Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wittnauer 65 Revue Conversion Completion

I have completed the Wittnauer conversion recently where I began the project April 24th ( and it was a challenging build between the movement being really thin compared to ETA 6497, Hamilton 917, etc. and the dial was something new as well. Speaking of the dial, I went through four iterations for this build and learned a lot about the interaction of the various steps from color enamel to the waterslide dry time and the cyanoacrylate causing unwanted peel against other materials and cyanoacrylate having an exothermic reaction between my thumb and a cotton patch that got stuck to me and burned me a bit.....a whole lot of cursing and scotch later; happy to report that the build is done, getting SWC0005 serial as the 5th production watch to date. For the dial, I wanted something different and whats more different than bright orange! I saw an older Breitling pilot watch with a bright orange dial and thought it was very cool and decided to make one myself.

oh so orange....

I initially started the build with a different hour hand but couldn't get it to fit in a satisfactory fashion and decided to stick to the original hands. The Wittnauer hands a really weird sizes to say the least. You can also see here before I cut the second hand to fit as well (this is also version four of the dial);

Once the alternate hour hand (which came off of a Gruen Veri-Thin) was replaced with the original, the next challenge was a movement ring. The movement is larger in diameter than a Hamilton 917 but far thinner and I wound up using silver square wire stock, .22GA soldered in about a 1.5" diameter loop for the movement ring and that did the trick. Very surprising was that the original stem not only fit the 44mm pilot watch case perfectly but the thread tap was T6 and fit the wrist watch crown on the original stem without any fitting at all which is a nice change compared to my usual fitting of a stem.

The watch looks spectacular under the glass, its a really fun watch to wear. This also marks the first production watch from me that bears the SWC name on the dial.

Here the finished product;

With the watch finished and boxed, I have been meaning to come up with an interesting lid pull for my packaging and I had the eureka moment last night. In the spirit of the handmade artisan build as well recycling existing objects, I hand tap a hole on a bullet casing that has been fired once, tap a hole in the lid and use a piece of high tensile string from Atwood Rope MFG. to connect the two pieces together.

Now thoughts to a classy Molnija 3601 with hour and minute hand only perhaps....

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I wouldn't have expected the orange to come out looking so nice. Very cool. I'd have to say this is actually one of my favorites so far.