In all fairness, what the Swiss watchmakers do is incredibly difficult, but the Rotate Watches give you a small taste of what it is like to assemble your own timepiece together. The all-in-one watchmaking kit comes with everything you need, from the watch parts to even the tools you’d require to assemble, maintain, and repair the watch. For obvious reasons, the mechanical movement comes pre-assembled, given how critical that part is and how intricately it’s built… but you do get to put the rest together, sandwiching the movement between the two metal halves, laying in the sapphire glass display, and finally fixing the straps to your watch. You even get to fit the watch hands onto its face, giving you quite the thrill of playing a real horologist!
Founded by a group of artisans and tinkerers dedicated to keeping analog alive (and a woman-owned, minority-owned business based in Los Angeles, California), Rotate Watches package the experience of building your own timepiece. The watches come in a variety of styles with leather as well as metal jubilee straps, and each watch also has its own difficulty rating, from moderate to complex! The kit contains everything you’d possibly need, from the watch parts to tools like pliers, pry-bars, tweezers, screwdrivers, glue, and even nitrile gloves to help you assemble your masterpiece without creating a mess. Your purchase also gives you access to a complete watchmaking guide on Rotate Watches’ website, technical support from Rotate’s team, and a lifetime warranty on your timepiece. Each unit is quality-checked before shipping from Rotate’s Los Angeles facility, and you can even ask them to engrave 2-3 characters (preferably your initials) on the watch upon purchase!
Designers: Jennifer Zhang and Rebecca Lee of Rotate Watches
We were awed by Rotate’s DIY kit when they first launched as a Kickstarter campaign. Following a very successful crowdfunding effort, the company’s now established its practice in LA, selling a variety of watch styles. Showcased here, is the Galileo, with its golden body and radial-brushed blue watch-face.
For obvious reasons, the mechanical movement comes pre-assembled. Given how complex some of these movements can be, often ending up with hundreds of small parts that have their own specific purpose and require expert knowledge, the movement comes pre-built. As co-creator, you get to put the rest of the watch together, understanding its materials, assemblies, and details along the way. It also helps you build an appreciation for analog watches that smartwatches can never match!
The kit contains everything you need, from watch parts to even the tools and equipment you’d require to put your haute horologerie together. At the end of the assembly process, Rotate hopes that you inherit an interest and affection for watches, and you even form an emotional bond with your timepiece that goes beyond just picking a wristwatch from a display case and wearing it. With Rotate’s watches, you end up involving yourself in the watch’s creation, forming a strong bond with your masterpiece along the way.
The watches are available in 5 styles [from Left to Right] – Eiffel, Wright, Edison, Galileo, and Newton, each with their own unique design, assembly, and difficulty level.