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This must be the most involved project I have done in several years... First of all the cogs started spinning last year when I got my hands on a Seiko Turtle with a top hat sapphire crystal. I actually liked it more in person that I ever did in pictures, I made that a military tool watch.

After that I really wanted to do another one with similar looks and started looking for another watch with such sapphire crystal already installed. The reason being that I do not have the tools and equipment to do crystal installations and I never done one anyway, also if I bought the watch and parts it would cost an arm and a leg and my meager budget could not afford it.

After many months I finally was able to find one of those and it was affordable enough for me to be able to buy it. It seemed perfect, it had a top hat sapphire crystal, coin edge bezel and even ceramic bezel insert, although the insert was 1-12 rather then the usual diver which I prefer.

I received the watch and found out that I could not even turn the bezel. After several tried I was able to remove it and found out that the reason it was not spinning was a botched crystal installation. The crystal gasket was 1/4 out of the case and sitting above the edge between the bezel insert and the crystal, so of course the bezel was "wedged" and would not turn. I did what I never done before, pushed out the crystal, reseated the gasket which was out of shape and re-installed the crystal in the case with the gasket in the right place. It took all the patience I could master because the gasket seemingly did not want to be in there at all... :)

That of course was not the only obstacle, the crystal would be pressed down at an angle and basically crooked, one side higher then the other... Well, after very patiently trying over and over several times I was able to get the whole assembly in place. I did not measure it but the crystal sits pretty straight and the gasket is all in place. It was a PITA but it was worth it, I now knew what it takes to do these things.

While the watch case was almost ready I still did not have the dial and hands I wanted, also the bezel needed a replacement with a diver insert. Can you believe that these all black inserts are hard to find? I mean on Ebay they only had the full bezel/insert for $90 or so. Any other insert that was black and ceramic was only available from China, Singapore and Hong Kong which with the pandemic in full roar made shipping a long and painful affair.

I finally found a half black and half grey which seemed fine for the military looks, so I decided to use the bezel I had on the military project for the new one and install the grey/black one on the military watch.

Of course while I am recounting this as a short deal it actually took 3 weeks to do all these steps above with the watch.

In the meantime I ordered the parts, dial and hands from the only place that had the ones I wanted, Singapore. They were shipped in April...

At the end of May I got the dial and now, 23rd of June I finally got the hands... 2 months wait. :)

But at last I finally had the parts and did the assembly, dial onto the movement, hands, swapped cases with the military watch, greased the gaskets, screwed in the case back and finally the 2nd tool watch project was completed, the first one slightly updated. I also have a President type bracelet and got that one on the watch as well. So now it is a pretty good looking tool watch in my opinion... :)

Here below are a few pics I hope you enjoy.

























 

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Great photos Carlo. Really nice to see the details so clear,y. Beautiful work !

I am a sucker for lumed ceramic bezels too.

Given the top hat crystal and massive wrist presence the President is a great choice of bracelet.

2 very tastefully modded SRPs -well done !
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you very much for the kind words.

I don't have a way to do pressure testing so I don't know. I would imagine they would be the same as the original though.
 
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