oversight though, there should be 6 spaces, just in case . . . ;-)

  4. #4
    Master
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    Thay looks amazing, will be very interested to see the finished product.

    Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Grand Master RustyBin5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magirus View Post
    Look forward to seeing this completed. You've made an oversight though, there should be 6 spaces, just in case . . . ;-)
    1 on the wrist

  6. #6
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBin5 View Post
    1 on the wrist

    I stand corrected, 7. ;-)

  7. #7
    Journeyman
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    Love this! Will definitely keep an eye on it. I did toy with the idea of making my own but with few tools and even fewer skills I fear it would end up looking like homer Simpsons spice rack

  8. #8
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    Looking forward to seeing this one develop. Having done a couple of home builds myself I think it's best if you allow for at least double the planned figure - I converted an old shotgun case with the intention of housing 14 Universal Geneves and it normally holds 24 these days.

    Do you mind posting the details of the Etsy seller; always useful to have a source for decent cushions?
    Die Zeit verwandelt uns nicht, sie entfaltet uns nur.

  9. #9
    Journeyman
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    So, my first update (it's actually more of a backstep but it'll work out better in the end!)

    It turns out the original leather I sourced isn't feasible, as it's too thick (3mm) and inflexible to be used as a covering because it won't bend round the corners. Rob skived off a bit manually to show how thin we'd need to go (below), but didn't have the tools needed to do it consistently off the whole hide.



    I managed to source a flexible 1mm hide from a local leather company (below). This will also mean I need to get the cushions re-done in this material to get a perfect match – additional cost but at least it'll mean I have the opportunity to specify a narrower cushion. The first set came out at 65mm wide; my largest watch is about 45mm with crown so 50mm should be plenty. This means we can lose 75mm from the total width of the box, which should hopefully mean the proportions are a bit better – I was concerned the original was a bit wide.



    Rob's waiting for another delivery of the veneer then he should be able to crack on.

    Quote Originally Posted by vortex89 View Post
    Really liking the design, Any chance he'd make another and sell it to me??
    I think it might be unfeasibly expensive considering the man-hours involved, but I guess once he's done one he'd be able to streamline the process a bit. I'll ask closer to completion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aimforthebushes View Post
    I did toy with the idea of making my own but with few tools and even fewer skills I fear it would end up looking like homer Simpsons spice rack
    this made me chuckle!

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlton-Browne View Post
    Looking forward to seeing this one develop. Having done a couple of home builds myself I think it's best if you allow for at least double the planned figure - I converted an old shotgun case with the intention of housing 14 Universal Geneves and it normally holds 24 these days.

    Do you mind posting the details of the Etsy seller; always useful to have a source for decent cushions?
    I guess I could always revert to the closest one I found for sale from the original post as a second box if I did break my resolution. Or perhaps with the 75mm saved I could add a sixth slot. Hmmm...

    Etsy seller

  10. #10
    Master TheGent's Avatar
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    Really looking forward to seeing the completed article, lovely idea.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyTudor View Post
    We now have everything we need to start the project, bar the glass lid that's the most expensive component as it needs to be cut to order, so it makes sense to do that last in case the measurements are tweaked during the build process, as they inevitably will be! The design means the tolerances of the glass measurements will be pretty tight in order for it to sit at the right angle when open.
    Surprised about the glass, is it a special glass? Picture framing or horticultural is cheap and easily cut at home.

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