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Thread: My Watch Journey

  1. #11
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    My Watch Journey

    Also in the March-April 2008 time frame, mostly driven by the large WUS Doxa community I decided to try a Doxa. The problem was which one. This search probably started about the same time the first Ocean 7 watch was bought. Since I had the Orange Monster and did not quite understand at this time the mystique of Doxa Orange I was kind of drawn to the blue of the Caribbean models. Remember earlier when I said about GMT divers being a draw for me? So guess which one I picked? OK the GMT diver. I found the Blue and Orange quite unique and quite a standout.



    Unfortunately, a few days after it arrived I found it was not winding via the rotor. So I got to experience Doxa customer support first hand. To say it sucked would be a gross understatement. Doxa determined when the got the watch back that the case was warped and this was causing the rotor to bind. Luckliy just before sending it back I had shot about a dozen pictures of the watch including the above. I asked them how if it looked like this I could have done something that damaged it so bad to warp the case yet the crystal and case back were intact. This turned into a series of calls which the final one had me screaming at them that they were insane on the phone from the parking lot of the restaurant we were at lunch at. Then all of a sudden they realized the watch they were looking at was not mine when he finally looked at my pictures(he was holding a yellow dial gmt). As it turned out they lost my return which they admitted to and refunded my money back.

    After this I was a little shy about getting a watch directly from Doxa so I started to follow the Sales Corner on WUS. While doing that I came across a Sinn U1 that was being sold by a friend of mine in NJ named Glen. I decided to buy this from him, and this was the first of many watches we sold or traded each other over the coming years. The Sinn arrived and I came to really like the U1 hand setup and excellent bracelet. I had the run into the office the next day after I received it and while at the office I banged it into the metal door frame in my office twice. Not a mark. Got to love the Tagimented steel. The week point of this and all other Sinn that I tried back then was the lume. It was only good for minutes not hours no matter what you did.





    The other issue I found later with the U1 was the double sided AR. No matter how I cleaned it the watch seemed to be able to suck fingerprints out of the air when no one had touched it? I've never had another double sided AR watch do this.



    So by now your probably wondering what a Sinn U1 has to do with a Doxa. So I'll tell you. After getting the U1 I was so smitten with it that I asked Glen what other watches he had. In the list the Doxa 5000T MilShark (Doxa speak for Pvd case and bracelet with a black dial) popped up. I asked if he wanted to sell it? He said he just got it on a trade, and was not certain if he liked it. He did mention the lume was amazing (sorry I do not have the shot he sent or one for this watch). Apparently at this time these were temporarily sold out so they were hard to get. That made me want it more. So over the course of the next week when ever I had a spare moment I would email him a message that said in the subject line "Sell Me The" and in the body "Milshark". As it turned out Glen was a more chronic flipper than I was becoming. He rarely held onto anything more that a month. Finally at the end of the week he caved and sold me the MilShark. I loved it when it arrived, and the lume bested my monster. Most of the Doxa have printed dials but the 5000T series have applied indexes that Doxa spooned a heap of lume into so it would light up like a Torch. The hands also got an extra dose of lume. I really loved this watch, and it was easily my favorite at the time. This was my first watch with a Micro Adjust bracelet, which was a new thing at the time.







    Here is a photo borrowed from the web to show the Lume:


    Again my luck with Doxa watches was cursed. Apparently the watch Glen traded to someone had an issue that was covered by warranty. The person he traded with did not want to deal with a service center so he wanted the MilShark back. I asked if I could just buy it from this guy for the value he traded Glen for? He said no, so I had to return it, and Glen paid me back. When Glen got his watch back there was nothing wrong with his watch. We figure the guy really just wanted the MilShark back so he made up the issue. About this time (now summer of 2008) Doxa had some internal shake up, and new people were running the online store with a US presence. The old leadership had tried to move out of online only with the brand, and into retail stores. I believe Toppers was a Doxa AD for a few months until Doxa pulled the plug. Around July they had a sale on the 5000T models except the MilShark. It was such a deal (I think around $1599-$1699 down from the over $2K price) I ordered the Caribbean model of the 5000T. It showed up in two days and there were no issues with it. It was actually quite striking. The blue dial really gleamed in the sun, and it looked amazing under the water.




