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This is a prototype of an Abalone shell dial mod I've been working on. The donor watch is a (please don't flame me it's nothing like it's original form) Invicta Pro Diver with a Seiko NH35 movement and all traces of Invicta removed.

I purchased a small slab of green paua abolone inlay and cut it to fit the original dial. The inlay has 3M sticky on the back so I aligned it and stuck it to the face of the dial. I only installed the hour and minute hand just for display purposes and am going to get new hands for it.
I'm also thinking about getting some tritium tubes and using them for hour indices but may try to source some luminous ones. If anyone knows where to get lumed stick on indices I'd appreciate it. Plus a new coin edge bezel and different insert.

I think it looks awesome. In the right light the shell inlay is dazzling! I'll update when I get some indices and the new hands and bezel.
 

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Kenny, There are some very fine High end Watches that use natural earthly materials which I am fond of. I am looking forward to the progress. I have some very sacred ceremonial pieces from the southwestern Indian Tribes, Navajo, Zuni, Hopi that utilize all natural finds that have meaning beyond Materialistic. Here is a watch Bracelet that is near and dear...






There are no others like this. As yours will be also ;)
 

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looks like I'm looking through a little porthole into a deep lagoon.

Very cool - looking forward to seeing the finished project. thanks for the share!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Kenny, There are some very fine High end Watches that use natural earthly materials which I am fond of. I am looking forward to the progress. I have some very sacred ceremonial pieces from the southwestern Indian Tribes, Navajo, Zuni, Hopi that utilize all natural finds that have meaning beyond Materialistic. Here is a watch Bracelet that is near and dear...






There are no others like this. As yours will be also
Thanks buddy for your kind words. Your bracelet is amazing. What a treasure you have there. Please wear that in good health!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
looks like I'm looking through a little porthole into a deep lagoon.

Very cool - looking forward to seeing the finished project. thanks for the share!
I appreciate the props Mike. I can't wait to see how it turns out also.
 

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Discussion Starter #10


Added some hour indices, minus the rectangular ones. I launched one of them into oblivion. :( I think I'm gonna place green tritium tubes at 12, 3, 6 and 9. Starting to look like a watch.
 

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yeah it is - well done Kenny !

Tritium tubes - now that sounds interesting .... I like how those glow ....
 

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This is a prototype of an Abalone shell dial mod I've been working on. The donor watch is a (please don't flame me it's nothing like it's original form) Invicta Pro Diver with a Seiko NH35 movement and all traces of Invicta removed.

I purchased a small slab of green paua abolone inlay and cut it to fit the original dial. The inlay has 3M sticky on the back so I aligned it and stuck it to the face of the dial. I only installed the hour and minute hand just for display purposes and am going to get new hands for it.
I'm also thinking about getting some tritium tubes and using them for hour indices but may try to source some luminous ones. If anyone knows where to get lumed stick on indices I'd appreciate it. Plus a new coin edge bezel and different insert.

I think it looks awesome. In the right light the shell inlay is dazzling! I'll update when I get some indices and the new hands and bezel.
i'm not seeing the picture, is there a trick to it? i've been trying to make a mother-of-pearl dial for a while, painted one pretty easily, but i want the real thing

hey, i saw the picture as soon as i posted mine...so never mind about that, but that abalone is beautiful, who cares where it came from...that's a dial with some DEPTH!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
i'm not seeing the picture, is there a trick to it? i've been trying to make a mother-of-pearl dial for a while, painted one pretty easily, but i want the real thing

hey, i saw the picture as soon as i posted mine...so never mind about that, but that abalone is beautiful, who cares where it came from...that's a dial with some DEPTH!!!
Hey Peter, I want to do a MOP dial also but haven't been able to source any slabs. Glad you like my project. Ordering some different hands and bezel insert for it. Possibly tritium tubes:eek:hmy: Good to see someone else with a creative spirit!
 

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Hey Peter, I want to do a MOP dial also but haven't been able to source any slabs. Glad you like my project. Ordering some different hands and bezel insert for it. Possibly tritium tubes:eek:hmy: Good to see someone else with a creative spirit!
hi kenny,

i was trying to get some chinese suppliers to send me one or two
m.o.p. dials for my "prototype" but they didn't do it. if you get a source
for m.o.p. i'd be happy to buy a blank or two off of you. jay at motor city
watch works says he can do one but it's expensive, but all i want is the
blank, man, i'd be happy to get an abalone blank too, for some time
telling purposes all i need is hands and a rotating bezel.....

i can tell you how i painted mine with irridescent paint and matte medium,
it's essentially a natural history of sediment, in this case the sediment is
nacrous...( of or pertaining to pearl.)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Peter, I did a Google search for "mother of pearl inlay slabs" and got several hits on suppliers. Check it out.
 

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Peter, I did a Google search for "mother of pearl inlay slabs" and got several hits on suppliers. Check it out.
wow, thanks kenny, looks like there's some good material out there if you punch in the right words. thanks again.

do you cut it with a hand saw? i imagine you'd want fine teeth, all
pointing down, like a fine-cutting jigsaw blade? or can you buy a hole
saw type of apparatus to cut it out? we ought to design one if it doesn't
exist, it could give you a perfectly sized hole on center as it trims the
edge to the exact distance :) . there most be a dial-making hole saw
out there somewhere....
 

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wow, thanks kenny, looks like there's some good material out there if you punch in the right words. thanks again.

do you cut it with a hand saw? i imagine you'd want fine teeth, all
pointing down, like a fine-cutting jigsaw blade? or can you buy a hole
saw type of apparatus to cut it out? we ought to design one if it doesn't
exist, it could give you a perfectly sized hole on center as it trims the
edge to the exact distance :) . there most be a dial-making hole saw
out there somewhere....
"Shell veneers can be cut with a sharp knife or even scissors carefully."

just cut and pasted that from an inlay ad. i have some good titanium
scissors, might work, some nice snippers too. a good compass, and
then drill out the pinpoint the compass left behind last, i guess?
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Yeah I cut my abolone piece with a pair of very nice sharp scissors. Next time I'll take some blue painters tape to the shell side as the shell cracked a little around the edges. The one in the picture I took is just a trial one. The next one will be perfect. I cut the blank a little larger than the watch dial and stuck it to the face of the dial. Then cut along the edge of the dial from the back. Then used a fine drill and with a pin vise drilled the center hole through the hole in the dial so it's perfectly centered. Using an even smaller bit I drilled the tiny holes where the dot indices go. It's tedious but take your time and you can do it.
 
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