Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Modified Seiko SKX007 Automatic Diver

I didn't think I'd have much to say about this watch, but the more I think about it, the more I think it might be one of the most functional and best representation of a "tool watch" anywhere. Well, not only this particular watch, but the Seiko automatic divers in general. This particular watch is a Seiko SKX007 which has been modified by Duarte of North East Watch Works. I purchased it directly from Duarte on the PMWF sales forum in 2004, in the early days of my serious watch collecting. All the Seiko divers of this style (including SKX007, SKX009, SKX173, SKX175, etc.) have the same Seiko 7S26 automatic movement, case and overall design with the differences typically being dials, hands and bezel inserts. All of these watches are very comfortable whether worn on a bracelet, rubber strap, NATO or some other band. The large crown is angled down (around 4 o'clock instead of the more typical 3) so it's less likely to dig into the back of one's hand. Also, the flat caseback rests nicely against the wrist, while the rest of the case is nicely curved without any sharp angles or points. My watch has had the case, bezel and bracelet bead-blasted to remove the factory polished finish. Also, new hands (including red-tipped second hand) and "300 MOD" dial have been fitted, both from MKII. Both the hands and dial take their design inspiration from the British Ministry of Defense (MoD) modified and issued Omega Seamaster 300s of the 1950s and 1960s. The design is still in use today on MoD-issued divers. So, then end result of the modifications is a diver's watch that looks very serious and no-nonsense with great legibility and functionality. It's funny how the matte silver finish actually stands out more since most watches today have highly polished or even chrome plated cases, and I'm sure the lack of any kind of writing on the dial could also make some do a double-take. Of course the modifications were done mostly to make the watch unique, rather than address any shortcomings of the original watch. In fact, in the name of fashion (there, I said it) this MoD-style dial does away with the date window, actually reducing functionality. Military watches are definitely in style now, from the hardcore collector who will settle for nothing less than government-issued, battle-scarred vintage pieces, to the casual buyer picking up a military-style watch from Seiko, Citizen, Hamilton or even Fossil. I think this is a fantastic homage to past and present military timepieces and it's always a pleasure to wear.


hornet10 said...

Great looking watch. I just purchased the 007 and should receive by next week. I would love to modify. Can you tell me what you did on your watch since it looks awesome.

Email me when you can.


Adam Bryan said...

If you can write right here about the upgrade. I think a lot of people would like to know how to modify Seiko SKX007 :)

Jason said...

I didn't do the modifications myself, but purchased it from somebody who had the work done. I would suggest contacting Yobokies at yobokies@yahoo.com.hk if you'd like to purchase something similar. Here is a catalog of his work: http://s161.photobucket.com/user/yobokies/library/?sort=3&page=1