    My wife and I were doing a sort of Staycation at the HardRock Casino Hotel about 15 minutes from our house. It was so close we were all most there when my wife realize she left he bathing suit on the bed. We turned around, went home to get it, and were back at the hotel 30 minutes later. The plan was to hang around the pool all day and then meet up with friends that evening for diner and a bit of clubbing. When we arrived, and while we waited for our room to be cleaned we wondered through the casino complex grounds which had shops and restaurants to find a bit of lunch. On the way back to we stopped into a multi-brand watch boutique in the complex to look around. They had about fifteen brands including Omega, UN, JLC and Rolex. I had been wanting to see a UN so that is what I started on. After looking, and trying a few things my wife asked if they had any deals since my birthday was coming up. She indicated they had a Rolex Sea Dweller that Rolex had authorized them to discount about 20% from retail. I had been looking at these and Grand Seiko divers at the time and was trying to decided which one to get. She could not get it at the moment since it was in the safe, and the store manager who could open it was at lunch. We told her we would come back later that evening, and we were going to hang out at the pool at the hotel that afternoon. She indicated her shift ended at 5pm as we walked out. By this time we got our room, and went up and changed to go to the pool. I started a cycle of reading a Clive Cussler book (Valhalla Rising...my favorite Dirk Pitt book) on my kindle and at the end of each chapter taking a dip. Ironically I was wearing the the Doxa 5000T Caribbean, just not the Dirk Pitt 600T Professional (Doxa speak for Orange Dial). I guess about two hours had passed since we left the watch store, and the girl from the watch store found my wife at the pool bar an had the Rolex SD (this was the older model with the old bracelet and before ceramic bezels on Rolex's). My wife was interested, and pointed to me in the pool to show me the watch. They came over and I looked at it at the pools edge. The only thing I did not like was it still had the old stamped clasp like my old sub did. It was kind of cheap verses the Doxa clasp I had on. She had had the jeweler pull a few links on it and she put it on my wrist, and told me to try it while swimming. I did not want to do that, but she kept insisting I should since she was trying to push the sale before she had to go home. After the third time my wife said go ahead and try it so I did. I swam out to the island in the middle of the pool and then back underwater. When I came up something look wrong. The watch appeared to have water in it but the crown looked like it was screwed in correct. When they took it back the watch maker determined the crystal seal had failed by the pressure test. Needless to say I did not buybthe SD, and when we got home the next day I ordered the GS Diver from Seiya.



    This was my first Spring Drive watch, after following the release of the SD movements on the web since they came out. These were new this year, at that time the prices was $4600 USD. A few weeks later after I received the GS Japan adjusted their currency and the price shot up to over $7800 and then by years end $8400. My second bit of watch buying luck. The GS was so much more the the SD at that time. It was Titanium with the famous GS finish, sapphire bezel insert to the Rolex's printed Al, and had a micro adjust clasp. It was a 45mm which was much bigger than the Rolex SD, had huge indexes and those unique hands.

    Just after the GS arrived my friend Glen had gotten a pre-owned Seiko 600 Marine Master SD GMT from someone. He was not jelling with it so he asked if I wanted it. Of course I said yes since I was on a high-end Seiko high from the GS diver. Again I will mention that GMT diver trend that came up again with this watch. The 600MM has a true GMT movement, which at that time I really did not understand what that meant until I tried setting it. The hour hand moved back or forward when the crown is at the first detent out from the wind position. This moves the date back and forward without moving the GMT hand. In this case Seiko played a little optical trick on the eyes. They made the GMT hand white which for some reason unless you are looking for it specifically you do not see it when on your wrist. If you have never had or seen a Spring Drive watch all I can say is the sweep smoothness is mesmerizing. Seiko also put a bevel on the edge of the sapphire crystal which if you look at some of the pictures it paints a unique dot for each of the hands on the bevel. The indexes also show on the bevel. I discovered this while bored in a meeting just staring at my watch to stay awake. The 600MM has these hex screws between each lug that allow you to remove the bezel for cleaning without a watch knife, and also as I discovered you can tune the feel of the bezel rotation to your liking.









