A Step-by-Step Guide on Replacing Your Seiko Dial and Hands

Watch modding is an exciting hobby for many. It’s not exactly a cheap hobby, but you’ll be surprised at how satisfying it is to see your newly modded watch in front of you. If you’re new to this, one of the things that modders focus on is replacing their Seiko dial and hands. These are two of the most visible components of any watch, and knowing how to properly replace them is a great skill to have. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to remove and replace your Seiko watch’s dial and hands.

1. Stack Both Hands on Top of Each Other

Before you start “operating” on your watch, you need to prep it first. Using the stem, adjust the hands, so they are both stacked up. You do this by setting the watch to a time where both the long and the short hands are on top of each other. This is a small but very important step as it makes the removal of the hands so much easier.

Once the hands are set, slide a dial protector beneath the hands and make sure that the front of the watch doesn’t get damaged. Remember not to force the hands to eject from the watch as they usually just pop off on their own. Set them aside in a parts dish so you won’t lose them. 

2. Remove the Stem or Dial

The next step is isolating the dial or the stem that you used to set the time. The best way to do this is to get a scalpel or a prying tool, which you need to use to open up the watch’s face until there’s enough space to pull out the dial from the movement. 

3. Install the New Dial

Some dials may be different looking than others. That’s because some replacement dials usually have their own variety of movements, and they require various positions for installations. You then need to observe the movement and identify which feet need to be removed on the original dial. If the feet of the original dial aren’t exactly the same as the replacement dial, you need to make some adjustments. There are even times when you have to remove some feet using a flathead screwdriver to push them out to one side. You need to be careful when doing this, as there’s a risk of you accidentally removing the wrong set of dial feet.

After removing the excess, you should now align the dial feet with the holes at the edge of the movement to install your new dial.

4. Install the Replacement Hands

Watch hands are made out of fragile metal and may bend if you apply even the slightest pressure. Using an adhesive material or tool, pick up the hours hand first and place it over the post and nudge it into the 12:00 position. Gently press the hour hand down, then repeat the process with the minute hand. 

Lastly, the seconds hand is even more delicate as the top of it is very small. Use magnification to help you in installing it. Once you’re all set, pick up the hand and put it on top of the other two and place it down like a hat but with very minimal pressure. Once the seconds hand starts moving, that’s an indication that the installation was a success.

Final Thoughts 

You’ve successfully replaced your watch’s dial and hands. The last few things to do is to check for errors and to set the watch on time. Make sure there are no dents or scratches and the hands are not rubbing each other. If there is a rubbing feeling, it’s best to reinstall the parts again. Once everything checks out, you can finally put the watch back together again.

SeikoMods is the ultimate parts shop for all Seiko mods from movements, dials, bezels, straps, and even custom Seiko dials. If you want to get into the hobby of watch modding, you can get all the parts you need from our online shop. Contact us today to shop for mods!

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