Thunderball Geiger Watch Build Thread

Well, the time has come to FINALLY have a reproduction of this amazing Q Branch toy. After years of thinking about it, sketching ideas, trying to find anyone who could actually do this (without costing an arm and a leg) and coming up with some basic schematics, I think I have finally gotten somewhere...

Taking a page from Bill over at MKII Watches and the Kingston project, I am thinking that before any production begins on this, why not turn to the pros and see what they think. This started as a solo project but I am thinking that if we can producing something truly great, that maybe other fellow Bond junkies might be interested as well.

I guess thats the best place to start really. Is anyone interested in a Geiger case for their Breitling Top Time? If so, then let the ideas start flowing!!! I will provide my VERY rough sketches of what I think the watch looked like. From there I would love to get peoples comments on improvements, construction process and all that good stuff. Just so you know, this will be produced on a CNC machine.

What do you all think?

breitling-007.jpg
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Comments

  • PaperbillPaperbill FloridaPosts: 810MI6 Agent
    I am in
  • Mister GreeneMister Greene Posts: 222MI6 Agent
    if I can get a Top Time I'm in so Ebay here I come
  • 66cooper66cooper Posts: 71MI6 Agent
    Nice! Thats what I like to hear.

    If anyone is really interested AND happens to have TT ref 2002 AND is good at getting specs, that would be huge. If anyone is very knowledgeable on the TT, and the the Venus 175 (or seagull 1901) Please chime in.
  • 66cooper66cooper Posts: 71MI6 Agent
    Really giving the ST19 movement some thought. Appears to be made using the exact tooling (bought from the company) and is getting good reviews. Maybe this could end up being a completely "new" watch like the Kingston? More to come...
  • icsics Posts: 1,411MI6 Agent
  • minigeffminigeff EnglandPosts: 7,870MI6 Agent
    66cooper wrote:
    Just so you know, this will be produced on a CNC machine.

    What do you all think?

    pffft, CNC's for girls :o :p


    as a thought on your project, why not divide the work up between a group of you, then you all get the end product for free?
    'Force feeding AJB humour and banter since 2009'
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  • Donald GrantDonald Grant U.S.A.Posts: 2,190Quartermasters
    Well I think this was already attempted by gparamus. Check out pages 3 and 4 of this thread:

    http://www.ajb007.co.uk/topic/32133/connery-bond-homage-watch/page/3/

    The idea was taken to a watch case fabricator and was going to be costly and entailed putting the movement, dial and hands into a new case. However, I suspect that in real life the whole watch head was put into a faux outer case because the pushers are missing. I think a real watch maker would have made provisions for the pushers. Furthermore, it was probably easier to do it that way, by the prop department, rather than going to a watch maker. It was most likely a one off outer case machined by the prop department. Not proof of course, but that's the most expedient method.

    If that's what your after, a faux case for a Breitling Top Time, than I am interested. It's certainly do-able, but price is probably the overiding factor.

    If you're talking about a homage, that's interesting too, but maybe equally hard to do because there may not be enough interest to justify it. Also, how would you operate the chronograph function?

    DG
    So, what sharp little eyes you've got...wait till you get to my teeth.
    image_zps6a725e59.jpg
    "People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." Richard Grenier after George Orwell, Washington Times 1993.
  • 66cooper66cooper Posts: 71MI6 Agent
    This is the exact reason I came to here with this before I started anything. These details have to be thought out.

    The nice thing here is that I have a guy that is willing to do this that is NOT a specialized watch case builder...yet. He wanted to start his own watch designs and I happen to catch his attention with this idea. The price would be as cheap as we can get it. I also am not really in this for anything other then the end result. I figure that if we can make one, he can make a few more if anyone was interested.

    So, lets start with the main problem and overall design. For those that are interested, would you like this to be an over-case design (if no crown access or pushers) or would you want to instead have the movement installed into the watch?

