The beauty of building custom watches is that you can either emulate a crowd pleaser or alternatively create something completely unique. Let me introduce you to my Seiko Mod "Sprite" that definitely falls into the latter category. In my earlier days of watch collecting I had seen on eBay (and had maybe even bid on) a green dialled Tissot with yellow gold features. Ever since then I've known that a yellow and green dive watch was one that I wanted to attempt. I knew that it would be a striking build!
Normally I can come up with an idea quite quickly and once I have the first part, it doesn't take me long to decide on the other parts. Often my builds start with a choice in dial and then everything else falls into place. However with this build it was in reverse. The case came first and it was the dial that I struggled with the most. However when I saw this textured dial with yellow indices, I knew this was the one! The hands, with the arrow hour hand, were then an easy choice.
Is this one of my subtlest watch builds? Absolutely not! I suspect it may be a bit like marmite - you'll either love it or you'll hate it. For me though, especially because of its uniqueness, I am a big fan! If you're feeling inspired, you can check out the parts used below.
Case: 40mm no Cyclop Watch Case with Sapphire Glass (AliExpress) - £34
Movement: Black NH35 movement (AliExpress) - £28
Dial: Stone Aerolite NH35 Watch Dial (AliExpress) - £13
Hands: Green luminous NH35 hands (AliExpress) - £8
Strap: Stainless Steel Metal Watch Band (Ebay) - £6
How did the build go?
I was slightly anxious about this build. Every time a dial has raised indices, I am always expecting a small battle when applying the hands. Add to that an NH35 movement from a different supplier due to me wanting a black date window, and I was fully prepared for a challenge ahead. So, how did it go?
First step - adding the dial to the movement. I had to remove the excess dial feet that wouldn't be needed to then be able to attach it to the NH35 movement and this went, as usual, very smoothly. I find that as long as you twist the dial feet off with a set of pliers rather than cut them off, you end up with a nice clean break.
Second step (after setting the date window to midnight) - adding the hands to the movement. This was where I expected the biggest challenge, due to the raised markers, but again, the hands set really well.
TIP - when you have installed each of your hands, run it though 24 hours to check how successfully they have set and how closely to midnight the hand hits the 12 o'clock marker. If everything is out of sync, you can always remove the hand(s) and start again.
Third step - installing the movement to the case. Again, this went well. Normally I am quite reserved when I trim the stem and then remove the excess until it is the right length. This time though, I was pretty close to the right length first time around. A little bit of Loctite and we were ready to go.
Final step - removing the adhesive sticker backing and lining up the bezel insert. Always a risky step as, get it wrong, and you end up with a misaligned bezel. However, taking my time and checking a few times before adding the bezel insert fully, meant it lined up very nicely.
Overall, a solid build. I think there was a fair amount that could have gone wrong, but taking my time definitely played a part in the success of this build.
I am intrigued as to what your thoughts are on this watch. It is one of a kind. I like it, but I'm not sure everybody will. Let me know what you think in the comments below.