NamokiMODS is an established name known throughout the Seiko modding community. In this article, we’ll first be reviewing their niche-first Titanium SKX case, then we’ll be diving into the brand itself. We spoke to Glen, co-founder of the brand, who shared some invaluable responses to our probing questions as a mod enthusiast.
NMK910 SKX007 Titanium Bundle
It’s been a year since my last project, but this one felt a little different.
Our blog wanted a watch that goes well with a myriad of strap options. From NATOs to Rubber straps, the idea was of a modern representation of the everyday-diver. Thankfully, with a selection of parts from NamokiMODS, we were able to build a watch out of that idea.
On the wrist
The wearing experience was pleasant for me. With the dimension identical to the SKX007 at a 40% weight-reduction, you could already imagine the substantial difference putting it on.
It’s light, no doubt, but not weightless. It’s still a tangible presence that I don’t mind, bottom line – as a daily watch, I would prefer this material as it guarantees better scratch-resistance on the lighter weight. The case is satin-brushed and not something to be admired, but definitely makes sense with the dull material. But, while it IS more scratch-resistant than steel, it’s not impossible to inflict one.
One thing that’s overlooked by the weight would be how NATOs go with it so much better. The problem with heavier watches moving around the length of the strap is completely eliminated with this watch, not to mention the added spring-bar holes at the side of the lugs, making it very simple to perform a swap
Parts used for the build
My intent for this build, is be a minimal representation of the Tudor Pelagos, mimicking our blog’s colour scheme. Here’s the list of parts we picked for this build:
- NMK910 SKX007 Titanium Case, Bezel, Crown Bundle
- Watch Dial: Divemaster Enamel Grey
- SKX007/SRPD Chapter Ring: Polished Finish
- Watch Hands: Snowflake Polished Finish
- NMK301 – SKX007/SRPD Double Domed Sapphire Crystal
- SKX007/SRPD Ceramic Bezel Insert: Sub style Black/White
- Seiko (SII) NH35A Automatic Movement
Talking With NamokiMODS
Percy: Could you give an introduction of yourself as the man behind the brand?
Glen: I’m Glen, co-founder of namokiMODS. I started my career as a UX/Product designer, and kicked off namokiMODS as a side project with my business partner Gerard a couple of years back.
About a year ago, I began to realise that I couldn’t fully focus on both my full-time job and Namoki. Instead of half-assing both of them, I made the easy decision to quit my full-time job and invest more effort in growing Namoki.
Percy: How did you derive the idea of producing mod parts and making a business out of it?
Glen: As I mentioned earlier, I was a UX designer before this. I was also into Seiko modding before I started this business. The idea to sell Seiko mod parts wasn’t an original idea – there were a bunch of mod part sellers before us.
While shopping on the Seiko mod online stores at the time, it was clear to me that there was room for improvement. I believed that better photos, branding, and a focus on good customer experience would be enough of a differentiating factor for us to enter the market and stand out from the incumbents who have been around for years before us. So we thought why not give it a try. I thought to myself – worst-case scenario even if the business doesn’t take off, at least I would have access to a lot more Seiko modding parts 😂
Percy: What was your biggest challenge when building this business?
Glen: In general, staying motivated — it’s difficult to stay motivated and creative in an industry where lots of people end up doing the same thing. For example, If I launch a titanium case today, 6 months later another store is selling the same thing. Unfortunately – that’s the way this industry works, and it’s something that I’ve come to terms with. After all, let’s be honest, we take inspiration from other sellers as well. In any aftermarket part industry, this is bound to happen, especially when it’s such a small niche like ours.
One challenge I’m facing now is growing the team. I want to build a fully remote team – I think that will be the future of how we work, plus building a remote team allows us to scale more easily. Building a remote team is tough because it’s harder to create and maintain a “culture” when everybody is working out of their own home office, but I’m enjoying the process.
Percy: NamokiMods is at the forefront of providing innovative new mod parts for enthusiasts to explore especially as of late. How do designs like dials and conversion cases transition from an idea to a physical product?
Glen: I wish I could tell you that we had a proper creative process, but we don’t really. Both my partner and I work on product ideas, and streamlined processes are a constant work in progress. Most designs that we work on are very spontaneous – we have ideas, we assess the feasibility and cost, and if it makes sense we do it.
Most design ideas derive from what I would want for myself. As someone who used to be into Seiko mods way before becoming a parts supplier, it’s a little easier to think from the customer’s perspective. For example, the titanium case was something I wanted to push out because I loved the design of the SKX007 but found it a little bulky and top-heavy for daily wear. I had a Tudor Pelagos in the past – which is a big watch but it wears very comfortably because of the material choice. So, a titanium SKX made perfect sense.
Another example would be the slim caseback – most of us aren’t going to wear our SKX to actually go diving. 200m WR is overkill for 99% of us. If we’re just desk diving most of the time, my hunch was that most users would be willing to compromise water resistance for a slimmer profile watch.
At the end of the day I believe that good design solves a problem, or at least scratches some kind of itch for the user..
Percy: Are there any upcoming projects you could give our readers a “sneak-peek” of?
Glen: We’re working on a bunch of new conversion cases. No pictures to share at the moment, unfortunately, but I think these cases will be popular with the hardcore Seiko enthusiast crowd.
Besides product-related projects, we’re also working on more content projects this year. We want to make it less intimidating for newbies to start modding their own watches, so I’m currently working with an illustrator on an “illustrated modding guide”.
Percy: Last but not least, where do you see the mod community going in the next few years?
Glen: I believe that the modding community will become more and more experimental with time. In the past, people used to swap out their hands, crystal and bezel insert and called it a day. Increasingly, you see people building watches from the ground up. With more mod part suppliers popping up every day, modders have access to a slew of options that weren’t available 2-3 years ago. Hard to give any wild predictions on what the landscape will be like in 5 years, but I think it’s safe to say that we’ll be seeing a smaller proportion of builds that are based on the 7s26-0020 platform.
We thank Glen and NamokiMODS for providing us with a clear insight into the modding niche. Check out their Instagram and Facebook Channels here for updates on their latest releases and build features. Visit their store for high-quality parts for your next mod project!
If you’re a mod enthusiasts with creative prowess to express, NamokiMODS sells just about every part