A long while back (about May 2005 in fact) I
posted a series of posts
about changing the bezel on a Seiko Diver SKX 007, to perform a
conversion of sorts to a SKX 009. Over the years, the website has
changed, losing the
images, and subsequent image reloads to different image servers have
also resulted in the loss of the image links as I lost track of which
image links would be better if they were more permanent.
However - a number of forum members regularly pop up, asking where the
images are and can they be put back.
than recreate a post which may get lost again I have recreated
the original article on a web page and redone the images, adding one or
two more that I did not use the first time around.
not a brilliant technical tour de force of on the subject of
modifications, but for some reason it always seems a popular topic, so
here it is - a very basic introduction to the world of "modding"
watches. Just don't blame
me if you get hooked...
G. Richardson (aka ESL)
SKX-007 to 009 Bezel Conversion
A good few threads ago I wanted to swap my 007 for a 009
because I preferred the "Pepsi" bezel. Some helpful forum'er suggested
getting a new bezel, another suggested getting just the bezel insert. I
also received helpful information about where I might get one off eBay
of course - asking our host Roy, first.
So, the bezel duly arrived and after a quick scout around the
'net, I found it should not be that difficult to do it all myself.
So here we go. Now - I know that this task might be considered fairly
straightforward for anyone used to "fiddling" with watches. But I'm
not! So it was with a little trepidation that I set out to do this. But
fear not, for all is photographed for the novice bezel changer to
This is all I needed to get started: My Seiko SKX-007 (natch), the
replacement bezel, my trusty swissy, and a selection of jewelers
I got my bezel off a "trusted" ebay outlet recommended to me
by a forum'er, after determining that Roy did not have any at the time.
But please do check with him first, it's always good form to check,
especially if you are going to ask around on the forum where to get
one! The only other tool I used, was a small model making vice, which
appears in a later photo.
Basically, what you have to do, is get the old bezel off, take out the
old bezel insert, replace the bezel, finally fitting the new bezel
insert. Easy eh?
Getting the old bezel off according to most Internet articles I have
read, seems to mean looking around the watch case where the bezel meets
the case, to find the "removal" slot.
Well, perhaps they are present on
the older models, but there were not any on the 007 I had in my hands.
Anyway - not to worry - the principle is just the same.
Find somewhere on the watch case where you can insert a good quality,
thin, blade to act as a lever. I chose between the watch lugs, so if
the tool slipped, any resultant damage may well be concealed by the
Your average swissy has an ideal blade for this, but whatever you use,
make sure its very strong and thin enough to get between the bezel and
case. Once in, GENTLY twist and lever. Eventually, the bezel should
start to lift off the case.
Be careful now, as you want to see exactly how
everything fits together as it comes apart, particularly the detent
spring. On my 007, everything was
quite straight forward. What I was left with was the watch body, bezel
and steel detent spring.
The importance of stressing that the bezel should be removed slowly to
see how it all fits is most important. In other Internet articles I
have seen, the mechanism is different. All I can do is show you how
The unidirectional device is fairly a straightforward affair, comprising a
pressed steel spring, with two locating pins spaced 108 degrees apart,
and two detent spring sections, also located 180 degrees apart. The pins
locate into holes in the watch case, and the detent springs locate into
detents cast into the underside of the bezel - easy really.
reference only, here is a photo of the watch case with the bezel
removed. This shows the thickness of the crystal, but also more
importantly the grooves where the rubber friction-ring in the bezel has
to sit when reassembled. It's this rubber ring that helps keeps gunge
out of the detent spring, but also provides a bit of friction to make
the bezel action nice and smooth. Critically, it also keeps the bezel fixed to the watch body and if you get the rubber
ring misaligned, the bezel may jam and not rotate at all, or the bezel may simply fall off at a later stage. More about
that on reassembly.
It's in the upper of the two grooves where the rubber friction ring has to locate.
can be seen, the 007 case is a solid chunk of stainless steel. It's
also pleasing to see the thickness and stylish bevel on the watch
crystal whilst the bezel is off. And
finally, the underside of the bezel ring:
visible is the rubber friction ring.
Be very careful to ensure that this stays seated in its groove, when
replacing the bezel.
You can also see the detents where the ratcheting device springs
locate, to provide unidirectional rotation.
If you look closely, you can also see that the black aluminium bezel
insert is slightly larger than the steel bezel ring.
- the tricky bit. Tricky that is, if you wish to keep your old 007
can see on the photo above, that the inner edge of the bezel insert
is slightly larger than the metal bezel on which it is seated. This
presents you with a small "flange" with which to work.
