Watchmaking is a precise art with an impressive heritage. An analog watch is a tiny machine full of small parts that must be just the right size and shape to work correctly. Many watches will also provide the date, AM, and PM indicator, and on occasion things like the current phase of the moon. All of this is thanks to the perfect configuration and manufacture of its very tiny parts.

The proper manufacture of these parts is not possible without the use of CNC machining. The famous, spectacularly expensive watches seen in movies and on red carpets are often crafted using CNC machining to ensure that the various small parts- usually upward of 700 of them- work in perfect and precise unison for years to come.

What is the benefit of CNC for watchmaking? CNC, as it turns out, runs like clockwork. A CNC machine, whether it is a mill, lathe, or any of the other different CNC machines in use, will follow directions from a computer exactly, every single time, without getting tired or slipping. This makes a difference because of how the gears, the key components of a watch or clock, are made.

How Watch Gears Are Made

Watch gears are made by cutting pieces of metal very precisely so the gear teeth fit together. Historically and in some cases today, this is done by hand using magnification lenses. While very impressive and a testament to the skill of these craftsmen, there are risks when it comes to creating gears by hand. Our muscles and eyes grow tired.  

CNC machining solves this problem by avoiding these issues thanks to its unique benefits. A 5-axis CNC machine for watchmaking can manipulate pieces of metal so they can be cut exactly as needed for every single part without faltering. 

This saves time, as often it is careful human precision that is needed to assemble watch components into the final product. CNC for watchmaking will never replace human skills, but it can supplement it and provide even more precision and cost-effectiveness to the making of a watch. 

CNC Milling for Watch and Clock Makers

Another aspect of the benefits of CNC for watchmaking is that it opens up the field to a wider set of people, allowing for new creative designs and engineering. Not everyone has the skills or resources to manufacture watch or clock parts in an old-fashioned way, though they may be able to design the parts in a computer program and put them together once they are manufactured. 

If you’re considering utilizing CNC machining for watchmaking or clockmaking, we here at Jawstec can help. We appreciate the incredible precision of design and manufacture that goes into creating a watch or clock and see it as a predecessor of our own industry in many ways. We can provide you with a quick CNC quote to help you plan your project. Contact us today!

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