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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.