I haven't looked at your project but here's how I would do it:
break it down to 3 separate comps, and tackle one at a time (not including the static watch artwork).
comp 1 is the series of icons circulating into view--draw this in illustrator on one big artboard--lay it out on a circle so that when you bring it in to AE, all you have to do is animate the rotation (assuming your anchor point is in the center of your reference circle--this can be outside the visible area of the comp ).
comp 2 is the individual icons that scale up on top--easy enough, you just use the same number of frames between keys in your previous animation, and animate them up one at a time to match that count. Add a bit of rotation too, as they scale up. Slap it over the top of your comp 1.
comp 3 is the little side graphic--again, probably just draw in illustrator, something on a circle, and then animate the rotation of that element in AE. Same # of keyframes. (alternatively, you can draw these simple shapes in AE).
The trick might be to use the graph editor to get some nice snappiness to the animations, rather than just using the default easing.
I also did not look at your graphic but here's what I would do:
- Create a new "Master" comp using one of the preset templates at the frame rate you want to use and long enough to contain your entire animation
- Create a new Illustrator file for each of your icons (8 in the example) with the artboard big enough to hold the icon at it's largest size with each element the you want to animate in the icon on a separate layer and import each of these documents into AE as a composition
- OR - Create a new "Icon 1" comp a little bigger than your icon when it is at it's largest size in your comp and build your icon using shape layers making the comp at least twice as long as your Master comp and duplicate it 8 times to match your sample
- Inside the icon comp - do all of the animation that you want to do except the final rotation in your example and set the timing of each of animations to match the timing in the final comp but give yourself a little padding on the head and tail of the animation
- Nest each of the Icon comps inside your main comp and position them in their final resting place
- Add the appropriate layers to complete your design to your Main comp
- Turn off the visibility of the all of the Icon comps but the first one
- Add a null to your composition and position it at the center of rotation for your icons
- Parent the first icon to the null and then animate the rotation of the null to move the first Icon comp the way you want it to move
- When the first icon comp is in it's first resting position turn on the second Icon comp and parent it to the null
- Repeat the animation of the null
- Repeat the process for the rest of your Icon comps.
That's basically it. No need to render everything one at a time. The finished comp looks like this. The trick is in parenting the Icon comps one at a time.