The 7th Doctor’s Pocket Watch – Replica Build: Version 2.

The 7th Doctor’s pocket watch?  What, again?  But I’ve already done this one, haven’t I?  Well yes I have, so don’t worry, this isn’t a case of deja vu that you’re suffering from, I’m just giving it another go.  No, no – come back.  This isn’t going to be another of my over long and waffling posts, trust me, it’ll be quite brief, I promise.  Or as brief as I can be.

Here’s one I made earlier.

Crap, isn’t it?

As I said in the original build post, I only did this as a half arsed attempt because although I already had all the parts and knew that there would be several things wrong with it, it only came to be as I was at a loose end one day.  Well, having completed it, almost immediately I began to hate it and very nearly didn’t post it up here on the blog, but in the end thought, ‘Ah – what the hell.’  I could live with it being very slightly undersized, but it was the detailing on the lid that bugged me no end and so I just had to rectify this.  It’s the curse of being a perfectionist.

So then, what’s wrong with the original build?

A few things actually.  For a start, the gold plating had pretty much faded away to an almost silver finish in some places, but I could live with that and just sum it up to the prop being aged, worn and weathered.  I actually don’t mind the build of the watch face with the digital read-out, that was perfectly okay, nothing really wrong there at all really, but it was the lid face that irked me beyond all belief - it’s just too plain because it’s missing huge swathes of detailing, especially in the background of the hunting scene.  I was hoping at the time that once I’d put some paint on there, I’d be able to hide the fact, but if anything, it made woeful lack of detail all the more obvious.

The more I looked at it in comparison to the original prop, the more I realised just how basic the lid’s hunting scene sculpt was on my version, it just lacked any clarity or definition and to be frank, you’d have thought that a child had done it.  So, not only was it bereft various details, what details were included, were far too basic in their realisation.  This spurred me on to find a replacement… and so I did.

Click the above, as always, to embiggen the image.  Here you’ll see some alternative models for the pocket watch casing that I’ve come across in my searches.  One of them is an almost identical match to the original, seen here on the far right hand side of the picture montage.  I’ll talk about each model below.

Incidentally, the original prop watch was gold in colour, but you can buy these watches either in that or silver.  The images here are just for illustrational purposes.

PHILIP MERCIER:  This model seems to be the most common version available out there and is what I used on my first stab at the prop.  It’s okay if you’re not too bothered about having things just perfect.  The main problem with it is the hunting scene, it’s far too basic a sculpt, for example, the hunter’s face is quite blobby and his rifle is crudely depicted.  There’s also simply no background detailing at all behind the hunter and his dogs.  It looks very sparse there because of this and despite my earlier efforts, painting it up only accentuates the problem - please see my original build at the top of this page.

Other issues with it are; it’s quite a slim watch, so when you come to place the digital Casio inside of it, the fit is quite tight, requiring you to press on the rear plate very hard to snap it shut.  The “winder” is completely the wrong shape and the over all width of the piece is approximately 45mm (1.75″) – which is fractionally undersized to the TV original.

I’d give this an accuracy score of: 5/10.

CITRON:  Having been pointed in the direction of this blog, a chap over at Gallifrey Base, a poster by the name of Mark Quested, found another pocket watch on eBay, the “Citron” brand.  I was quite impressed by his find and was almost tempted to purchase the same make, but none seemed to be around at the time of my digging for alternatives.

This model is better.  For a start it has the correct shaped winder and the hunting scene seems to be quite busy with almost the right density of tree foliage, far better than that on the Mercier watch.  Unfortunately it too has nothing in the background, but having said that, you could probably get away with this brand better than you could the other.

Just like the previous model, this one is quite slim and undersized.

Accuracy score: 7/10.

STELLAR:  I’m not actually sure how widely available this model is.  I found mine quite by chance in an estate’s clearance sale, it was listed as a vintage model… it was also listed as silver, but when it turned up on my doorstep, much to my surprise, is was actually gold – which saved me a small fortune in gold plating costs.

If you can find one, get this model, it’s almost perfect.

Not only does it have the correct shaped winder, but it’s also quite a chunky build, allowing the Casio to sit comfortably inside of it with a fair amount of play.  The aperture size of the face plate is marginally wider too which gives a truer reflection of the proportions of the tv prop.  If anything, it does make me wonder now whether the original was actually this more common modern era size, (1.75″ or 45mm) rather than the 1800s larger scale (2″ or 51mm) – having said this, the Stellar watch is slightly wider at 48mm in diameter which is a huge bonus because it reads better and is a half way house between the two sizes in question.

