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Designing & Engineering the Automatic Issue Case: in Process


Each one of our Automatic Issue Field Watches is hand built with care inside our Los Angeles studio. But how did they go from an idea onto your wrist?
Cameron begins designing the timepiece with a hand sketch. He then shares his design vision with our manufacturing engineer, Grant. The two of them then work together to develop technical drawings with dimensions and tolerances for manufacturing. With the engineering documentation, we can turn the project idea into a reality.
The engineering documentation will help the drawing come to life on the machines, but we also work with our graphic designer to finalize design of the dial and hands. Once the engineering documentation is complete, we prototype the new design inside our Los Angeles studio. Prototyping allows us to test fit and design to make sure everything works together before we go into production with the new model. It is common for tolerances to be between 1 and 5 microns to ensure everything works properly and the timepiece will function as intended.
The prototype itself is no simple undertaking. First, we have to machine fixtures to hold the prototype and make the tools to cut the prototype. Then, we have to design the program that the CNC machines will follow to cut the prototype. After that, the parts are milled or turned to create the case, caseback, movement holder, crown, crown tube, screws, and other small components that make up a watch case.
The case front is crafted by removing metal from a solid block. Once our machine completes its cutting program, the block is removed and the case is cut off the block in a final step.
The case is then test fit with the movement, dial, and hands for fit and function.