    Over-case option: One thing that confuses me on this is that this option would then leave the watch with two crystals. The one on the outer case and the original TT crystal. That doesnt seem right, no? Do you think that the prop dept took the TT crystal out first?
  • Donald GrantDonald Grant U.S.A.Posts: 2,190Quartermasters
    66cooper wrote:
    This is the exact reason I came to here with this before I started anything. These details have to be thought out.

    The nice thing here is that I have a guy that is willing to do this that is NOT a specialized watch case builder...yet. He wanted to start his own watch designs and I happen to catch his attention with this idea. The price would be as cheap as we can get it. I also am not really in this for anything other then the end result. I figure that if we can make one, he can make a few more if anyone was interested.

    So, lets start with the main problem and overall design. For those that are interested, would you like this to be an over-case design (if no crown access or pushers) or would you want to instead have the movement installed into the watch?

    Over-case option: One thing that confuses me on this is that this option would then leave the watch with two crystals. The one on the outer case and the original TT crystal. That doesnt seem right, no? Do you think that the prop dept took the TT crystal out first?

    I'm interested in an "over-case" design. Only the original watch crystal is required as I see it with perhaps a gasket or O-ring between the crystal and "over-case". Second crystal is not required. I think the crystal in the movie prop resides below the bezel.

    DG
    So, what sharp little eyes you've got...wait till you get to my teeth.
    image_zps6a725e59.jpg
    "People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." Richard Grenier after George Orwell, Washington Times 1993.
  • 66cooper66cooper Posts: 71MI6 Agent
    I guess from a watch designer standpoint, having the crystal way below the top of the bezel (Which is particularly tall) seems very strange. I have a bunch of screenshots I took form TB and I will have to look more closely.
    If this is the case, that is a whole lot easier. Still, if I was designing this as a homage I think I would go with the crystal on the top. Maybe I will do a one-off of that:-)
  • Donald GrantDonald Grant U.S.A.Posts: 2,190Quartermasters
    66cooper wrote:
    I guess from a watch designer standpoint, having the crystal way below the top of the bezel (Which is particularly tall) seems very strange. I have a bunch of screenshots I took form TB and I will have to look more closely.
    If this is the case, that is a whole lot easier. Still, if I was designing this as a homage I think I would go with the crystal on the top. Maybe I will do a one-off of that:-)

    Well my thinking on this is along the lines of what a prop maker would do with his skill set as apposed to what a watch maker would do with his skill set. Nevertheless, you would want to replicate what the real prop had. Going off memory, I'm pretty certain the crystal top resides about where the faux bezel meets the faux case. But, if I were attempting it I would certainly "go to the videotape", as they used to say, and make certain.

    DG
    So, what sharp little eyes you've got...wait till you get to my teeth.
    image_zps6a725e59.jpg
    "People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." Richard Grenier after George Orwell, Washington Times 1993.
  • 66cooper66cooper Posts: 71MI6 Agent
    Totally agree. These are props and built as such. I will have rereview the film for this. A dead giveaway would be while bond is under water, the watch crystal, wherever it resides, would catch a reflection and hopefully give us some feedback.
  • Donald GrantDonald Grant U.S.A.Posts: 2,190Quartermasters
    66cooper wrote:
    Totally agree. These are props and built as such. I will have rereview the film for this. A dead giveaway would be while bond is under water, the watch crystal, wherever it resides, would catch a reflection and hopefully give us some feedback.

    I think that's a good idea. Now you may make me brake out my Tball DVD again.

    DG
    So, what sharp little eyes you've got...wait till you get to my teeth.
    image_zps6a725e59.jpg
    "People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." Richard Grenier after George Orwell, Washington Times 1993.
  • 66cooper66cooper Posts: 71MI6 Agent
    Here are the rough sketches of what I came up with awhile back.
    ry%3D400
  • Donald GrantDonald Grant U.S.A.Posts: 2,190Quartermasters
    66cooper wrote:
    Here are the rough sketches of what I came up with awhile back.
    ry%3D400


    Looks good! If you use the whole watch head though, you have to shape the inside of the faux case accordingly. But nice work!

