Fred Dingemans of d.m.h on Making his Own Hand-Made Watches

More than ten years prior Fred Dingemans started making watches, in the shed in his garden, using a self-restored lathe that has an interesting history. Since Fred limits his production to a maximum of 24 watches every year, the waiting rundown for one of his watches exceeds twelve months and I’d be reasonable for express that his watches are very uncommon. Each watch is first designed with the customer and accordingly build completely in Fred’s atelier; an interaction that he shares with the customer. Many years after my first visit to Fred Dingemans, we returned with the video group, to film how Fred makes his watches. 

Fred’s watches are made under the name d.m.h and if you’re wondering, this is without capitals deliberately. This contraction, d.m.h, stands for Dingemans Mechanische Horloges, which means Dingemans Mechanical Watches. Fred’s watches are really extraordinary, both in design just as in development. First of all, he generally utilizes New Old Stock Tenor Dorley movements, either with jumping hour indication or three halfway placed hands. The case and case-back are machined from a single square of steel and the movement can be fitted flush into the case; no movement ring is necessary.

The crown and whole crown development are designed and manufactured by Fred and this is again one of the novel characteristics of his watches. His exceptional approach to building his own watches is so ‘refreshing’ and so down to earth. O-rings can be bought at the nearby hardware store and, according to Fred, there’s no need to source exceptional o-rings from provider to the watch industry. Rather utilize conventional and solid o-rings that are used around the globe by many. Similarly, for screws, he utilizes the standard stainless steel screws from the hardware shop.

I’ve bought my d.m.h many years prior and still, from time to time, I wear it and in every case truly appreciate wearing it and looking at it. Mine is of the absolute original that came without the wire-hauls that have been used in the past 10+ years. It really used to be Fred’s own watch, and when he switched to using wire-carries, he prefered to wear one that represented his new watches, hence the old one could go… a chance that I didn’t need to miss out on.

Some additional info as there have been some comments and emails about the screw heads. Most watches photographed here and filmed are either models or old watches that served as models, so they have been dismantled and assembled back many times, which explains the screw heads. Here’s one photo of Fred’s most recent watch that is ready for shipping to a customer. Kindly note that the diamond-design on the crown locking device is presently machined, while before it was stamped. The machined design is much finer and has a much higher degree of precision.


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updated 14-02-2020