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Quite often timepieces are brought to us engravers for personalization. Some go into a pocket. Some go around the neck. Some are worn on the wrist, Some sit on a shelf or hang on the wall.

As time marches on while the engraving is being done, the minutes add up and so do the dollars you charge for the work. Seldom comes the clock or watch that cannot be personalized. Often, it takes a creative eye and approach to get the message inscribed where the customer wants it. This one was piece of cake.


The back of the watch was bare. Free space and lots of it. Counting the year, there were 9 words on the customer's note. As on the typical wine bottle, my fee for watches is often based on the number of words. I charged $6. per word for this one.

I 'shot from the hip' on the layout. With experience you'll be able to 'see' the line breaks and visualize the words on the watch. If I have no wiggle room on a piece, I'll find a piece of scrap flat glass, draw a circle matching the watch's diameter, and do a draft with the bur I've chosen to make it fit. If the words won't fit, I'll draw another circle, get a smaller bur, and try again.

If the line spacing works on the glass, I transfer the line spacings to the back of the watch and engrave away. The customer was thrilled. Dustin will forever carry the reminder of a cool Christmas gift way back in '16.

The total time for layout and engraving, according to my notes, was 15 minutes. Fifty-four bucks for 15 minutes is at a rate of $216. per hour. Of course I still had 45 more minutes in the hour, but whatever I did was at a rate at least that. Probably more.

So, you wannabes out there....this is not brain surgery or concert piano. It's muscle memory developed with lots of practice memorizing the few common strokes that you whip up to make ALL the letters. Practice every day. On napkins with a ballpoint pen while waiting for your burger, or a drill on flat glass as you become a wizard at stroking up these letters that customers LOVE....and pay handsomely for what you do!

Of course you could take the less productive choice of a few sitcoms from the sofa every evening. This is far more fun and you'll live longer!

The next Workshop where I teach this... and YOU learn it... is September 26-29. Call me with your questions. If you decide to enroll, I promise I'll give you nice discount off the published price. All you gotta do is ask.



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