After working with so many automatic watches I got the urge to play with some quartz ones. There’s something really appealing about picking up a watch from the collection and not worrying about setting the time and date. Just grab and go.
To start with I identified two movements I wanted to use. The Ronda 509, because my eyesight is failing and a big date will come in handy, and the VH31 for the cool 2Hz (4 times a second) seconds sweep. More on the VH31 in an upcoming build.
In order to use them in the many NH compatible cases I needed to 3D print adapter spacers. Late in 2022 I bought a 3D printer and after some messing around with the software I was able to make some really nice spacers. They include features like locators so the movement doesn’t rotate, shelves so that the movement doesn’t fall through, and a properly gapped crown tube area for a snug fit. Since most quartz movements are thin I also had to cut some spacers for the dial in order for the crown stem to be centrally located in the crown tube.
The first spacer took me 15 versions and about half a day to get right. The second one I made in under 2 hours and only took 4 versions. Each movement has its own features that need to be designed in but with some practise and a lot of patience I believe it’s possible to convert many quarts movements to many cases on the market.
At the same time as I was making the spacers I was experimenting with getting a usable white finish with the fiber laser. After some frustrating results I found the sweet spot and knocked up this watch as a proof of concept. It’s a simple design, there’s that S word again, but it works here.
I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to show off the quartz so…
And now I can finally read the date on one of my watches…