Seiko Modding Guide for Beginners: A Regularly Updated Directory
If you've been looking for a Seiko Modding Guide, all the information out there might seem overwhelming or even confusing. Sometimes you’d get different answers for the same question, making you unsure of which advice to follow.
And while it’s worth the hours of reading to familiarize yourself with the whole process of modification and the hobby as a whole, we thought we’d do you a favor by keeping all the essential information in one place.
You can bookmark this article on your browser because as the title suggests, we’ll be regularly updating this directory article with more content. Our guides and how-tos are well-researched and written with the help of professional Seiko modders, so we are sure that this resource will be helpful to you.
Let’s start with the basics and slowly advance to more complicated guides:
Buying The Things you Need
Checklist of parts
Of course, you’re not going to be able to do any modding without any watch mod parts, so in this article, we prepared a complete checklist of all the parts you need to build a full Seiko watch from the ground up.
While bigger parts like the case and crystal are quite easy to remember, things like gaskets or click springs can easily miss your list. And if you’re not quite sure how these parts go together in a build yet, the definition and uses of each part is also discussed in the article.
Picking a Crystal
The crystal is not something you usually notice or inspect in a watch. After all, it is just there to secure the dial and hands from water and foreign materials. That said, choosing the wrong crystal for your build can ruin your whole setup and force you to spend more to get the right one for the mod.
Imagine having a crystal that is too short, leaving a gap from the bezel insert, or picking the wrong Anti-Reflective coating making your dial look discolored. You can avoid these issues by checking out this article.
Checklist of tools
Once you have the parts, you can then start putting them together, which will be difficult without the necessary tools!
A watchmaker has many tools in his kit, but a new modder will not necessarily be using the same tools as someone who is modding as a professional. If you’re just going to replace the bezel, there’s no need to buy a water resistance tester. If you plan on swapping out the hands, which removal and reinstalling tool is best to use?
This handy guide will explain the uses of each watchmaking tool and will help you decide which tools to get for yourself.
Planning to use an OEM watch as a base for your next build? Many modders have the same idea and in some instances, it is actually cheaper than having to get each individual part.
That said, you have to be cautious when buying Seikos (or whatever watch you're modding) online because not all of them are genuine. You will not be getting your money's worth if you're paying OEM price for a fake.
This article will help you weed out the OG from the copy.
Working on the Mod
Changing the bezel and bezel insert
This type of mod is one of the simplest things you can do to noticeably change the appearance of your watch. Remember, the Rolex Batman got its name from the black and blue insert, while a black and red insert defined the Rolex Coke.
While it is a simple mod, mistakes with changing a bezel can lead to damaging your case or even chipping your crystal in extreme cases. Bent bezel inserts are also a thing. We selected helpful video guides for you which you can see in this post.
Changing your watch hands
This article about changing watch hands will be quite helpful if you want to spice up your current watch. Like bezels and inserts, the watch hands are a small change with a big impact on the looks of a watch, however, this process is the not-so-favorite-part of many modders. Yup, even professional ones.
Why is it so hard? Your focus must be at 100, and your hands need to be as steady as the hands of a Japanese chef that serves the poisonous puffer fish. Hands tend to move unexpectedly and will need to be perfectly aligned with your dial, and working on it with too much force can easily bend them while not enough force will cause them to fall off or slant.
Changing Day Wheels on an NH36
Once you're modding the day wheel on a movement, you can tell that you've leveled up already as a Seiko modder. We would rate this as something that needs intermediate skill, so to prep you for the task, here is a guide for changing day wheels.
Why would you need to change the day wheel on the NH36 movement? This movement is intended for a 3 o'clock case (the crown is beside the 3 marker) so if you want to use it for a 4 o'clock case, which you can, you will need to swap out the day wheels to correct the misalignment.
Maintaining your Watch
Proper Cleaning Techniques
When cleaning a watch, is it sufficient to give it a wipe around? Or if it is water-resistant, will putting it under running water the proper way of cleaning? The answer: it depends.
While these may be enough to remove dust on the surface, these are not deep enough cleansing methods to actually maintain your watch at its best. You may have to disassemble it too to clean the insides because even if all parts are screwed or pushed in tight, dirt will still manage to get in there.
This article will give you an idea on how to properly clean your beloved Seiko.
Maintaining the Water Resistance
You are most likely modding a diver's watch which means water resistance will be one of its main features. No matter how deep your watch is rated though, you probably shouldn't bring it diving or even swimming, without properly inspecting the watch first.
This article will help you check if your watch has maintained its water resistance; an inspection that we recommend doing if your watch has been stuck for a long time.