There have been an increasing interest in modifying the premium SEIKO model, SARB033. Another similar model with a white dial colour, the SARB035. Changing, especially, the dial of this model remains a huge challenge due to large dial opening case and an uncommon dial size. Henceforth, requiring further modification methods.
Most recently on YouTube, Darak Watches by Darak did an amazing job demonstrating the intricacy of SARB033 and dial modification.
In this article, we will give you important tips on how to modifying your SARB033. For a more in-depth tutorials on general watch modifications, please refer here . Hopefully after reading this article, you are able to decide if such modification is right for you. Photos and video courtesy of Darak from Darak Watches.
|Movement-Case Fitting||By screws, clips and ring||By friction|
|Movement-Dial Fitting||By screws, ring and dial legs||By dial legs|
|Dial Holding Ring|
|Movement Holder Ring||Stainless steel||Plastic|
|Ease of Dial Change||Difficult||Easy|
1Examples of Commonly Modded SEIKOs (CMS) are SKX, SNK, SNKK, SNKL, SNZF, SNZH, SRPD, and more
Unlike the commonly modded SEIKO models where its movement can be easily pop out of the watch case after pulling out the crown and stem, the SARB033 requires removing two screws and movement clips that secure the movement holder ring and movement. Once the movement holder ring is removed, the movement can be easily popped out.
Once the dial have been popped out, insert the stem and crown, adjust the hands together and remove the hands. More in-depth instructions here . Next, flipping over, another two screws on the movement have to been removed to detach the movement from the dial. Once the movement have been removed, remove the dial holding ring sitting on the dial.
The original SARB dial has a diameter of 30.2mm. This is hugely different from the standard 28.5mm dial diameter that is used in SEIKO 5, Sports and dive models.
IMPORTANT: A standard 28.5mm dial can be used in SARB. However, it is worth noting that in the process of dial swap, the original SARB dial will be damaged.
The existing chapter ring bond onto the original SARB dial is the key to accommodate a 28.5mm standard dial into SARB watch case.
NOTE: For SARB033, the chapter ring will be black in colour with white markers, while for SARB035, the chapter ring will be very pale yellow in colour with black markers.
From here, you would want to clip off the legs of the original SARB dial, piece it flat on a glass, and add acetone by droplets to the edge of the dial. Allow 15-20 minutes for the acetone to breakdown the adhesive. Next, flip it over and sit the dial on something round (e.g. crystal press dies) while having the chapter ring without support. Then, using a tweezer/toothpick and push the chapter ring legs out of the dial. The chapter ring should dislodge from the dial easily.
Any legs found on the 28.5mm dial should be clipped off as it is incompatible. Similarly, all legs on the SARB chapter ring should also be clipped off. Next, you want to sit the chapter ring on the dial to orientate. One of the easiest approach to bonding the chapter ring to the dial without permanent damage to either of them is to use a high quality removable adhesive tape (e.g. Scotch Removable Magic Tape). From the back of the dial, you can cut a a few pieces of adhesive tape at 2-3mm and tape where the dial and chapter ring touches. Use a tweezer to press the edges. Ensure to tape at least four spots to secure the chapter ring on the dial.
TIP: Tape one spot first. Flip over and ensure the orientation is correct. Once the orientation is confirmed to be precise, then continue to tape more spots.
In this step, the tricky part is a sandwich approach. A steady hand and double sided adhesive tape here is essential.
Sit the movement holder ring onto a movement holder. Then proceed to place the movement with its crown inserted into the movement holder ring. Cut eight pieces of double sided adhesive tape with 1mm x 2mm dimension. Using a tweezer, stick them at four opposing corners. Now orientate the dial holding ring and sandwich onto adhesive tapes.
Next, with the remaining four pieces of double sided adhesive tape, stick them onto the dial holding ring on four opposing corner. Lastly, by using the crown, orientate the dial and press it firmly onto the movement. The adhesive tapes sandwiched between will secure the dial in place.
The biggest challenge is installing the hands back onto the movement. Without proper tools, experience or patience, the hands - as fragile as they are - can easily be scratched or bent out of form. More in-depth instructions here .
Finally, the last part is straightforward. Once the hands are installed, flip the movement over onto a gel casing cushion. Remove the movement holder ring, flip the movement over and cased the dial and movement. Fit the movement holder ring back and screw in the two movement clips as you have removed in Step 1. Lastly, close up the watch.
Courtesy of Darak / Darak Watches
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WARNING: Modification and/or customisation of a watch will generally void its warranty.