Watch Mods 101: Build Your Dream Watch
For a long time, we here at Feldmar Watch Company have admired the work of some extremely talented modders. A few are even regulars in our store and we always love seeing their latest creations and chatting with them about their inspiration, techniques, and handy tips. But for every watch enthusiast familiar with modding, there are an equal number or more who’ve never heard of watch modding before. Today, we’re excited to shed some light on common questions like: what is watch modding? Can you mod any watch? What goes into watch modding? Join us as we jump in!
WHAT IS WATCH MODDING?
Put simply, watch modding is the process of replacing original watch parts with new ones. Oftentimes, these parts are purchased as upgrades but it is also possible to take compatible parts from a watch and install them on a different one. In a way, modding gives new life to old watches and can even be a way to “upcycle” old parts from broken timepieces. For many people, watch modding is a way to exercise creativity and can even be considered an expressive artform! Take a look at the hashtag “#watchmod” on Instagram and you’ll see what we mean.
WHAT KINDS OF WATCHES CAN BE MODDED?
Truthfully, any watch can be modified! It’s simply a matter of the availability of parts. For example, the most popular watch mod platforms are Seiko and Casio watches, respectively, the SKX/SRPD line of sport watches and the still-fairly-new G-Shock GA2100 “Casioak” series. Other brands like Citizen have seen growth in mod-options but it’s still early days and not yet on the level of Seiko which by far has the largest mod community. It’s even possible to modify higher-end luxury watches like Rolex. One of the most popular Rolex mods is adding aftermarket bezels or dials that shine, sparkle, or feature fun colors.
WHICH PARTS OF A WATCH CAN BE MODDED?
While almost any part of a watch can be modded, some of the most popular components to replace and upgrade are the main components that comprise the watch’s face. On most automatic watches, this includes:
- Bezel insert
- Chapter ring
It’s also possible to upgrade/replace the exterior components of a watch. These parts include:
- Strap or bracelet
Finally, for the brave modders more comfortable with poking around inside a watch’s beating heart, it’s possible to upgrade the movement’s components (or the whole movement itself!). Parts here include:
- Day wheel
- Date wheel
WHERE DO I GET MOD PARTS?
As mentioned, mod parts can either be sourced by poaching parts from other watches or by buying them directly from mod part suppliers. For Seiko mods, look to vendors like CrystalTimes USA, Esslinger, NamokiMods, and DLW Watches. And sites like Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and AliExpress also have a large selection of non-Seiko parts and are worth checking out.
HOW DO I MOD MY WATCH?
We get this question a lot! Most people either mod their watch at home (this requires tools) or by finding a professional watch modder to help. The mod community is big and growing every day so you might even have a watch modder in your city! Companies like CrystalTimes, NamokiMods, and DLW maintain databases of modders as well as ways to contact them and see their work. Here at Feldmar, we have worked with our good friend, @Hibachi.Mod and love the work he does!
FELDMAR AND WATCH MODS
Since 1913, Feldmar has been repairing watches so you could say modding is in our DNA! Feldmar is also an authorized dealer for over 60 brands including Seiko, Citizen, G-Shock, and more so you can pick up your soon-to-be-modded watch. While we don’t sell mod parts, we are excited to partner with our neighbors at Crystal Times USA. They are a terrific place to start your mod journey! Are you interested in modding or have you modded a watch in the past? We’d love to see it! Drop us a line on our official watch mods Instagram @Feldmar.Modsquad!