Where this model really comes into its own and tops the rest of those currently available is in the hunting scene – it’s identical.  The hunter himself is correctly detailed (replete with beard and moustache), his rifle is more refined and correctly proportioned, the dogs look like dogs, rather than vaguely dog shaped and the foliage density is absolutely spot on, but the best bit is that there is actually a background to the scene!  Look at the original, then look at this model.  Behind the hunter is a bridge over a river, you can just seen it under the tip of the rifle (to the right side of the hunter) in the provided screen grab, it’s here too.  Fantastic!

Accuracy score:  9/10.


There’s not terribly much that I can tell you about the update as it was just a matter of swapping over the original digital watch and its face plate into the new pocket watch casing, then painting it up as I did previously (I’ll come back to this point in a moment) and then finally attaching the snake chain to finish it off.

First off, I needed to paint the inside of the new lid in a matt black finish, just as I did with my first attempt.  To mask off the areas that I didn’t want to end up spraying with black out of a rattle can, I used sulphur free clay (plasticine to you and me) and good old tin foil, nicked from the kitchen when nobody was looking.

Once that was all done and dusted, it was on to the next and final phase.  The lid decoration.

The paint application last time round for this section was partially made up because on-screen, Sylvester McCoy covers the lid with his finger as you see him snap the watch closed.  Obviously I couldn’t tell what was under his digit and so I had to make it up as I went along.  This time however was a little different as I was provided with the perfect piece of reference material from the original maker, Mike Tucker, please step forward and take a bow…

I have to admit that while I was over the moon at finally getting to see what was physically on the lid after 24 years of wondering, the reality was actually a little disappointing.  It only had a four tone colour palette, much of the paint had worn off to reveal the gold underneath and I loathed the colour of the hunter’s trousers and shoes!  Oh well, that’s what it was like and so that’s what I’d recreate – with a few very minor personal tweaks.

Just for the sake of it, to the right in the image above, you can see how crude the back of the face plate is.  I’ve just glued the Casio wrist watch innards to the reverse of the plate with a dab of silicone in each corner.  Simple.

Now for a couple of shot montages showing the completed piece.  Apologies in advance for the washed out nature of them, the lighting is terrible here today and the camera was running out of power which played havoc with the colour balance and the focus…

I elected not to wear away the enamel on the lid as per the original, though in time I may do this if the fancy takes me.  Right now, it doesn’t.

There, much better and this time I don’t hate it – which is a good sign, but I still need to get used to the lid’s colour scheme, although as represented here it’s not quite as it appears in hand.  The hues look slightly deeper in real life and there are subtle variations to the green of the vegetation, which the camera also hasn’t picked up here.

Extra special thanks must go to Mike Tucker as he contacted me just after I posted my first attempt and very kindly he filled me in on a few extra facts regarding his original build.  After a bit of conversing back and forth, the true colouration of the details for the hunting scene on the lid came to light, as I’ve already mentioned - so a massive bout of appreciation goes to him from me personally just for that.  Finally that little mystery has been cleared up and I can sleep better at night now!

You remember at the start that I said that this would be a brief blog posting?  Well, I lied.

EDIT: 28th September 2012
I’ve just recharged the camera to allow me to get a few nicer shots that aren’t washed out and here they are below.  Thanks to “Gene Hunt” for giving it the once over with a bit of colour correction.

There.  Not too shabby.

EDIT:  29th September 2012
Oh, crap.  It looks like I’m about to embark on version 3 of this ruddy project now.  Will I ever be happy?  Probably not.

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~ by PurpleBlancmange on September 26, 2012.

32 Responses to “The 7th Doctor’s Pocket Watch – Replica Build: Version 2.”

  1. ooooooooo,ahhhhhhhhh,pretty me like ,spot on i can see it better here so many options

  2. Don’t you love it when your personal heroes come in and help you out and you didn’t seek it? :)

    • Well it was very kind of him to chime in and for that I am eternally grateful, but I wouldn’t go as far to say that he is a personal hero of mine – he’s just a chap who’s work I admire. :)

  3. i know how you feel ;) thats really nice replica and work need jacket to put it in

  4. Great stuff! Though your first attempt wasn’t that bad! But what do I know!

    Reminds me, must start on my own again.

    • It’s a pity that my camera died just as I was taking the finished item shots, as a result, the colours are completely off.

