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Thread: WIP - Blue Fifty Five Fathoms Seiko 5 Mod

  1. #1
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    WIP - Blue Fifty Five Fathoms Seiko 5 Mod

    Four years ago, when the blue Sapphire bezel insert was released, I bought most of the parts to build a Fifty Five Fathoms Seiko 5 mod.

    However, for whatever reason, it's languished, unstarted for all that time, but with the arrival of an AliExpress blue 'Sailcloth' strap, I was spurred into action and have removed (read destroyed) the original bezel insert and am ready to start, as soon as the bezel insert adhesive strip arrives.

    I thought it might be fun or interesting to document the process and my success, or otherwise...

    Here are the parts...



    The bracelets were rubbish on SNZHs, so I originally intended to wear it on a rubber strap (which is currently fitted), but I'm going to try the sailcloth strap as they're more the look I'm after.

    My black one, which DickBrowne helped with :



    My previous go at a blue one, before the proper bezel insert was available :



    This was based on a world timer, which was purchased to get the better movement for the black one.

    M
    Last edited by snowman; 24th April 2022 at 12:44.
    Breitling Cosmonaute 809 - What's not to like?

  2. #2
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    OK, so today I decided to start work.

    Getting the movement out is pretty straightforward; remove the caseback and the stem and it levers gently out.



    Set the hands to midnight and then use a hand remover to lift the hands off the spindles (I'm sure there's a proper word for them on a watch!).





    The dial can be gently levered away from the movement, there are just two pins on the back of the dial to locate it.



    Fitting the new hands is probably the trickiest part and where a minor disaster occurred.

    The hour hand goes on first and a hand pressing tool located it perfectly, but the minute hand was less precise - most of the parts are Yobokies and excellent quality, but I bought a set of hands from eBay as (as I recall) Yobokies didn't have a red-tipped second hand available at the time.

    Trying to get the minute hand to fit, I touched the hour hand with the plastic tweezers I was using and it went straight through the lume AND the hand, there was no metal behind the lume! So, my hour hand has a hole in it!



    It looks terrible in the photos, but just looks like a mark on the hand to the naked eye. I'm not going to spend money buying another set of hands now, so it'll have to be less than perfect.

    Getting the second hand in wasn't too bad, but it merely proved that the minute hand was poorly seated and it took a good half an hour of fiddling and pressing with two small screwdrivers to finally get it properly fitted and the second hand passing smoothly over it.

    Finally the movement went back in the case and I left it running for a while to check the timekeeping was still OK.



    The bezel adhesive strip hasn't arrived yet, so the final steps will have to wait until then.

    The moral of today's story? Buy the best quality parts you can and be very, very, very careful!

    M
    Last edited by snowman; 26th April 2022 at 13:08.
    Breitling Cosmonaute 809 - What's not to like?

  3. #3
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    I will be watching this progress as I have often thought about doing similar. I fancy a FF style watch with lumed bezel but with with a mil spec / no rads style dial

  4. #4
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    And so to the bezel insert...

    It's very nice (as you expect of Yobokies).



    The insert adhesive strip/rings arrived (I bought two to be on the safe side).



    They're a little tricky to centre on the insert (Should I have actually put it in the bezel instead...? Time will tell!), but it's OK.



    M
    Last edited by snowman; 27th April 2022 at 11:42.
    Breitling Cosmonaute 809 - What's not to like?

  5. #5
    Master
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    Unless hands are fully lumed, like the Heuer Pasadena, Orfina PD chrono etc. there will not be metal behind the lume. The lume material is applied from the rear, bridging across an open slit or wider gap. This is the only way to create the neat metal frame around the luminous material.
    Itís a very satisfying when you have created your Ďnewí watch from a pile of bits. Iím currently wearing a Ďbitsaí Speedy Pro that Iíve built from my parts box, having robbed a trashed Tissot of its Lemania movement and using other parts that Iíve accumulated over years of tinkering with Moonwatches. Iíve three other proper Speedys but this one gets the most use. The weird thing is, it has significantly less value than its component parts and will be broken up again if I ever decide to get rid of it.

  6. #6
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    Ah, you live and learn.

    The bezel insert is in now. It proved very easy to get it dropped in accurately (shame people at Seiko don't take as much care).

    Last change now will be to fit the 'sailcloth' strap and decide which I like better, it or the silicone strap it's currently on, which is a nice soft one.



    Sent from my ASUS_X00PD using Tapatalk
    Breitling Cosmonaute 809 - What's not to like?

  7. #7
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    And now the choice...





    I'm going to try the sailcloth for a couple of days, then decide.

    M

    Sent from my ASUS_X00PD using Tapatalk
    Breitling Cosmonaute 809 - What's not to like?

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