Watch modification or modding offers a chance to build, rebuild and create the time-telling device of one’s horological dreams. Several watch brands, big or otherwise, give watch collectors and enthusiasts the option of modification — letting them personalize their constant time-telling, wrist-worn companions. With the right watch or timepiece, you can customize its different parts (the case, strap, even the crystals, and hands) to suit your tastes. As a result, everyone, from budding connoisseurs to experienced tinkerers, all find themselves drawn to the modern art of watch modding. Maybe it’s because of the sense that one can change a watch to fit one’s likes and personality, or maybe it is because they want to fashion a uniquely different piece that nobody else has. Regardless of the reason for deciding to dive into watch modding, there’s no denying that it’s an excellent and educational hobby that can be incredibly fun and rewarding for you! So, if you wish to mod a watch for the first time (or second or third), what else do you need to learn? Listed below are some more tips would-be watch modders like you need to know about modding watches or timepieces.
- Go for the cheaper watch or timepiece first.
Modding second-hand watches or timepieces might be a better modding option for beginners. Modding beginners can also choose watches from an original equipment manufacturer or OEM. It is prudent to tinker with a cheaper but similar-looking watch than your dream watch if you’re just starting, especially since the process of modding increases the risk of a broken watch. However, if you’re getting an OEM watch or timepiece for practice, make sure to purchase it at a price that’s not too expensive, or else you’ll only be wasting your money on an imitation item.
- Focus on what you can see before focusing on what you can’t.
Watch modding opens the door to several possibilities for changing a watch’s look. Additionally, it also opens the door for overall performance improvement by modding internal parts. However, it is recommended for beginners to mod the more visible external parts first, such as the watch crystal, dial, ceramic bezel insert, or anything that can make your watch noticeably different.
Any watch enthusiast should try modding watches or timepieces at least once. One can never learn new skills or see marked improvements in their watches’ aesthetics and performance if they won’t try (and fail at times). Since watch modding is about coolly changing some or most parts of a watch to fit one’s sensibilities, it’s best to change its aesthetics or performance based on the parts that are easy for you to get or are readily available. Modding watches becomes more costly the more complex your mod jobs become. Experiment with cheaper materials and tools, then upgrade your arsenal as you gain more experience while progressing. Take it one step at a time!
- Proper maintenance and care are vital.
Modded watches still need regular maintenance, perhaps even more so than regular watches depending on the mod job. Simple cleaning sessions won’t cut it. Instead, try lubing the gears after a few weeks of daily use. If you’re capable enough, give your watch a thorough cleaning as well. You can always go to professionals if you aren’t. Also, invest in watch cabinets and boxes to keep all your watches and timepieces safe and clean and avoid exposing them directly to sunlight or anything magnetic. Finally, for those planning on modding a diver’s watch, remember to take heed of the watch’s depth limitations after modding.
William Ross is often described as a jack of all trades. He loves to explore new things and cultivate his knowledge everywhere he goes. These days, he spends most of his free time writing about watches and watch accessories, as he is a collector himself.