      When my wife returns, hopefully she can tell me where the charger is and I can take some better pictures of it.

      If you need a hand with your build, just give me a shout. :)

      • Yes! You can source me a cheap Casio! teehee

      • I’ll keep my eyes peeled for you.

        In the meantime, I did wonder whether it would be possible to rip the animation of this watch from the website I linked to in the original build thread and load it onto one of those tiny photoframe key chains. It’s worth investigating, no?

      • That is an idea, but given the size of my pocket watch, which is possibly one of the Citron models, I doubt I’ll find a photoframe small enough!

        Investigate! Investigate! Investigate

      • You can buy “key chain” photoframes which I think are about 1″ by 1″ – ask Morethanatimelord, I know he has one – maybe he can point you in the right direction… or just check out eBay.

        Anyway, that size or just over would be perfect for the job.

  5. Having seen this ‘In hand’ i can honestly say its certainly NOT crap :D Your doing yourself a dis-service my dear fellow :) Its a lovely piece, really nice indeed and its great to see it finished.

    • Thanks, you’re far too kind!

      With the original build, all I could see were the problems with the casing. The second one is much nicer, though I’m still very tempted to find another green paint because I just cannot seem to capture its true colour with my camera… still, the new shots are better.

  6. May I please ask whether you are able to post a high res image of the picture that you were using to copy the paint work from?

  7. thanks, thats looking great

  8. Oh dear, version 3?

    • Yeah, I just can’t help myself. I won’t do a write up here for it as there’s little that I can say about it, though for now I’ll give it a rest and come back to it at a later point.

  9. […] all for the advice. For your interest, here's Purple Blamanche's own conversion… 2nd attempt – The 7th Doctor?s Pocket Watch ? Replica Build: Version 2. | PurpleBlancmange 1st attempt – The 7th Doctor?s Pocket Watch ? Replica Build. | PurpleBlancmange Reply […]

  10. I FINALLY managed to get a hold of a Twin Graph for mine. Damn these things are hard to get but I got pretty lucky. It doesn’t have the casing or watch band…not that I couldn’t get those, but since it’s just the guys it was relatively cheap. I only paid forty quid…plus shipping to the US XD So for me, a total of $80USD. Which from what I can tell isn’t bad. I also have the watch casing as well, though it may need the lid and back replated…unless I want to go for that “aged” look and let it be worn looking. Depends on if I want to age the paints as well.

    That reminds me, I have a guess about the two cylindrical pieces that sit at the top and bottom of the faceplate. I used to dissect watches when i was a kid and I think they are the capacitors that are usually found in watches of that era. I’m going to dig up some old Casio’s to see if they are similar.

    • Congratulations on the watch find!

      The two pieces at top and bottom of the face, I’m sure that the bottom one is a sub-miniature fuse (it looks just like one, though I’ll be interested to see what you come up with) and the top one is quite clearly a length of square styrene bar.

      One day I may even build mark III that I mentioned ages ago, I have the parts, just not the gumption.

      • Thanks. I’m really excited to get this. I’ve been waiting for YEARS for one to show up for sale that was affordable and that I didn’t get outbid on, lol.

        You really think one is flat styrene? It’s hard to tell by that screen capture but they both seem to be cylindrical and have this…it looks like how they add an indent around the bottom part of a capacitor to hold the rubber plug in the bottom giving one end a slight ridged look. They both seem to have this on the left side of the silver parts. In that screen capture you posted it just looks like the top one is washed out from the light reflecting off of it but the line of the ridge seems to be there as well as a more rounded end. That’s how I figured they were cylinders. A sub-miniature fuse though, that sounds interesting. I’ll look into it. I figured since they were gutting digital watches they might have used some parts from other digital watches they didn’t use on it since they’d be right there, you know, to keep it simple and cheap, lol. I plan to try and use watch capacitors though if I find something cooler I may do something else.

        That reminds me, is there any way to get a good look at the lid painting on the pocket watch? If you don’t mind me using yours as a reference that is.

      • The bottom one has an indent on each end and is cylindrical – and looks identical to a certain brand of sub-miniature fuse. Although I once found them on the web some years ago, I haven’t been able to find them since. If I don’t find them again, I’ll use micro tubing, a bit of putty and some silver paint to replicate it.

        The top one is definitely square bar styrene, not flat bar, there’s no doubt about this. Even on the screen grab that I made of the shot from the episode, you can clearly see this – as well as the glue holding it in place.

