Two more SKX007 recreations now follow, both of which based on new but empty cases as the starting point and therefore not technically modified watches but new builds. I thought I’d present the build process in parallel and then look at the results separately at the end.
To start then, we have one 7S26-7020 case (left), sourced new from Singapore with a chapter ring and case back but nothing else. The one on the right is essentially the same case but with a slightly different case number (7S26-0020), sourced from a watch materials house, complete with bezel, crystal, crown but no movement, dial or hands. Here are the pair together, both with chapter rings in place but with click springs missing for reasons which will become apparent as we proceed:
The main issue involved in fitting acrylic crystals to SKX cases is to find the correct balance between crystal diameter at the base and the diameter at top of the dome. The base diameter obviously needs to be large enough to seat snugly into the aperture in the case but this is typically only achieved with these cases with crystals whose upper dome diameter is too large to clear the bezel aperture. Unfortunately this means you cannot avoid having to use a nylon crystal gasket which usually would only be appropriate for glass or sapphire crystals. In my case, I found that a 31.6 mm crystal pressed into a fresh nylon gasket resulted in a very tight fit with no discernible play at all. Satisfied that I’ve done the best I can with that one, the other one follows convention, if not originality, with a new sapphire pressed into a gently warmed fresh nylon gasket
Now for the bezels. On the left we are going for a coin edge bezel from Murphy Engineering in the USA and on the right, a pilot bezel from the same source. The coin edge bezel is designed to rotate freely with no clicks, with a snug fit ensured by a lubricated rubber gasket. The pilot bezel fits in the same way but this one is a tighter fit and does not rotate in situ.
At this point we can really see how different these two watches are going to end up looking. With the rotating bezel, we need, of course, an insert and this one receives a nicely executed machined steel insert with white paint filled numbers from Hong Kong. The diameter is a little too small and so a little bit of gapping results on one side but nothing objectionable:
Now, we need to think about movements. For the watch on the left, I bought a new 7S36 movement from Holland, a development of the 7S26 with a couple of extra jewels, and some minor refinements in construction. I had decided with this one to fit a date-only dial and so removed the day ring and day corrector wheel. With the other watch, I used a spare 7S26 I’d bought a while back and substituted the black on white day ring with a white on black for a bit of contrast: