New Seiko Modders: Read This Before Changing Your Watch Hands
Watch hands are one of the most visible parts of any watch. A watch is created to drive the hands, so that people know what time it is!
For many watch buyers, leaving the watch in its original condition is important. In the modding community, changing the hands of a watch can create a much different overall feel, and may be part of a wider Seiko mod.
The simple fact is that the hands of a watch can make or break the overall aesthetic of a watch,
If you are into Seiko divers or Seiko mods, you have probably considered changing the watch hands on your favorite Seiko model. The reason couldn’t be more obvious – as a part of the face of the watch, the hands create a big part of a watch's appeal.
If you want a new, refreshing look for your watch, swapping the hands may be the way to start modding an SKX, or any other Seiko watch that is well supported in the aftermarket.
There are several things to consider when choosing the right hands, and here at NamokiMODS, we offer some of the best aftermarket hands to choose from. In addition to designs that echo Seiko originals, we also offer other styles to fit your needs as a custom Seiko modder.
What Kind of Hands Make Sense for Your Seiko Mod?
Some watch brands have created a strong identity with the hands they use. This leaves watch enthusiasts with a variety of choices when it comes to watch hands, and many options when designing a Seiko mod.
When it comes to watch hands, the style is one of the first things you may want to consider.
What look do you love
Hard to call it a Submariner mod without Mercedes hands. (Source: @seiko_lab on IG)
Other modders might like to do a Seiko mod that features hands from another Seiko product, like our MM Polished Finish hour hand, minute hand, and second hand. The MM300 is an amazing watch, and its hand set would look great on a Seiko 5 or SKX mod.
If you're lucky enough to have a spare MarineMaster dial available, the MM hands will have the best synergy with it. (Source: @seikomodsaustralia on IG)
We also offer a set of SKX Skeleton Finish Watch Hands, which look amazing on any build that wants to exude modern styling, while adopting the overall aesthetic of the SKX's original handset.
Our skeleton hands are a unique design to give your build more flare. (Source: @girl_with_watches on IG)
More to Consider When Choosing a Hand Set
Of course, it is a good idea to consider the size and color of the hand you are adding to your watch.
The size of watch hands needs to fit the movement, and with Seiko, this is pretty easy. Any of our hands should fit the 7S family of movements, which includes the 4R series, as well as the 6R series.
Some of the seconds hand in our sets may run a bit long for smallish cases though (like the SKX013). If you're not sure which hands are best, you can send us an email for a recommendation!
Pretty much any Seiko SKX will be able to use any of our handsets, and if you need another kind of hands, we also may be able to help you.
Perfectly fitting hands guarantee the proper movement of the entire watch function, so be sure about the kind of hands that your movement needs.
Thinking about the style and color of the hands is also necessary, and probably a lot more fun.
Mixing and matching handsets can help better enhance your mod! (Source: @cierrecart on IG)
Our selection of hands is deep, and we offer Seiko modders a wide range of Seiko parts that are produced at a high level of finishing.
Not only do we offer a wide range of 7S compatible polished silver hands, we also have gold, rose gold, and black hands that make a huge number of potential Seiko mods possible.
Our hands are compatible with the following Seiko watch movements: 7s26, 7s36, 7s25, 7s35, 6r15, 4r15, 4r35, 4r36, 6309, 7002, 7009, NH35, NH35A, NH36, and the NH36A.
Even if you only swapped the hands and bezel insert on a Seiko SKX or Seiko 5, the difference in appearance of the watch is huge. Have a look at our collection of bezel inserts as well, and build up an idea of what NamokiMODS offers to Seiko Modders!
What Tools Do You Need to Change a Handset for a Seiko Mod?
Once you have found a suitable second hand, minute hand and hour hand that will fit your movement and style preferences – it is time to get all the tools and materials together to make the swap.
We sell most of what you need to do a hand swap the right way, and the list that follows gives you an idea of what you will need to ensure that the hand swap is done correctly.
Hand-setting Tools – Set of 3
One for the hour, minute, and second hand.
