A watch is a very delicate accessory and contains tiny parts. Customizing takes plenty of time, patience, and practice. Also, it requires a keen eye and careful hands. Moreover, you will need high-quality tools when replacing other features.
The professional modders’ rule of thumb is to start with a set of quality and precise tools. If you are new to the world of watch modding, choose your mod parts and tools well.
Why Do Watch Modders Need Tools?
When modding, skimping out on quality will only do more harm than do good. For better results, invest in high-quality tools before joining the modding bandwagon.
Watch modders need a repair tool kit at home. It comes handy even if you’re adjusting the watch bracelet or learning the basics. Furthermore, a great tool kit is the best choice for repair and adjustment.
As a beginner, you do not need the most professional tool kits. It is not practical, especially if you will use the tools occasionally. However, if you are to use it frequently, it is a good idea to buy higher quality tools.
Whether you are a beginner or professional, you need tools that last. Watch modding tools is an investment well worth the money. It makes or breaks your timepiece. Choose wisely when buying these tools and consider quality and more affordable alternatives.
Essential Modding Tools
Watch lovers and collectors seek to upgrade their favorite watches. In the modding community, Seiko is a powerhouse timepiece. It leaves plenty of room for improvements and many modding parts. Being properly equipped is a vital part when giving your Seiko watch the fix it deserves.
A screwdriver is the most common tool. Almost all watches use screws that come from different sizes and variants. Therefore, you need various screwdrivers. Also, consider getting anti-magnetic screwdrivers. Magnetism affects the watch’s accuracy negatively.
As said earlier, a watch contains various tiny parts. A loupe is convenient to see small pieces up close and in better detail. You might not need one yet unless you work with the tiny parts.
Tweezers are the best tool in holding tiny components without damaging it. It is also a standard tool when modifying hard-to-reach areas in your watch. Just like the screwdrivers, use anti-magnetic tweezers.
Spring Bar Tool
Use a spring bar tool or spring bar remover when working with the bracelet or strap. It is essential for a quick and easy strap change.
The spring bar tool pulls out the watch bands without harming the case. It gets between the lugs and spring bar to pry the spring out. The V-shaped edge on one side disengages the spring when there are no drilled lugs. While on the other part, use a blunt side for watch cases with drilled lugs.
Case Back Opener
A case back opener or remover opens the back for customization of inner parts. It gives access to the movement. Also, it is handy for regulation, maintenance, or changing the battery.
A high-performing back case remover lessens the risk of leaving hairline scratches on the case. There are many kinds of the case back openers used for different types of case backs. Choose the type of case back opener depending on the style of the watch.
For screw-down case backs, these are the usual case back remover used.
- Watch Case Opener Friction Ball – does not leave scratches. It needs air to remove the case. Push the ball to hold the case then turn it counterclockwise. It creates enough friction between the ball and the case back to loosen the back case.
- Watch spanner wrench – adjustable since it tightens down as it moves. Put it in two notches at a screwback watch, then lock it down. Use it as a regular wrench and turn it counterclockwise to loosen the case back.
- 3 Prong Wrench – very stable and steady grip since it has 3 points. Place the two prongs at the notches first, then attach the last prong. Tighten it until the wrench firmly grabs the watch, then turn it counterclockwise until it loosens the case.
For case backs with individual screws, use a screwdriver to loosen the screw, then remove the case back. Once done with cleaning, put the case back on the same way it came off.
For the pop back case, use a watch back opener knife. Find the notch or lip to remove the back cover. Insert the knife and push it in until it pops off. Afterward, take the case back out.
To adjust the size of your watch bracelet, get a link remover. Every watch comes with different bracelets. Some use pins, while others have screws. Adjust it according to its type. Choose the appropriate link remover.
- Block and Hammer – use blocks, hammer, and punches (in different diameters) to remove links.
- Bracelet Vise – a clamp that screws and unscrews the bracelet pins.
- Springbar tool – has a two-end tip (forked end and push-pin end) that removes spring bands.
Modding requires pressure to secure some parts in place. A watchmaker’s hammer is perfect for the job.
Handling the movement mechanism is extremely sensitive. The movement holder is necessary to keep it steady. Choose between rubber or wooden holders to keep the movement in place without running the risk of scratch.
Watch hands are very fragile. If mishandled, it can instantly twist or snap. With a hand setter, placing or removing the watch hands is easy.
A crystal press or bezel press is not a tool to skimp. Using a cheap hand squeeze press does not press the crystal evenly, thus damaging the timepiece. A durable crystal press allows the watch case back pressed onto the watch case firmly. It works both in removing and installing the crystal without any scratches.
Being a watch modder requires a set of modding tools essential in performing basic up to vital watch operations. If you have the right tools, failure of a watch surgery is unlikely. Most importantly, you get the job done right.