Seiko 5 SNXE37K with modified Hands, ca. 2003


The black Nylon is very comfy to wear, although in order to preserve it, I have swapped with a local made black Nylon

Common* Watch Hand Sizes (holes, diameters)

Second hand 0.25 mm
Minute hand 0.9 mm
Hour hand 1.5 mm
*Most modern mass-produced wrist watches share these hand diameters

 

In August 2005 I realized that there was no SEIKO 5 left in my collection

So I was going to do something about this. I had a "project" slumbering since years. I had detected a very rare SEIKO material defect on a SNXE37K on a black Nylon. The LUMIBRITE (if it was genuine Lumibrite after all) started to crystalize on the hands and on the dial. I checked the hour indices, they luminous paint seemed to be firm. I checked with a peg wood, the dots, although looking crystallized did not crack nor did chips fall off. Important if you got a watch with black dial. If luminous paint bits lay on a black dial, they could leave very ugly stains very soon.
I visited SEIKO Thailand on August 2nd 2005 but all they had on stock was one hour hand. No dial and no minute hand.
Since my watch parts shop was nearby, I walked from SEIKO Thailand (a company named Muang Thong - Golden Land - is the main distributor in Thailand) at the New Petchaburi road to Soi Chidlom. I timed my walk with my SEIKO Flightmaster, after 22 minutes and under a luckily overcast sky I arrived at Ruang Thong Basar or RTB as watch friends usually call it.
No SEIKO 5 dials, sorry! Then I remembered that I had bought a selection of SEIKO replacement hands earlier. The size of the hole of the hour hand should be 150 (or 1.5 mm) and the minute hand's diameter should be 90 (or 0.9 mm).
At home I tried maybe 10 different minute hands, they were all too lose. Somehow the canon pinion on this watch was only 0.85 mm or 85 and thus all 90 hands were too loose. Tenacious as I tend to be if it is about watch projects, I kept trying and then - nice surprise - this pair of hands' minute hand matching the hour indices perfectly sat firmly!
Facit: I got a nice looking 5 in my collection again. And it is a unique piece too! If you like the original hands better, PMWC still has a black model and a very nice olive green model for sale. This model is discontinued by the way and features in my eyes, one of the nicest dials I have seen on 5s. My modified model is not for sale because of the hour indices that look OK without a loupe. But with a loupe you will notice that something happened to the Lumibrite there. They still glow and that was lastly the reason I decided to keep that lovely dial.
If you are courageous enough, then please go a head and try (start with inexpensive watches please) to give your watches in your collection a new look! Here is an article that explains how to replace hands. And last but not least, this example shows that beautiful watches do not have to cost a fortune!