Hey Modfam!

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.

 

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.

Need a kit that contains all the tools you need to mod your watch? Check out our newly released Watchmaking Kits!

 

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.

 

Picking a Case

A watch case is obviously one of the most important parts of any watch. As in cars, the engine might be the one making the car move, but it’s the chassis that gives the car its identity. It’s quite the same with watches: not only does it project a specific look, it also is the base for all the other components that make up a watch. 

If you’re going for a build that’s minimalist or maybe even stealthy, you wouldn’t want to choose a case that has a lot of angles and cuts, or one that’s brightly colored. On the other hand, if you want a watch that naturally attracts attention, you may want to go for an unusual looking case, or one is inspired by a popular classic.

How do you know which case will be the best choice to bring your modding vision to life? This article might help you out.

 

Spotting Knockoffs

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.

 

Making a Lady's Mod

Modding is a hobby that appeals a lot more to the men than women, but that doesn't mean you can't make a stunning lady watch with the mod parts available right now. As long as you know the design language and color of lady-specific watches, you'd be able to build watches that the wife (or any other significant lady in your life) would surely love.

This article will teach you what makes for a lady's watch and how you can create it yourself.

 

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.

 

How to Remove a Stuck Bezel

A bezel may get stuck if the tolerance is too small and it was somehow forced onto the case, or if it was installed incorrectly. The bezel might also just be distorted due to an imperfect fabrication, causing it to latch on to the case and unable to be removed with normal means.

No need to panic! Though it may be harder to remove than usual, there are still ways to get it off the watch case. Remember that if you are not confident with handling fragile parts, it is still best to refer the issue to a professional. But if you'd rather DIY and don't mind applying a bit of force or handling blades near your watch, then check out this article.

 

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.

 

Changing the Movement's Rotor

The rotor is a thin sheet of metal located at the back of a movement which spins when the watch wearer moves his hand, in turn winding up the movement and charging its power reserve. And while it is mainly a functional piece, hidden behind a caseback, it is actually something that you can pimp out and replace with something better-looking. A must if you are using a display caseback with your build.

Changing the rotor is quite easy and can be done in just a couple of minutes. This handy guide will show you all the tools you will be using as well as the actual step-by-step so you can deck out your rotor.

 

Making your Own Leather Watch Strap

Leather straps add a touch of class to any build. It looks great and wears comfortably, and there's no question why it's a top strap choice for dress watches. 

Ever thought of creating your own leather watch strap? While it takes an entirely different skillset and toolset from watch modding, creating your own strap from raw leather can feel just as rewarding. This guest article by an expert leather craftsman will teach you everything you need to know to produce your own handmade leather strap.

 

Modding a GMT Movement

As of this update, Seiko has just released the SSK001, which is the spiritual successor to the SKX007 but with added office GMT functionality. Along with this release is the introduction of the budget GMT movement, the NH34, opening a brand new modding opportunity that no doubt a lot of modders have been praying and waiting for.

It's not a plug and play movement with a lot of current mod part offerings in the market, but it's not entirely an isolated movement that suppliers have to create an entire set of new parts for. There are some already existing parts that are directly compatible with the NH34 and SSK parts, and there are others that need just a little bit of alteration to make it work.

This GMT modding guide will show you which SSK and SKX parts are cross-compatible. 

 

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.

 

How to Regulate a Mechanical Watch

No matter how mechanical watch engineering advances and how accurate new movements become, your watch will run too fast or too slow after some time. It is simply a fact of life. But that doesn't mean you just have to sit there and accept it for what it is; you can regulate your watch movement so that it runs as accurate as possible, which minimizes the margin of error.

Our helpful guide will teach you how to read and operate a timegrapher, or the device that will help you regulate your watch.

August 17, 2021 — Jeremiah A

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