So I've been totally smitten with the original Fifty Fathoms watch, the Blancpain, but I don't have an extra $40K laying around. Therefore, what is a budding modder to do? Well, here's what THIS budding modder did:
Start with a SNZH55 (Seiko 5 Sports) either in Gold or Stainless. For this mod, I chose the Gold one:
I then got in touch with Harold Ng, also known as Yobokies, or Seiko Boy backwards. He's a master at creating Seiko mod dials, hands, rotating ring inserts and all such other things. I couldn't decide at the time which dial I wanted to go with so I got one of each; date and no date (respectively):
I ended up going with the "no date" because I like the vintage look of the 1950's Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. Plus, who really cares what the day is when you're under water?
Dial decisions made, I removed the bracelet and got the patient ready to have the case back removed and the stem taken out:
Yeah, I know, that picture's not so sexy. With the movement out we can then appreciate the gold tone on the dial and hands - Seiko should be very proud of this model watch:
The hands came off and the dial just pops right off, there were no screws to be turned. Putting the hands back on can really challenge the obsessive compulsive in you, you must make sure to set them on at exactly 12:00, otherwise your time will be off every hour! (Guess who learned this one the hard way??)
Here we are with the new dial and old hands back in place:
In the case:
and on the wrist:
All in all, a very rewarding experience. You can only guess what I'll be sporting on tomorrow's WRUW thread! Thanks for reading!!
Post by russtmurray on Jan 28, 2015 9:32:59 GMT -8
Until these homages started to appear a while ago I wasn't aware of the original Blancpain version probably because I wasn't familiar with the brand either! Nevertheless, yours looks like a faithful salute to a nicely crafted classic at a fraction of the cost. That is a great combination and a terrific mod.
I love the looks of this watch in it's various configurations. It takes me back to James Mason as Captain Nemo in 20,000 Leagues Beneath the Sea and his Nautilus submarine...it just has that cool vibe about it.
If I was going to go after one, I would love it to have the snow flake hands.
It always appears to me that this watch has a glass bezel - it doesn't correct?
I don't have one personally, so I can't be sure but I think it is. I know that Harold makes (or made?) Replacements that are lumed from the underside. Again, I haven't seen them in person, but they look quite nice in pics and make for great lume shots.
Mine is away with Blancpain having a rather expensive service right now! I was left it in a will by my dive buddy and best friend and truly didn't know what I had for years. I just thought it was another dive watch until someone wised me up to what I had.
I opted for the modern version of the Fifty Fathoms:
Although it has the parts (dial and sapphire crystal) from Dagaz, not Yobokies. I did order a new bezel insert from Harold, though. Just need to put it in some day... Say, does your bezel click 120 times and very even? Mine only clicks 60 times but has a slight bump inbetween. Maybe the bezel is not seated correctly?
I also own an all-black SNZF that clicks 120 times.