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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some time ago I decided I wanted a tool watch. I did get a Casio ProTrek which is a wonderful watch and I have used it quite a bit actually. However I still wanted something mechanical. Of course there are many possibilities and options, some of which very espensive. I wanted something large but not overly large. My first choices were the marathon JSAR and/or the Ecozilla. The JSAR unfortunately was way over my budget and is also Quartz. The Ecozilla was also quartz and could not find a good piece for the price I wanted. Either one of these would have required additional funds for the conversion from quartz to mechanical which put the price even more out of reach for my meager budget. Several other options were gone through but in the end I decided that for me a good tool watch had to be solid, practical, legible and reliable. The whole package also needed to be economical.

When I saw the black dialed Seiko Divers "starfish" with the huge black bezel and humongous white markers for the first time I thought "boy that's ugly"... but when I saw the orange dialed one I thought that while it was still ugly I liked it... What I mean with this is that this watch does not have the beautiful and smooth lines and proportions of a Rolex Explorer or Diver watch, or the military beauty of a IWC pilot. With these edges sticking out and the funky shape, it was far from a beautiful watch. But I liked it and I preferred the silver bezel and the toolish appearance of the orange dialed version. This is obviously my personal opinion and someone could decide that this was the best watch in the world or so terrible that it could make him puke... well taste and is taste and that's why we have so many watches to choose from...

I took what I thought was the best part for me and decided to make a project tool watch. I already had the dial and hands in mind and now I had found the basic watch. When I finally got all the parts together I was actually happy of the result. In addition to the dial and hands I had to also get a metal ring called minute chapter ring because in many Seiko diver watches this ring provide space between the crystal and the dial and has the minutes and hours marked on it. The original one was black and since it is attached to the original dial like the Seiko Monster one, I had to get another ring. I ended up using a unmarked steel ring originally made for the Seiko monster. It seems to fit pretty well.

The dial itself is from a friend who has made a batch of these and also the hands. These were originally made for Seiko movements like SKX007 for example, he also has the chapter rings for these as well as special bezel insert that are designed after one of the versions of the 50 fathoms.

The lume is excellent and is C3. It lasts all night and is very bright, really close to Seiko lume. Last year I made a watch for my wife using the same dial, she has been wearing it every day since and even she commented on the great lume...

The case itself is all steel and dimensionally is 44mm large, a couple of mm larger then the regular SKX Seiko diver like the Seiko Monster or 007, it is also slightly taller. It is very solid and the lug holes are drilled through for ease of strap changing. The crystal is slightly recessed and hence protected by the bezel on any accidental hits on door frames or walls. I ordered a bracelet but I found out that it is coming from Singapore and it did not arrive yet. So I have not worn the watch at all yet. I had it running though and so far it seems to keep time.

I wanted to share a few photos with the forum members since this seems to be the second Seiko Starfish used for a custom project...

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