    I loved this watch and it became my go to for a few years. I was a bit afraid to wear the GS since it seemed scratch a bit too easy just from Sunday wear. The 600MM also introduced me to a 72 hour power reserve ( the GS had it also, but I did not wear it enough to appreciate it). Now I could take it off on Friday night, and put it back on Monday morning with no loss of time or winding required. It also showed me what accuracy was. Between time changes there was no greater than 1 second lost over a 6 month period. So 2 second per year (And that was overstating it a bit...it was more like 1 second per year).

    So I was on a roll with higher end Seiko. I wanted to see a 300MM. There was a guy on WUS who lived in Boca Raton just up the road from me. He had the 600MM, the 300MM and at that time Seiko had a high end Kinetic Diver that had a Ion plated black bezel (Saw tooth I believe)and case. His 600MM he had modified a Sinn U1 rubber strap with a the U1 clasp that he was touting on WUS. We decided to meet at the Starbucks in Boca on a Friday afternoon. He showed up with the 600MM, and the Kinetic, but no 300MM. Turns out he sold it between the time we set up the meet and the day of the meet. He assured me that the 300MM was as nice as the 600MM. So I went home and order one. Huge disappointment when it arrived. The balance was horrible, the accuracy was non-existant, and it looked way too tall on the wrist. It went right back, and I added a name to my list of people not to listen to. Sorry if your a 300MM fan. Save your money and buy the 600MM.



    One last watch to close out August 2008. Glen was on a tear buying Anonimo watches that lasted him a year or two(the tear that is). I had never heard of them, but after talking with him a few times I learned of the link to Panerai. He was posting all these outrageous Anonimo like the 6000 professional that had the clamping screw buckles that held the bezel of the watch to the case back. Anonimo's are all about the cases, dials and hands. They also used water proof leather straps called Kodiak Straps. This started me hunting on the bay since there were several at good discounts there. I found a white dialed WayFarer II with the Ox Pro case finish from a seller near Miami. Ox Pro was a black coating that was said to be what Beretta used on their pistols. Anonimo also had a mutli-step sandblasting finish call Drass that yielded a greenish bronze color to the cases that you cold get on this model with a different dial color. After a bit of haggling we agreed to a price and I met him the next morning. Again here is a Diver GMT with a very unique dial setup. The extra crown is the HEV valve. This was also my first watch with a power reserve meter. Love the odd 51 ATM WR rating.









    So my lifetime total stands at 78 including the few hours I owned the 300MM, but not including the SD which I did not buy.

    At this point the collection stands at the following:

    Seiko Orange Monster
    Breitling Avenger Seawolf
    O7 LM-2
    O7 LM-2 24hr GMT
    O7 LM-3
    O7 LM-5 LE Carbon
    O7 American
    Seiko 600MM GMT SD
    GS Titanium Diver SD
    Anonimo WayFarer II Ox Pro
    Sinn U1
    RT Airspeed Chronograph

    12 watches.
    Cheers,

    Michael

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  2. #12
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    The 12,3,6 and 9 and the little white dashes on the indexes next to the grey where all lumed on these.
    Cheers,

    Michael

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  3. #13
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    I just found one I missed. Due to all the lure on WUS I wanted a Kenzo Nautilus. One of the Mods from WUS had one up for sale just after I decided I wanted this legend (according to the lure). So I bought it.







