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DIY Seiko Mods

  • 20-05-2020 11:26am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,674 ✭✭✭ david


    Hey guys - I know there's a few of us attempting Seiko mods with the lockdown so why not start a new thread for anyone looking to get in on the action.



    The postman was good to me today, after the best part of a month waiting, my Crystal Times bits and pieces arrived:

    • YM style bezel,
    • Black ceramic YM sloped bezel insert,
    • New gaskets,
    • Double dome sapphire with clear AR.


    After a few tense moments and a good bit of YouTubing, happy to present my poor mans Yachtmaster, really happy with the results for my first attempt:



    513583.jpeg



    Lessons to take from this:

    • Make sure your workspace is super clean, no lint cloths, no dust, use a pint glass to cover your parts/movements to keep the atmospheric dust off them.
    • Take your time, I got a bit ahead of myself and forgot to double check the 12 o clock notch was seated on the chapter ring leading to an additional removal of the crystal.
    • Pay attention to tiny details, I didn't realize the stem needed to be clicked in fully for the release leaver to pop out on a 7S26.
    • Masking tape is your best friend when using steel tools requiring higher effort in case of slippage (case back opener), saved my ass.
    • Buy good parts, I got everything from Crystal Times to ensure the tolerances were correct, there's literally microns between a crushed gasket and a snug WR fit. I'm really happy with the quality of the parts (miles above OEM). Having researched in advance I had seen CT Sapphires have a slight bevel on the underside to assist with a smooth marriage to the (very fragile) crystal gasket.
    • Get the right tools, make sure you have everything you need, in my case one of those €15.00 all in one ebay jobs got me through it although far from ideal. Cheap tools are cheap for a reason:
    513584.jpeg



    The case holder I had was completely useless for a 4 o clock stem, no permutation of the mounting posts would have held this steady. Even if it did, I wouldn't have confidence it'd hold with the softer plastic posts and a stubborn case back from years of gunk buildup. I held it with my hand and a chamois cloth and it loosened with a bit of elbow grease.



    513586.jpeg



    The nylon dies with the cheap press had rough moulding marks on the edges, this resulted in a nice scratch on my chapter ring markers at 12 o clock when I popped the hardlex out. The most gutting part is I had copped this before using. A lack of sandpaper or a file at home and reluctance to queue for the local hardware was ultimately a false economy. Aside from rough edges the press functioned perfectly fine and I had no issues getting a square fit on my glass and bezel. Next time I'll be smoothing the rough edges before using.



    One thing I forgot to purchase was a watchmakers speed greaser but getting creative, a tin of Silicone grease from the local motor factor and a butchered kitchen sponge did the job. Time will tell if the WR has been compromised but my sticky bezel now feels very fluid and I'd bet a fiver on getting through a 20ATM pressure test.



    All in all, I'll take the results, I will swap the chapter ring at some stage, if anyone has a spare OEM or similar they are willing to let go of, please let me know!



    513582.jpeg
    513585.jpeg



    Looking forward to more testing mods in the future and excited to see anyone else's attempts!


«1345

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,674 ✭✭✭ david


    513042.jpg

    Just adding the before pic, repost from the Pictures thread.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,546 ✭✭✭ Annika Large Molasses


    Looks great well done, very nice.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 21,217 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Eoin


    Very nicely done!

    My second mod was very similar, with a new dial (more aviator style than diver) and snowflake hands. I got a good few tools from cousins - their "value" range tools seem decent enough so far.

    Agree with all your points - the main issue I found was trying to find a decent crystal press that doesn't cost the earth. I got one with a screw turn instead of a lever for about 60, but not sure it was worth the money over a 25 quid one.

    I found this really handy - compact enough to use as a handheld magnifier, and just about big enough for setting the hands etc.
    61priuc247L._AC_SS350_.jpg

    Also, I am not sure the standard bezel removal tool is really the best one to use. I just about managed to get the hands on using rodico putty, tweezers and a lot of swearing, but have tools on the way for the next project.

