DIY pocket watch stand

Peter in Auckland, New Zealand sent this one in.  He writes,

Is there anything more useless to the modern man than an old pocket watch?  I mean, who wants to be constantly reaching into his pocket to check the time on something that doesn’t make phone calls or play Angry Birds?  I would posit, however, that yes, there are many things more useless than an old pocket watch, among them broken chairs and 1 foot-long scraps of flooring mouldering under your house… but more on those later.

There are times, furthermore, when one would want to be able to tell the time when his (or her) phone or wristwatch are out of reach, or, say, his toddler has smashed his bedside clock into a sad semblance of its former self. That is when useless things, combined with the attention of the universe’s most useful thing (that being, of course, a Swiss Army knife), find a new life.  And who among us doesn’t like to resurrect old machinery from the near death of someone’s sock drawer?  Here is the recipe:


  • 1 smidgen broken chair back, well beaten.
  • 1 scrap of wood flooring or similar– you can beat that too if you like
  • 1 screw hook (brass if you’re classy, brass-colored if you’re me)
  • 1 Swiss Army knife, well sharpened with reamer/awl, saw, and blade
  • 1 pinch of a penchant for whittling
  • A smattering of glue
  • Wood finish
  • A dollop of antique pocket watches to taste


  1. Remove an upright bit of the chair back, and shape it to your liking with the saw.
  2. Ditto with the floor plank.
  3. Whittle/mortise a notch out of the back of the plank so that the chair part fits nicely into it.  Glue/nail/screw the pieces together.
  4. Use awl to make pilot hole on upright portion and insert screw hook.
  5. Hang antique open face pocket watch on hook, and enjoy endless nights of soothing, hundred-year old machinery rattling away.

Do you have a hunter case watch?  No problem: just omit the whole upright bit and use the awl and your penchant for whittling (and maybe a little glue) to fashion a four piece rest on the top of the plank.

Have both an open face and a hunter-case watch?  Make the upright hook and the rest.  You could use both your watches as a state of the art dual-time zone watch.  I think Rolex sells models to tell time in two time zones for thousands of dollars, and you don’t even get to break a chair to get one (just a jewelry store window).