So, using a fine edged blade, work the tip of the blade between the
bezel insert and the bezel.
very careful here
as the bezel inserts are only aluminium and are very easy to bend and
bezel was secured by a fairly strong adhesive, but other
internet articles I have read indicate that some older model, diver
bezel inserts may only
be held by friction (i.e. the hole in the bezel ring and the bezel
insert are so closely sized. that the bezel insert is a friction fit).
you have worked the tip of the blade between the bezel ring and
the insert, you can start to work your way around the bezel, gradually
working it loose. I found it quite easy to rotate the bezel ring along
the tabletop, and keeping even pressure on the knife at it rotated (the
photo above shows what I mean. Finally,
the bezel insert is ready to part company with the bezel.
you can see, the adhesive looks like it was some sort of thin double-sided
tape. Be careful when removing the old bezel insert, as when I removed mine,
the luminous dot may get left behind on the bezel ring. You can see the
dot on the left of the ring, below so look out for it.
This is what
you are left with. What you should do now is clean off the old adhesive
with something solvent based, to provide a clean surface for the new
ring and its adhesive.
thing to do, is to clean up the adhesive on the bezel. I cleaned
all the old adhesive off, because I was going to use a small quantity
of new, to retain the replacement bezel insert.
is time to remember how it all came apart: You do remember don't you?
my 007, it is a simple task to replace the ratcheting device. The
pins on the ring simply locate into the corresponding holes on the
watch case. Once in place, the detent springs should be facing up. Look at the photo below and you will see one
of the locating holes in the watch case and a corresponding pin on the
Now we come to the extra
careful bit. Replacing the bezel.
is needed is a method of applying quite firm, but very evenly
applied and controlled pressure to the bezel, in order to get it to snap back onto the
case, with the detent spring correctly located. I use a small
modellers vice, simply because it is easy to apply controlled pressure,
evenly across the bezel face. I'll leave you to decide how you will do
it, but the photos below shows you what is required. The bits of heavy card are just to prevent any marking of the watch components.
apply pressure evenly on the bezel till it snaps home. What's happening
is that you are forcing the rubber friction ring over the groove on the
watch casing. If everything is not parallel then it may not locate
correctly and the bezel may jam, preventing rotation. Or - it may not
"snap" on at all. Sounds
easy doesn't it, but take your time.
I can imagine that it would be quite difficult to do without some form
of vice or case back press.
Its very important to apply
be very careful not to apply pressure to the crystal. That's why I use
the vice as it's face sits over the whole bezel ring and not touching
it snaps home, check that it rotates and ratchets as smoothly as
it did before. If it does not, it will have to come off again and be
refitted. Either the rubber sealing ring may have slipped out of its
groove, or the ratcheting device may have become unseated.
it's on and working well, turn the bezel hard against its normal
rotation. This is to make sure you are not mid-way between clicks. It
is an important step because we are know going to fit the new bezel
insert, and we need to ensure correct alignment with the 12 o'clock
next bit is pretty straightforward. So straightforward in fact it did
really merit too much photography at the time I did it, so I have no
photographs showing each step.
you have made sure that the bezel is fully up against its ratchet,
you need to fit the replacement bezel ring. On mine it was a nice tight
push fit. I brushed on just a small amount of an impact adhesive just
sure and I let it get tacky.
the bezel ring up to the bezel making sure the diamond on the
bezel is pointing exactly at the 12 marker on the dial, and start press
fitting the bezel ring into place. Start at the 12 marker and with both
thumbs, gradually work your way around to the 6 o'clock position, until
the ring is fitted.
I said, mine fitted a dream, but some Internet articles I have read
indicate that dependent on the tolerances, you may have to push a bit,
or even carry out a small amount of filing on the outer edge of the bezel insert, to get the ring into place.
in place, just check that the bezel lume pip and diamond aligns
correctly with the
click-stop positions, or it will all have to come off again, to realign
it. Once you are happy, just let it alone long enough for your adhesive (if used) to cure and that's it.
here is the watch, reassembled and with its old bezel about to
be stored for possible reuse.
in all a nice easy project and one that most of us should be able
to do - should we wish to. In actual fact, there are other types of
replacement bezel out there, from original Seiko variants, to mil type
and others too. So why not have a look around to see if anything takes
your fancy. Just do a quick Google for Seiko bezel change or Seiko
bezel insert. You know how to Google, just have a good look around.
- was it worth it?
know its not exactly a 009 model, as the 009's have a very dark blue
but I quite like the charcoal-black face with the "Pepsi" bezel. I
you enjoyed looking at the photos, and that this may be of some
use to anyone contemplating a bezel insert swap.
G. Richardson : 2011