The kit includes a specialized type of hand pushing tool that is made specifically for an hour hand, minute hand, and second hand. Some people might tell you that one tool does it all – but we highly recommend having the right tool for each type of hand.
Mistakes and accidents happen in any craft. Best to protect the parts you're working with as much as possible!
Dial protectors make sure that you don't do any damage when you are putting the hands in place. With this tool, you can easily remove the watch hands without worrying about scratching the watch face, and also make sure you are able to install the hands without putting the dial in danger.
Bergeon 7033 Rodico Premium Cleaning Putty
Many call it magic, but Rodico Cleaning Putty is simply a must have for any watch modder.
It’s hard to beat Rodico when it comes to stains on your watch dial. You can easily clean off most smudges and fingerprints on a watch dial, hands, and any other surface of your watch with Bergeon 7033 Rodico Premium Cleaning Putty.
Additionally, you can use this cleaning putty to lift precision watch parts as it will not smear or mark the fragile surfaces such as the plates, bridges, dials and hands. Bergeon 7033 Rodico Premium Cleaning Putty is worth having – no matter what kind of Seiko mods you are doing.
It's like tweezers on steroids
A quality hand remover is a must-have tool. This little tool comes with fibre tips, making the process of removing or pulling off your watch hands much easier. Don't skimp on a hand remover – buy quality tools.
Bergeon 7024 Anti Magnetic Tweezers #3
Tweezers may look simple but are quite handy when working on any delicate watch parts.
Professional grade stainless steel tweezers are a must when dealing with tiny watch hands. The Swiss-Made Bergeon 7024 is a perfect fit for your modding toolkit, and a vital part of any hand swapping process.
Common Issues With Your Watch Hands And How To Fix Them
Although the watch hands take up very little space on the dial, they still may need some attention when it comes to troubleshooting a problem with your watch. Here are a few things that you may need to address when it comes to your watch.
Movement Doesn't Move When Hands are Installed
In most cases where the hands do not run or seem to “jump” after the installation, there is probably an installation error or damage. But it’s also worth noting that sometimes this may be a part of the movement, and could require further investigation.
You may not notice but over time, dust can significantly impact the proper operation of your watch. Because dust can potentially siphon off lubricant, causing increased friction between gears, it damages the movement.
Create your mods in a clean environment and you'll have a better time working. (Source: @bbmod_france in Why We Mod 005)
While this may not be too much of an issue with diver's watches, which are effectively sealed off from the environment, make sure the movement is clean before you swap the hands.
Also, when installing the hands, the issues with second hand hollow pin, spaces between hands, and choosing the right tools, are all direct factors that can affect the movement. You want to be super careful and take time to install them properly when doing it yourself.
Misalignment (Can Happen with the Seconds Hand)
Hands misalignment is a minor visual defect but once you see it, you'll always think about it. (Source: u/delitescentjourney on Reddit)
Misaligned hands are obviously not what you are going for when you swap a handset. The root of this problem could be from a bad installation, or in some cases, a faulty movement.
In most cases, it will be an installation error, and if you notice that the hands don't line up correctly, or are not parallel with the dial, you will have to redo the installation, or have a professional fix the issue.
Seconds Hand Hesitation
If your second hand moves 2 seconds, then ‘hesitates’ for 1 second – you might be wondering what the problem is!
Source: EDC Gunner on YT
In those cases, the second hand tends to jump once every 2 seconds, sometimes 4 seconds, then “hesitates” for 1 second. If movement is still displaying the correct time, you might have a quartz watch that is using its End of Life (E.O.L) warning.
When the function is activated, you know it’s time to change the battery before the watch stops working altogether. If you have any automatic watch, and you see seconds hand hesitation, there is probably something wrong with the movement, and it is time to talk to a watchmaker.
namokiMODS Does it Right
namokiMODS has some of the best hands for Seiko mods out there – and we also offer our clients best in class watchmaking tools.
You don't have to worry about getting knock-off tools from us, we make sure that every tool we sell is 100% genuine and fully functional.
Please have a look at our extensive selection of Seiko-compatible hands, and think about what a new handset could do on your next Seiko mod!