    @david - I think one of my OEM chapter rings is black with white indices, you're welcome to it - I replaced it in both watches.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,085 ✭✭✭✭ Birneybau


    Fantastic looking, fair play.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,674 ✭✭✭ david


    Eoin wrote: »
    Very nicely done!

    My second mod was very similar, with a new dial (more aviator style than diver) and snowflake hands. I got a good few tools from cousins - their "value" range tools seem decent enough so far.

    Agree with all your points - the main issue I found was trying to find a decent crystal press that doesn't cost the earth. I got one with a screw turn instead of a lever for about 60, but not sure it was worth the money over a 25 quid one.

    I found this really handy - compact enough to use as a handheld magnifier, and just about big enough for setting the hands etc.

    Also, I am not sure the standard bezel removal tool is really the best one to use. I just about managed to get the hands on using rodico putty, tweezers and a lot of swearing, but have tools on the way for the next project.

    @david - I think one of my OEM chapter rings is black with white indices, you're welcome to it - I replaced it in both watches.


    You're a legend Eoin, if you can find it let me know, I'll throw you the price of a pint on Revolut if you can stick it in the post for me? Let me know I'll PM the address.



    I need to get one of those magnifiers, it's hard to grasp just how small things are in reality from watching youtube tutorials with zoom camera lenses. For my purpose I think the cheap press will work ok with a few mods to smooth the Nylon dies for the next one. Maybe I got lucky but it seems dead square and there's not a huge amount of play in the piston. Takes a decent squeeze to get enough leverage though so maybe the screw down one might be better in that sense.



    One alternative I was thinking of was to make up a wooden jig for the lower thread bar and use a pillar drill press. Alternatively a bench vice but not sure it would be true enough for that level of precision. Will have to do some investigation next time I'm in the old mans work shop.



    The bezel removal was probably the most straight forward part for me, a dull case back opening blade with a decent taper (about 30-45 degree hone angle, red thing in pic below) just popped it right off. No leverage or prying required. A standard pry tool (yellow in pic below) was too thick to get it started.



    51Nbp-HPrOL._SY450_.jpg


    Post up some pics of your work here if you can, would love to see.


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 21,217 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Eoin


    I am missing the yellow tool, that looks like it could do the trick. I like the little magnifier thing I got - there are bigger ones for about the same price, but I wanted to save as much storage space as possible, and having it as a handheld option was useful.

    Here's my one - there's a bit of gunk on the bezel that I need to remove. i am thinking of getting a couple more bezel and insert colour combos so I can swap them out for a quick change of look, Maybe a solid steel non-rotating one.

    49919400073_0156c2d33b_z.jpg

    And ICYMI, here's the Frankenstein's monster I did first. I know the combo doesn't really make sense, but I like it. I've a leather navy NATO with gold coloured hardware on the way.

    49908489723_5e7f94b4f7_z.jpg

    If I have the correct chapter ring, I'll stick it in the post and if we ever get the chance to compare our creations in person, you can buy me a coffee. PM me your address in the meantime.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,315 ✭✭✭ Frankie5Angels


    I know this is intended as a mainly 'show-off' thread but, if you don't mind, would you guys be able to post where you acquired the mod pieces? i.e. bezels, dials, hands etc.

    I'm interested in picking up the pieces over time and then (possibly) attempting a mod. The Yachtmaster or Fifty Five Fathoms mods are the ones that interest me mostly - really like the look of those.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 21,217 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Eoin


    I got mine from DLW watches. They are only shipping by DHL atm, which makes it more expensive, but also means delivery is pretty quick. Also check out dagaz and yobokies, and lucius atelier.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,674 ✭✭✭ david


    I know this is intended as a mainly 'show-off' thread but, if you don't mind, would you guys be able to post where you acquired the mod pieces? i.e. bezels, dials, hands etc.

    I'm interested in picking up the pieces over time and then (possibly) attempting a mod. The Yachtmaster or Fifty Five Fathoms mods are the ones that interest me mostly - really like the look of those.


    Not at all, started this thread to get more people in on the action, tutorials, tool advice, suppliers etc.



