My parents recently visited my aunt and uncle in china, and while there they picked up some rather nice high end watches direct from the factories. Most of the time, my father prefers his digital, and only wants to wear the watch he picked up in china when he’s in more formal dress. Thing is, the watch he bought is autowinding, so it’s always either dead, or at the very least really wrong every time he puts it on. So he asked me to come up with a crazy contraption to wind his watch. This is what I came up with:


You can see some more pics in my flickr photostream. The part I’m most proud of is turning the pipe into a bushing to create a pretty good bearing at the top.

Here’s some video of it in action: (and a second video here)


  • 2 pipe flanges (1/2″)
  • 4 pipe elbows (1/2″)
  • 3 pipe tees (1/2″)
  • 2 pipe bushing2 (1/2″)
  • 4 pipe nipples of various sizes (1/2″) from close to 6″
  • 1 solarbotics gm3 motor
  • 1 zip tie
  • some shapelock (this stuff rocks)
  • a couple laser cut parts (the big plastic wheel and the box that holds the watch)
  • a power supply for the motor (I used what I had on hand, a uChobby breadboard power supply)