How to Upgrade the Bezel Insert on your Seiko Mod
When it comes to modding watches, Seiko mods are by far the most popular kind of mods in the world. We’ve seen a couple of amazing Casio and G-shock mods but when it comes to adoption, Seiko is miles ahead of other brands. One of the most popular cosmetic modifications on Seiko watches is changing the bezel insert, and it can seriously impact the visual appeal of a dive watch.
With a few tools and some patience, you are able to make this basic mod. Let’s learn more about how to upgrade the bezel insert of a dive watch!
Choosing The Right Bezel Insert
Source: @bbmod_france on IG
Bezel inserts are an essential component of many watches as they provide a way to measure elapsed time, which is vital to any diver. Other inserts allow the wearer to tell the time in another time zone. There are even inserts that may act as compasses which is essential for outdoor adventurers.
There are many different types of bezel inserts available in the market and each with its advantages and disadvantages. When choosing a bezel insert for your Seiko mod, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
Bezel Insert Materials
Source: @jp_wristshop on IG
The most common type of bezel insert today is the ceramic insert. Ceramic inserts are very durable and are virtually indestructible once they are installed on the bezel (it can easily crack outside of a bezel though!). It generally has a glossy look.
Another common material for bezel inserts is aluminum. They often have a matte look and give better color accuracy, and were the most popular kind for decades before the advent of ceramic.
Source: @ikemadethis on IG
The third type of bezel insert is the steel insert. Steel inserts have an industrial look, are very durable, and are more unique than the first two. And since most cases are usually made of stainless steel, using this type of insert gives the watch a seamless look.
The next one is the glass insert, which are less commonly used but really add some pop to a build. Glass inserts can give your Seiko mod watch a vintage look and you won’t see many out in the wild.
Today, bezel inserts are available in many colors, so you can choose the perfect one to match your watch and your personal style.
Source: @watchmods_paris on IG
Who doesn’t know about the notorious Coke bezel insert? Which is not actually related to the carbonated drink but is just nicknamed so due to its black and red color, as seen on the Rolex GMT-Master. We also all know about the Pepsi insert, featuring a blue and red combination, popularized by the GMT-Master 16700.
These are the two most popular but there are a lot of other great color combos such as the gulf blue and orange (perfect for racing fans), grey and orange (aka the grey dawn), or the black and purple (known in the modding scene as the “Joker” insert).
You should make sure that the bezel insert is compatible with the rest of your watch mod. Also, there are many custom chapter rings that you can combine with your bezel inserts to create a one-of-a-kind look.
You can choose a new bezel insert and chapter ring combination to make a brilliant SKX007 mod!
Sloped or Flat?
Choosing if you should get a sloped or flat insert depends entirely on the crystal. Our crystals indicate which insert is a perfect match, so it is easy to choose. For OEM crystals, they will need to match the style of the OEM insert.
Source: @watchfindr on IG
Actually, no matter which type of bezel insert you choose, it’s important that it is the right size for your watch. Bezel inserts come in a variety of sizes, so if you choose an insert that is too small, it could fall out and be lost. On the contrary, choosing an insert that is too large likely won’t fit. If you aren’t sure about the size of the bezel insert to get, here is our handy guide that you can consult.
As said, you also need to consider the style of your watch. As some bezel inserts are very simple, while others are quite ornate, choosing an insert that compliments the style of your Seiko mod is an important consideration.
When you’ve done choosing a new bezel insert for your Seiko mod, let us help you with the tools you’ll need, and how to change out the insert.
Watch Case Knife: A watch case knife is a tool used to pry a snapped-on caseback which can also be used for bezels. It has only one thin and a handle to apply pressure with. However, you can also get something with an edge thin enough to insert into the gap between the bezel and the case, and strong enough to pry the bezel off. Just be careful not to hurt yourself, or scratch off your case.
Adhesive: You may need it to apply the insert to the bezel. The most commonly used ones are 3M stickers but bonding substances like Loctite will also work.
- Crystal Press: Some bezels are friction fit and will need a lot of force to snap back on to the case. If you were able to put the bezel back on the case with your bare hands, this can mean that your bezel is too loose.
You can upgrade the bezel and the insert of your Seiko mod in 3 simple steps.
Remove The Old Bezel and Insert
For a Seiko dive watch, the bezel is just snapped on so that you can pry it off easily. To do this, you’ll need a watch case knife and insert the knife into the gap between the bezel and the case.
Source: Lume Shot on Youtube
With a Seiko dive watch like the SKX007 or the SKX013, there’s a notch at 12 o’clock to make this easier. Push the knife in all the way then pry the bezel off.
Having issues with a stuck bezel? Here’s an article about possible solutions.
Next, push off the old bezel insert from the bottom and clean any adhesive residue with water. Do not use alcohol as it may come in contact with the new bezel insert and melt off the paint.
Put Back the Bezel
You need to put the bezel back on the case before installing the insert because you will be exerting force on it to press in the bezel. Reinstalling the bezel with the insert already attached may cause damage to your new insert. It is recommended to use a crystal press for this step to make sure you are applying even pressure on all sides and installing the bezel correctly.
Fitting The New Bezel Insert
Next, peel off the back of the adhesive tape and align the 12 o’clock of the insert and the chapter ring, then stick the insert onto the bezel. Don’t forget to work for the whole circle of the insert so that it will be applied firmly onto the bezel.
Need a full video tutorial? We recommend this one from Lume Shot.
A New Look for Your Seiko Mod Watches
If you are looking to mod your Seiko watch with a new Seiko bezel insert, you will be able to find a perfect one with namokiMODS. We stock a huge range of Watch spare parts, including OEM Seiko spare parts.
If you are just getting started with Seiko watch mods, check out the tools we offer, and all the great parts we create for the global modding community.