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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I picked up a Yobokies SKX007 mod a while back, and specifically asked for the stock chapter ring. Now that I look at it though, it just seems like it's way too busy for the watch and very slightly misaligned with the dial near the 6 o'clock position.



I'm considering either, A) sterilizing the chapter ring by sanding it or painting it, or B) replacing the chapter ring with an aluminum chapter ring from either 10watches.com or Yobokies. I think I'm going to attempt the mod myself (fyi, total newbie with watch mods and no watch tools on hand yet), but based on the steps laid out in the DIY guide to replacing the crystal, the process seems pretty daunting. The idea of putting pressure on a snugly fit crystal to pop it out and then back in after the chapter ring's been replaced seems VERY scary. I've seen a bunch of horror stories on these forums already of people breaking their chapter rings or crystals doing that... :-s Part of me also wonders if it's even worth the risk of tinkering with the innards. The watch is running great at the moment (+2sec a day), and there are no gripes with it besides the chapter ring.

For those that have replaced the chapter ring on an SKX before, do you have any recommendations/words of wisdom? If I do pull this off without a hitch, I may wind up being a pretty regular Seiko modder. Appreciate any info :thanks
 
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I have not modding anything like this before, but have seen it done a lot. Your mod looks good, but I do agree with you that it's a touch on the busy side. An all aluminum chap ring would look excellent imo. If it were me I would just get a new one and not mod the present one. Keep us posted :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Update:

So I was curious and decided to test the waters a little. I watched a youtube video of someone replacing the bezel insert on their Rolex Submariner, which seemed surprisingly simple. Inspired by the video, I decided to take my pocket knife, wedge it between the bezel and case...

...

and POP! Bezel came right off. No balls or springs went shooting into oblivion either. I spent the next few minutes examining the bezel, figuring out where the gaskets fit, and checking out that notched-ring-thingy-that-makes-the-bezel-click. It was simple enough to re-assemble too. I just lined up the bezel marker at the 12 position, and pressed down until there was a satisfying click. Back to normal. b-)

I'm a bit more comfortable with the idea of modding the watch now that I've seen how simple the bezel comes on and off. If the rest of the process is as straightforward, I think the mod is a go. At this point, I need to find myself the following tools for the current and future projects:
1. Case back opener (recommendations for quality pieces around the $20 range?)
2. Metal and plastic tweezers (suggestions?)
3. Movement vise (aiming for the $10 range or so)
4. Crystal press (aiming for the $20 range for a quality piece)
5. Hand-setting/lifting tools... not a clue on this.

I've seen ofrei.com come up, but the breadth of their selection is overwhelming. There were also some pretty cheap sets on amazon, but the reviews of those items seemed to be pretty negative.
 

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You can get away with using a cheap caseback opener and inexpensive screwdrivers as long as you're careful, but I would suggest spending a little more on a crystal press. You're not going to find a quality piece for $20, and this is one part you really won't want to screw up. If you scratch the caseback, nobody but you will see it, but if you shatter the crystal you're really going to be pissed.

You should also be careful with the hands -- once they get bent then never really look quite right after being "unbent."

-Oren


Update:

So I was curious and decided to test the waters a little. I watched a youtube video of someone replacing the bezel insert on their Rolex Submariner, which seemed surprisingly simple. Inspired by the video, I decided to take my pocket knife, wedge it between the bezel and case...

...

and POP! Bezel came right off. No balls or springs went shooting into oblivion either. I spent the next few minutes examining the bezel, figuring out where the gaskets fit, and checking out that notched-ring-thingy-that-makes-the-bezel-click. It was simple enough to re-assemble too. I just lined up the bezel marker at the 12 position, and pressed down until there was a satisfying click. Back to normal. b-)

I'm a bit more comfortable with the idea of modding the watch now that I've seen how simple the bezel comes on and off. If the rest of the process is as straightforward, I think the mod is a go. At this point, I need to find myself the following tools for the current and future projects:
1. Case back opener (recommendations for quality pieces around the $20 range?)
2. Metal and plastic tweezers (suggestions?)
3. Movement vise (aiming for the $10 range or so)
4. Crystal press (aiming for the $20 range for a quality piece)
5. Hand-setting/lifting tools... not a clue on this.

I've seen ofrei.com come up, but the breadth of their selection is overwhelming. There were also some pretty cheap sets on amazon, but the reviews of those items seemed to be pretty negative.
 

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II've never done it, but I don't think you need to remove the crystal to change the chapter ring. Isn't it attached to the dial?

This one looks good, but I think aluminum would look really good. Maybe you can spray paint this ring. There are some good metallic spray paints. Might be too shiny. Just a thought.

As far as tools, I only have the cheap ones. One thing I would spend more on is the wrench as it is too eash to scratch the back with the 2 pin jobbers.
 

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The crystal will have to come off to remove the chapter ring. I do have some advice for you to sterilize the chapter ring once you get access to it. Save yourself the trouble of sanding and painting the chapter ring. A simple scrub with acetone will remove all the white paint markings. :-!
 

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If you're going to mod with little to no experience, I HIGHLY recommend you buy a cheap ebay mechanical to test your tools on. I bought one for $15 to experiment on and it was the best investment ever. I realized that a lot of the cheaper tools are more likely to scratch your watch.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So the goal is to try and pull off an Omega 300 RN look. Would not having any chapter ring at all be more accurate? Some of the images i've found of the Omega looks like it's just bare without any chapter ring. Any idea of how that might look with this Seiko?

Instead of just tinkering with the chapter ring, I think I may also add a domed sapphire crystal with AR coating on the inside.
 

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I've done several of these, it's a piece of cake. Looks like you are on the right track as far as the tools go. Most 007's crystals make an audible pop when removed but when you re-install they usually don't make any noise, so squeeze and inspect, repeat if necessary. I do recommend a quality hands removal tool if you ever decide to remove hands and a good dust blower, you'll be amazed how must dust in flying around in the air. Good luck...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
a pop? :think: i think for the current watch, i'm going to let the professionals take care of it. I just ordered an aluminum chapter ring and domed sapphire crystal. The watchmakers/jewelers I've contacted have quoted me prices ranging between $30-60 for the crystal installation and chapter ring swap. Does that sound reasonable? I'm perfectly willing to pay towards the high end of the scale to ensure that this is done right. Any advice for what I should be looking for in a watchmaker to ensure that everything works out properly?

I'm also currently hunting around for some used 7s26 cheapo units to try my own tinkering at.

The last "I think I can do that myself" inspirations I had involved my Mazda, which unfortunately did not turn well at all.
 

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$30 sounds about right, high price does not mean high quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Domed sapphire crystal and aluminum chapter ring have been installed and it looks awesome :) Pictures coming soon.

When I first ordered the watch, I requested the stock chapter ring because the other watches that that I had seen with the aluminum chapter ring just appeared way too bare. It seems like the curvature of the sapphire crystal fixes that by visually extending the markers all the way to the bezel so there's really no appearance of significant empty space.

There's not much of a blue tint to these AR crystals, which I think may be due to the fact that the AR coating is only on the inside and not the outside.

Now I have a stock chapter ring and crystal floating around. Wonder what I could do with those...
 

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Domed sapphire crystal and aluminum chapter ring have been installed and it looks awesome :) Pictures coming soon.
Looking forward to the pics!!!
 

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Very nice!

Have you considered a black SKZ227 nylon strap?
 

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Clean chapter ring definitely looks better !
I am not a rubber strap guy......... Nato strap or bracelet should match better. Personal preferrence.
 
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