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Welcome to Stefan Vorkoetter’s web site! I’m a private pilot and model aviation hobbyist, slide rule, calculator, fountain pen, and watch collector, electronics hobbyist, Hammond organ enthusiast, and software developer living on a Fjord horse farm in Ontario, Canada. This page is a gateway to the ever growing collection of articles I like to write describing my projects and hobbies. If your interests coincide at all with mine, I’m sure you’ll find something useful here.

October 4, 2015

Making Custom Watch Dials  NEW 

My Vortix "Evolution" features a home-made custom dial.

The selection of aftermarket dials available for customizing watches is growing steadily, but depends on the movement being used, with Seiko-compatible dials being most common. For other movements, the choices are more limited or sometimes non-existent. In the last year, I’ve undertaken three watch projects in which I was unable to buy the desired dial. The solution for each of these was a home-made dial. This article describes the technique used for two of them.


Electronics Reviews

Electronics Reviews

In-depth tests, reviews, and discussion of batteries, chargers, computers, and gadgets I use.

Electronic Projects and Techniques

Electronic Projects

DIY projects and advice for hobbyists, experimenters, musicians, and aviators.

Electric R/C Airplanes

Electric R/C Airplanes

Over 50 articles demystifying the design, construction, theory, and practice of electric R/C planes.

General Aviation

General Aviation

Aircraft, pilot gear, aerial photography, flight reports, and all things aviation!

Building an Evans VP-1 “Volksplane”

Building a Volksplane

Follow my progress in words and pictures as I build an Evans single seat VW powered Volksplane.

Hammond Tonewheel Organs

Hammond Organs

Understanding, maintaining, and modifying the Hammond tone-wheel and vacuum tube organ.

Vintage Calculators

Vintage Calculators

Repair, programming, and use of HP programmable calculators from the 1970s to today.

Slide Rules

Slide Rules

My collection of slip-sticks and whiz-wheels, the calculating tool of choice for 350 years.

Fountain Pens and Mechanical Watches

Pens and Watches

Vintage and modern fountain pens, inks, paper, and mechanical wrist watches.

Miscellaneous Articles

Miscellanous Articles

Articles and papers on other topics that just don't fit neatly into any of the categories above.

The faux crown-tube really goes well with the bezel.

The offerings from Rolex and Tudor have never appealed to me. There are so many Submariner look-alikes out there, that there’s little to differentiate the real thing. Then, Tudor released the Heritage Black Bay. Combining a Sub case, red bezel, Rolex style dial with rose-gold framed markers and hands, they have created a watch I actually like. But not $3500 like. Buoyed by the success of my X-33 project, I decided to try creating a Black Bay homage.


A negative LCD display from a Pulsar NX01-001. The contrast is very low.

Many watches have a so-called “negative” liquid crystal display (LCD), where the background is dark and the digits are light. I’ve often read complaints about them being difficult to read in less than perfect lighting conditions, and I began to wonder why. I think I’ve figured it out.


Omage Velocimaster V-33

The first time I saw the Omega Speedmaster X-33 analog-digital watch, I didn’t like it all that much. I had just started collecting Russian mechanical watches and was turning up my nose at quartz watches. But a few days later, I just had to have one.

Sadly, Omega discontinued the X-33 in 2006. Used examples are available, but at prices starting around $2000, well beyond what I’m willing to spend on a watch. So, as is my custom when something costs more than I’m willing to spend, I made my own.


My watch collection as of September 2013.

The watch collecting bug first bit me in late 2012, when an elegant Russian Strela (Стрела) hand wound mechanical chronograph caught my eye. Until then, I hadn’t realized affordable mechanical watches (i.e. not Rolexes and Omegas) were still available. After acquiring a Strela, I became interested in other Russian watches, began a small collection, and picked up some watch repair skills along the way.


Disclaimer: Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information on this web page is presented without warranty of any kind, and Stefan Vorkoetter assumes no liability for direct or consequential damages caused by its use. It is up to you, the reader, to determine the suitability of, and assume responsibility for, the use of this information. Links to merchandise are provided in association with Links to eBay searches are provided in association with the eBay partner network.

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