    When it arrived the first thing I noticed was how small the dial was (28mm) compared to my other 44mm diver like the Sinn U1. Around this time I had purchased a new Diving Hooka rig from a dive shop that was closing for $900. It had two 70 foot airlines so my wife and I could go diving together. We would pick different beaches each weekend and take it there, swim out past the swimmer area and go dive and search around. I took the U1 and the Nautilus with me that day which was very sunny. Our water here is very clear so on bright days you can see the bottom even when it is fairly deep. I started the dive with the Sinn on one wrist and the Nautilus on the other wrist. The Sinn came alive under the water, and you could tell that Sinn paid a lot of attention to underwater legibility. The fat hands just work perfectly and the AR made this look super sharp submerged. Now looking at the Nautilus on the other wrist it was a legibility disaster. The hands disappeared in all the text and glare from the crystal on the dial. It was a mess, and very hard to read unless you kept turning it to catch the light the right way. Obviously no one tried diving with this thing in clear water. Many brands (including RGM) used this same case and bracelet from Fricker with a different dial, hands, bezel, and case back. I've always avoided them since I felt the dial area was much too small for a 44mm diver. It went up for sale shortly after that. I never really commented on it until a year, or so passed, and someone was raving about how great it was on WUS (I think they had one for sale). I think I said take it diving in the Caribbean, or Atlantic around South FL, and then we'll talk.



    Hooka Diving Set ups. Uses a small Honda gas engine to pump the air. Float has a flag that serves as a diving buoy.



    So make the lifetime total 79, but you can exclude it from the collection by the end of August 2008.

    Lesson learned was some legends are earned, while other are just hot air. You need to figure out which is which?
    Cheers,

    Michael

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  4. #14
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    So we are going into September 2008. The good part of this month is I made it another year of life. The bad in this particular year was that I was going to wind up in the hospital twice this month in the course of a week. Reason was kidney stones that hit on a Wednesday about mid month. I actually went to work that morning with a bit of pain on the one side of my lowered back. The pain continued to grow a bit. So I did what every one does these days. I went to Web MD for a misdiagnosis. I left convinced I was having a appendicitis. My wife took me to the hospital emergency room which we waited and filled out paper work before they would let me in. My wife finally said as I was grimacing in pain that they needed to get me in a room now and do something. So they listened. They came in and after a few seconds of me describing symptoms they said kidney stones. The x-rays showed this was correct. They gave me some pain meds and when the pain subsided they said to go home and see if I could pass it in the next few days. Thursday and Friday I was OK, but on Saturday I was in even more pain than Wednesday. The Emergency room was ultra busy so I was in a bed in the hall until nearly 6pm , until they took me to my room. I had not eaten all day and the nurse found me a bowl of cereal. They had me on an IV and were trying to flood my system to pass the stone. If that did not work then early Tuesday morning they were going to operate. Pretty much after I woke up from the surgery they had me get dressed. Put me in a wheel chair and sent me home with a prescription for pain meds. I had a stint that was to stay in for two weeks (mostly due to my urologist was a sadist). So for the next two weeks I was off and spent most of the day and night in a recliner chair watching TV and searching the web from my laptop.

    Now to the watch part of this. I had become aware of the Ball watch brand sometime around 2006. I thought they were very cool , but there just was no place to see one in this area. When I came to WUS the Ball forum was one of the places I hung out at, and was asking a lot of questions. I also looked for anything I could find on the web on them and studied them day and night. Glen had a an Engineering Hydrocarbon (EHC) Alligator, and then a bit later a EHC Triesti that he said was one of the most comfortable watches he had owned. When I came to WUS I was introduced to a brand from Hawaii called Bathy's. Most of their watches were diver/surfer/water sports watches that had good WR, no bezel and were highly readable. Some had various colors of PDV on the cases. I think I tried to order one a few times, but the AD they worked through was kind of difficult to deal with. When I was looking at the Ball watches I was interested in a new model that came out in 2006 called the Night Train. It had one of the highest levels of Tritium GTLS tube lume, decent WR, a second 24 hours indicator, and safe date change indicator and was possibly one of the first watches with DLC coating on the case. It's shape, and lines of the Fireman series 43mm case were beautiful, simple and clean. Other attention to details like how the hand were set on collars impressed me. I really wanted one. Since I had a lot of free time I was watching the for sale post on the WUS Sales Corner and Ebay. I was not seeing a Night Train, but a Engineer Master (EM) II Ball Diver GMT DLC was up for sale. After a bit of negotiation, and an eBay payment it was to arrive the next day from the west coast of Florida. The seller had it on a aftermarket water proof leather strap and it came with the Ball rubber strap with Ball deployant. This has an internal bezel that can be operated submerged by the second crown that did not require it to be unscrewed. This was a feature of this model, the TMT version and the Titanium COSC model. The standard diver and the Chronograph diver required the second crown to be unscrewed before using. Reports were intermittent if you could use it submerged or not. So again here is a diver with a GMT function, made by the GMT hand and the small circle 24 hour ring in the middle.















