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Grazie, Don Corleone 🙂
 

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I'm in the middle of doing this mod now, following Mr Riley's outstanding process but (hopefully) pushing the envelope out a bit further. I'm using a 23-jewel 6349 as the base movement, to which I've added a lower mainspring arbor port jewel sourced from VTA and hacking courtesy of a 6306 center wheel bridge and stop lever. At this point in my project, the movement is complete and running (though I must admit my work is nowhere near as pretty or tidy as Mr Riley's).

Far more difficult, I think, will be the dial and hands: My plan - my hope! - is to use an original 6309 diver dial and handset plus a 24-hour hand from a Seiko 6117-6410 Navigator Timer.

For the dial, I've already experimented enough with dummy blanks to know that I can ream out the center hole for the hands using my jeweling tool to accommodate the width of the 24-hour wheel hand tube and the 24-hour hand itself without any problem, but I haven't yet figured out a way to replicate the larger-diameter milled relief present on the bottom of the 6117 dial meant to facilitate proper end shake for the 24-hour wheel; I'm hoping I can modify the dial spacer ring enough to make that unnecessary while still allowing for sufficient clearance between the 24-hour hand and the dial surface. We shall see! And of course, I need to come up with some clever way to cover the day portion of the day/date window...but I think I have a good idea for that.

The hands, thankfully, are easier. The 6309 hour, minute, and seconds hands will all fit as normal...but that hour hand is too long to run past the kink in the 6117 24-hour hand necessary to accommodate the raised lume plots on the 6117. Since the lume plots on the 6309 dial are flat, that kink isn't necessary...so, after some very careful and gentle work with fine tweezers under my microscope I have the hand all nice and straightened out, which has the added benefit of making it a few mm longer and thus easier to read against an external GMT bezel ring.

This has been a lot of fun so far, hopefully I can get it all done soon!

Mike

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Sounds interesting, I think it would be worth getting the dial recess turned on a lathe, it would be a lot better than playing with the spacer ring. We have some very skilled engineers on the forum, who are capable of this type of work.
 

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Sounds interesting, I think it would be worth getting the dial recess turned on a lathe, it would be a lot better than playing with the spacer ring. We have some very skilled engineers on the forum, who are capable of this type of work.
I agree, lathe is the tool for this job. Interesting project, looking forward to seeing your progress.

Sent from my RCT6K03W13 using Tapatalk
 

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What is going to drive the 24 hour hand if you are using the 6349?
The 6349 is identical to the 6309 (the movement Mr Riley used originally for this mod) apart from some additional, and nicely functional, jeweling. As such, the 24-hour hand rides on the 24-hour wheel driven by the intermediate date wheel both sourced from a 6117 movement, exactly as described in Mr Riley's post linked above. You can see both parts, as well as the modifications to the stock 63XX calendar components necessary to make them fit, in the picture I posted above.

Mike
 

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Sounds interesting, I think it would be worth getting the dial recess turned on a lathe, it would be a lot better than playing with the spacer ring. We have some very skilled engineers on the forum, who are capable of this type of work.
I agree, lathe is the tool for this job. Interesting project, looking forward to seeing your progress.

Sent from my RCT6K03W13 using Tapatalk
I would dearly love to do so! Unfortunately I have neither the tools nor the skills to make that happen myself, and do not know any qualified folks who do. That said, if I can't make it work with less drastic measures involving the dial spacer ring then I will have to think of something else...with practice I may be able to fashion an ugly-but-functional recess freehand using a Dremel or something similar, but I will have to become very, very confident in my ability to do that before I attack the genuine and very good condition 6309 dial I intend to use here!

Mike
 

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I would dearly love to do so! Unfortunately I have neither the tools nor the skills to make that happen myself, and do not know any qualified folks who do. That said, if I can't make it work with less drastic measures involving the dial spacer ring then I will have to think of something else...with practice I may be able to fashion an ugly-but-functional recess freehand using a Dremel or something similar, but I will have to become very, very confident in my ability to do that before I attack the genuine and very good condition 6309 dial I intend to use here!

Mike
I don't think I recessed the dial for the gmt wheel. I just enlarged the hole as I think there is enough space with the 6309 dial spacer as you don't have a day wheel and C-clip now.
 

