As a new watch collector myself, I can tell you first-hand how hard it can be to find an entry-point into the hobby. For an industry built on exclusivity, it can sometimes be frustrating to want to enjoy watches while simultaneously knowing that your wallet might securely position you lowest on the proverbial totem pole.
Luckily, that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. One avenue within the hobby that has gained popularity among watch enthusiasts is exploring the world of Seiko mods. Seiko offers affordable and reliable timepieces that serve as excellent canvases for customization. Seiko mods (the latter short for modifications) are a thriving subculture within the watch community. Enthusiasts are drawn to the prospect of personalizing their Seiko watches, whether it’s through aftermarket dials, hands, bezels, or custom straps. This not only allows collectors to express their unique style but also transforms an entry-level Seiko into a one-of-a-kind piece. The accessibility and versatility of Seiko Mods make them a compelling gateway for new collectors to dive deeper into the captivating world of horology without breaking the bank.
An Intro to Seiko Mods
When starting out in the Seiko Mod world, you’ll find that it’s a nearly limitless opportunity to show off your creativity and personality. The key to a perfect mod lies in the details. Enthusiasts often start by selecting aftermarket dials that can range from minimalist designs to bold and intricate patterns. The dial serves as the canvas for expressing individual style, and choices can vary from sporty Seikos to nearly pitch-perfect Rolex dupes.
Beyond the dial and hands, the bezel plays a crucial role in shaping the watch’s identity. Seiko mods enthusiasts frequently opt for custom bezels, experimenting with different materials, colors, and markings. Whether it’s a subtle upgrade or a bold statement, the bezel customization adds a touch of personality to the watch. The selection of these components transforms a standard Seiko into a one-of-a-kind timepiece, showcasing the owner’s taste and appreciation for the hobby beyond what’s produced at a factory level.
“Seikos, by definition, are inclusive and approachable, making modding a perfect way to get into the hobby without feeling like you have to spend big to be a part of something,” Jeremy Kirkland, the host of the podcast Blamo!, tells me. “Seiko mods let you have some fun while also meaning something a little more personal than just buying some random watch because you think it’ll make you look cool.”
How to Get Started With Seiko Mods
To get started with your own mod, you’ll need a base Seiko model that has a modding-friendly design and widespread availability. Popular choices include the Seiko SKX and Seiko Turtle, both known for a robust build and mod-friendly components.
The modding process involves disassembly of the Seiko watch. Be warned that this requires a little skill and patience. Enthusiasts often invest in specialized tools to facilitate the removal and replacement of components without compromising the integrity of the timepiece. Upgrading the hands and bezel and bracelet follows, with each carefully chosen component contributing to the identity of the modified Seiko.
Alternatively, you can skip the stress of trying to do it yourself and visit one of the many mod sites that will do the hard work for you. Like Jeremy, this is the route I’ve taken for my own personal collection. These sites usually have a bit of a limited inventory, but that doesn’t mean you’re getting anything less unique compared to the standard Seikos that are on the market today.
DLW Watches is a reputable online platform specializing in Seiko Mods. They offer a variety of pre-modified Seiko watches, featuring different dial, hand, and bezel combinations. The website provides detailed information about each modded watch, allowing enthusiasts to choose a design that suits their preferences.
Where to Buy Seiko Mods
A reputable company specializing in Seiko mods. DLW offers a variety of pre-modified Seiko watches, featuring different dial, hand, and bezel combinations.Buy at
A popular destination for Seiko mod parts and complete watches. The site offers a diverse range of aftermarket components but also showcases fully assembled modsBuy at
A starting point for many collectors and the inspiration for Kirkland’s #SeikoBois. Yobokies is known for its extensive collection of Seiko mod parts, custom watches, and pre-modified SeikosBuy at
A one-stop-shop for Seiko mod enthusiasts, offering an array of mod parts and fully customized watches with a dedicated section for assembled Seiko mods.Buy at
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