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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Not long ago I got the itch to try doing a mod. I'd owned a Seiko SKX007, perhaps the perfect watch for modification, but I'd given it to my son. Still, he was game for some customization, so we swapped in a Rally Bezel, Caribbean Blue Soxa dial, and Dagger hands, all from Jake at Dagaz:




I wasn't brave enough to try doing the changes on my own, so I used a local watchmaker, but I was able to watch him as he did the mods, and it all looked easy enough (famous last words, to be sure).

As such, I thought I'd try doing some mods myself. I'd had the Orange/Blue prototype of the Orthos for a while, but hadn't worn it much. I wasn't crazy about the dial, as it was more "Blurple" than blue, and didn't compliment the orange bezel insert very well.

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While I was in Hong Kong, my factory gave me an updated case sample, which had been floating around on my desk, acting shiftless, since I returned. I decided to transplant the movement, dial, hands, crown and bracelet from the Orange/Blurple prototype into the new case, which had a gray bezel. Finding and activating the stem release was the only "hard" part. Once I got the crown and stem out, I just moved all the innards over to the new case as a single piece. I christened the new piece "Basic Blurple":

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But that left me with another empty prototype case, and no crown, so now that was floating around on my desk, acting shiftless.

Last year, as a committee member for the F71 project watch, the "Flying Dutchman", I received a pre-production dial sample from Bernhardt, and it's also been floating around my desk ever since (yes, acting shiftless). For those who don't know about the Dutchman, it looks like this (dial design by Chip Yuen of Aevig Watches):




A momentary combination of boredom and curiosity led me to try fitting the Dutchman's dial into the Orthos case. By pure coincidence, it was a perfect fit.

However, the Dutchman used a Miyota 8215 movement, whereas the Orthos uses a Seiko NH35. Different date window placement, different crown height, different hands fitting, etc. If I wanted to marry the Dutchman's dial to the Orthos prototype case, I'd have to source a movement, hands, crown, and spacer.

This was all WAY outside the normal drop-in parts swap, but being both stubborn by nature, and frugal by upbringing, I was determined to not let these parts go to waste. So the search was on.

First up, finding a movement...

There's nothing really 'wrong' with the Miyota 8215. It's automatic, and hand-winds, but I thought it would be nice if it also hacked, not that I really bother with synchronizing my watches to the atomic clock, or any other, down to the second. I just thought it would be nice. Thanks to Jelliotz's ground-breaking work on the Moflake, I knew the DG2813 was a Chinese clone of the Miyota, and also adds hacking. Miyotas can possibly be sourced cheaper than $50, but that seemed to be the going rate for those I was able to easily find. Happily, I found a decorated and gold-plated DG for about $30 on ebay:

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But when it arrived, I found that the crown was WAY too small for my liking, and I don't think the inside of it was threaded, which meant I wouldn't be able to screw it down onto the case tube of the Orthos.

As it happens, the Cerberus prototypes all had screw-down crowns, unlike the production version, and I'd kept the prototypes to be used for spare parts for repairs. I figured the crown from one of the Cerberus protos could be mated to the DG movement. Again, this isn't the sort of modification work I'm capable of doing on my own, so I had my watchmaker marry the parts, which also required the Cerberus's crown stem to be cut down to fit the DG.

While aftermarket mod parts for Seikos are easy enough to source from Jake or Harold (Yobokies), Miyota/DG parts don't seem to have as many sellers. Again, thanks to Jelliotz for turning me onto Ken at Raffles Time (Google it). Ken stocks parts for DG's and ETAs, including a set of PloProff hands.

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I'd seen how good those hands looked when HWA added them to his Flying Dutchman, so I knew they'd be a good fit for my project.

Since I used the proto bracelet on Basic Blurple, I needed a strap for it. As it happens, I had a very nice and never worn brown croco strap which came as an extra with my Cobra de Calibre, also with 22mm lugs, like the Orthos.

Lastly, I needed a movement spacer. One of the perks of owning a watch brand is being able to get stuff made to order in a pinch. I asked my factory if they could CNC machine a spacer to marry the DG movement to the Orthos case (again, remember, it was made for a Seiko, not a Miyota).

I haven't received the spacer yet. I don't know when I will, and it's possible I never will. Jelliotz says he's got a spare he'll send me, so that's still to be sorted out. But in the meantime, all the other components are in place, and the watch is now wearable, if not exactly ideally constructed and perfectly stable.

Given that the Orthos was partially inspired by the Omega Planet Ocean, the mod uses a Flying Dutchman dial, is 2mm larger than the Dutchman, and uses PloProf hands, I've dubbed this one the 'Planet Dutchman Pro XL'. Here it is, for your viewing pleasure:

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So...what do you think? Not bad for a bunch of castaway parts which had all been hanging around, acting shiftless, huh? Total spend was only about $100 including installation.

