This is a vintage Seiko 6309 mod, of a mod! The client tells me that, unfortunately he has never really been happy with it. It had a wobbly bezel which no longer included the click ball and he has never really been comfortable wearing it. The client came with their own idea for this Seiko 6309 mod and had sourced all their own parts. This included, a new dial, hands and bezel insert.
Seiko 6309 – vintage watch with a few problems
This Seiko 6309 had been previously modded with an blue aftermarket dial, chapter ring and stainless steel hands. The watch also has a very wobbly bezel, which can be caused by a number of things. On first sight I was pretty certain there was at least one piece of the watch missing…
I opened the case and was presented with an extra piece of steel! This had been squeezed alongside the movement spacer/retainer inside. (I can only guess this was inserted to centre the dial against the chapter ring.) I am sure we won’t be needing this bit again.
Next, the crown, spacer/retainer and rotor are removed. The movement/dial/hands can then be removed from the watch case. Then the bezel is removed, followed by the crystal retaining ring – using a case opener and some shims if the bezel is a little tight. On this occasion the bezel popped right off and the same happened for the retainer. The crystal is now able to be removed with very little force.
At this point, I can see that the suspected part is missing (pictured below). This has a little height to it and packs out the crystal and creates a flat base for the crystal gasket to bed down.
I can then remove the bezel insert using a solvent remover. This, in a cup with a bezel for about an hour and “hey presto” the insert comes right away! Behind the bezel there is normally a stainless steel plate. This was not with the client’s watch either.
After a search of the usual suppliers I was unable to source the parts required as a single parts. After informing the client of our predicament and presenting him with the options, I then sourced a complete used case. I was then able to take the parts needed to complete the watch, unfortunately taking the parts from one case renders the other case useless which is the problem with modding older watches.
Seiko 6309 Crystal Assembly
Once the case had arrived I was able to disassemble and clean the parts required. The watch can then be reassembled. The chapter ring is dropped into position with a couple sticky pads to stop it moving. This is due to the fact there is no positioning pin on the 6309, or on this chapter ring. The missing washer is then placed on top. This is followed by the gasket and the crystal. The retaining ring can then be placed on top and pressed into position.
Dial & Hand Mod
The hands need to be removed then the dial by loosening the two screws on the movement that retain the dial feet. The dial and hands are then replaced. These hands did require some bracing on the hour and minute, and a pinch on the second hand to make them fit. In addition, I removed a touch from the end of the second hand, as it was binding up on the chapter ring.
Fitting the Bezel & Insert
The bezel can now be assembled with the thin steel plate/washer. I cut the springs on these models to the length of the hole, as it tends to wear over time. It’s good to start with as much height as possible and it will bed down over time. The ball is placed onto the spring and the bezel is pressed onto the watch case. The insert is then placed into position with a small amount of elastic glue. The Seiko 6309 does not really allow space for bezel tape – the insert rides a bit high if it is used.
I monitored the watch over the next few days to ensure time keeping and everything is functioning as it should.