    DG
    So, what sharp little eyes you've got...wait till you get to my teeth.
    image_zps6a725e59.jpg
    "People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." Richard Grenier after George Orwell, Washington Times 1993.
  • 66cooper66cooper Posts: 71MI6 Agent
    Dont mind the caseback design. I was assuming that I would never find a CNC machinist that would do this for a fare price and so assumed that screws would be easiest.

    Obviously, if we go with an over-case design, the back would look totally different. You can see where the problem comes in for the stem and pushers though when looking at the side views. The movement (or case) sits too high to allow for then to protrude from the flat sides. Again, the over-case would be a simple operation though, wind and set and install for the day. The pushers would not be operable per the movie.
  • Donald GrantDonald Grant U.S.A.Posts: 2,190Quartermasters
    66cooper wrote:
    Dont mind the caseback design. I was assuming that I would never find a CNC machinist that would do this for a fare price and so assumed that screws would be easiest.

    Obviously, if we go with an over-case design, the back would look totally different. You can see where the problem comes in for the stem and pushers though when looking at the side views. The movement (or case) sits too high to allow for then to protrude from the flat sides. Again, the over-case would be a simple operation though, wind and set and install for the day. The pushers would not be operable per the movie.

    Yep, that's right!

    DG
    So, what sharp little eyes you've got...wait till you get to my teeth.
    image_zps6a725e59.jpg
    "People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." Richard Grenier after George Orwell, Washington Times 1993.
  • 66cooper66cooper Posts: 71MI6 Agent
    Right, the underside would be the trickiest part of the over-case. I would assume that there would be specific parts that would touch like the "bezel" of the TT case (where the crystal meets the case) and the ends of the lugs to center. Then maybe a screw caseback that would hold it all tight. This could have a any number of designs to allow for different tools to open. I like the simple and safe use of tape balls or case opening balls. The back will not need to be water tight or anything extreme like that and also not ruin the TT.
  • Donald GrantDonald Grant U.S.A.Posts: 2,190Quartermasters
    edited November 2010
    66cooper wrote:
    Right, the underside would be the trickiest part of the over-case. I would assume that there would be specific parts that would touch like the "bezel" of the TT case (where the crystal meets the case) and the ends of the lugs to center. Then maybe a screw caseback that would hold it all tight. This could have a any number of designs to allow for different tools to open. I like the simple and safe use of tape balls or case opening balls. The back will not need to be water tight or anything extreme like that and also not ruin the TT.

    I would think the inside of the faux case would match the out side profile of the Breitling almost exactly. That means the lugs, the crown and pushers. The inside prrofile would look "H" shaped because of the lugs. With CNC, you could probably get an exact fit. The real prop was probably a bit more crude inside because it probably used old school machining techniques. But yes, a tight fit. As for water tightness, it would depend on the gaskets and the type of case-back used. Not sure you could get away with a round case-back becuase of the Top Time lugs. Perhaps several screws and a gasket like the Panerai big Egiziano made for the Egyptian Navy in the 1950's, if you know what I'm talking about.

    DG

    Edit: Looks like you have the multiple screw back already designed from your picture.
    So, what sharp little eyes you've got...wait till you get to my teeth.
    image_zps6a725e59.jpg
    "People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." Richard Grenier after George Orwell, Washington Times 1993.
  • 66cooper66cooper Posts: 71MI6 Agent
    Haha, yes you are right. No way a round caseback would fit. This is going to be the tricky part and I will have to wait till I get my hands on the TT before i can decide how to do it. If the user wants to actually wear this watch (like I do) then a back with a mess of screws sounds like a pain. Maybe the watch doesnt have to be completely encased in the Geiger case? Wouldnt look as nice of a finished piece but would make getting the TT in a out a lot easier.
  • Donald GrantDonald Grant U.S.A.Posts: 2,190Quartermasters
    66cooper wrote:
    Haha, yes you are right. No way a round caseback would fit. This is going to be the tricky part and I will have to wait till I get my hands on the TT before i can decide how to do it. If the user wants to actually wear this watch (like I do) then a back with a mess of screws sounds like a pain. Maybe the watch doesnt have to be completely encased in the Geiger case? Wouldnt look as nice of a finished piece but would make getting the TT in a out a lot easier.