    Right after getting this a seller on WUS posted two brand new Balls that had been bought from the Ball AD in Tampa. One was an EMII Aviator GMT and the Second was the Firemen Night Train I had been lusting after. The Night Train could be ordered with either a black leather strap with orange stitching (which this one had, or a rubber strap. I ordered the Ball Rubber strap for the Night Train from Toppers. For the Aviator GMT I ordered one of the water proof leather straps for it like what was on the EMII Diver GMT DLC. So now I had the start of a Ball watch collection with two EMII and Fireman.









    The 43mm Fireman case fits me like a glove and I prefer the Night Train on the rubber strap.



    The EMII Aviator GMT






    Also during this time while I was watch TV in my chair USA network ran a Burn Notice marathon of all of the Season 1 shows since the new season began that night. I had not watched it on NCIS before so these were my staples during this time off. By about the fifth episode of Burn Noticed I googled the watch the Michael Westen wore in this series. The Chase Durer Special Forces XL was ordered before the end of the fifth show. These were Black PVD (case and bracelet), quartz movement with half red half yellow sub dial at the 6. It could be described as tactical. I believe the case size was 45mm?



    So my lifetime total stands at 83.

    At this point the collection stands at the following:

    Seiko Orange Monster
    Breitling Avenger Seawolf
    O7 LM-2
    O7 LM-2 24hr GMT
    O7 LM-3
    O7 LM-5 LE Carbon
    O7 American
    Seiko 600MM GMT SD
    GS Titanium Diver SD
    Anonimo WayFarer II Ox Pro
    Sinn U1
    RT Airspeed Chronograph
    Ball EMII Diver GMT DLC
    Ball EMII Aviator GMT
    Ball Fireman Night Train 43mm
    Chase Durer Special Forces XL
    16 watches.
    Cheers,

    Michael

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  5. #15
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    One thing to note here is look at the dials of the three watches. Ball was the first company to have watches that allowed up to 100mci of Tritium content for the watch. Their team found this loophole in the US regs so they did all of the licensing work to have the ability to have watches in the country with up to 4 times the tritium amount that was previously allowed. Part of them getting this license is they had this advantage for a set period of time. They had this advantage up until around 2011-2012. Mb microtech the company that makes these tubes had the T-25 license that every one used (including Ball) for watches that had <25mci of tritium. The Ball 100mci limit license was noted on dials as T. Some early dials had misprints and said T-100, but they were actually T. When MB Microtech was able to get their own general license of up to 100 mci their license was T-100. Ball still used the T for their watches. Not that many T or T-100 watches only have to have some minor amount over 25 mci to be a T/T-!00 watch. In the case of the Night Train it had a pile of tubes large and small so it was probably closer to the 100mci limit than the Aviator GMT that is also a T watch. Look at dials and you can see the T and the T25 based on content.
    Cheers,