    For parts DLW is good as mentioned by Eoin. I've had good luck with parts from Crystal Times. I found a guy re-selling genuine Crystal Times parts on eBay UK to save you the customs/VAT, high shipping.



    https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/johnnywatch - He's a great guy and was very helpful with advice etc.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 21,217 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Eoin


    Something not to bother getting for setting hands:

    s-l140.jpg
    The plastic tips were useless, so I just got a handheld tools with proper tips instead (for less).

    I accidentally got a watch case back closer that I thought was a crystal press. It worked OK for getting a crystal out, but less successful in bedding a new one.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,144 ✭✭✭ saccades


    Nice, really nice.

    It's something I want to do but never have the time or place to do it.

    I used to send mine off to a mate for the build until he stopped answering on the last one 😡

    Have a skx009 to pimp and a 040 to refurb at some point (and replace a bezel as the yobokies one is nearly dead).


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,674 ✭✭✭ david


    saccades wrote: »
    Nice, really nice.

    It's something I want to do but never have the time or place to do it.

    I used to send mine off to a mate for the build until he stopped answering on the last one ��

    Have a skx009 to pimp and a 040 to refurb at some point (and replace a bezel as the yobokies one is nearly dead).


    You should give it a try, very rewarding! What's the issue with the bezel?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,144 ✭✭✭ saccades


    It's finding the time and then no where in the house to work at it except the dining room table (which is asking for trouble).

    It's on the beater - I think the crash on the bike did the worst of the damage.


  • Registered Users Posts: 747 ✭✭✭ HDMI


    Good to see mods being done with Seiko cases. On Reddit there are a few guys using the fake 41mm Rolex cases and putting a Seiko 4r movement in them, even using fake Seiko dials and hands, selling them for big money.

    Here's an example, sold for $520 with PayPal fees on top which would get you a really nice watch. No real Seiko buyer is going touch one of these and resale value will be a shock to the buyer.

    http://imgur.com/a/FQKxUtc

    Another for $400 the seller of these watches was asked where the cases where made and he just says custom order for him. But clearly it's the same case from the fake Rolex Submariners.

    http://imgur.com/a/SZB2fgB

    I have yet to see one hit the Seiko forums or see one in a "wruw" thread but I reckon there will be some nasty feedback.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,878 ✭✭✭ hitemfrank


    So what are the best sites to use for getting parts for modding Seikos?

    I know of crystaltimes and yobokies. Are they others I'm missing with a selection of items available?

    I won't be doing any modding any time soon but I think it's something I'd like to try down the line.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 21,217 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Eoin


    A couple more options were posted above already - I used DLW watches and am happy with the parts and service I received. eBay may be worth a shot too, as I saw some sellers in the EU which might be quicker.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,144 ✭✭✭ saccades


    Watchpartsplaza is a good spot for OEM Seiko stuff.


  • Registered Users Posts: 747 ✭✭✭ HDMI


    This crowd seem to be getting mentioned a lot on the forums now

    https://www.namokimods.com/


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,674 ✭✭✭ david


    Picked up an SRP775 today and looking at some parts options, deliberating whether I should mod it or not. I really like the stock gilded look, if anything, go OEM+ with ceramic insert and domed Sapphire.
    514203.jpg

    Question for those of you who have used DLW for bezel inserts - is the lume pip huge on this compared to stock? They are the only people who carry OEM-ish upgrade parts.

    Screen_Shot_2019-06-18_at_3.35.37_PM_1296x.png?v=1560852371

    Keep the stock Seiko bezel or go for coin edge?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,674 ✭✭✭ david


    Have a clear AR double dome sapphire and ceramic bezel insert on the way from DLW. Ordered an Uncle Seiko Super Oyster from their UK site to go for a more classic bracelet look on the turtle. Just for anyone interested promo code WISDEAL gets 10% off Uncle Seiko stock incl shipping charges :)

    Want to keep it reasonable OEM+ looking.

    Now to wait patiently!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,878 ✭✭✭ hitemfrank


    A quiet morning in work has led me to putting together a list of parts. I'm at just over 250 euro for everything.

