Skeleton Watch

Freeform electronic circuit sculpture

Similar projects worth following
Wristwatch made with freeform wire construction technique. This project is my entry into Circuit Sculpture Contest.

Since circuit sculpture contest was announced I immediately knew I wanted to participate. Mostly because I have never made freeform circuit and was inspired by other people's work showcased in contest article. 

Sadly, due to work and holidays that I spent with my family I could only work on this project from 28th of December onward. So what you see here is one weekend, few weekdays of work and three weeks of daydreaming. Hope you enjoy:

Skeleton Watch Schematics.png

Template for bending wires

Portable Network Graphics (PNG) - 160.15 kB - 01/07/2019 at 23:58


Skeleton Watch Template.pdf

Electrical circuit schematics

Adobe Portable Document Format - 11.22 kB - 01/07/2019 at 23:58


  • 1 × 0.96" OLED module Generic eBay type
  • 1 × Atmega328P-AU 8bit MCU in QFP-32 package
  • 1 × Copper wires Various types: 1.7mm, 0,8mm, 0.3mm
  • 1 × Lens Generic lens for COB leds found on eBay
  • 1 × Various small components Resistors, capacitors, tactile switches, etc.

  • Finishing mechanical construction

    Mile01/07/2019 at 23:44 0 comments

    Next step for this build was to install electronics into wired frame. OLED module was glued to the frame using double sided tape(wrapper around wired frame). Switches and header connector were glue using two component epoxy while MCU was fixed with dab of hot plastic on the bottom. 

    After all electronics were installed and tested I installed the glass lens. Lens just snaps into place with no glue used. This makes it easy to remove the lens to get access to electronics. 22mm NATO strap with navy camo pattern(to match the colour of OLED) is used.

    I really like how the watch turned out. OLED looks super bright and sharp while magnifier lens gives it that unique distorted look. Only thing I would like to change is to show bigger part of the circuit through the lens(to adjust layout of components).

    Here is video demonstrating finished watch (well, almost still need to tweak software). Hope you like it:

  • Making the case

    Mile01/07/2019 at 00:45 0 comments

    I started this project by first making the functional circuit. Brain of this watch is ATMEGA328P-AU microcontroller running arduino. Information is displayed on 128x64 0.96" OLED screen. Three button are used to control the watch functions and female pin header is used to program the watch via UART(and to charge the battery). I used only basic stuff since circuit will be suspended in the air.

    To make thing easier i designed and printed template of the circuit so I could easier route the wires. MCU is in QFP-32 package with 0.8mm pitch. Wires used for traces are 0.3mm and passive components are in 0603 package.

    Watch body is made out of 1.7 and 0.8mm thick copper wire. For bending, same template was used in addition with 3D printed plastic ring. Rotary tool was used to grind excess solder from joints.

    After assembly body was sanded using 180, 240 and 240 grit abrasive discs then finished up with brass brush and polished using polishing compound.

    For case cover I will be using old power led lens(bought on eBay, never used). It will act as a sort of magnifier for OLED screen and will add cool distortion effect.

    Since project is made with recycled parts, I need to restore this used battery that will be used to power the watch. Battery is lithium-polymer with 110mAh capacity. Should be enough for 6-7 hours of active time, or 30-35 days in sleep with moderate use of OLED and other watch functions.

View all 2 project logs

Enjoy this project?



Cat wrote 08/26/2020 at 13:24 point

VERY nice! What about the code, functionality, etc?  Whatever is shown on the display looks interesting too.

  Are you sure? yes | no

luowuer wrote 01/20/2019 at 07:18 point


  Are you sure? yes | no

joshburton410 wrote 01/17/2019 at 22:16 point

Not "Steam punk", I call this "Solder punk". WAY cool!

  Are you sure? yes | no

victagayun wrote 01/17/2019 at 03:57 point

Should be in Kickstarter....

  Are you sure? yes | no

tomdflock wrote 01/09/2019 at 19:24 point

Super Keen! Are the copper wires coated at all? They must be, right? How did you go about soldering to the coated wire? I always have trouble with that and cant decide between trying to burn it off with the solder or to file it off.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Mile wrote 01/09/2019 at 20:52 point

Copper wires connecting components are coated to prevent shorts(you can see they are darker). I prefer scraping the coating using exacto blade so that I get nicer solder joints by removing minimum of coating. Other wires(frame) weren't coated but I did polished them with grease after i did all the soldering to prevent them from oxidising.

  Are you sure? yes | no

PixelDud wrote 01/09/2019 at 18:55 point

Awesome watch! I like the steampunk theme.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Beauregard Slim wrote 01/08/2019 at 21:36 point

Nice.  Needs a well-worn brown leather strap to match that 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea vibe you have going.  

  Are you sure? yes | no

Mile wrote 01/09/2019 at 20:55 point

I agree, but I only had canvas and silicone straps at hand, will try to get one.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Mile wrote 01/08/2019 at 20:45 point

Thank you for the comments, guys. I am glad you like the project.

  Are you sure? yes | no

John Oliva wrote 01/08/2019 at 19:03 point

Very nice work.  Has a sort of steam-punk vibe to it.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Dan Maloney wrote 01/07/2019 at 15:56 point

A wearable sculpture, with the Jolly Wrencher to boot? Love it!

  Are you sure? yes | no

deʃhipu wrote 01/07/2019 at 13:24 point

looks like a piece of a submarine!

  Are you sure? yes | no

davedarko wrote 01/07/2019 at 08:25 point

very nice

  Are you sure? yes | no

Similar Projects

Does this project spark your interest?

Become a member to follow this project and never miss any updates