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[size=1em]Some time ago, I had this crazy idea of wanting to do a Dessert diver. I searched all the forums I could to find examples of different such mods done by different people and saved all the pictures I could find to a file:

http://picasaweb.google.com/companyemail/DesertDivers

The idea being that by looking at all of them together, I could draw some inspiration for something original. Sadly, while there were lots of great ideas, most were not really what I was looking for (one was really cool, but I didn't want to copy it). I guess the idea of a diver in the dessert just seemed kind of wrong. Enter Jack Alexyon.

Early in my search I discovered that Jack had made some custom Explorer style bezels to fit the 0020 diver case. On variant was coated in black PVD. That gave me some ideas.

An Idea crept into my head and off I went searching for parts. The first was an old beat-up old SNX431 to use as a donor (here is a picture of a new one):



Then I started searching for a used 0020 diver case. Four crapped out cases later and after much frustration, I learned that finding crapped out 0020 cases is not an easy task, and that it is simply cheaper to buy them new directly from a supplier. Off went my order to Chronograph.com. Soon this arrived:



Not long afterward a pair of orange Samurai hands from Hans also found their way across the big pond.

The case was quickly repackaged and off it went to texas, to visit Bob Thayer for a bit of Dessert Tan Teflon coating.

In the mean time, Harold kindly sourced on of his awesome tan flieger dials to use in this project.

some time later this arrived from Bob Thayer (no its not a plant pot):



This is where fate starts intervening. You see, the military's definition of tan apparently is not the same as seiko's. Originally I was looking forms something light khaki. that darker khaki, which sadly this picture doesn't capture well, while still awesome, made me have to reevaluate the design.

After some long conversations with Lew Brown ell the disjointed parts went off to the Her Doctor's laboratory, to see if he could get the assorted parts to live. I'm starting to feel a bit like Igor at this point, sourcing all the body parts.


Soon these pictures followed sowing mock ups of what the watch could look like depending on which dial was used. first we tried it with Harold's custom Flieger dial:



After lots of wrestling and picking some of your brains for opinions, I finally settled on the stock dial (Sorry Harold, but I promise to still do something with the flieger). The reason was that I had already done a similar flieger (The Night Flyer) in black, plus the yellower tint of the dial didn't seem to play as well with the case to my eyes. Here is what the mock up looked like with the stock dial:



Ah yess, things are improving, but something still doesn't seem right. Hmmm,.... There it is, it's the white day and date wheel that's throwing off the works. After polling the forum for some part sources, Harold once again came to the rescue and was kind enough to source me a Seiko 5 donor at a great price. The donor arrived a couple of weeks later and Igor dutifully delivered the body to the Doctor. Some tinkering and a few lightning bolts later and this picture arrived from doctor frankenlew's lab:



Igor Likey!!!!.

Now the all mighty problem of what to mount the whole thing on. A bracelet was not an option originally, so a strap had to do the job. because of the military look, Nylon was the obvious choice. The problem was tht I hate most of the nylon straps available and most don't come in the shade of Khaki that I needed. A chance search through chronograph.com's site eventually yielded this black double layered nylon, leather backed, seiko bund strap:



I could have sworn that I had seen it in tan and searched far and wide for one, but alas, that was not to be, so the Sand hog would wear black pants. I place the order with Mr Lee and 12 days later the Bund arrived.

finally, a little over a year after beginning my quest, and thanks to the collaborative efforts of many of the amazing members of this forum of the Sand Hog finally sees the light of day. The final watch is not exactly what I originally envisioned, but circumstance and fate being what they are, ended up creating something That I like even better than the original all khaki idea.

I want to extend a Huge thank you to Harold, Bob, Hans, Lucien, Jack, Mr. Lee, everyone who lent their guidance and styling advice, eBay, and most of all that Master tinkerer who never saw a watch he couldn't revive, the great Lew Brown.

Without further ado, allow me to introduce the mighty Sand Hog:









Hiding in the Rocks:







Thanks for watching. I hope you enjoyed this tale as much as I enjoyed going through it.
 

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Let me be the 1st to congratulate you on this brand spanking new forum on a job well done!

Makes the ordinary into something that looks a million bucks is just awesome!
 

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hi isthmus,
congrats on a beautiful creation. i have a question about that bund strap; does it bother you that is isn't even on both sides?
 

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that looks pretty cool ;D and is just about right.....i experimented with a couple of desert divers a couple of years ago after seeing this one



so first i tried it with the only thing i had to hand.....a seiko atlas



but it really didnt work for me....so i bought one form yobokies



but wasn't happy with th bezel insert, or the shinyness of the case....so off it went to a mate of mine, who beaded it....i replaced the insert, and the chaper ring & the date wheel....and came up with this





it was my dialy wearer for a good few months until something else caught my eye......
 
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