        You have to remember that this was built in a hurry by Mike Tucker in an evening, it’s all simple stuff glued to the face plate. You can clearly see the glue holding it all together. There is no clever engineering in this whatsoever. This is no slight on Mike at all, the watch was needed for a quick shot and so it was built with this in mind accordingly… Mike himself has even confirmed this to me during one of our chats.

        As for reference to the colour and scheme of the lid, mine is identical to what was done originally. I’ve not been given permission to forward any of Mike’s pictures, but that’s his call, not mine and I respect that. Hope you understand my position.

      • Well what I mean by an indent is, well here, I’ll show you:
        I marked the outline of how it looks to me. The indent is on the outside of the cylinder, about a millimeter or two from the end. What it looked like they used to me is…well I couldn’t find any other pics of the capacitor so I used one from the Last Starfighter when they used a cheap watch electronics for a “translator” but it’s still here:
        Lol, so cheesy XD But the cap is still there.

        I figured since it was made in a hurry that that would be why he’d use that. Maybe because he bought more than one watch and put those on there since had them handy. I know there’s no tricks or clever engineering and I spotted the glue as well. Lol, I was actually planning on doing some of the tricks they didn’t use to make mine look a little more refined but that’s personal preference really. If Mark confirmed that it was square bar styrene well, I obviously can’t really say otherwise, but I wanted to explain what I was seeing there is all, so you can see how I’m approaching the version I plan on making.

        Oh no, that’s fine. I was errr, more hoping to see a closer look at your lid you painted, lol. If you don’t want to do that either, that’s fine. I think I can get a close enough approzimation with what I have anyway.

      • Yeah, I can see what you’re getting at, but those appear to be the end caps to the fuse that I mentioned. I’ll have another dig around and see if I can find the right ones again.

        Have you clicked on my pictures of the painted lid? They come up larger than is shown in the post and you will be able to see it a lot clearer. If it’s still not big enough, I’ll see if I still have the original, unedited images and send them on.

      • Could you? That would be awesome. I’d love to see how they look. ^_^

        I did but I can’t see if I’m seeing the red on the bushes right. It LOOKS like there’s a red area kinda sorta surrounded by a very thin translucent red that goes over the green a bit, but i can’t make out how that’s supposed to sit. If you still have larger pics of your watch and don’t mind me referencing it, I’d love to see them ^_^

      • I’ll have a look around for you later once my guests have left, but in the meantime, the greenery is painted first, then the red is literally just blobbed on in situ. Up close, in magnification, it doesn’t look brilliant, but in hand, it looks great – obviously because without artificial aid, we don’t see with magnification.

        The translucent effect is probably a result of me not completely covering the first pass with the second. It was all used with paints straight out of the tin, apart from the blue as I had to mix up a lighter version than what I originally had – the shop only had one colour and that was it, so I had no choice but to mix my own.

        Just looked and I don’t have the full res images – I tend to edit the pictures straight from the camera’s SD Card and then save them. I’ll have to rephotograph the prop for you.

      • Cool, I appreciate it ^_^

        Ohhhh! So sort of like what you did with the previous watch cases. Yeah the translucent look of the red was what was throwing me off really, lol. I wasn’t sure if that was what I was seeing or if it was a trick of the light.

        Using out of the tin paints was my plan as well. I have a great hobby shop here that has some wonderful enamels. I should be able to come close rather easily I think.

  11. Lol, well apparently they’ve been using a variation of that hunting scene for AGES. Check this out: Very similar and even has two more dogs jumping over a wall to the hunter’s right. Fascinating evolution we have from this piece to now.

    • It’s a theme simply called “Hunter with dogs” and there are all manner of variations on the design, some are close to the version we need, others are quite different.

      Did I ever post up the model used in the McCoy prop? I can’t remember if I did. I found one last year and it’s perfect in every way.

      • Yes, I’ve found several makers but when I was doing some digging and found that from 1890, I was just amazed at how long they’ve been using that general look. Really interesting.

        As for the make, you did post a picture on this update but I don’t know if that’s the one you used in the end. I found one by Economic Swiss Time LTD. that is pretty much dead on my my eye. The cover casting has very VERY fine details on it. I can see the buttons on the hunters boots and even a rabbit hanging from a strap under his left arm. Only problem is that the one I have is a bit worn. The lit and back cover could use a replating and the spring for the lit is a wire so it kinda dug into the lid over time.

  12. I have the fob and casio watches but I’m struggling with the face plate, would you accept a small comision to create one for me?

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