What is a grail? Each WIS has probably his own deifnition, and of course his own concept what one would be. Someone wants the most beautiful watch, another wants the most prestigious, most expensive, most limited, the one with most complications, the one has the most water resistence, etc. I think it is a highly subjective matter but I believe that there is one thing in common with all and this is a superlative horologial characteristic. In other words, each one has the highest degree of something. In my case my own definition is the best watch I can get. Meaning that it is something I consider the greatest but also that I can at the end have or own.
Like many other forum members and readers, I don't have unlimited funds and not even plentiful. This however does not stop me from enjoying my horological thirst for the search of the best watch. In looking through the forum posts, one can see many wonderful watches. Some costing a few hundred dollars, some many thousand. I could sit there and dream over a Rolex Deep Sea Sea Dweller or a Omega Planet Ocean which are amazingly beautiful watches, but I know in the end that I will not be able to get one of them any time soon. I have always been intrigued by the beaty of the Seiko Marine Master, but that too is out of my league. I wanted to check out the Sumo as I read so much of it, but that too was a tad too expensive for me and I did not like some of the things with it that kind of put me off spending much on a watch that is not perfect...
However one day a breakthrough occurred. In looking through the forums I found someone who had a Sumo case. I asked about it and the other WIS was kind enough to agree to sell it to me, after a couple of weeks I was able to get it in my hands. Next I needed the guts, and as I needed cash, I sold my two almost new Seiko Monsters. I was not wearing them anyway as I considered them too small. With the return from these I ordered a 6r15 Seiko movement. I could not find any Sumo dial anywhere so I went for the very next best thing. I already had the hands I wanted to use so I went ahead and sourced some other parts, like movement spacer, fat spring bars, and Nato strap.
As anyone knows the waiting is the most painful thing for a WIS... LOL
It took me almost two months to get all the parts together and as soon as I got in the last part I was more then ready and went to work immediately. The dial had the feet in a different position so I had to remove them. To install a dial on a movement without reference is somewhat laborious as one has to center the indices so that they match the chapter ring marks on the case once you insert the movement in the case. This is a royal pain in the rear... However after one and half hours or cursing I finally was able to be satisfied with the installation. This required only one last tweek afterwards including cleaning the omnipresent speck of dust that found its way to the innner surface of the glass right in the middle of the face...
The result however is stunning, at least to me. The combination of the shiny parts of the dial with the brushed parts of the hands is absolutely magnificent. I have never seen something like this in person. The work done by the Seiko people who produced these parts is incredible. Of course my photos are not even close to do justice to the looks of these. But what is most surprising to me is the overall look of the watch. I always loved the Seiko Marine Master and I have to say that these hands and dial on the Sumo case are stunning, impressive and not out of place, at least in my opinion. This custom job is now my grail, so at the end I was able to get it, after all.
After sourcing the different parts from other WIS in the USA, Europe and Hong Kong, I still miss the bracelet. I tried the Nato and in fact two of them, but the head appear too massive for such a thin strap. I ended up using my trusty leather band for the moment while I am looking for a bracelet. I might have found one from a WIS in Italy of all places.
So this is a real Seiko made only of original Seiko Parts and assembled in the USA. The watch is very comfortable and nicely and proportinally made. I would have preferred 22 mm lugs as I think such heft could use a larger bracelet, it would make it more comfortable I think. The construction is great and the finish of the case is impressive.
The lume is really something, it is the best I have ever experienced on any watch, a little brighter even then the Seiko Monster. Lasts all night and the visibility of the hands and dial in any condition is superb. The glass is hardlex per what I know, it does not bother me but for such a watch it would be nice if Seiko offered an optional sapphire.
I love this watch. It is a limited edition 1 of 1, I have not seen another around like this anywhere yet and the best part of it is that my efforts became the labor of love, and this is really my watch as I have built it.
Please enjoy the photos, and sorry for the occasioanal specks of dust etc.