Building your own Seiko Fifty Five Fathoms Homage – a beautiful project -modding

Did you ever wake up one morning, see something that inspired you, and just know that you were going to do something. If you have then know the journey that happened to me when scrolling through eBay on a saturday morning when I saw a Seiko Modified Fifty Five Fathoms Homage.

Knowing I was on a path that others had followed before, within no time at all the internet was pointing me in directions for research, and possible purchases for the watch and parts required.

The chosen model was the Seiko SNZH5*** series, and a bit research had shown me that the number following the first 5 in the serial number was colour options for the same base watch with stainless bracelet. The SNZH57 was the model I wanted as the gold tones I felt matched the retro look of the FFF homage.

 

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After finding the watch at a good price and ordering one from Creationwatches  I set about the task of looking for the modification parts. Two places soon appeared from searches, the first was Dagazwatches and the second was a famed seiko modifier called “Yobokies” (Seiko Boy backwards).

I found an email address for Yobokies on a forum on the internet and sent a speculative email “Hello is this email working?”. Within no time at all Yobokies (Harold) replied and i was in business, with links and threads to go through whilst I basically shopped for the parts I wanted. What type of dial, what type of hands, what colour, should i go for sapphire, what type of bezel insert should i go with … the list goes on.

In fairness to both suppliers the watch and the parts both arrived within a week, and the first job was to change the metal bracelet and have a look at the watch.

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The first impressions of the watch – I like it a lot, its a shame you can not hand wind the movement, it is a shame it does not hack, but overall a good quality watch for the money from Seiko, and a couple of movements started the watch running very quickly.

I had a couple of options for the strap that was going to live on the watch, the Horween leather pilot style strap imaged above that i had made for a watch I am making from scratch, or a webbing and Horween leather strap I had made for the “original vision” for the watch. The leather pilot won the argument, but only after the modification had been completed.

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When the parts arrived from Harold it was a very short time indeed before i started the strip down, being a watch repairer and maker this is not a daunting task for me, but thats because i have done this many times and have already purchased the tools required to safely remove the case back, (best thing i ever bought was a rubber ball for removing case backs).

Fitting the dial took no time at all. The dial and hands supplied by Harold are of excellent quality, and I highly recommend dealing with him. I had opted for the “No Date” version of the dial with gold highlights, but other options are available from him, as are a lot of other dial types and styles.

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Next job was to fit the hands, and prepare to remove the dust. You only realise how dusty your house is when you start working with watches, and i would never recommend anyone try to change watch hands without the right tools, damaging them is a very easy thing to do.

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After that all that was required was to put the watch back together again. I had opted not to change the crystal or bezel because i liked the look of the bezel supplied with the watch, and sapphire is a personal choice. If I had been in a situation to keep the watch I may have gone down this road for the extra expense.

 

At the end of the day I sat back and looked at the watch, and absolutely fell in love with it, to look at it is stunning, very accurate time keeping (but i did tweek that a bit using a time graph machine), and the mineral glass had a feel of vintage acrylic to it that i really liked and turned into a bonus.

I knew I had to flip the watch to make way for a new project, but I am confident that in the future I will make another as a “daily wear” watch, unless of course I end up with an original. Overall though, a great looking watch, excellent value for money, and a must for anyone that likes the style.

Creation watches provided a very good service indeed, and Harold is a real gent to deal with.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, the contact form works well.

45 Replies to “Building your own Seiko Fifty Five Fathoms Homage – a beautiful project -modding”

  1. How much would it cost to have one of these done? The labor? I like the watch, but I don’t have the tools or skill to change the dial or hands.

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      1. Hi Dan,
        I just came across this website and I was wondering if the custom options for the snzh57 fifty five fathoms is still available?
        Thank you so much in advance!
        Ari Perklov

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  2. Great work and very inspiring, if I buy the watch how much would it be for me to send it to you to mod it. I don’t have the tools or the experience to do it?

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  3. Hi Dan,

    Great succinct and will photographed read. Similarly, I stumbled across the FFF mods and decided I was going to build one. Unfortunately I’m not a watch maker but I like a challenge and have permission from the ball and chain. What would you say is the cost to someone taking on the mods themselves? This removes the labour component I guess.

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  4. How much to get it done the same exact model as the above if I bought the watch send to you to be modify?
    and how much if I bought the whole watch from you all together?

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  5. Hi, thanks for sharing your experience. I really enjoyed the read. When I first saw the fff mod on an SNZH57 I fell in love. And the 7S36 is a workhorse. So I bought a SNZH57 and I’ve been looking for a dial and hands to attempt the mod myself. Would appreciate it if you could help me acquire the parts. I’m not a watch maker, but up for the challenge. Could be the start of something. Who knows? Thanks, Simon

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  6. Hello,

    I know this thread is a bit old, however I am also interested in this mod. Can you email me directly with the steps and costs? I already would have the watch so it would just be the parts and labor.

    Thank you!

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  7. Great work, stunning watch. I’d like to receive information about how much it would cost to buy the components separately, and how much for the complete watch. Thanks.

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    1. Watch prices change constantly – and the parts you see here are just some of the parts available. It’s best to say a total budget for the project would be in the £300-£400 bracket (including the watch)

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  8. Hi, I have this watch too, and like what you have done. Is it something i could do myself? If not, what would be the cost? Many thanks {based in UK}

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    1. There are certain tools required, but the job is not too complex to do yourself, obviously the more you do the better you get at it, overall not including parts it’s an hours time and postage

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  9. Hi Dan, firstly congratulations on a gorgeous watch. I got the same watch but got the dial from Dagazwatches. I took it to my Jeweler (I live in Ireland) and he said that the FFF dial was slightly smaller and that it was fitted with pins and that the dial in the Seiko was fitted with screws! He wasn’t sure if it would work (I did all this today) but he’s going to have a look, Is he right about the Fathoms dial size being smaller and about the pins for fitting?
    Thanks, any advise is greatly appreciated, its going to be a long weekend waiting to hear from him

    Dave

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    1. Hi Dave, what watch is it fitting too, if it’s the same as featured here there is a black or grey plastic shroud around the movement, the dial pushes into that, size is not an issue with this build. I have not used Dagaz dials, but I imagine they are similar to Yobokies

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