Being the huge watch geek… Lover… And addict I am, I’m constantly scouring the internet for cool new watches to add to my collection.
I recently managed to snag this insanely beautiful, fully modded Seiko SKX007.
SKX Planet Ocean Homage Mod
It’s a mod intended to look like the ever so popular Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean.
While it definitely can’t stand up to a Planet Ocean in terms of quality when putting it side by side, the resemblance is there, and for a fraction of the price.
Not to mention this newly modded SKX is now fully upgraded and, at least in terms of specifications, way better than before, including the likes of a brand new sapphire crystal, brand new Seamaster style bezel insert and heavily upgraded, solid oyster style bracelet.
All of these parts really add to the heft and feeling of ‘quality’ when holding the watch in your hand.
Not to mention, it’s now a watch that’s pretty much unique to me, and me only, until one of you decide to replicate this mod for yourself, and I would not at all begrudge you for it.
So how much does it cost for all of the parts, if you were going to take a Seiko SKX and modify it from scratch, to replicate this exact watch I have here? Let’s break it down.
Parts List and Cost
*Prices noted are current as of 7/8/19, but may differ depending on when you attempt to source these parts.
The upgrades and parts list for this SKX Planet Ocean Homage is as follows:
- One Second Closer Coin Edge Bezel – $40
- Bezel insert
- One Second Closer Planet Ocean Mk2 Aluminum Bezel – $15
- One Second Closer Blue Double Domed Sapphire Crystal with Blue AR Coating – $39
- Raffles Time Seamaster 300 Dial with date window – $22
- Chapter ring
- Polished chapter ring (generic from eBay) – $15
- Strapcode Super Oyster 3D bracelet (with 18mm taper) – $60
- Raffles Time Speedmaster Broad Arrow Hands – $22
- Dagaz Porthole Caseback – $26
- NH35A movement upgrade (eBay) – $36
- Original watch
- Seiko SKX007/009 – $200
Total price: $475
Additional Seiko Modding Options
Of course, you might not want this exact same mod, so your parts may cost more or less.
It’s also possible you might be able to snag a better deal on the original SKX you use for modding.
Also possible to just buy a case, crown, and gaskets separately instead of having to buy an entire SKX.
The good thing about Seiko parts is they’re largely interchangeable with many other Seiko case models, such as the Seiko 5 cases, that use the same 7S26 movement as the SKX. Though the SKX is one of the thickest and robust, in my opinion.
If you were going to mod your SKX yourself, of course, just your bare hands wouldn’t be enough.
You’d need the right tools for the job.
This is an added expense, but at least once you own these things, you can do simple mods like these nearly indefinitely, using the same tools again and again.
The majority of tools you need can be found in just about any cheap watch repair kit (Amazon). This is the one I own personally and use for all minor watch repairs and mods.
You’ll still need a few more additional tools to get the job done properly.
What tools do you need?
- 3 prong case back opener
- Caseback knife
- Jeweler’s screwdrivers
- Case holder
- Finger Cots
- Spring bar tool
- Adhesive glue
- Spring bars
- Crystal press
- Hand removers
- Hand press
- Microfiber cloth
- Dust Blower
- Rotico putty
- Movement pad and cover
- A clean workspace/mat
How to Mod Your SKX
I’ll have a more in-depth tutorial on how to mod your Seiko SKX of my own in the future, but for now, here’s a very informative video which walks you through it, step by step.
In this tutorial, he uses a Seiko 5 SNK809 to demonstrate, but since they use the same exact movement, and share almost exactly the same third-party modded parts, the process is nearly identical.
The one difference being the SKX also requires the modification of a bezel and bezel insert.
Oh, look, he also made an awesome tutorial for that, too!
What to Look For When Buying a Modded SKX
When buying an already modded SKX online, you definitely want to ask the seller questions about the piece.
Some things you definitely want to ask are:
- Who modded it?
- When was it modded?
- Where was each and every part sourced from?
- Are there any known flaws about the watch or things about the mod that weren’t done perfectly?
- How accurate is the timekeeping?
- Has it ever been serviced?
- Did they have the water resistance tested?
And always make sure there are a variety of angles and lighting positioning in the pictures.
Especially when it comes to stainless steel parts, they can look very different depending on how the light is hitting it, and some scratches that may be visible at one angle might be completely invisible at another.
You also want to make sure there aren’t any smudges, dust or dirt that got inside the watch during the modding process.
Water Resistance Test
After buying the watch, whether or not the original seller says the watch is water resistant, you want to get it pressure tested by a reputable watchmaker in your area.
This will confirm whether or not your watch is water resistant and suitable for swimming with.
Otherwise, you can risk permanently damaging your watch by going swimming with it, if the water resistance has been accidentally lowered during the modding process.
The Wrap Up
Modding a watch can be a great way to breathe new life into an already existing watch, or get a taste of a much more expensive watch by taking inspiration from its design.
Seiko watches, such as the Seiko SKX make excellent modding watches thanks to the wide array of readily available parts available, as well as how easy they are to swap with each other.
I’ve been really enjoying wearing this Planet Ocean mod, though it’s a shame it’s just a touch too large for me, and likely won’t earn a permanent spot in my watch collection.
Oh well. Guess I’ll just have to mod my own… 😉