I'm pleased to have recently completed my Black Bay mod. It took some time, about two months, from waiting for the availability of rose gold hands to working on the case and just finding time. I'm only lukewarm about Invictas (owing to the garish designs of some of their watches), but had decided to use the Invicta 8926OB as the base watch because of the Seiko-licensed NH35A hackable movement inside. The bezel makes it look different from the usual Seiko BB mod, and I much prefer the angled bezel, vs. the flat one of the SKX or SNZ Seiko series dive watches.
Since I took photos and notes during my amateur's mod process, I thought I'd share them, in case anyone else is tempted to do the same.
This is how the watch started out. The bracelet it came with is a bit flimsy--a throw-away pretty much--and I promptly removed it.
Then the removal of the movement.
Then the removal of the bezel and insert. Update: some have asked about the bezel removal, saying that the bezel is immovable on this watch. It took me at least a few attempts over 15-20 min using a case knife and a pocket knife to slowly wedge in and pry while i tugged the bezel up with my fingers and a fingernail. One must be patient and not use excessive force.
This is the tricky part: cyclops removal.
Basically, I tried heating the cyclops area with a lighter and was exposing it to the flame for no more than 3-5 seconds at a time. Wiped away the soot and gave it a push with my finger nails and, at times, a case knife (very carefully), and if it didn't work, retried. I did that more than a few times, and the cyclops still held steady. This flame fusion crystal was not kidding around.
My next tactic was to use a naphtha cleaning solution. I got out a small glass dish and put a small wood chip with about the same depth as the cyclops in it. And then I balanced the watch on the chip and very slowly added the naphtha. The wood chip was just the right sized so that the solution made contact just with the crystal area and cyclops and didn't go into other areas. Left that for about an hour. Then retried pushing it off with my finger nails after some more heat from the lighter. This time the cyclops slid off.
After that kind of exposure to heat, I'm definitely not going to expose this watch to water.
Retrospectively, the best thing to do was to probably remove the crystal from the watch and soak that in the naphtha until the cyclops came off easily with a push.
Up next: Invicta logo removal.
I can't fathom wearing a BB mod with this logo prominently displayed. I can guess why Invicta would want its customers to be their billboards, but I'm not going to be one of them. I basically began with a hand file.
WUS user Fullers1845 had given me some advice: "One thing that worked fairly fast was to hold the file still against a wooden table and slide the watch along the table and against the edge of the stationary file."
And so I filed. And filed. And filed.
Until I pretty much undid Invicta's aesthetic mistake.
Then comes finer filing using sandpaper of various grit.
Polished with steel wheel, 150 grit sandpaper, 600 grit sandpaper, sisal wheel with Dremel compound, then Cape Cod cloth for the final round of polishing. Mirror finish achieved. Now it's nice and shiny and logo free.
Then I reattached the bezel.
Here's how I did it: First I inserted wire spring, then place down bezel while bending the spring around the crystal edge (carefully, this is tricky and took me more than a few tries). Finished by inserting octagon ring into the gap between the bezel and crystal.
And then the bezel insert was attached using G-S Hypo cement. The insert was made to fit a Rolex Submariner (16800, 16808, 16613) and was bought on the Bay from a seller in Texas.
At this point, I had to wait for some time for the rose gold snowflake hands.
After the hands arrived, I did the usual. Removed hands and dial.
Put in the new BB dial from JakeB.
And then set the gold hands. And then back in the case.
Here are some more shots of the completed mod.
Hope this has been helpful.