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August 03, 2022 3 min read

It's not every time I make a mod for myself. Given the sheer numbers of possible customisations at hand, I am completely spoilt for choices that I would spend weeks even months pondering if I would ever wear it. This is especially so when I have over 4 dozens of watches and there simply isn't enough wrist time for every piece.

I am pretty sure I am not alone on this.

It wasn't until late last year when one particular piece drew my attention so much that I spent many nights wishing I could wear it on my wrist. (Yes, I am a watch idiot savant 😂) This piece was none other than Tiffany-Blue Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5711/1A-018. Love it or hate it, this piece is way beyond mere mortals like me who can only dream of it. On the bright side, we are Seiko modders right? *wink* I had to do something.

Since we already have black nautilus hands, the dial was the only piece that needed to be fabricated. Unfortunately, Tiffany Blue colour isn't available publicly, even if there is, we can't not use it anyway, so we had to work around by using a Turquoise colour. Immediately with that in mind, over the course of two weeks, I set my team on blending colours. Took a while but finally we settled for this icy turquoise that had the Tiffany Blue feel, yet it was a completely different beast. Within two months, we released the Nautilus Turquoise Dials.

Fun Fact: Since 1998, Tiffany Blue® has been registered as a colour trademark by Tiffany and, in 2001, was standardised as a custom colour created by Pantone® exclusively for Tiffany and not publicly available.

Next step was actually simple; To assemble a piece with Seikonaut 40mm, Nautilus Turquoise Dial (Date) and Nautilus Black Hands.

I noticed that Seikonaut 40mm was overwhelmingly big for my 16cm wrist. Inclusive of the side notches and crown, the full case diameter clocked in at 46mm!! It was massively big on my puny wrist. I did tried to like it, but I simply couldn't bring myself to wear it.

Personally, I fancy smaller cases and have always been wearing watches as small as 35mm to 39mm. 36mm was my particular sweet spot, of course I will settle for ±2mm, but not a case at 40mm with side notches to add.

That's when I recalled that my team actually made a 36mm prototype Seikonaut back in 2020. I dug out the prototype and this Seikonaut 36mm was utterly gorgeous and sized perfectly for my wrist. At the same time, I was wondering why didn't we release this back in 2020. Strangely, I couldn't recall the reason.

I fitted the parts together and I was immediately attracted to it!

Seikonaut 36mm Turquoise / Tiffany Blue Mod

It sits perfectly on my wrist and was so comfortable I did not once take it off the moment I put it on. That's how the first day of wrist time this piece started.

Feels like a 40mm watch on my wrist, yet it's only 36mm. Legibility was really amazing. The stark contrast between turquoise background and the black/white, it doesn't even take 2 seconds to tell what time it was. I've got to give Patek and Tiffany Blue all credits for creating this fabulous combination.

Seikonaut 36 Turquoise / Tiffany Blue Mod - A SEIKO Mod Part by Lucius Atelier

For the past two weeks, this Seikonaut 36mm mod had the fullest wrist time day in day out every single day. I even brought it to shower once every 3 days to wash off the dirt and grease. Over time, I've became very attached to this piece: the comfort on the wrist, the visual appeal and the mechanical aspect. It was my cup of tea.

My perfect daily beater.

Interestingly, over the past two weeks, I have gotten numerous stares at my wrist and several compliments that I have never gotten before. To me, this is the unique phenomenon as I have, for over a decade, worn numerous timepieces from Rolex to Patek, and never once have I ever gotten compliments. Wrist stares yes, but never compliments.

Though, my endless appetite for mechanical timepieces and modding journey simply do not end here. With the new Seiko GMT NH34 movement in line, perhaps I might end up with another new watch mod that makes my heart skip a beat.

Meanwhile, for those like myself who fancy smaller cases, we managed in a short time churned out a small batch of Seikonaut 36mm cases and they are now available.


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