When discussing entry-level timepieces, one could never miss out on the Seiko SKX series. Having been discontinued late 2019. Seiko replaced the series with the new Seiko 5 SRPD line to not only bring continuity to the design, but to explore more styling option. We talked about it in an earlier article here. Today, let’s trace back it’s origin and inspiration to the Seiko Mod topic.
As clear as it may be that Seiko is moving into a more novelty and less practical line-up, the root of this change surely ties to the modification of its former line. So, in this article, let’s explore the popular subset of Seiko Modification(Mods), and how the ingenious the community behind it creates a new way of expressing oneself.
Why Seiko Modification Is So Popular
To start off, let’s first look at the iconic SKX series and some of its characteristics, Robust, Reliable and Affordable. It is no surprise that the ubiquity of the watch calls for change, in its parts. Let’s take a look at what constitutes an SKX(and most other dive watches):
- Bezel with its insert
- Case and Caseback
- Crown with its Stem
- Gaskets and Bezel Click Spring
All of the above-mentioned parts are replace-able. Creativity can now be displayed by watch owners too, which fueled a new wave of people showing uniqueness and personality in their Seiko mods.
5 Places To Get Your Parts For Seiko Modification
So how does one go about modding their Seikos? Well, you’ll need parts first, after all, you’re building one! Let’s look at 5 places selling parts for Seiko(and sometimes others) Modification.
KOMOWORKS offers a large selection of high-quality modification parts, dubbed “The KOMO Quality”, one can expect exceptionally curated materials for their ideal modification. What KOMO is known for is their unique Seigaiha dial, which not only has an incredible depth in its look, but also a deep-rooted story behind it’s inspiration. You can read more about it on their blog posts here.
I would also like to give a special mention to their new offering, the “Asanoha” dial is now available! Interestingly, It is known as the most popular traditional patterns often seen on Japanese kimono. Which leads to their selling point, tying the story with its inspiration, because just how often do parts have a story behind its design?
I highly suggest you look into this design if you’re interested because, at the time of writing, there is a discount off all pre-orders and based on past experience, the dials do sell out pretty fast!
Dials are one of the most important element of any watch, Lucius Atelier did it right by bringing many to choose from.
From Plain black and Meteorite to Painted Art dials, there is certainly a wide array to pick from. I think that brands which incorporates their own creativity are very appealing, after all, this is about having fun!
Last but not least, They also offer other parts for your mods, including for the usually-overlooked younger brother, SKX013. While not many brands offer it, Lucius Atelier provides many parts compatible with the less-popular model. For those with smaller-wrists, I recommend check them out here!
NamokiMODS has been in the Seiko Modification business for quite some time now with a huge product offering and an even wider customer-base.
Why does this Singapore-based site manage to gather such a following? Well. for starters, just within their SKX007/SRPD bezel insert line alone, there are 78 different configurations available, which really caters to people looking for that specific look.
At the same time, NamokiMODS has also been quite actively involved in the community, so when their parts are posted online, their brand and mod parts design are shared with viewers across the globe. The large availability in design is important to the world of watch modification, and it shows.
Check out their site here!
4) DLW Watches
Let’s not forget the local whale of watch modification, DLW. What is certain of is that DLW is a global mod enthusiast’s gas station with their supply of parts.
When browsing Instagram and Reddit, chancing upon a build with DLW parts is incredibly high, with the same reason as NamokiMODS, a large offering catering to the growing Seiko Mod community. DLW has since expanded further on their product range, offering painted dials and watch straps with their partners – DIAL.OGS and MONSTRAPS.
The two partner brands lean closer to customised parts, so the creative elements stands out much more from the usual modification parts. If you’re looking for something more unique, I’m sure these two options will not disappoint!
With the ananym of “Seikoboy”, this brand is known to many modification veterans because parts are available for many Seiko model here and being the OG to the Seiko modding scene. The shop started out running on Photobucket for its gallery and email ordering, but have since evolved to operating out from their site.
While I think that the webstore could be improved to match e-commerce shops standards, the brand owner, Harold, is very responsive through email and any questions will be respond promptly. For Seiko Tuna and Turtle fans who are interested in modding their watches, you can find suitable parts available there!
My Personal Experience with Modifications
My first ever mod experience involved an SKX013, which was not the best case for modification, literally.
The lack of popularity compared to it’s bigger brother meant that less parts were available for the market, thankfully, I wanted a no-frills “upgrade” just to start. I headed to NamokiMODS for parts and here’s what I got:
- Lumed Ceramic Bezel Insert: Dual-Time Style
- GS Polished Hands
- Coin-Edge Bezel
The result was a stunner, I wanted a more modern aesthetic and got it, It looked handsome without going over the top. Somehow, I even outdid my expected look by polishing the case – not always a good choice though. I took the liberty to modify the watch myself with tools from Aliexpress. While my hands are not always the most steady, it still turned out rather well.
I thought of sending it to a reputable person to modify it, but felt it would mean a little more to be if I had done it myself. I consider it 80% choosing parts and 20% actually fitting it with the hands installation being the main problem.
As it was my first attempt, I spent many hours and almost wanted to pack it all up for proper assembly, but managed to push through by splitting it to a few days. When I finally got it right, it was perhaps the most satisfying part of my watch-enthusiasm journey, feeling no regrets.
Putting it together
The watch modification space is really fun and gets crazy at times, just take a look at r/SeikoMods and #Seikomods. I itch to know what the brands mentioned today will push out in the future and I’m sure the community is curious as well.
Have you or would you mod a watch? Let us know your experience or thoughts in the comments down below!
If you’re like me and would have some DIY fun, check out part 2 of our modification series for a starters guide. we would also be recommending some places to get it done, professionally.