In this project, I’ll be showing you how to make your own watch movement cufflinks using the mechanical watch movements from two old watches. There are loads of watch movement lookalike cufflinks available online, but these ones are made using real vintage watch movements taken out of an actual watch.

To start off, you’ll need to find two old mechanical movement, wind-up watches with identical mechanisms. A good place to start looking is to go down to your local watch repair shop or jeweller and ask them if they have any old movements or watches lying around. They don’t need to be working anymore, so they’ll likely be ones that the jeweller couldn’t repair and they will usually be happy to give you a few or sell them quite cheaply. You can also buy old damaged movements online from sites like e-bay.

Here’s a video of the assembly process, read on for detailed step by step instructions:

What You Need For This Project

  • 2 x Mechanical Watches, Movements or Inners
  • 2 x Cufflink Blanks – Buy Here
  • Gel Super Glue – Buy Here
  • Cufflink Gift Box (Optional) – Buy Here

How To Make Your Watch Movement Cufflinks

Watch Movements With Face

If the movements haven’t already been removed, you’ll need to take the movement, along with the face out of the watch. This is usually done through the back cover of the watch. Open up the cover and use a screw driver to pry the mechanism out. These old mechanisms are usually quite strong around the edges but be careful that you don’t scratch them.

Removing Hands From Watch

Hands Removed From Watch

Next use a flat tipped screwdriver or tweezers to remove the hour and minute hands from the face of the watch. These usually just pop off.

Back of Watch Face

Removing Movement From Watch Face

Now insert your screwdriver between the mechanism and face and gently pry the face away from the mechanism. It doesn’t really matter if you damage the face or part of the mechanism as you won’t be using the face, and this part of the mechanism is the back side of the cufflink.

Removing Hour Hand Cog

Once the mechanism is free, you’ll need to make the back face flat by removing the hour hand cog and the shaft which drove the minute hand. Pry the cog off with your screwdriver or tweezers and then use side cutters or clippers to cut the shaft off flush with the back face.

Removing Minute Hand Shaft

Feel the surface of the mechanism and make sure that it is completely flat so that the blank cufflink disc is able to be glued flat onto the mechanism.

Two Identical Watch Movements

Mechanical Watch Movement

Repeat this process for the second watch mechanism so that you have two identical mechanisms which are free of any protruding shafts, pegs or adjustment screws.

Blank Cufflinks

Next you’ll need to get some blank cufflinks. These are also widely available online. You’ll need a pair with at least a 6mm diameter blank plate although 10mm to 16mm ones work best to glue onto the mechanism. Try to find good quality ones and they’ll last a long time.

Gel Super Glue

Adding Glue To Blank Cufflink

Use superglue or epoxy to glue the blank cufflink onto the back of the mechanism. Apply a generous amount of glue and make sure that you choose an unobstructed flat surface on the back of the mechanism to glue it to in order to reduce the risk of it coming off. Glue both into the same area on each mechanism and make sure that they are the same orientation.

Gluing Movement onto Blank Cufflink

Allow the glue to dry or cure and your cufflinks are now ready to wear.

Holding In Place

Glued Onto Cufflink

They also make a great gift, which you can complete by putting into a small cufflink jewellery box. Small wooden boxes are great and are often able to be laser engraved to personalise them.

Completed Watch Movement Cufflinks

Mechanical Watch Movement Cufflinks on Shirt

Watch Movement Cufflinks Up Close

 

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