From just wanting to own two watches to currently owning five, and I don’t think I will stop anytime soon. I did get into the world of watch modding, which has made me look at watches in a completely new perspective as it allowed me to be as picky as I want to be, which I am not sure whether it is a good thing or not.
My first watch I ever bought is the Frederique Constant Slimline FC245M4S6 and it has been an excellent dress watch. It is my only quartz watch and I know people often do not like Frederique Constant due to their “Affordable luxury” tagline, but to be able to get a dress watch with a textured dial and a small seconds sub dial at the 6 o’clock position at an excellent price I couldn’t pass it up. As for the price I was able to purchase it for $276 and at that price I was willing to look over it being quartz and I was extremely impressed by its thin nature and the anti-reflective sapphire crystal. For it being the first and only purchase I made on Chrono24 I was more than impressed by the whole purchasing process and communication with the seller.
The second watch I bought is the much beloved Seiko Alpinist SBDC091, and was my daily driver for the better part of the year. It is also the first ever automatic watch I have ever bought and it exceeded all my expectations. I was a bit hesitant at first as I did not think the green dial will match that well with the gold hour numerals, and I did not have any chance to see the watch in person. I bought the watch online from Sakura Watches and the entire purchasing process and delivery was very quick and seeing it finally in person quickly changed my mind and I love it. The colour scheme worked perfectly and in the light it constantly changes its look. I will not be getting rid of this watch anytime soon.
I was thinking about purchasing a diver, and I was very close to purchasing an Oris Aquis and nothing against Oris but I did not see any watch that I would personally be happy owning as the bezel insert just seemed a tad too shiny for me. On my drive to work I thought about watch modding and thought why not just make my own watch. I always loved the Grand Seiko Snowflake and thought maybe I could make a diver with the Snowflake dial. I bought all the parts and tools I needed to make this watch and it took me around an hour to finish this watch with a lot of difficulty. Particularly placing that second hand took the longest time and it kept flying off the tweezer every damn minute. The end result I was extremely impressed with and I finally own a diver I was completely happy with.
Dial: Snowflake Date from Lucius Atelier
Hands: Grand Seiko Dauphine Hands – Polished Blue from Lucius Atelier
Case, Bezel, Bezel Insert, Crown, Sapphire Crystal and Caseback: Black Matte PVD from SeikoMod Australia
Movement: Seiko NH36A Automatic Movement from namokiMODS
The second watch I ever made was gained inspiration from seeing watches with an aventurine dial, and trying to scratch the itch of another diver while browsing through available dials I saw the Stardust Dial from Lucius Atelier and thought that would be perfect. As it is not simply just printed on it actually sparkles and changes as the light hits the dial. I decided to go with a gold bezel and crown to give it some contrasting colour with the black matte PVD case and bezel insert. This watch was a lot quicker to make than the previous one. However, I did face an issue with the date wheel as it would not turn over using the quick date function, but after going back and forth with it for over 2 days, and also talking to SeikoMods Australia I was finally able to fix it and it is perhaps the most frustrating thing I have ever done.
Dial: Stardust Dial v2 (Date) from Lucius Atelier
Hands: Grand Seiko Dauphine Hands – Polished Silver from Lucius Atelier
Case, Bezel, Bezel Insert, Crown, Sapphire Crystal and Caseback: Black Matte PVD from SeikoMods Australia
Movement: Seiko NH36 Black Automatic Movement from SeikoMods Australia
My final watch and also the third watch I have ever made was to replicate a Rolex Datejust but to change the dial to have Arabic numbers instead. This was a bit out my normal comfort zone as it took a long time to find the right case for the watch as I wanted it to be 36mm and also feature a cyclops date window and be able to fit a NH36 movement. I was finally able to find the case from eBay and next up it was to find the perfect dial. I wanted a sunburst blue dial with Arabic numbers and with a lot of browsing I was finally able to find a supplier from the subreddit r/seikomods that had that dial and I changed the date wheel on the automatic movement to also have Arabic numbers and all in all it came together perfectly. I am definitely not going to stop making watches and I will need a bigger watch display box from next year.
Case, Sapphire Crystal, Caseback, Crown: 36mm Sapphire Fluted Watch Case Fit NH35 from eBay
Dial: Arabic Dial – Sunburst Blue from Watch and Style
Hands: H0285 Merc Hands – Silver from Watch and Style
Movement: NH36A Automatic Movement from Watch and Style
Arabic Date and Day Wheel: NH36A Arabic Day-Date Wheel Disc Set (White) from namokiMODS
That is my full watch collection for the year 2021, and I will definitely be adding some in the near future and possibly making a lot more. I want to try using some non-conventional movements and try adding more complications in my watches. Currently however, I am extremely happy with my current collection and I will wear and maintain all of them. I do feel a bit scared that now that I am able to make or mod watches I am going to be even more picky with my upcoming watches, but that is a problem for another day.