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January 26, 2019 5 min read

For watch collectors and connoisseurs out there, watch modding offers a chance to breakdown, build, rebuild and construct the watch of your dreams. Many brands, big or otherwise, give you the option of modulation — letting you impose your will on the fashion piece that goes on your wrist. From the straps to the dials, even to the crystals and hands, with the right watch, you can edit your watch to suit your needs.

In the world of watch modding, one brand stands above all. SEIKO.

A Japanese brand that has gained favour among amateur and professional modders on the internet, SEIKO lets you, as a watch fanatic, customise your piece. With aftermarket and spare parts readily available on the open market, Seiko watches represent prime real estate for watch modders.

If you have any experience in the modding world, you must recognise the flexibility Seiko's range of time pieces afford you; a ton of fitting parts are available for purchase to, in a manner of speaking, get with the times or have a throwback to ages gone by.

 

 

MODDING OPTIONS

If this is your first foray into the world of watch customisation, the entire process might seem unbelievably complicated and time consuming, but trust us when we say, it really is the opposite. There is a growing community of enthusiasts, online, who share ideas, creative mods and are always willing to ease newbies through the learning stages.

Now to modding your Seiko. You can take two paths, when it comes to customising your Seiko;

 

FULL OVERHAUL

The equivalent of performing plastic surgery on your time piece. Combine aftermarket parts from other brands or models and create an enviable mix of elegance and style. Imagine, for a moment, sporting a Seiko SNK809 with the dials and straps of a Rolex Explorer, or a Seiko SKX007 that looks like carbon copy of a Rolex Submariner. Or even a modified unique looking piece that is distinctively yours.

An Explorer Mod by Jarle Kjaervoll Wiig
An explorer mod. Photo & watch credits go to Jarle Kjaervoll Wiig.
The Rising Sun SKX007 Mod by 4:44PM / Nathan
A complete overhaul on a SKX007. Photo credit goes to 4:44PM 

Your only limitation is your imagination (and finding parts with the right specs). This is where the Seiko stands out — you can find matching parts anywhere. So if you need to show your national pride, and sport the colours for your country on your wrists, finding matching parts is the last thing you need to worry about.

 

SUBTLE & CLASSIC

 

 

TOOLS REQUIRED

Before you dive into the delicate world of watch surgery, you must be well prepared for the task at hand. All of the equipment you require for your modding needs are tools you can get at the hardware store, or you probably have lying around in your home already.

To get started you'll need:
  • Gloves or Finger Cots
  • Case Back Remover
  • Crystal Presser
  • Cleaning Putty
  • Hand Remover
  • Hand Setter
  • Dust Blower
  • Toothpicks
  • Tweezers
  • Screwdrivers
  • Gorilla Tape
  • Workspace (preferably one that has enough room to contain tiny, loose parts)
4:44PM Watch Modification Workspace
Watch modification workspace of 4:44PM 

Combine these tools with patience and really steady hands, and you’ll find that your modding journey is as fun as it is exhilarating. If you intend on customising your Seiko DIY style, you can check online forums for popular mods, and easy to follow descriptions.

 

 

HOW TO MOD

So, you have an idea for a mod and you are looking to bring it to life, how do you go about it? With the world becoming increasingly mobile and more of a global village, you can find directions on how to customise a wide variety of Seiko models on dedicated websites and forums.

 

DIY

Here is a quick overview of a generic Seiko watch mod. Be aware that this tutorial only gives you an introductory perspective into what goes into modifying your time piece.

Step 1: Remove Strap
Compress the flanges on your stock strap and gently pull it out.

Step 2: Open Case Back
Use a case opener to secure, and carefully open your watch's case back. At this point, the movement is exposed, and the real fun can start.

Step 3: Remove Crown and Stem
Gently push on the lever with a toothpick to easily remove the crown and stem before removing the movement from the casing. Use a toothpick to gently nudge the movement out of its casing as well.

Step 4: Align and Remove Hands
Ensure all the hands face the same direction (12H) and use a hand remover to pull them out in one fell swoop.

Step 5: Remove Dial
Use a flathead screwdriver to lift the stock dial from the plastic bracket.

Step 6: Replace Dial
Align the new dial’s legs with the holes on the plastic bracket. Fix firmly.

Step 7: Replace Hands
Apply the hour hand first, and set it to 12H. Hold down the hand with tweezers, then apply the minute hand — also to 12H.

Step 8: Align Hands
Done right, the hands should land firmly and accurately on every hour. Now you can apply your seconds hand.

Step 9: Replacing The Crystal
Use a crystal removal tool to gently punch out the stock crystal. Apply the new crystal, and level it with gentle pressure into the case.

Step 10: Case and Align Your Movement
Return the crown and stem, and press the movement firmly into the case. Connect your new strap, and just like that, you are ready to sport your modded Seiko watch.

**For in-depth tutorial, check out our tutorial posts 

 

TRUSTED MODDERS

You can get purchase readymade Seiko mods from reputable businesses like ours, or even better, if you have an idea for a mod, you can contact us and we will get back to you with a response. Reaching out to experienced modders allows you to leverage over decades of combined experience in watchmaking business rather than trying (and potentially messing up) your customisation attempt.

**Here is a list of watch modification service providers 

 

LOCAL WATCHMAKERS

There is always the option of getting your Seiko modding carried out by a local watchmaker you trust. This option is perfect for professional services; and also solves the issue of clumsiness or lack of tools.

 

 

CONCLUSION

Watch modding is a fun, exciting experience, and with the Seiko brand, you have the leeway and freedom needed to express yourself through your time piece. Explore the beautiful, fully customisable world of Seiko modding today, and you will be glad you did.

 

 

LIST OF AFTERMARKET PARTS RETAILERS

  1. Crystaltimes
    Large selection and types of sapphire crystals.
  2. Dagaz Watch 
    All-rounder for mod parts.
  3. DLW Watches 
    Large variety of SKX007 bezels and bezel inserts.
  4. Lucius Atelier 
    Specialise in SKX013 mod parts, Swiss BGW9 Lume & Artistic dials.
  5. Lumed Ceramic Bezel Inserts 
    Specialise in lumed ceramic bezel inserts.
  6. namoki 
    Large variety of SKX007 bezels and bezel inserts.
  7. One Second Closer 
    All-rounder for SKX007 mod parts.
  8. SEIKOCROWN 
    Specialise in watch crown customisation.
  9. STRAPCODE 
    Large selection of watch straps for SKX and more.
  10. Uncle Seiko 
    Large selection of watch straps for SKX and more.
  11. Yobokies 
    All-rounder for mod parts.

Did I miss you out? Let us know


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