As the world goes into lockdown and work from home is the new normal, I find myself wearing my watches less often. As with most watch collectors and enthusiasts, I have a couple on rotation, left together with my other EDC (everyday carry) stuff. Yep, the watches were left somewhere amongst my tray, dresser and drawers. Of course, like most people, I thought that this was temporary - maybe just a month or two. But as the lockdowns continued to drag on for months, I realised this was just not the way to go for my watches.
I wanted to continue to enjoy my watches in a way that still kept them neatly stored - and decided that a watch stand would be the best way to do so. This way, I can display a watch of my choice for admiration throughout my workday without the bulk of my timepiece on my wrist whilst doing computer work.
Why a watch stand? Simple, really. Firstly, the watch can be easily accessible, AND I could continue to admire it as I worked. This way, I get to store my watch safely (off the table), keep my desk looking neat and most importantly, continue to enjoy admiring my watch when I'm taking short breaks from my work! Brilliant, isn't it?
Like most people working from home during the pandemic, I went online shopping. Before I go on, this is not the first time I'm searching for a watch stand. I've always been intrigued by the beautiful watch stands available for sale, especially those on Mr Porter. I struggled with deciding to buy one - they don't come cheap at all, and frankly, I can't justify the price of the items (though I no doubt love them...). Like the one for sale, below is a great example. It's made of beautiful leather and has a marble base. This particular example below retails for EUR280+:
What? They cost what? That's like a price of a watch winder. You know, I can even buy a watch box and winder for the prices they are charging. Hmm...maybe I can look for some alternative options. But as I continued down the rabbit hole, I noticed the cheaper options weren't that appealing to me. In fact, most of the designs I manage search via online were meant for smartwatches - they have a special slot for a wireless charging station. And they looked flimsy. And cheap. Those that I managed to narrow down were still not something that I really wanted. They were made of hard materials, and I was concerned they would scratch my timepieces.
And so began my journey of building my very own watch stand. I scoured the internet and came across this as a reference - a wooden watch stand from Etsy.
At that moment, my mind started to affirm my ambition. OK - I think I can do this - how hard can it be? Right?
Yup - this can be my weekend side project. I mean, I did have a lot of time on the weekends now that I can't go out anywhere anyway. As I was spring cleaning one day, I found some valuable materials - in fact, I had all I needed to make one! Yup, 2 metal rods, a watch holder and a piece of broken marble.
When you're trained in the field of engineering like me, your mind goes to work immediately. It was pretty easy to build as it consisted of only 3 parts; the holder, the handle and the base. Instead of wood, I used a marble slab as I felt that a wood base would not be very robust - it might topple over and cause damage to my watch. Stability is the most important for a stand like this. Especially when you're displaying beautiful timepieces (or, in my case, my Rolex Submariner...)
Let me first say that most of the items listed are not necessarily ideal, but they were available at home. That's the main reason I used them, cause they were just... there. Feel free to swap out anything you feel is more appropriate and serves the same purpose. Ready?
So here's what you need:
1) An unused watch cushion as a holder to ensure a soft surface for the watch to rest on;
2) 2 Door handles as the handle to ensure it holds firmly on to the holder; and
3) A broken marble tile as the base (it's heavy, and I have one lying around after my house renovations).
As mentioned before, it was a relatively easy project since all I needed to do was to drill 2 pairs of holes on the holder and base, respectively. I just had to ensure the distance between the holes in the holder was the same as the base, and voila! That was it.
Throughout the project, the biggest challenge for me was drilling the hole perpendicular to the surface of the base and cushion. It looks easy, but I had to invest in a drill guide to help me during the actual drilling. The second challenge was ensuring the holes I drilled were slightly smaller than the handles to fit securely.
Since it was my first time doing it, I did not get the holes perpendicular to the surface. As a consequence, the holder was slightly tilted when installed. Nevertheless, it was still able to be assembled together with a bit of force.
Overall, the product is not as aesthetically lovely (as a professionally manufactured one). But hey, it does its job pretty well. It serves its primary purpose as temporary storage for my watch. I can change my watch daily and admire it while working. Good enough for me.