Saturday, 16 October 2010

Skeletonising, Part1

So after all the preparation and making new parts we come to a not-too-unimportant aspect of making a skeleton watch, Skeletonising :-)

Here is a 'before' picture of the movement
Of course, the movement needs to be disassembled. Here is a picture of only the bridges & plates.

The first thing I do is fix the dial on to the movement. It is important to do this now. The alignment will be difficult once most of the material has been removed. This is the reason why I made all these parts before I touched the movement. in the picture below you can see the dial plate in the movement ring.

Now the dial is placed on this assembly & aligned properly. Markings are made at the 12 & 6 o'clock positions; small diameter holes are drilled; and these holes are broached till the dial markers go through. If you look carefully, you can see the markers in the picture below (sorry for the poor quality image)

Here, I would like to talk about the way dials are mounted on the movement in most watches (including the one that donated this movement). I think it is safe to say that 99 % of watches today have dial feet soldered to the undersides of the dial. These go through holes in the dial plate. Screws in the periphery of the movement press onto the dial feet and hold the dial in place. All ok so far, except that I have seen too many vintage & antique watches with broken dial feet and dials floating about in their cases.

This is the reason why in No.1 I have made the 12 & 6 o'clock markers go through the dial & main-plate. On the other side I will drill a small hole in the dial marker & put a brass taper pin through it to hold the whole assembly together. All will be clear when I actually do it & post pictures.

Anyway, a small problem cropped up. The hole for the 6 o'clock marker was too close to a feature on the edge of the movement. So I had to fill the feature up. You can see the filler ( brass coloured) in the picture below.

This is held in place with a screw. I made the screw out of an old, rejected dial marker. So I am a happy man :-)

In the next post, I will write about actually starting the skeletonising. Perhaps this post should have had a different title :-)



  1. Great job so far! I'm learning a lot! Can't wait to see it once finished :)

  2. This is the scary part of the job. If I were to mess up a hand or a dial I could just make another one. Any mistake here and the entire movement could become junk.