    Michael

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  6. #16
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    I started to look at modded watches mostly Seiko on WUS. I had three types of watch coating and I was thinking how cool it would be to be able to coat them in other colors. The problem was durability. I started to look at options like powder coating. Then a moded Seiko SKX007 came along that was done by one of the WUS Seiko mods Isthmus. It had a black PVD bezel that was bought from one of the Seiko parts sources. The key difference was the case had a Teflon coating in a Sand Tan color. It was just too cool. I had to figure out how it was done. Contacting Isthmus did not help since the coating was farmed out to some one. I started to search this out and found it was a Teflon coating for Guns. At nearly the same time I found a ceramic gun coating from a company called cerakote. It came in many colors. I set out to get small sample amounts to try out on things. The problem was the metal needed to be prepped by bead blasting it. So a trip to a tool supply store yielded a blasting cabinet and some of the media. i went and bought a few $5 watches from Walmart along with some old bracelets I had and the big experiment began. I stripped the watched off all of the parts so they were just the case or crown , or case back. I tried combinations of pressure variances and different media and saw what each one did. Mediaum glass beads made for a nice case finish or if you wanted something different you took the Aluninum Oxide which yielded a rich gun metal grey case. The problem with bead blasted metal is if it gets scratched is needs to be reblasted to repair unlike brushing or polishing. I also experimented with walnut shells and play sand.

    Then I played with the various coatings. The Teflon was more fragile, but was more like normal paint. It even had a clear. In the ceramic had almost 17 variations of black. Most of it was colors that made up the various camo patterns including white. We had a need for pink for one set of projects and amazingly they had it. It was actually used by Smith & Wesson who made handcuffs for the Federal Marshals. They had them coated in neon pink so the could be easily seen.

    Modding was coming soon since at one point I decided to try what I learned on the monster. Here are some photos samples of the experiments.

    Various blasting and coatings (these are all Telfon)


    Aluminum Oxide then teflon clear to protect from scratches



    Sand Blasted Monster bracelet and stock finish of the same for comparison:


    Blasted Monster Parts


    I would keep all of one modded watch parts in these plastic cases.

    I also started to build my watch tool inventory. I had case and crystal presses, 4 screw driver sets, pressure tester, case back tools for Omega, Breitling... It became quite a production. I could fully strip down a Monster including separation of all of the links and clasp parts in ten minutes.
    Cheers,

    Michael

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  7. #17
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    I forgot to mention that both coatings required baking to cure. So I came up with hangers and stands to hold parts. I had two toaster ovens to bake in . I used ss picture frame hanging wire to make hangers for things like bracelet links. I also found on the clear Teflon and the ceramic you could get interesting results by increasing the time and/or temperature when baking. I'll show what this does when I post some of the watches. It is pretty cool.

    A little precursor to posting the final completed watch for my Monster with was my first mod. The case had a four step blasting to achieve this finish. It was then Teflon coated and baked to protect the bead blasting from scratches. I started to barter my coating and blasting services out to others that had services I did not know how to do at that time. Chris who owns LumTec Watches at the time had a parts business and did a lot of Panerai clone mods that he sold. He was also one of the best Lume guys out there at the time. I did a few ceramic cases for him in return for this 2 color lume setup that I came up with for the bezel and clasp (yes clasp) on my monster. In the daytime it was orange and black. Here are the actual photos he sent me when he got them done before sending them back to me.


    Day



    Night

    I also bartered with Richard of Toshi straps. I did the coating on his PRS Italian which I think photos are still on his site. He made a few custom straps for some of my watches that I did. I'll point those out when I post them. I'm going to post all of the mod watch photos in one post (next)that will cover the 2.5 years I did this. I was doing this as a hobby to relax in the evenings and weekend and not as a business as some others who copied what I was doing did. I tried to never duplicate a watch. Each had to be unique. I would try and have a watch from someone by Tuesday or Wednesday. I would tear it apart that evening. Thursday or Friday night I would blast the pieces being coated, and then throughly wash them. Saturday I would make the hangers, coat and bake. Sunday was assembly, test and packing. Monday they were out in the mail. I stopped mostly because some of the people I did things for started making it more of a business, and the hobby and relaxation part was going away. So I just stopped cold turkey.
    Cheers,

    Michael

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  8. #18
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    It is probably going to take me a few posts to get most of the mods up so this will be the first of a series. So lets start with my Monster Mod. One thing that became a signature items for the mods I did for myself was the uncoated crown. This came from my Ball watch love since it had been a feature of both generations of the Night Train. I also did not touch the Tsunami logo. Here is the finished watch.








