Seiko "Rolex Bubbleback" watch build - vintage looks on a budget

Seiko Bubbleback Homage Mod Wrist Shot

One of my first attempts at a watch build / modification was inspired by an almost random internet search, which guided me towards a truly beautiful cream dialled, vintage Rolex.

After undertaking some searching online to find a homage or alternative watch brand that emulated this gorgeous timepiece, I quickly realised that I would, for sure, remain disappointed. Therefore, the idea to "do-it-yourself" came to mind.

The case and the movement I knew would be relatively easy to source, but to find a dial and hands that truly did this build justice would be slightly more difficult.

The inspiration of the following watch was a first series Rolex Bubbleback with black mercedes hands and here is an overview of the parts I used, my lessons learnt form the build and the final result.


Case: Miuksi 40mm sapphire glass polished sterile case (AliExpress) - £25

Movement: NH36 movement (AliExpress) - £28

Dial: Seiko 7S26-0060 (Ebay) - £11

Hands: Miuksi mercedes NH36 hands (AliExpress) - £6

Strap: MAIKES handmade leather strap (AliExpress) - £13

Seiko Bubbleback Homage Mod Watch Parts

How did the build go?

When I received the dial, it was clear that it had been used for other watch modifications already as there weren't any dial feet, which meant I had to attach the dial to the movement with adhesive dial dots. Not the most difficult of tasks, but I had to make sure that I was very careful when lining up the dial. Fortunately, after this initial surprise, the dial lined up perfectly.

I was maybe a bit conservative with shortening the stem length and could have cut it down by a couple more mm's but fortunately, the crown is still able to screw into the case with ease, so experience to take into future builds.

All in all, the parts were really very good quality and assisted me in achieving the watch I had in mind when I first started out. There are clearly differences with the Bubbleback but it shares the essence of what drew me in to the watch in the first place. Definitely a nice addition to my collection.


Seiko Bubbleback Homage Mod Side View
Seiko Bubbleback Homage Mod Front View