Sunday, August 5, 2012

Steampunk - Vintage Watch Pendant Project

I'm a big fan of "Steampunk" and have been meaning to start a new project for sometime; however it's one of those projects that kept getting put on the back shelf. Yesterday I finally made a new jewelry piece and have to say I really like the outcome and thought it was worth sharing.
The last time I created Steampunk pendants was back in 2010, so I've been long overdue.

While on a family vacation last month, we chanced upon a craft fair and a lady was selling necklaces made from old broken pocket watches.  Some of them were quite interesting and had a bit of a Steampunk look to them but with a price tag of $150- $180 each for these items; I decided to make one of my own for a fraction of the cost.  

I was able to create the one pictured here for about $30.00 in supplies and then my time and labor.
I'd say this do-it-yourself project saved me a large chunk of change and I was able to personalize my pendant the way I wanted it. Plus I get the bragging right to say "I Made It".

EKDuncan Steampunk Vintage Watch Pendant/Necklace
My pendant/necklace is a fun fashion statement as is; however it will probably be altered again down the line. I'm still hunting the perfect "dangle" that will replace the red crystal drop and I also want a different chain for the necklace part.  I'll post an updated picture when the makeover happens, till then I'll be happy to wear it "as is".

Here Is How I Made It
For all of you who like to see how an item gets created, 
I have a few photos showing the process for this little beauty.

Step 1 - Acquire the Necessary Parts and Pieces to Begin Assembling your Project.

Vintage Rolled Gold Ladies Pocket Watch - purchased off eBay
The final outcome will only be as attractive as the items used to create it. 
I wanted a small but attractive case to add the final "oomph" to my piece and found it.

I spent a few days on eBay "watching" for interesting cases in my price range and picked this one up for $15.00 with shipping included. This Octagonal case is a "rolled" rose gold with very little base metal showing through. It was in non working order: had no crystal, crown or hands and the dial was showing it's age but for me it was a great find and I got if for a fair price.
I believe this case is either late Victorian or from the Edwardian time period.

(I already had a stockpile of vintage watch parts and pieces to work with so the only new item 
I needed was the pretty case to pull it all together. Etsy and eBay are good places to start your hunt if you need little parts and pieces as well as  a nice case.)

Step 2 - Figure Out How to Get the Silly Thing Open

This watch was a bit tricky to get open - Here it is with the faceplate off
The last thing I wanted to do was damage my pretty case so I spent about an hour looking it 
over and lucked up on getting the front off when I could not find any way of getting the back off.  
Sometimes you're lucky and there will be a "lip" to help you pry a case off but there weren't any easy areas of entry on this old gem. 

I lucked up while carefully twisting the loop at the top and the front of the watch surprisingly slipped off. I breathed a big sigh of relief, since I thought I was home free; but the movement would not come out the front - which meant I had to get the back off too. (ugh)

Step 3 - Continue to Figure Out How to Get the Silly Thing Open

Success - the watch is open and the movement is out
 With the Crown and stem missing there was not easy access to get the back open so, I used a bit of pressure with my thumbs to push back on the dial while my other fingers held onto the side of the case in hopes of getting the back to pop open and I had success. Now I was able to remove the movement through the back of the fully opened watch.

I considered using the original movement for my piece; however it would not fit into the original case in the reversed position. Not even with the two securing screws removed (you can see those at approximately the 12 & 6 o'clock portion of the movement from this view) It's those two screws that kept the movement from being able to be pulled out the front in step 2.

I will hold on to this movement for another project later on down the line.

Step 4 - Build a Steampunk Movement for my Empty Case

I popped in another movement I created back in 2010 that needed a case.
 I pulled out my stockpile of "Steampunk" watch parts and partially assembled movements till I found one that was nearly complete and fit fairly well in my case.  This one just needed a few extra wheels and cogs on the side to make it work so I went with this one. 

vintage watch movements and parts in my "Steampunk" stockpile
I probably invested close to $100.00 in vintage watch parts and supplies back in 2010; so  
I still have quite a few options to choose from even after completing several other projects.

It can be a bit tedious to build a funky "Steampunk" style movement but the right tools can make all the difference. These needle nose tweezers and the G-S Hypo cement with super narrow tip allow me to accomplish great things with small pieces and parts.

Step 5 -Close it All up Nice and Tight.

My new "created" movement is now in the vintage watch case.
I closed up my new Steampunked movement in the vintage case and 
added an old watch crown from my supplies to the top.

Step 6 - Add the Finishing Touches and Enjoy!

My Final Creation
I added in a small red crystal to he bottom hanger an interesting chain so I could wear it right away.
Fun and funky was my final result; however it still isn't quite right. I'm hunting for a different chain and a more Steampunk/Victorian dangle to replace the crystal drop.  I can take my time in locating those two items since it's quite wearable the way it currently is and the hunt is half the fun.

My previous Steampunk jewelry projects have been:

Steampunked Flash drive by EKDuncan 2010
I altered a flash drive into a Steampunked pendant with a purpose.
You can see the project - HERE

Steampunk Pendant by EKDuncan 2010
This was the first Steampunk jewelry creation I made from 
an old piece of sterling jewelry and some watch parts.
You can see the post for it - HERE

And now I have my latest wearable creation to add to the list.

My Latest Steampunk Jewelry Creation - 2012
I hope this has inspired someone else to give it a try and see what you can come up with.
It's so much fun to take vintage items that are broken and unwanted and "re-purpose" them into something new and fun. It truly shows that one persons trash really is another's treasure.

Here is the watchpiece creation in png form for those
who would like to use it in digital art creations.

digital png format of my watchpiece creation
This and other images can be found on my deviantART account at

(please note my "Terms of Use" at the top right of my blog
or on  my deviantART account before using)
I like to share but my Muse gets frustrated when others try and sell those images.

Till Next Time...


  1. What a beautiful pendant. I love your other steampunk creations too, they are all gorgeous.

    1. Thanks so much Rachel!

      These pieces are fun to make and great conversation starters when they are worn; so I hope you give it a try and make one of your own.

      I'm already having fun wearing it and hope to create another one in the not so distant future. It's just a matter of finding a larger case that I like on eBay - wink.


  2. Marvellous Evelyn!
    You're multitalented, aren't you?
    Big kisses to you! :)

    1. Thanks Sim - I need to create art I can touch every once and again and it's so much more fun if I can wear it too!


  3. Hello,
    It's so gorgeous!!! I love steampunk style!
    You have many beautiful talent! It's so amazing what you do!

    1. Thanks Sylvie - Steampunk is fun and I love it too!!!!
      I hope to making a few more of these in the near future.