Activity of the Week

Watch Deconstruction

Last updated: May 07, 2012


Chances are, you've inherited a watch, and it's probably not working. You keep meaning to get it fixed, but why not let your dad or another male loved one deconstruct it and turn it into a necklace or bracelet? Watch "innards" are all the rage in the art world. Gears and mechanisms aren't just functional; they're also beautiful. A deconstructed watch will make for a great conversation piece and give your loved one a few hours of male tinkering -- something he just might enjoy.

What you'll need:

  • An old watch

  • Small tools (Phillips and flathead) screwdriver, or pick up a watchmaker's kit at an antique or hardware store

  • A good light and perhaps a magnifying glass (the kind crafters use is perfect)

  • A chain, some O-rings, and a pair of jewelry pliers to attach the individual watch pieces

Why it's great:

  • Taking something apart is relaxing but can also be a bit of a challenge.

  • Your loved one can decide what kind of jewelry piece to make. Take off the band and place a vintage watch on a necklace, or turn two small watches into earrings. Take all the watch parts apart and turn it into a charm bracelet.

  • Objects bring back memories. As your dad or spouse takes apart the watch, get him to tell you a story. Was this his dad's watch? Did he buy it as a birthday gift? Be patient, but ask questions. Every object has a story waiting to be told.

  • It's repurposing. When we take an object and give it a new life, we become good stewards of our environment.

  • Brag a little and show off your new treasure. Just think how proud your dad or spouse will be when you're wearing his artful creation!

How to do it:

  • The right tools are important. You'll need screwdrivers and other tools that fit the tiny screws.

  • If your loved one's eyesight is waning, be sure to use a magnifying glass. You can hold it for him or invest in a craft model. It's a good investment you'll use again and again.

  • You may need to affix the finished piece to a chain. Depending on the person's dexterity and strength, gauge whose nimble fingers can finish the job.

  • Share your story wherever you go. Every time someone asks you about your watch-art, tell the story your dad or spouse told you.