DIY kit lets you build your own Seiko watch movement from scratch… and it works!

The devices and gear we own today are vastly different from the ones our grandparents owned. Back in the day, products could be pulled apart, tinkered with, and repaired without much of a fuss. Radios lasted decades, toasters from that era still work today, but the devices of today are a little too complicated to repair or tinker with. In fact, the companies that make these devices don’t even want you looking under the hood – try tinkering with a Tesla car and the company can remotely disable your entire vehicle for tampering. Mess with an Apple phone and its warranty gets voided. If you bought a Spotify Car Thing, regardless of your efforts, the company is planning on bricking the device globally at the end of this year.

The reality is that we aren’t intimately familiar with the stuff we own today, and it’s time we changed that. The folks at Rotate Watches believe the only way to change this is to make tinkering more accessible. This beginner-friendly 50+ piece kit lets you build your own working, automatic watch movement from scratch. Modeled on the Seiko NH36, this kit has everything you need to be an amateur horologist. A guide helps take you through the various processes, and at the end, not only do you have a working watch that you can keep on your table to tell the date and time, but you also inherit an innate understanding of how timepieces work… and that’s just priceless, isn’t it?!

Designer: Rotate Watches

The Seiko NH36 is a popular and reliable automatic movement known for its accuracy and durability. With a diameter of 29.36mm and a height of 5.32mm, it’s a compact powerhouse featuring 24 jewels for reduced friction and a smooth operation. This kit includes the movement itself, along with a set of specialized tools to handle the delicate watch parts. Screwdrivers, tweezers, finger cots, and pliers are all included, ensuring you have everything you need to handle the intricate components.

One of the highlights of this kit is the beginner-friendly guide. Rotate, the company behind the kit, understands that watchmaking can be intimidating for newcomers. Their detailed instructions break down the disassembly and assembly process into clear steps, accompanied by numbered pictures for easy reference. The guide goes beyond just the mechanics, explaining the purpose of each piece and offering helpful tips and tricks throughout the process. For those who prefer a greater challenge, Rotate also offers the option to receive the movement disassembled. This allows experienced hobbyists to dive right into the reassembly process, testing their watchmaking skills.