This is a replica of the watch worn by Franklin D. Roosevelt, who served from March 4, 1933 to April 12, 1945. He carried us through World War II, looking at this watch to defend Pearl Harbor, to decide to invade France on D-Day, to meet with Stalin and Churchill. The wear on this watch is very good, considering it is at least 72 years old. Try to see the U.S. history in each nick and smudge.
I started this project by sketching out various parts of the watch. I tried to take the image and turn it into a black and white version. I studied various shadows and highlights by sketching out various parts of the watch.
Then I took the shapes to the screen, focusing mostly on the face of the watch. I worked on making each of the circles a certain gradient that created a three-dimensional effect on the case of the watch.
I also created the lugs of the watch, making sure to add the shadow created from the case.
Creating a digital version forced me to focus on all the details of the watch. I had to create each highlight and shadow with shapes, gradients, and Gaussian blurs.
In order to create the leather texture, I took an image of leather in photoshop and played with the threshold value. I copied it and brought it into illustrator and traced the image. Using the image tracing tool, I refined the selection. I did this for a highlight texture and a shadow texture on the leather. I placed them over each other and changed the colors.
The stitching was made with tapering lines with multiple shadows and highlights to represent the threads. A dark gradient rectangle was placed underneath to give the impression of depth.
The background texture on the face of the watch was created with the noise tool in photoshop. I then brought it in to illustrator and, using an opacity mask, masked in circular gradients of texture.
The big green numbers were made with a texture that I created into a pattern.
The dark circle with the varying width was created with a custom brush made from a warped rectangle.
Creating this watch not only taught me a few more tricks in illustrator, it taught me to look how light works. I began seeing shadows while I was walking around and trying to figure out what shape or gradient could I use to make that shadow.
I also learned that while the more detail, the more realistic it looks, sometimes an illusion of detail is enough. I had to manage my time well to get the right balance of detail on this watch.