Introduction: Make Your Custom Mechanical Watch

About: Innovation engineer. Electronic and DIY enthusiast, with personal interests in retro tech, board games and old cars.


In this Instructables, I will try to explain how I manage to source the parts and assemble a mechanical Watch.

There are two kinds of a mechanical watch :

  • Manual movement (The one I choose)
  • Automatic movement

(To better understand what are the difference check this link)

A big part of the understanding of how to make a watch come from this video made by Watch Repair Channel.

All the watch parts and tools come from Aliexpress.


Step 1: Buying Watch Parts

The first thing you have to do is choose the movement, cause all the parts goes around the movement.

On the internet I was able to find 4 movements mainly used :

  • ETA 6497 (manual movement with seconds at 9 hours) -> The one I choose
  • ETA 6498 (manual movement with second at 6 hours)
  • Miyota 8205 (automatic movement with day and date)
  • Miyota 8215 (automatic movement with date)

After choosing your movement you can search for all the parts around (case, dial, hands , strap).

As you can see in the pictures all parts come with a good package in polystyrene boxes.

On the list below you can see all the parts I buy, but there are many more on Aliexpress :

The total price of this watch without the tools is 82.98€ (pretty decent price for a manual mechanical watch).

Step 2: Inspect and Check the Parts

/!\ During all the assembly try to don't touch with your finger the movement, the dial, the hands and the inside of the case.

Before starting assembly :

  • Inspect the parts
  • Check the movement cushion mount on the movement
  • Check the dial inside the case

Step 3: Removing the Second Output

Because I choose a dial without a second, I need to cut the second output. I follow this guide made by onzenuub to understand how to cut the output.

I use a pliers to cut the extra part.

Be very careful, it's pretty hard to put back in the right place all the parts.

Step 4: Gear + Washer + Dial

  • Insert the gear
  • Put the washer on top of the gear
  • Insert the dial in the right position

Step 5: Removing the Crown

  • Unscrew by 1 or 2 turn the little screw who maintains the crown
  • Removing the crown

Step 6: Insert the Hands

  • With the hand puller insert the hour hand at 3 o'clock
  • With the hand puller insert the minute hand at 12 o'clock
  • Clean the dial and the hands with the air blower and some Blu-Tack

Step 7: Movement + Case + Crown

  • Insert the movement inside the case
  • Align it correctly with the crown
  • Insert the movement cushion moun
  • Unscrew the old crown and screw the new one
  • Plug the crown and measure how much you need to cut
  • Don't cut too much try several times
  • Screw the little screw who maintains the crown

Step 8: Check + Case

  • Check if everything goes right
  • Screw the back of the case with the watch case opener

Step 9: Enjoy Wearing Your Unique Watch !

The accuracy is pretty good for a movement who come from china sources.

The last step is to put the strap you want and who enhance the watch.

For less euro than a brand manual mechanical watch you will have your unique watch that you have assembled and choose all the parts yourself.

Enjoy wearing your work and have a nice day !

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