Now that 3D printing is on hand to produce everything from bikes, to shoes and even jet parts, it’s hardly surprising that someone created the world’s first 3D-printed pocket watch. We’ll be honest, nothing beats the traditional antique pocket watches for sale, in our opinion, but it’s interesting to see what can be done these days, isn’t it?
The movement is constructed almost completely from 3D-printed components, and its design has, rather respectfully, paid homage to its classical artisan watchmaking techniques heritage from centuries ago.
Christoph Laimer, the inventor of the timepiece, overcame a host of the common obstacles to 3D print a fully functional watch, and has even gone as far as to make the design files available as an open source resource for the maker community.
Watch the video here:
The 3D-printed watch is arguably too large to fit in the same pockets as a regular, traditional pocket watch as it measures in at 98mm across the face, and 93mm in height. Apart from the screws, metal pins, and washers that maintain the turning of the gears, as well as holding the watch together, every component is 3D-printed. It functions through manual winding power, which provides another mark of respect to the classic movements of the vintage are.
The watch also has a functional tourbillon, an indicator of high-end and handcrafted watchmaking developed in 1795. Due to the earth’s gravitational pull the regularity and accuracy of a watch’s internal mechanism are affected, but with the addition of a tourbillon, it cancels that out. The tourbillon continuously revolves parts like the balance wheel, escapement, and balance spring while the watch is running, enabling the timepiece to function in almost perfect time.