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On occasion, complete junk can provide the source of a diverting little project or two.  Early on in my dabbling days I did just this, acquiring a couple of aesthetically challenged Seiko 6309-7290 divers to practice on.  Herewith then, the ingredients:

  • a pair of truly knackered Seiko 6309-7290 divers
  • one aftermarket dial
  • one pair of quite nice aftermarket 6309 repro hands
  • one 12 hr bezel insert (sourced from MkII when they were still supplying parts)
  • one reproduction tempered glass 6105 domed crystal
  • one old stock 6309 movement retrieved from a 6309 dress watch

Here are seller’s photos of the divers:

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ImagePhoto credit: thewatchcollector (Ebay)

Unfortunately, the crown tube on the better of the two cases was damaged and so I had to base the watch on the second case, which needed considerably more work to get it looking respectable. The crown and stem on this one was in very good nick though as was the English/Roman day wheel and chapter ring. So this watch was broken down, and thoroughly cleaned. The crystal retaining ring broke under my attentions (too rusty) but the second watch provided a replacement.

After a lot of elbow grease refinishing the case, the watch was reassembled with a mixture of new gaskets (bezel and case back) and old (crystal and watch case back, both just needing a good clean). I removed the movement from the dress watch, replaced the day wheel with the English/Roman wheel from diver #1 and reassembled. Here’s the end result:

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I was quite pleased with this one at the time and went on to build several more with varying degrees of success but this one remained the one I kept returning to and lasted the longest before eventually being sold.

Addendum:  What happened to the second case?  Well, that one ended up salvagable after all and over the next year or so went through a number of permutations before settling down into some sort of aesthetic state that gelled (but let’s face it, most modified watches are horrid*).  Without belabouring the process, a MOD dial,

polished aluminium chapter ring and 6105 crystal

ploprof hands

a serviced 6309A movement and an insert from an SBBN007 resulted in this

* And you are of course perfectly entitled to think the same of mine.

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