    Note the clasp fold was masked so it did not get blasted while the clasp latch is finished like the outer clasp.






    At one point I was buying every beat up Monster that was posted on the sales corner of WUS. I did not need it to be scratch free since it would be blasted and coated. Through the course I've had 46 monsters.

    My next mod project was actually a set of watches that I referred to as the Sand Monsters. One was mine and the other was for David Wu. He provided the head of a black monster, but the movement was in sad shape. I replaced it with one from a watch I acquired. I kept this to later teach myself how to clean and regulate these movements. For his I used the bracelet from this same watch. My case on this one was bad so David's was a good host. We did a tan and a black ceramic coated bezel for his watch. This was sent to Rob Thayer for the black lume. David did not change the hands, dial or chapter ring from the standard black. I don't remember if we put in a sapphire crystal. The watch case, and bracelet where coated Desert Sand tan.

    For mine I changed many things on the Orange Monster. The hands are new(plongeur), I used a black chapter ring from the dead movement watch. Mine did have an uncoated sapphire crystal that I put in. The case was coated the same Desert Sand tan. The mesh bracelet is also coated with the same color as the case. This was baked at a higher temperature and for twice as long. The Ceramic caramelized, and became harder that at the recommended time and temperature. I still have this bracelet and it does not have a chip on it. This resulted in the brown color. I did the orange paint on the bezel and redid the pip lume.





























    For the mods of my watches I generally did things a bit more outrageous just to see how it would come out, and be received. My Sumo I did twice. The first in a blue on the case, with the Seiko strap. The bezel was coated black, and then the higher areas were sanded off and polished. The second mod was black ceramic on the case and bracelet and used the bezel as described above. This was later sold to Glen.



















    Next we have a set of Land Monsters. The Land Monster had an internal compass bezel(Chapter ring). I swapped these and the bezels. The second one was fully coated in black ceramic and the bezel indexes where painted white by me.






    Cheers,

    Michael

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  9. #19
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    One of my favorite mods was the one I did to the Seiko Tuna. I always like the golden tuna so I decided to make something close from the quartz version. These were top load so I photographed each piece's order that they came out of the watch as i disassembled it. The case was gold teflon coated. The Case shield, bezel and insert where coated in a Navy blue. The indexes were painted white.








    I did a second one of these with the case shield polished and a polished mesh bracelet. This had the same bezel insert finish, but the bezel was gold ceramic coated. I had a custom Toshi strap made to go with the colors.

















    Here is a SKX007 with a SKX171 bezel done with Sinn like hands and dial. All coated flat black ceramic with a black Toshi strap. Indexes where hand painted white. Strap buckle was ceramic coated to match the case.





    I did a few Seiko BFS (Big Freaken Seiko). I believe I had nearly every seiko sport watch back then.





    Monster mockup.
    Cheers,

    Michael

    Tell everyone you saw it on IWL!

  10. #20
    Hall Monitor Samanator's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
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    I did a few Sea 3 for a forum member. These were made by Roland Murphy...RGM with customer Fricker made cases as a project for a watch forum. It has a double bezel. Turning the outer one way moved the inner bezel, the second bezel was set in the other direction. These had high grade 2892 movements I believe. The Klingon hands were cool. I did the custom orange lume.











    At one point we did a set of mods that were auctioned off for Susan G Komen Breast Cancer society. These had the pick ribbon engraved on the rotors and hand painted. Some were Seiko and we had a few Sea Three. All watches to be moded were donated by WUS members. You may notice some of my mod parts finding their way into these. Some others helped with he mods. Toshi donated some custom straps. We made a bit over $2500 on the auctions and I got my company match for $1K to the charity.




















    Some other mods:














    I had 82 7S based Seikos that I modded. Also added three Sea 3 to my count. So life time total was 168.
    Cheers,

    Michael

    Tell everyone you saw it on IWL!

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