It’s a shame watches aren’t worn as often as they had been before, but Japanese watch manufacturer SEIKO made an apparatus that will make you re-appreciate the delicate crafting that goes into them.


First invented during the beginning of the 19th century, watches not only tell time, but are alluring with their myriad of beautiful designs.

Compact as they are, one watch is made up of hundreds of tiny parts, all of which have to operate flawlessly in order for the watch to function.

As a way to display their impeccable technique in the application of such minuscule parts, SEIKO humbly decided to make a Rube Goldberg machine out of 1,200 of them.


Using screws, minute and second hands of various watches, and at times a person’s hand, this elaborate Rube Goldberg machine was created to represent the intimate relationship between watches and people.

Needless to say, it’s a brilliant contraption. Complete with the beautiful music in the background (which was also produced by SEIKO), the movement of the apparatus is mesmerizing, and stunning in its artistry and complexity.

In SEIKO’s Rube Goldberg machine, watch bands topple over like dominos.


Rubies, which SEIKO watches actually use as bearings, ride in gondolas.


And buildings made from various parts line up to display a romantic cityscape.


After seeing such an amazing feat, it’s hard not to look down at your own watch and wonder how the same parts are working inside of the small timepiece.

And although SEIKO has been manufacturing watches for over 100 years, this contraption took 1 year of trial and error to complete, with the continuous help of a skilled watchmaker. After conducting countless tests, they finally succeeded in capturing a non-edited, no-cut video of the machine at work. The “bloopers” that play at the end of the video attest to how arduous the task had been.



The last scene reveals that the contraption had been created in the shape of a watch, displaying the time with the lights of the machine. It goes to show how much thought was put into this project, and elegantly reflects SEIKO’s high level of craftsmanship that made it all possible.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.

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