    Realistically, how much am I going to need to spend on tools to assemble everything?


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 21,217 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Eoin


    How much are you planning to change - is that 250 just for the replacement parts? If so, it sounds like you're changing nearly everything.

    The crystal press is probably the most expensive thing - not sure I can recommend one as I didn't have a ton of luck there.
    To remove the bezel, only a few quid for a tool - see the ones that david posted earlier. Not sure what's needed if you need to take out a bezel insert, I replaced both the bezel and the insert
    Fine tweezers will be useful for the gaskets, and for setting hands - can be got cheap
    Movement holder - cheap
    Rodico putty - cheap and very useful for holding hands as well as cleaning
    Case back opening tool - cheap (friction ball may not be that effective)
    Magnifier of some description if you're changing hands - loupes can be got for a couple quid, some sort of standing one may be easier though

    Aside from a crystal press, you're looking at less than 50 quid for the list above


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,674 ✭✭✭ david


    I've spent a grand total of €28 on tools incl shipping. Cheapest of the cheap but I made it work. Far from ideal, caveats in my first post.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,878 ✭✭✭ hitemfrank


    Eoin wrote: »
    How much are you planning to change - is that 250 just for the replacement parts? If so, it sounds like you're changing nearly everything.

    The crystal press is probably the most expensive thing - not sure I can recommend one as I didn't have a ton of luck there.
    To remove the bezel, only a few quid for a tool - see the ones that david posted earlier. Not sure what's needed if you need to take out a bezel insert, I replaced both the bezel and the insert
    Fine tweezers will be useful for the gaskets, and for setting hands - can be got cheap
    Movement holder - cheap
    Rodico putty - cheap and very useful for holding hands as well as cleaning
    Case back opening tool - cheap (friction ball may not be that effective)
    Magnifier of some description if you're changing hands - loupes can be got for a couple quid, some sort of standing one may be easier though

    Aside from a crystal press, you're looking at less than 50 quid for the list above

    I don't own an SKX013 which is what I would want to mod. They are surprisingly expensive now that they've been discontinued so I figured I may as well check the cost of sourcing everything. I was kind of hoping it was going to be a lot more expensive so I could talk myself out of it. Crystal Times are not delivering internationally for the time being anyway so I had plenty of time to
    convince myself out of it.

    Looking at the list you've got there, I've got tweezers, a loupe (great for checking bevels on razors) and a case back opener. Interesting.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,674 ✭✭✭ david


    I linked a grey market Crystal Times reseller in UK above! Have you worn a SKX013? Wears very small on my 7 inch wrist, the dial is tiny. SKX in general are skyrocketing in price. Your best bet is to get one with a scratched hardlex or keeping poor time, upgrade movements are cheap.

    Wouldn’t pay over €150-200 for an SKX


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 21,217 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Eoin


    An SRPD is another option - there's no screw down crown, so apart from the crown & stem, I think all other aftermarket parts are interchangeable with the SKX.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,674 ✭✭✭ david


    Eoin wrote: »

    @david - I think one of my OEM chapter rings is black with white indices, you're welcome to it - I replaced it in both watches.

    Arrived this morning you absolute legend. If you’re stuck for anything let me know. Have all sorts of Seiko bits and bobs here. Now to fleece Supervalu for some polyurethane gloves!


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 21,217 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Eoin


    You're welcome!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,878 ✭✭✭ hitemfrank


    david wrote: »
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/johnnywatch - He's a great guy and was very helpful with advice etc.

    I've got to give this guy a recommendation as well. I kept forgetting bits when ordering stuff and he cancelled the extra shipping costs that racked up due to my incompetence :pac:


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  • Registered Users Posts: 848 ✭✭✭ Blanchy90


    I got this from a guy who is getting out of building watches, unfortunately the nh36 was dead when it arrived, the seller seems genuine so hopefully I get sorted.

    Even if I have to get a new movement I still got an amazing deal.

    I need to reset the hands and probably change the bezel and insert. I got a spare bezel and some tools with it too. He even threw in some decent lume for me to try out.


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