Modifying the Dial and Hands of a Seiko Watch: A Handy Guide

Customising Seiko watches is an enjoyable way to enhance their appearance and modify them to fit one’s tastes. While it may seem like a daunting task for many, it only requires some quality watch tools and a generous amount of patience. For many watch enthusiasts and hobbyists, it’s a highly rewarding activity that results in a fresh, personalised timepiece and some newfound skills!

Some of the most popular Seiko mods involve the watch’s hands and dial, as they are some of the most striking design details in a timepiece. Here is a step-by-step guide in changing these components.

Step 1: Hatch Open the Case Back

This step requires specialised tools to reduce scratching and slippage. Insert them into the slots on the case back, then twist it in an anti-clockwise direction to open it. Case holders are optional, but they help provide extra grip.

Step 2: Pull Out the Movement

After opening the case back, you’ll be able to see the watch’s movement (its inner mechanisms). Before removing it, gently pull out the crown and stem first. You can do so after pushing down on the lever using a toothpick.

Pulling out the movement will require a toothpick or a small flat-head screwdriver. Gently pivot the mechanisms out of the case, then lay them down onto a cushion. For mechanical models, it may be wise to let the mainsprings run out of power reserve to make modifications easier.

Step 3: Disassemble the Watch Hands

It’s best to align all of the watch’s hands first before pulling them out. Place a plastic film atop the hands and dial to protect them from scratches, then use a watch hand remover to disassemble the hands.

Step 4: Remove the Dial

Insert a small flat-head screwdriver between the dial and the bracket, carefully twisting it out of its place. An alternative method would be to use a toothpick to pivot it gently. Be cautious while doing so to avoid damaging the legs of the watch dial.

Step 5: Replace the Dial

Align the movement with the crown position, and look for two holes on the plastic bracket around it. Fit the dial’s legs into those holes.

It’s crucial to choose the appropriate dial for the model you have. If its crown is at the 4 o’clock position, its dial must match it because the dial’s legs might not fit the holes on the bracket.

Step 6: Install the Hands

Use a cleaning putty or tweezer with carbon fibre tips to hold the new hands into place, and install them with a hand-setting tool. Place the hour hand first, then the minute hand, and lastly, the seconds hand. Make sure they’re all aligned parallel to each other and that there is adequate space between each hand.

Step 7: Place the Movement and Close the Case Back

Before placing the movement back, it’s best to remove dust or debris from the watch. A compressed air canister will be effective here. Afterwards, align the watch case to the movement and push the case firmly back into place.

On the other side of the watch, ensure that everything is aligned, then insert the stem and crown. After this, close the case back by screwing it in a clockwise direction.

Purchase Custom Seiko Parts in the UK

Modifying watches is an excellent way to make your timepiece look fresh and stylish. It’s also a rewarding hobby that can help you appreciate the intricacies of watchmaking. With the right tools and a copious amount of patience, you can personalise your piece and let it suit your style!

If you’re looking for custom Seiko dials in the UK, Seiko Mods has you covered. We’ll provide you with high-quality and aesthetically pleasing parts to freshen up your timepiece. Shop with us today!

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