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I always thought Noahs GMT mod was one of the best/innovative mods about.
It absolutely is, and more than that it's one of the things that most influenced me to begin tinkering more seriously with watches and learn how to actually service and work on them...I first saw his post many years ago (although still many years after he'd written it, sadly) and immediately thought to myself, "I'm going to do that someday!" After digging out a few parts I'd collected over time and putting together a quick mock-up I was hooked, though it's taken me a very long time to build my skills up to the point where I thought I might be ready to try it.
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Yes I loved Noahs GMT mod and so I had to make one in a 6105 see my avatar.
That's VERY cool! I'd love to get my hands on a few 6105s to work on and restore, but the prices have gone past that point for me these days.

Mike
 

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I don't think I recessed the dial for the gmt wheel. I just enlarged the hole as I think there is enough space with the 6309 dial spacer as you don't have a day wheel and C-clip now.
That's great news, thanks...exactly what I'm hoping to find when I start to put it all together!

Mike
 

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Well...it's done! Or at least for now it is. A few additional notes on this build, in case anyone's interested:

1. The hand set is, as I mentioned above, genuine Seiko - 6309-7040 12-hour and minute, modified 6117-6410 24-hour - EXCEPT for that stupid aftermarket seconds hand. I mangled the original 6309 seconds hand while trying to fit it and now it's ruined. The thing I put on as the best of the rather poor options I had available in my parts stock, so I'm now officially on the hunt for a genuine replacement.

2. The dial modification was more difficult than I expected, but I was eventually able to get the center hole reamed out large enough (with my largest 299 Seitz reamer) to work correctly. Taking down the resulting tiny lip of brass around the hole without scratching the dial face was a delicate job but it came out ok...and the few marks I couldn't avoid making are thankfully concealed by the flanges of the hands. So, overall I'm happy with it.

3. Speaking of the dial, this is the best-condition original 6309 dial I have in my parts stock, but there are still two things I don't quite love about it. First, it's not a "Suwa" dial and I wish it was. Second, it has just a few little spots the dreaded "black lume rot" that can infect these things; you can see it most clearly in the 9:00 marker. Spencer Klein claims to have discovered a solution that cleans or "whitens" such defects but he's keeping it very close to his vest so far...and fair enough! Maybe someday, if he ever starts taking on new work again, I'll send him this dial and have him work that magic on it.

4. I couldn't figure out a clever way to cover up the day portion of the day/date window from the top, so I did the next best thing I could think of from underneath: I took a black English/Roman day wheel from a modern Seiko movement (which are very thin and flimsy plastic these days) and cut out a little pie-slice shaped section around the solid red square that stands for Sunday, and simply tacked it to the date dial guard so it shows up perfectly in the day spot. It doesn't move, of course, so I guess it's always Sunday...? :) I just think of it as a little extra splash of color on the dial that IMO goes nicely with the red 24-hour hand, the "WATER RESIST" text, and the bezel insert.

5. As melt suggested above, I think I was successful in modifying the dial spacer ring enough to allow both sufficient end shake for the 24-hour wheel and dial clearance for the 24-hour hand without attempting to mill or grind a larger-diameter recess into the dial back. So far, the watch is working perfectly and running well, keeping very good time and changing over the date as it should. I'll keep an eye on it, of course, but for now I think I have that problem solved. I also have a spare 6117 dial spacer ring, which is metal, so I might play around with that too. I sincerely hope I'm not ultimately forced to try to mill that recess, because after the experience of reaming out the center hole I'm not confident I could do it without seriously damaging the dial!

6. There are a few things I'd like to try to enhance this build, apart from fixing the bothersome seconds hand and maybe doing something to clean up the dial. In those old pictures it looks to me like Mr Riley actually engine-turned the modified date dial guard and day jumper for decoration, which is just excellent! That's definitely a skill I'd like to learn and apply here. I'm also going to experiment with the original 6117 date dial guard, which is one large piece without a separate day jumper, to see if that can be made to work on the calendar side of the 63XX movement...this would also look amazing with an engine-turned finish.

7. I have this in an original 6306-7001 "turtle" case, but I think I might like it even better in the 6309-7290 "slim" case...we'll see.

8. Finally, I decided to put the finished watch on Uncle Seiko's excellent reproduction Z199 bracelet, instead of a Strap Code Super Jubilee as I'd originally planned...I think the more vintage feel of the US Z199 matches the overall look perfectly. It's a keeper for sure!

Sincere gratitude to Mr Riley for his groundbreaking original work, and for having the wonderful generosity to share it with the community...and thanks to this forum for preserving his post so I could find it all these many years later and be inspired to take on such a great project!

Cheers,

Mike

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