Low Volume Manufacturing Watch

Hi guys, I’d like to share a project I recently completed. It’s a watch I designed with the intent of low volume production.

To put things in perspective, I’m a recent mechanical engineering graduate. I’d like to move into industrial design. This is one of my first projectsI approached with industrial design in mind. The following link is the project in the web portfolio I’m currently building. I’d appreciate criticism as much on the project as on it’s presentation as I don’t have a whole lot of web experience either.




My very first impression of this particular design is that it needs more visual/aesthetic refinement. Granted, I realize that you are not a designer by trade and this is just a proof of concept model so far, but imo there is a lot of tension with the details of the watch. Particularly with the scale/quality of fasteners in contrast to the face (way too much “right out of the parts random bin feel”). I am not watch designer, but I am sure there are a few on Core that could provide some inspirational examples of how to potentially handle certain design elements more neatly.

Also I question your decision to make the end user assemble the watch. How much do you imagine each watch will cost and how much assembly is actually required? Could I assemble this with just my hands or do I need some specific tools? This could be fun if you are targeting DIY or tinkerers, especially with the implementation of Arduino, but I imagine most people would not want to deal with assembling something potentially finicky.

As for your website, I think it is pretty good considering you do not have much web experience. It is a little reserved/conservative, but clean at any rate which probably makes more sense for the conservative/stylish look you want. I also get more of a full company webpage vibe instead of a web portfolio, but if that is what you are going for then it makes sense as far as I am concerned.

Mroh makes some good points but this is something I’d like to hear progress on. The design can change but it seems like the base is all there and I do like the subtle feel of the tortoise acrylic vs. some other minimal but more techie looking watches like the one in your inspiration board (anything to keep it from being too smartwatch-like).

I could not tell which parts would arrive unassembled, but maybe this is still in the works. I would still not throw out the possibility that you could ship this as a whole, or with the watch intact and band separated – this might not add much more bulk, if any, than shipping a small box of components. If you had an alternative to the nuts and bolt fasteners, like a secure snap-on face, that could make assembly easier for you or the user. I can see the bigger advantage in having your materials CNCd or laser cut vs injection molding and stamping, and maybe this is a better advantage to focus on than end users assembling the final watch IMO.

It would be cool to hear about any other display ideas that you have – how the full character display could look in the final prototype.

Interesting but hard for me to get past the exposed fasteners and using the round head fastener as an input. I think you could go to much nicer fasteners if you need to expose them. As an example, look at how Bell & Ross or Tsovet handle their exposed hardware. In a minimal design like this, the details of construction are the design. You could also do a series of heat staked hardware similar to how hinges are fastened to acrylic eyewear frames.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. :smiley:

I have to agree, the hardware on it makes it look sloppy and burly. I had some nicer and thinner stainless steel hardware but I had to switch them as the bolts weren’t long enough. I should have looked for better replacements. I think I will add some renders and relegate the prototype to what it is, a working prototype/proof of concept. I’ll be able to show some much nicer fasteners. It’ll also allow me to have a thiner profile that would reflect the thinner final SMD electronics which might help make it look a bit more polished. It will also show a more usable display as well as .

As for the questions on self assembly. I think it’s quite feasible, the end user would only have 4 bolts to put through a few layers on plastic and the pcb. I’ll add a simple schematic to the page to show what I have in mind. I think it might make sense for a product that’s being crowdfunded. You engage the consumer a bit more in the product and you can save the trouble of setting up an assembly process in house as all the parts can easily be obtained elsewhere. Anyhow, I’m not dead set on self-assembly either.

Hopefully having some final product renders will clear this up but I intended on using a vibration switch on the device to have the display light up when you flick your wrist, so the all 4 fasteners will be identical. Thanks for the heads-up on Bell & Ross, that’s some very nice stuff.

I think you could do a blind fastener like a scaled down version of a binding post used in book binding. This would have a very clean look. At this small scale you might have to custom machine them.

… like a scaled down version of a binding post used in book binding.

Also known, in the fastener trade, as a “sex bolt”. I kid you not.

But from a devil’s advocate, and warranty point of view, if I totally f-word it up during my attempt at self-assembly do I get a replacement to try again?

  • Did you consider an AL extrusion instead of SS tube?
    That would allow you to have some internal bosses/features to screw into and or locate your electronics.

  • Exposed hardware is a choice and when you choose to express the hardware, you should choose something worthy of being shown, it should speak to the craft and quality of the objects, not just what is available.

  • When you do expose them, they should either have no visual orientation, or all be aligned in the same orientation, this speaks again to the quality and craft.

One thing that bothers me is the orientation of the watch from one image to the other. Your “cover image” shows the round screw bottom left and the “how it works” image shows the round screw in the top right. This all goes to taking me longer to understand the design and intent.