Digital becomes analogue: Anyone who has always been bothered by the fact that their Apple Watch isn’t ticking can now access detailed instructions that turn the iPhone manufacturer’s computer clock into a mechanical timepiece, albeit without smartwatch functions.
Seiko caliber NH38 instead of Apple SiP
The idea came from YouTuber Jack Spiggle aka NanoRobotGeek. He initially used some used Apple Watch Series 1 models, which he had bought cheaply, to refine his project. In the end, the finished watch was a steel model that no longer had an OLED screen, but instead a zirconium dial. The built-in movement is a reliable model from Japan, the Seiko caliber NH38. Spiggle even implemented a small peephole on the front.
The rotor used for the automatic movement is a Silver Cotes De Geneve, and the hands resemble – at least from a distance – a Patek Nautilus. The case of the Apple Watch was largely retained and had previously been completely cleaned of electronics. The NH38 is a good size fit, according to Spiggle. However, the watch can only be wound by hand for around 20 percent of its power reserve. The remaining time is then “loaded” within two days by the wearer’s regular movement. The watch runs for a total of 40 hours – and of course without a battery. However, with a deviation of 3 to 20 seconds per day, the accuracy is not necessarily at Rolex level, the hobbyist has to admit – he doesn’t know why.
There is already an expensive model
Spiggle designed a small pulley system so that the winding works and Apple’s (then no longer) digital crown remains usable. He believes the cost of the conversion was maybe “$100 and a weekend.” He has not yet announced whether he will carry out such a project again in the future and then possibly sell the watches, but “the reaction (from the other users) is difficult to ignore”.
Incidentally, there is already a mechanical watch in the style of the Apple Watch. After Apple presented its Smartwatch, the company H. Moser & Cie from Switzerland presented its own model, the “Swiss Alp Watch”, which was optically based on the Apple Watch. They initially wanted $25,000 for it in 2016, and a “final upgrade” came onto the market in 2021 for several thousand euros more. Officially, it is a “Concept Watch”.
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