    I hear you. That would be a pain to have to wind the watch all the time. So that brings to mind a snap fit. But then you need a special tool. Not sure I'd like the idea of the watch without the case-back.

    DG
    So, what sharp little eyes you've got...wait till you get to my teeth.
    image_zps6a725e59.jpg
    "People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." Richard Grenier after George Orwell, Washington Times 1993.
  • ke02ewwke02eww USPosts: 2,064MI6 Agent
    This is getting exciting guys

    if you decide to go with it I'm in for one or two.

    I suspect a few others wd be keen

    it could also spark a bout of frontrunning on the bretlings on eBay

    buy now while stocks last ! 
  • 66cooper66cooper Posts: 71MI6 Agent
    I think this brings up a interesting point. The top time was built in many different variations. The 2002 is the one to get but it would be great to be able to get any TT and convert it to a Geiger watch. The only way to do that would be to transfer the guts of a TT to an entirely new case...and that of course means figuring out a way to wind it... This is how i get myself into trouble:-)
  • ke02ewwke02eww USPosts: 2,064MI6 Agent
    Mate ur already in trouble now!

    So let's do it! 
  • 66cooper66cooper Posts: 71MI6 Agent
    Can anyone with a TT 2002 please help me. I am looking for some of the specific sizes.

    1. Dial size (visible/case opening)
    2. Hand size (length from tip to pinion center)

    Trying to come up with some figures here. With the dial size I might be able to get a better idea some of the Geiger's. Have a look at some of these screen grabs and let me know what you think the size of the lug width is. My original design was for a 20mm band for ease of sourcing but I think its smaller. One reason might be that the TT lugs have to fit in between. Not sure really until I get all the measurement shored up.

    ry%3D400
    ry%3D400
    ry%3D400
    ry%3D400
    ry%3D400
    ry%3D400
    ry%3D400
  • Donald GrantDonald Grant U.S.A.Posts: 2,190Quartermasters
    I'm afraid I can't help you with dimensions. I always liked Derval's Breitling Navitimer more than Bond's Top TIme. So I persued that more doggedly than the Top Time. I also think the Navitimer is more of a general collectors piece too. Moreover the Top Time does not exist anywhere the way Bond wore it. Nevertheless, I think gparamus may be able to help you if he's willing to chime in. I do have a spare Top Time dial, but it does not have the outer tachymetric scale. It's silver with silver sub-dials.

    DG
    So, what sharp little eyes you've got...wait till you get to my teeth.
    image_zps6a725e59.jpg
    "People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." Richard Grenier after George Orwell, Washington Times 1993.
  • Donald GrantDonald Grant U.S.A.Posts: 2,190Quartermasters
    Here are pictures of my spare dial:

    TopTimeDial001.jpg

    TopTimeDial002.jpg

    DG
    So, what sharp little eyes you've got...wait till you get to my teeth.
    image_zps6a725e59.jpg
    "People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." Richard Grenier after George Orwell, Washington Times 1993.
  • PaperbillPaperbill FloridaPosts: 810MI6 Agent
    I wonder if you wrote to Breitling and asked for specs if they might have them
  • Donald GrantDonald Grant U.S.A.Posts: 2,190Quartermasters
    edited November 2010
    Paperbill wrote:
    I wonder if you wrote to Breitling and asked for specs if they might have them

    While that's certainly worth a try, I doubt they will have it. The original family owned Breitling was sold many moons ago as well as the original tooling and cases. Unless the new company has purrchased the old watches for their archive or owns the old specs, you'll be out of luck.

    DG
    So, what sharp little eyes you've got...wait till you get to my teeth.
    image_zps6a725e59.jpg
    "People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." Richard Grenier after George Orwell, Washington Times 1993.
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