A Rather Polished DIY Watch



DIY watches bring up a sort of morbid curiosity in me. They’re something I love to see, as you can get some creative ideas. I also have a basic appreciation for the work that goes into them, but I know my skill set (at least with electronics and soldering) would lead to me killing any project I tried to build (hence the morbid side of the curiosity).

The latest example that I’ve come across was actually sent over by a friend, and comes from a site we’ve brought these sort of projects to you from before – hackaday.com. This particular watch, the FourThirty Mk.1 has quite a few interesting features.

If you jump through to the hackaday writeup, you’ll get a lot of details on the specific electronics used, and the various power consumptions. I won’t get into all of those aspects, as the original article covers it better than I could. Instead, I want to focus on the features that are of interest to us watch geeks.


First off, you’ve got a slim OLED display that’s giving us the date and time, all housed in a fairly slick (and slim, it’s only 8,8mm thick) case. While I won’t go so far as to say the case looks like something professionally turned out, it does look better than about 95% of the garage-built stuff you’re likely to run across, owing due to the materials and general fit and finish.

Closer observation also shows that this particular watch doesn’t have any external buttons. So, how do you control it? Well, just like any other modern device – it relies on single and double taps (I’m guessing that’s what the space below the display is for). While I’m not sure how well that would work in regular usage, once things are set, you shouldn’t have to worry about it.

But wait, what about battery changes? No matter how power conservative it is, you’ll have to change it out (it relies on a regular CR2016 cell). Well, the builder used a type of memory that doesn’t need power to preserve it’s contents. So, assuming you don’t take too long changing out the battery, it’ll pick right back up where it left off and be “on time”.

Projects like these that are fun to run across. Sure, they’re one-offs, and not likely something we’ll be picking up from a store anytime soon. I think they serve, instead, as sort of working scratchpads for new ideas coming up for watches, and can also serve as inspiration to a new set of watch makers.

What do you think? Do you like seeing projects like these – or have you attempted any yourself? Inquiring minds want to know!

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