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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's the difference between a Franken-"watch" such as when one refers to a Frankenseiko and a modded watch?

The only difference I can tell from the context of posts is that the modded watch has been transparent with the parts and assembly whereas a Franken-watch would be perhaps a more negative term that the watch is not as represented in the listing

Am I close? Does it matter?
 

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A Frankenwatch would be made using mostly Seiko parts in a combination Seiko never made.

A modded watch would be parts mostly from aftermarket sources.

I suppose it would be more pure to use only Seiko parts. Mod parts from the aftermarket usually allow more creativity.
 

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The vast majority of my modded watches and many other modders use OEM Seiko parts, not many use/used aftermarket parts but they were declared as modded and not as an original model.

Then there are the modded watches built up almost entirely of after market parts and declared as mods.

A franken watch to my mind is a watch with original parts (and perhaps after market parts) but from other models so a bit of a mongrel/Frankenstein but not stated as a mod, often stated as original, so built up of different parts but not as a mod.
 

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Good question. In my mind any combination of OEM case, dial and hand parts not original to the catalogue is a franken to more or less degree - case in point is my favorite ebay rat rod lord marvel with 6105 crown. However a franken can be more subtle with a swapped dial or hands, the only indication being a date stamp or mismatch when referenced against the seiko catalogue. The movement is a slight different story I believe; the movement parts aren't married to a specific model/case as far as I understand(correct me if I'm wrong about the mainplate perhaps), however swapping movement models like a 5626 with a 5606 makes it a franken(I've come across one on ebay as well). In my mind a franken is more subtle and harder to catch because its 'all in the family,' however hands, dial, crystal, case and bezel all should match for it not to be a franken.

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Clock Material property


I'm less familiar with modding culture but my assumption is that the parts are new or nos and primarily third party, but not matching the seiko catalogue. Parts that Seiko never made themselves. Where it gets sticky for me is like what Tiger said about whether the watch 'declares' itself as a mod or not. I assume stylistically, however I believe a "modded" watch can easily tread into the counterfeit pool if there is an attempt to pass it self off as an oem model with the cavate that the owner has no intent on selling it. I recently came across this mad watch collector video on youtube that gets pretty close to this. At least it has a blank caseback and etched crown to alert potential buyers. Let me know what you think.

I had a Seiko 62 MAS Built For Me! Half the Price Of An SPB143
www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IfXkHKo7M0&t=220s
 

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Mods have more acceptance within the community because people demonstrate their creativity, and higher aesthetics are the norm. Ex: An SNK809 modded into an Alpinist style watch will have its niche. That being said, there can be frankens more difficult to spot due to parts in the movement/crown being replaced.
 

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My take is that Frankenwatch has negative association. Usually take whatever parts available and put together as a working watch.

Mods typically have positive association, but I don't always agree:
  • It can be to improve on a feature without any changing look or style (hardlex to sapphire crystal). I appreciate this and I agree this increases the value of the watch.
  • Improvement with some minor change to look or style (aluminum to ceramic bezel).
  • But there are also other mods that are just personal preference (different bezel color/style, hands, dial, etc). Although the intent might be different, often I see the result as no different than Frankenwatch. Sometimes folks try to resell these modded watches for more than retail, because of the extra cost of parts and time they put into them. I find that ridiculous.
 

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For the resto hobbyists, I'd like to add that a Franken will, from time to time, provide a nugget of useful information just like this legendary 6458 with 6433 hands. So if your 6458 has a dead coil or board, this Franken is letting you know that there is a perfectly suitable cheap donor out there. 😗👌

I wonder if it was ever de-frankened?

Watch Brown Analog watch Watch accessory Clock
 

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I had my sons 1st real dive watch serviced and I was not told specifically which parts or a whole movement swap was done to complete the watch but it required a "donor" watch to service (that I sourced) and get running and the donor that was used was a 5H23 to "fix" a 5H26. My goal was functionality and longevity, new gaskets and a pressure test was done, the crystal finally arrived and I will have it swapped and pressure tested again. My goal was a surprise Christmas present to give my older son to open on Christmas day while at sea, the watch serviced was completed 3 after he began a 120 day voyage :-( Now it is a belated Birthday present when he arrives back in April. My point being I do not consider this watch a franken, but the movement was serviced using a donor watch and the gaskets and new crystal are aftermarket. He thinks this watch is long gone and I still have the strap he wore it on :) Anyway franken it is not. Now the other picture of the 6309 Navigator is from 2002-03 and back then I called it a franken, now it would be called "modded" so be it. Now an amalgamation or a parts watch or a watch built around a found dial, is neither a franken nor a mod in my book, it is simply a watch that was an endeavor. Back the 1990s when WatchCo in OZ was putting together SM 300s from a spare parts cache everyone would bich and moan about them, now they are a well sought after sub group of SM300s, from a franken/fake to a sought after and respected example. Rare watches built using genuine parts around a "found" beautiful dial or case or movement are WIS gems in my opinion and I applaud their creator(s).

To the OP all in all it is quite a complex question.

My son's 5H26 and the donor
Watch Analog watch Clock Watch accessory Wrist
Watch Analog watch Rectangle Watch accessory Clock

My 6309 navigator mod, sadly long since sold off, I wish I had it back :)
Watch Analog watch Product Clock Gadget
 

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This is a mod:


This is a Franken:




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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