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Introduction to Seiko Watch Modding: A Beginner’s Guide

Seiko’s introduction of its first dive watches 55 years ago marked the beginning of a legacy in durable, high-quality timepieces. These watches have not only stood the test of time but have also become a canvas for enthusiasts looking to personalize their gear. The phenomenon of Seiko watch modding, which involves customizing watches to one’s aesthetic and mechanical preferences, has grown significantly. Thanks to the quality of Seiko’s designs and the availability of aftermarket parts, enthusiasts can create nearly any watch they envision using Seiko Mods Lab.

Understanding Seiko Modding

Modding, short for modifying, refers to the customization of a watch beyond its original design. This can involve aesthetic changes or mechanical tweaks. It is a hobby that offers relaxation, creativity, and the potential for deep engagement in its community.

Choosing the Right Model for Modding

While many entry-level watches are mod-friendly, the Seiko SKX007 platform, along with the Seiko Turtles, stands out due to the extensive modding options they support. These models are excellent starting points because of their robust design and wide-ranging compatibility with high-quality aftermarket parts.

Why Choose Seiko for Modding?

Seiko watches are known for their excellent value, ease of service, and durability. Modding a Seiko can be as affordable as you want it to be, with full builds potentially costing between $300 and $500, and simpler mods like bezel swaps around $30 to $60.

Modding Options: Complete vs. Subtle Modifications

  1. Complete Modification: This involves a comprehensive overhaul of the watch. Beginners might start with a modding kit, which includes all necessary base components like a Seiko SKX007 case, a movement, and other essentials.
  2. Subtle Modification: For those looking to make minor tweaks, options like changing the crystal or the bezel can significantly alter the watch’s appearance without extensive work.

Essential Tools for Seiko Modding

Successful modding requires specific tools. Beginners might start with affordable kits, but as your skills grow, investing in higher-quality tools can enhance the experience. Essentials include:

  • Finger cots or gloves
  • Case back remover
  • Crystal press
  • Jeweller’s putty and dust blower
  • Precision screwdrivers and tweezers
  • A well-organized workstation

Getting Started with Modding

The best way to learn modding is through hands-on practice and community engagement. Platforms like YouTube offer tutorials, and communities such as r/seikomods on Reddit are invaluable for support and advice.

Basic Steps in Modding a Seiko Watch

  • Start by removing the watch strap using a spring bar tool.
  • Open the watch case with a case opener.
  • Remove the watch’s crown and stem by pushing the release lever with a toothpick.
  • Lift out the movement and proceed with the dial and hands replacement.
  • For crystal changes, use a crystal press for removal and installation, ensuring the case is prepared with a new gasket for water resistance.


Seiko modding is more than just a hobby; it’s a gateway into the wider world of watch customization. With a supportive community and a plethora of resources, anyone can transform a basic Seiko into a personalized masterpiece, opening up endless possibilities for creativity and skill development in watchmaking.

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