Sunday, January 18, 2009

Getting a watch custom made

Watch-making has a history that places it in a category by itself. Today there are not many artisans that hold the precision and skill needed to make a perfect timepiece. In fact, as our world progresses the skills and precision needed to create a one of a kind timepiece are mostly held by machines.

Yes, you can find people who will make you a custom watch just like custom watches have been made for centuries - by hand. You can also find, not surprisingly, many other ways of keeping time as well. Not only can you keep time with a cell phone you can also create a watch that identifies your personal interests, that can make a bold statement with color and face plate, or that can be sold by your local school or little league team for profit. Yes, the original Swiss watchmakers must be turning over in their graves!

TIPS FOR A CUSTOM WATCH

No matter what angle you would like to take, there are some general things to consider before getting a custom watch made.

1. Decide what you want. If you are a collector of old timepieces, having a traditional watch custom made for you may be something you have always wanted to do.

On the other hand you may want a custom logo watch, a promotional watch or you may have a locket or piece of vintage jewelry you would like to use to house a watch. Decide what it is that you want for an end product and work from there.

2. Know your budget. This is an important point for any purchase because it is about knowing your financial limits. Knowing what you can spend will help you choose the right maker.

3. Make inquiries and get pricing. A one of a kind watch is made by a small number of companies and of course will cost more than a ready-made watch that has been customized. Don’t make assumptions when purchasing something special; ask for pricing and details in writing.

4. Know what types of customizations are available. A one of a kind watch can become one of a kind in several ways. A production model watch becomes a custom watch by adding a unique dial or a personally engraved rotor, depending on the model chosen. A watch could be one of a kind due to the vintage movement chosen or the odd combination of decoration and complicated mechanics, such as a tourbillion or repetition minutes.

A custom watch can also be distinguished by the choice of materials. The metal and the stones you choose can change the price a bit and can also affect what you wear the watch with and where you choose to wear it.

Know what a particular company can give you in terms of customizations. Some companies can do no more than change the faceplate and give you a customized band.

WHERE TO FIND THE MAKERS

Research the type of watch you are interested in having made custom and you will probably find the very people that can make that watch for you.

Making a trip to Switzerland is no longer necessary to obtain the custom watch you dream about. A simple search on the web will assist you without the trip. Not only are these watchmakers found on their own websites, you can also locate them at watch making association websites, watch making history sites and local vendor sites can point you in the right direction.

You options grow and broaden if you are willing to accept a custom designed machine made watch. Head for the next watch and jewelry fair to locate manufacturers of custom machine made watches. You can find these fairs advertised on line along with a list of the manufacturers who will be attending them. You will be able to speak directly with a manufacturer’s representative to discuss the watch you are looking for.

Once you locate the manufacturer, your watch is simply a matter of telling them what you want.

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