Breaking Some Rules - First Custom Seiko Build

Hopefully, this is something you have not seen before. 

This fall, I said I would not buy a watch until I purchased a celebratory TT piece. I also have some self-imposed rules/guidelines:

  • I generally dislike owning any means of homage. Not judging others who do, they absolutely have a place in the hobby and collections. However in this case, the original does not exist. 
  • NH35s - I am supposed to be done with them. They are fine, but I am not crazy about owning them. 
  • No inexpensive watches. Yes, that is relative, but I am trying to be picky these days. 
  • I will not own nonfunctioning functions (ghost wheels, GMTs, etc), though technically the 24 hour bezel could be used, but it has an otherwise invisible GMT hand. 

Well, I broke all the rules on this one. I stumbled on a Seiko SKX modder from the Philippines and he had a green and yellow bezel AKA, the original Sprite configuration.  On a whim, I pinged him to see if he could make a watch using the Sprite bezel, but I wanted the green diver's dial from Seiko, cyclops, etc.  The only one that has been close over the years, that I have seen, is one from Namoki, but it still was not quite right. I meant to order different hands, but I wasn't fully thinking about it at the time. 

Moving on, for less than $300, I now have my own Sprite. Ceramic bezel, NH35 movement, glidelock bracelet sharp enough to draw blood if you put it on too quickly (like most bracelets under a certain threshold), but hey, it uses screws, so kind of win? But seriously, what more could one ask for if a certain company will not actually make it?

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Here it is compared to an actual functioning GMT that costs 36x more than this at retail, but from the two dimensions of a picture, not too shabby. 

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Without lights, the dial looks darker, but I have to say for almost no money, it's a nice little watch, even if it showed up shrink-wrapped, bubble-wrapped, and in a cardboard box. Next step is to size it, file the clasp a bit, perhaps get a jubilee.  What say you WC fam? Have a modded Seiko you like? Is making your own colorways really the future?

I cannot wait to see what the modding community does with the new Seiko 5 GMTs. 

Edit, sorry for the phone pics, too excited/lazy to pull out DSLR.

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Fantastic watch, my man!

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HotWatchChick69

Fantastic watch, my man!

Thank you sir.

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That's a beauty man!!! 

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Good work.

But that bezel without a functioning GMT hand is a bit disconcerting to me.

Akin to watches with a tachymeter scale and no chrono seconds hand.

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foghorn

Good work.

But that bezel without a functioning GMT hand is a bit disconcerting to me.

Akin to watches with a tachymeter scale and no chrono seconds hand.

100%, but could not build that…yet. I think with the new GMT, that opens up the possibility. For this, I was going more for the initial aesthetics vs details, because let’s be honest, I wasn’t being too picky at $279. 

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Super cool!

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I think it’s great. I modded my own and still pondering about my next mod. I think it’s great and looks great. Plus this is a fun piece and you have other tool watches enough to satisfy that need. plus if you get tired of it you can always send it to me 😉

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Dude it's perfect. There should be more Sprite options worth a damn.

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Looks great. The mercedes hands can always be replaced later to get away from the homage look. Those things are cheap

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How cool! I’ve never modded a watch but you make it look tempting! 

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OldSnafu

Looks great. The mercedes hands can always be replaced later to get away from the homage look. Those things are cheap

Agreed, good chance for me to play around with modding myself. 

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celinesimon

How cool! I’ve never modded a watch but you make it look tempting! 

While, I have a desire to do my own, in this case I farmed out the work. 

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thecrazylegs

Dude it's perfect. There should be more Sprite options worth a damn.

Agreed, if there was, I would have bought one! 

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If Andrew of Watchfinder YT is correct, custom is where luxury watches are headed, so you are ahead of the curve. 

I like the aesthetics, but like you say, I might have chosen a different handset. 

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Ichibunz

I think it’s great. I modded my own and still pondering about my next mod. I think it’s great and looks great. Plus this is a fun piece and you have other tool watches enough to satisfy that need. plus if you get tired of it you can always send it to me 😉

That is the thing right? At the price it take to do so, they make great gifts when one needs to free up room. Even cheaper if one does all the work, but then again not sure. Bezel, dial, case, bracelet, hands, etc, add up.