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Discussion Starter #1
In a moment of weakness earlier today I was seconds away from pulling the trigger on the forever haunting Seiko SARB 065. The only thing that held me back is that I know I eventually will want to replace the hardlex with sapphire. I assume that this is doable, but I wanted to confirm that this is indeed possible on this watch, and get some sense of where I would source the sapphire crystal or who does the replacement. Thanks a lot for your help!

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Discussion Starter #2
Surely, someone has wanted to do this before...
 

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Why? Hardlex is awesome in its own right. Adds a vintage charm to this piece, I think.
 
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I think a lot of us Cocktail Time owners enjoy the look of the watch with its old school Hardlex crystal, and aren't too troubled by the durability. I may be wrong, but I suggest there aren't too many SARB 065 owners who wear this watch more than a few days a week. Perhaps that's why there's not a huge demand for sapphire out there....
 

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The Hardlex on my Cocktail Time is not a problem for me. It looks great actually! I think it would be expensive to source a sapphire crystal that has the same dome shape.
 

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The crystal is very doomed - replacing it will be very expensive.

This replacing crystals work on cheap Chinese customized watches like Parnis - the retailer can order it for you at an extra cost. I have read reviews of sarb were people mention it is possible but none actually did it - is more a WIS legend.

the problem with the Cocktail Time is it has a very doomed crystal - manufacturing a sapphire like this will be more expensive than the watch itself - only luxury brands like Grand Seiko can afford such crystals.
 

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Surely, someone has wanted to do this before...
This is the first thread I recall. Sure the original crystal can be replaced with one made of sapphire by any good watch repairman. However understand that the vintage look of that watch will change if a flat sapphire crystal is used. I haven't seen a replacement sapphire crystal that approximates the shape of the original.

I'm not seeing any benefit from making that swap.
 

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You could e-mail Yokobies and ask him ([email protected]). He offers a variety of sapphire replacements for the commonly-modded Seiko models, including crystals with giant domes.

That said, have you ever actually scratched a hardlex crystal? If not, you might be giving this more thought than it deserves. I've never even managed to scratch a Seiko 5 crystal, and the stuff on the SARBs is supposedly better.
 

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Agreed....It is possible but why?
And the easy answer to that is... why not? If you can get a domed sapphire that looks the same but is less likely to scratch, and you're willing to spend the money on it, why wouldn't you want it? Domed replacement sapphire crystals are a popular Seiko mod and are easy to come by -- the only question is whether there is one that fits this particular case.
 

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I don't know the specifics on this, but here's my approach to replacing mineral with sapphire:

Basically, if you're already planning on spending that money, there's no reason to do it until you need it. How scratch resistant is a crystal you're going to replace anyway? Well, basically infinitely, because no matter what you did to it it'd be thrown away making any damage totally irrelevant. So the way I see it, just wear it, and on the (quite improbable) chance you scratch it, replace it then. If you were climbing mountains in the watch, I could sort of see a preemptive upgrade, but the SARB isn't going to see duty like that.

So for now, get it and treat the Hardlex as a freebie. If the occasion should arrive to fix it, go sapphire then.
 

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Yuck! Seiya's website is down until June 30th. Anything on ebay will cost $55 more when shipping is included. Shopping In Japan .NET | Shopping-In-Japan will cost me an extra $19 than Seiya, but is this site legitimate? Can't seem to determine that with certainty. Maybe it's a sign... :-(
 

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I've had mine for a year and a half and it still looks like new. Admittedly I only wear it about once a week, but I don't think you need to worry about too much.

And as CitizenM pointed out, why worry about it at all unless something goes horrible wrong?
 

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The mineral glass crystal on the Cocktail Time is extremely domed with a profile that is more typical of an acrylic crystal. You will need to replace it with a similarly domed crystal (be it acrylic, mineral glass, or sapphire) in order to have adequate clearance on the watch hands.

Most of the domed sapphire crystals that are readily available are simply shaped like a spherical cap, but you need something which goes vertically upwards a bit before curving to a dome in order to mimic the vintage look you currently have, and those kind of sapphire crystals are extraordinarily expensive, assuming they're even available.

In the Seagull Air Force 1963 chronograph for example, the case shape is actually different for the sapphire and acrylic versions. The acrylic version has a much shallower rehaut and it is the shape of the acrylic crystal that allows the crystal to clear the hands. In the sapphire version, the rehaut is much higher, as the sapphire crystal used has a spherical cap shape, which would not provide the necessary clearance on its own.
 
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Yuck! Seiya's website is down until June 30th. Anything on ebay will cost $55 more when shipping is included. Shopping In Japan .NET | Shopping-In-Japan will cost me an extra $19 than Seiya, but is this site legitimate? Can't seem to determine that with certainty. Maybe it's a sign... :-(
My recommendation is to buy from Seiya, Higuchi or Chino Watch. All have established reputations.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
My recommendation is to buy from Seiya, Higuchi or Chino Watch. All have established reputations.
Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that Higuchi sells them and Chino Watch is sold out.. Seiya won't allow me to create an account to check out (probably because it says their website is down until the 30th.) Ouch.
 
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