On occasion, complete junk can provide the source of a diverting little project or two. Early on in my dabbling days I did just this, acquiring a couple of aesthetically challenged Seiko 6309-7290 divers to practice on. Herewith then, the ingredients:
- a pair of truly knackered Seiko 6309-7290 divers
- one aftermarket dial
- one pair of quite nice aftermarket 6309 repro hands
- one 12 hr bezel insert (sourced from MkII when they were still supplying parts)
- one reproduction tempered glass 6105 domed crystal
- one old stock 6309 movement retrieved from a 6309 dress watch
Here are seller’s photos of the divers:
Photo credit: thewatchcollector (Ebay)
Unfortunately, the crown tube on the better of the two cases was damaged and so I had to base the watch on the second case, which needed considerably more work to get it looking respectable. The crown and stem on this one was in very good nick though as was the English/Roman day wheel and chapter ring. So this watch was broken down, and thoroughly cleaned. The crystal retaining ring broke under my attentions (too rusty) but the second watch provided a replacement.
After a lot of elbow grease refinishing the case, the watch was reassembled with a mixture of new gaskets (bezel and case back) and old (crystal and watch case back, both just needing a good clean). I removed the movement from the dress watch, replaced the day wheel with the English/Roman wheel from diver #1 and reassembled. Here’s the end result:
I was quite pleased with this one at the time and went on to build several more with varying degrees of success but this one remained the one I kept returning to and lasted the longest before eventually being sold.
Addendum: What happened to the second case? Well, that one ended up salvagable after all and over the next year or so went through a number of permutations before settling down into some sort of aesthetic state that gelled (but let’s face it, most modified watches are horrid*). Without belabouring the process, a MOD dial,
polished aluminium chapter ring and 6105 crystal
a serviced 6309A movement and an insert from an SBBN007 resulted in this
* And you are of course perfectly entitled to think the same of mine.
Hi Martin, very much enjoyed reading about your restorations of the ladies 2205 and 2526 – and then its newer replacement.
I’m a woman who likes those kinds of watches and would like to ask my watchmaker to restore a lady’s 4205. Did you have a source for aftermarket replacement crystals?
As I understand it, 4205 use the same as the 2526.
Thanks for any info, keep up the good work (I wish I could do it myself, I might take a watchmaking class)
Hi Sylvie, I sourced the crystals for the 2625 and 2205 ladies watches I’ve worked on from Cousins in the UK. The part number for the 2205 divers is 235W05GE00 and for the 2625, 235W07HN00. I used them interchangeably so it may be that you could try one or other in your 4205, assuming of course yours has the same crystal diameter. Cousins report both as obsolete on their site but you may have better luck with your local watch materials house. Good luck!
Hi Martin, Both mods are solid but I very much like the first. A few questions for you…
01. Where did you get the bezel insert? I love how clean and bold it is.
02. Where did you get the clean textless dial?
03. I am trying to replace my Roman/English Day dial for my Seiko 7548 – 7000 and not having any luck. Any chance you have some advise?
Thanks in advance and great work on the first watch…
Hi Jason, both of these projects date from 2008/9 and the parts I used then also date from that period. The insert came from MkII when they still supplied Seiko mod parts; both dials came from 10watches.com, at the time run by the late Noah Fuller; and I am not quite sure what you are asking in your third question. Are you needing advice on where to source the day dial or how to replace it?
Thanks for following up… Re the third question, I’m looking to get a English/Roman day dial. The original one I had was accidentally thrown out during a repair by a watch maker so they replaced it with an English/Kanji dial. Needless to say I’m not happy about it and want the original English/Roman one but am struggling to find one on a white background for a 7548 – 7000 model Seiko.
The date wheels for 6309 and 7548 are interchangeable and so if you can find a junk 6309 with a Roman day wheel, then that might be the simplest route. Otherwise, the usual route, in the absence of stock from watch materials houses, is to trawl Ebay, watch fora sales corners, parts dealers with their own sites and so on. In fact looking just now at parts currently for sale from the seller schillachi61 on Ebay, I see he has three dual language day wheels for 6309/7548/7546 (no Roman though). Just make sure to source a wheel for crown at 4.
Thank you! Wish more people were making modded dials and bezels, the bold clean look on your watch is top shelf, just love it.