Satisfying manufacturing videos

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Here’s the link, since I didn’t see it on the post:


That blobby ceramic bowl technique- that blobby thing is called a tampon. That is exactly how indice markers for seconds, minutes, and hours are printed on watch dials that still use them.

I know this because of a background in professional watchmaking and restoration, and having also met an old dial maker once who used to make bespoke dials for Hamilton Watch Co. He still had many of the pattern dies he made (which would be the glass plate here with the cloud pattern), except his were hand engraved small steel blocks. He even gave me one that he used to do M&M vanity dials for a promo watch, its laying around here somewhere.



These are fun, but goddamn if Instagram’s lack of any kind of video UI isn’t frustrating.


I want to know more, but I’m reluctant to Google “ceramic tampon”… :thinking:


This may help.

In fact, this is the same make of machine I remember him using. He had a couple, but this was the nice one. Read the video notes for an explanation of how it is done. Its basically the same as the bowl, just more specialized usage. If you’d like a more detailed explanation, how the ink is applied, etc, pm me.

Bonus: if you’re into rare high precision machinery for fine manual prototype machining, the chap that runs that Youtube channel has the best website in the world for finding truly rare things you will lust over. He posts vids of what he has for sale.


I saw a watch restoration video (maybe on BB?) and I was surprised when the watchmaker created a new face from scratch using the method you noted. I’ll check out the link when I’m on a better internet connection - it might be the same one :slight_smile:

Sure, you could pad print the watch face, or you could do it the old fashioned way like this guy.

I wish there were more of these R.W. Smith videos. I don’t even want to admit how many times I’ve watched the Engine Turning and Case Making Playlists.

Someday (after I hit the lottery), I’ll have a beautiful shop and I’ll take up watchmaking.

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I prefer engraved dials too. The tampon printer exists due to need to mass produce stuff.

I am well aware of Roger Smith and his work, I’ve met him and talked with him just a bit in New York. I’ve also met Steven Forsey of Greubel Forsey, and got to try on his 500$k personal prototype watch :grin:

And your dream? Mine as well, and I’m working on it right now. I actually went to school for watchmaking for a couple years, so between that and my day job as tool and die machinist, I might eventually pull it off…


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