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watch modding

The Art of Watch Modding: A Guide for New Collectors

A comprehensive guide for collectors who wish to elevate their watches. Learn watch modding to bring your timepiece to the next level here!
May 06, 2024

Timepieces are a statement of the owner’s taste and personality. A watch could be a legacy that can be passed down to the next generation. To create personal uniqueness worth passing down, watch modding exists as an alternative to customize your watch collection to suit your preferences.

Specifically, watch modding functions to elevate your timepiece by modifying the original parts of the watch with new features. And so, if you are ready to enhance and bring your watch to the next level, let’s dive in and learn everything about modding here!

What is a Watch Mod?

The activity of watch modding is quite popular among watch enthusiasts and collectors. 

Specifically, watch mod is a term that refers to the act of modifying a timepiece by replacing one of the features with the new one.

Modifying involves replacing the watch’s appearance or function to create a unique timepiece. It might include replacing hands, inserting a bezel or dial, and swapping out entire cases or movements.

The modification is not only limited to that, as it allows the watch’s owner to make endless customization. Even the act of replacing a watch’s strap can be considered modding. In addition, some mods can be functional or simply for aesthetic enjoyment. 

A Guide to Watch Modding

In fact, performing a watch is kind of risky as you make changes to the original part. Therefore, we heavily recommend you go to a professional service for watch modding. 

Never take online sources as your only guide as you still need direct professional assistance for that. Yet, you still always have the access to know how to make watch modding. Commonly, the steps are as follows:

1. Prepare the Watch Modding Tools

Using the right tool is the key to successfully modifying your timepieces. The basic tools you need to prepare for the modification are tweezers, screwdrivers, and pliers. However, you may need to prepare specific tools like a case opener, bezel remover, and dial protector for the complex modification.

If you want to make this activity of modifying a hobby, consider investing in a high-quality watch tool kit. Investing in high-quality tools undoubtedly will result in an exquisite outcome of modification.

2. Decide the Type of Modification to Do

In modifying timepieces, there are multiple options you can choose from. You may modify your watch by replacing one of the features like changing hands, inserting a bezel, or inserting a dial.

Or you may do the modification by changing the watch’s function, like adding a date window or chronograph function.

So, before you modify your timepiece, you have to be sure about what kind of modification you will do and ensure that you have the tools and skills required.

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3. Do Simple Modifications as Starter

The safest thing to do is start with simple modifications such as changing the hands or bezel insert.

That is because these two activities require no complex technical skill, and they can give your watch a new look without much risk of damaging it.

And if you have more experience, you can start doing more complex modifications like replacing the dial or adding new features.

4. Be Careful and Do the Modification Slowly

It is important to note that you must be careful in modifying and taking your time. That is because watches are pretty fragile, and your timepiece may get damaged if you are not careful.

Thus, to avoid that, you need to make sure that you are doing the modification in a clean area and using the right tools.

5. Use the Inexpensive Watch to Practice Your Skill

Before modifying the timepieces you have collected and planning on passing them down, the safest option is to start practicing by using inexpensive watches that can be obtained easily in local stores.

This will allow you to familiarize yourself with the watch mod parts and how to modify them without damaging your collection.

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Can Every Watch Be Modded?

In general, every watch can be modded. You only need effort, skills, and proper tools to mod a watch. Nevertheless, you need to pay attention to the new parts used if you are trying to replace entire parts.

For example, if you want to change the movement, you need to consider the specific hand sizes to be attached and the dials that can be used

Our recommendation for a watch that can be easily modded is the Seiko collection. Seiko is one of the brands that provide multiple options for watch parts that can be used in modding.

Below are some of Seiko watch modding parts that may give you an overview regarding watch modding parts:

Seiko Steel Insert – 007 Yacht-Master Steel

The slope design of the insert in question requires compatible crystals for a proper fit. The insert is made of 316L steel and features raised polished numerals and markers against a matte background.

To achieve a better fit, the recommended compatible crystals are the Sapphire Flat – Type E and the Sapphire Double Dome, both of which are designed for the Seiko SKX007. Another option is the Sapphire Double Dome with no beveled edge, which is also suitable for the Seiko SKX007.

These inserts are intended for use with the Seiko SKX007, SKX009, and SKX011 series, as well as the Seiko 5 SRPDxx series, which serves as a replacement for the SKX007.

Seiko Bezel – SKX007/SPRD Deep Sea – Polished Steel

This watch bezel is made of 316L steel and has a polished steel finish. It features a 120-click unidirectional function for precise timing.

Designed for use with the Seiko SKX007, SKX009, and SKX011 series, as well as the Seiko 5 SRPDxx series, which serves as a replacement for the SKX007.

This bezel comes with one piece of bezel gasket. Alternatively, the gasket from the original Seiko bezel can also be used.

Seiko Chapter Ring  – SKX007/SRPD – Polished Steel w Engraved Markers

This watch part is compatible with the Seiko SKX007, SKX009, and SKX011 series. And it is important to note that there is no protruding leg below the Chapter Ring.

Seiko Crown – SKX007 – Polished Steel

This watch crown is made of 316L steel and has a polished steel finish. Each crown purchase includes two uncut threaded stems, and there are two stem types to choose from: the 7S26 stem or the NH36 stem, each coming with two pieces.

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Seiko Hands – Classic

This set includes an hour, minute, and second hand for watches. To create a set, different colors and designs can be combined using the Mix & Match link provided.

Note that the lume on the hands appears white under daylight and glows green in the dark. The Monochrome, Stealth, and Skeleton colors do not have lume, and all classic hands have a glossy finish, except for the brushed ones.

These hands are compatible with various watch models, including Skx007/009, Seiko 5 SRPD Series, Snzf17 Series, SRP Turtle Series, and more. They are also compatible with movements such as 7s26, 7s36, 4r36, 6r15, 7002, 7009, 6309, NE15, NH36, among others.

It is possible to mix and match hands of any design and color to create a set, such as a Black Trek hour and minute hand with a Black with Red Tip Trident second hand, or a Silver Merc hour hand with a Red Merc minute hand and a Silver Arrow second hand. This set comes in the color silver.

Seiko Dial -5KX – Blue Sterile – Day Date

This watch dial comes with a day and date window and features a semi-gloss blue surface. The indices are raised with silver borders, and the lume appears off-white under daylight, glowing green in the dark.

It is compatible with both 3:00 and 4:00 crown position models, with four dial legs available to clip off the two that are unused. This watch part fits various movement types, such as 7s26, 7s36, 4r36, NE15, and NH36.


Finally, we are at the end of this watch, the modding guide. As we have learned, watch modding allows collectors and owners to represent themselves through their creativity of modifying. And so, we hope the information provided here helps you to know what watch modding is like.

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