Next up, I hope to do a sort of Sinn 857/Omega PO/Seiko mash-up with the other prototype Orthos case. I'm planning to call it "Chad Orthosinnko"

Planet Dutchman Pro XL Specs -

CASE: 42mm Prototype Orthos Case, by Lew & Huey

MOVEMENT: DG2813 clone of Miyota 8215, with hacking & hand-winding (~$30)

CROWN: Screw-down crown with cut-down stem from Cerberus Protoype (Miyota 9015), by Lew & Huey

DIAL: Pre-production sample of F71 Project Watch, the "Flying Dutchman", dial designed by Chip Yuen of Aevig, produced by Bernhardt

HANDS: PloProff hands for DG2813 from Raffles Time (~$25)

STRAP: Croco Grain Strap with Pre-V buckle from Cobra de Calibre
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Awesome! I really like the new blurple Orthos with grey bezel.
Thanks!

I've been finding that the prototypes my factory's been sending me are not 1:1 compatible with the production pieces when it comes to parts, so they're of limited value when it comes to using them as donors, and their quality is never quite up to production grade, so I don't like letting them get out there in the world. Modding them into one-off beaters like this keeps them close to home, and gets them back into my rotation, rather than sitting around on my desk (you know, acting shiftless).
 
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Blurple Orthos looks like a pretty good combo.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Blurple Orthos looks like a pretty good combo.
You guys are missing the point of the story...(but yes, I've received many compliments on Basic Blurple, and if memory serves, I believe you were one of those who asked about a Blue/Gray dial/bezel combo - had I unlimited funds for production, I might have made some that way).

PS - thank you for the compliment!
 

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looks good, but somehow it feels that a full orange bezel insert might works better. the inner grey ring on the bezel insert makes the dial bigger to me, something that didn't seem to appear with the regular orthos dial. maybe because it have outer grey ring on the dial itself that balances the look.
anyway, enjoy the watch and have a lot of fun with it ;)
 

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Those are two very nice mods. The violet and grey Orthos works quite well, and the Dutchman mod is a seriously impressive bit of work.

On multiple occasions since reading this I've had a great many tabs open, trying to figure out how hard it would be to successfully mate a set of DG hands to a Vostok 2409. As if my plans for that spare Amphibia case I have knocking around weren't bad enough already.
 

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Thanks!

I've been finding that the prototypes my factory's been sending me are not 1:1 compatible with the production pieces when it comes to parts, so they're of limited value when it comes to using them as donors, and their quality is never quite up to production grade, so I don't like letting them get out there in the world. Modding them into one-off beaters like this keeps them close to home, and gets them back into my rotation, rather than sitting around on my desk (you know, acting shiftless).
Agreed, I would TOTALLY wear that at my wedding this October. Just finished paying off the engagement ring today. /Groan. I could have had a really nice Submariner for the price of that little piece of compressed carbon. :(
 

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I am convinced this is no mere Franken, but rather stealthy market research for the next Lew & Huey model. ;-) Well, next one after the Mecaquartz-powered Ricardo II anyway. :-d

(Boy do I love starting rumors. b-) )
 

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On multiple occasions since reading this I've had a great many tabs open, trying to figure out how hard it would be to successfully mate a set of DG hands to a Vostok 2409. As if my plans for that spare Amphibia case I have knocking around weren't bad enough already.
If the hand sizes aren't too far apart, you could get a set of smoothing broaches and some tweezers and very carefully squeeze the tube down to fit the Vostok movement. Or the other choice is to get the correct sized tubes for the hands. Remove the stock tubes and solder in the replacements.
 

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If the hand sizes aren't too far apart, you could get a set of smoothing broaches and some tweezers and very carefully squeeze the tube down to fit the Vostok movement. Or the other choice is to get the correct sized tubes for the hands. Remove the stock tubes and solder in the replacements.
Looking at the specs on the Vostok 24xx movement, it looks like I would need parts from a few different movements. Hour hand is 1.4mm, minute hand is .88mm, and seconds hand is .17mm. I think that some combination of ETA, Seiko, and DG/Miyota hands would do the trick, along with some careful modification. I would just need to either find a place willing to sell me odd hand combinations or accept the extra costs.
 

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Looking at the specs on the Vostok 24xx movement, it looks like I would need parts from a few different movements. Hour hand is 1.4mm, minute hand is .88mm, and seconds hand is .17mm. I think that some combination of ETA, Seiko, and DG/Miyota hands would do the trick, along with some careful modification. I would just need to either find a place willing to sell me odd hand combinations or accept the extra costs.
Please keep us updated! I'd like the thought if changing vostok's hands without tampering physically.

Tlapatakled
 
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