You are currently viewing The 7 Best Seiko SKX007/009 Mods

The Seiko SKX is amongst the most popular watches ever created by the Japanese company. It is beloved for its diver styling all around the world, but a common complaint about the SKX is that it offers entry-level specs for a relatively high price.

Fortunately, tons of third-party companies specialize in Seiko SKX007/SKX009 mods, which means you can adapt the SKX to your peculiar needs. All you need is a bit extra cash and some basic watch knowledge. 

Here, you'll find information on the 7 most popular Seiko SKX mods, with tutorials and store recommendations.

Crystal Mod

Why mod the crystal?

The Seiko SKX is equipped from the factory with a Hardlex crystal, which is Seiko's branded mineral crystal. This is a big disappointment for collectors since mineral crystals are usually found on entry-level watches such as the Seiko 5, which costs well under $100.

Even if mineral glass has good shock resistance, the scratch resistance is quite poor, and you're almost certain to get scratches on your SKX within a few months of regular use.

Which mod should you do?

There are two common crystal swaps for the Seiko SKX: Sapphire or Acrylic.


Replacing the stock crystal on your SKX for sapphire is a good idea if you want more scratch-resistance out of your crystal. Sapphire is just under diamonds when it comes to scratch resistance, so there's basically no way to scratch your new crystal except for sand scratches.

Flat Sapphire Crystal Seiko SKX007

In exchange for better scratch resistance, you will lose a bit of shock resistance compared to the mineral crystal (sapphire is more prone to shattering), so be very careful when handling your SKX and try not to drop it or hit it too hard.


The acrylic crystal swap is a bit less common for the SKX, but it can be a great option if you're looking to give a vintage styling to your watch. The acrylic crystal was very common during the 20th century, but it got replaced by mineral or sapphire crystals as they are much more scratch-resistant.

Indeed, acrylic crystals are super easy to scratch, but they're almost unbreakable. Fortunately, the scratches on your acrylic crystal can be polished off to give the piece a brand new look. 

Domed vs Flat:

Depending on which crystal material you choose, you might have to pick between a domed or a flat crystal. Domed crystals give a vintage look to the watch, as these were used a lot more in the past than they are now. 

Domed vs Flat sapphire

Seiko SKX007 domed vs flat sapphire crystal

Domed crystals come with a few drawbacks, such as being easier to scratch because they protrude from the case. Also, it can make the watch harder to slide under your cuffs if you're wearing a tight dress shirt. Most acrylic crystals will be domed, while sapphire crystals are offered in flat or domed configurations.

Anti-Reflective Coating:

Anti-reflective coating is a feature that is almost exclusively found on high-end watches. Since it takes more resources to make than a normal crystal, you will certainly have to pay a premium for this feature. 

It is pretty rare to find AR-coated acrylic crystal since the material already has an anti-reflective property in-and-of-itself. Conversely, sapphire is quite reflective, so getting an AR coat might be a good idea as it will help a lot with legibility under different lightings.

You can either apply AR to the inside of the glass, outside of the glass or both. If you choose exterior coating, you should know that there will be a very thin film on top of your crystal, which will be easy to scratch. Inside coating is a bit less effective, but you won't have to worry about scratches. 

How should you do it?

Explaining the process in a written format is a bit of a headache, so you should refer to this excellent video by Marc from Long Island Watch:

If you prefer the text format, head on to this article, which I wrote as a general guide to change a watch crystal.

Where can you get it?

There are plenty of websites or even brick-and-mortar stores where you can get a replacement crystal for your Seiko SKX007, SKX009, and even SKX013. Here are a few places to get them: 

Bezel Insert Mod

Why mod the bezel?

There are a few reasons why you would want to change the bezel insert on your Seiko SKX. First of all, the stock bezel insert on the SKX is made of aluminum, which is quite easy to scratch. 

The two main reasons people change the bezel on their SKX is to either change the material (and get something more scratch-resistant) or simply to change the styling of the timepiece.

Which mod should you do?

Ceramic Bezel:

As mentioned above, the OEM SKX bezel is pretty easy to scratch. The solution to this problem is to put a ceramic bezel on your watch. 

Not only will the bezel be more scratch-resistant, but it will also be much less likely to fade in color over time. Of course, there's a downside to a ceramic bezel, which is how fragile it is when dropped (much easier to shatter).

Different Styling:

If you decide to switch the bezel on your SKX, you might as well change the styling at the same time. For example, a common swap is the Pepsi bezel on the SKX007 since a lot of people like this dial/bezel combination.

Seiko SKX007 batman + green bezel

On the websites listed below, you can find tons of different bezels for the SKX, such as the classic Batman layout, monochrome bezels and much more. This is the perfect way to personalize the SKX to your own style.

Lume vs No Lume:

The OEM bezel on the SKX007 or SKX009 only has a small lume pip at the "0 minute mark". A lot of collectors prefer to have lume all around the bezel for more legibility. 

Seiko SKX OEM Bezel vs NAmokimods

OEM vs Namoki Mods

When shopping for a new bezel, you should definitely take this feature into account, as some are completely lumeless, and some have a full set of lume-coated numerals around the bezel.

How should you do it?

Changing the bezel insert is a pretty easy task, so you can simply follow this video below step-by-step:

Where can you get it?

Dial Mod

Why mod the dial?

The reason why people change the dial on their SKX is purely to change the style of the watch. There's no real technical benefit you get by changing the dial, but you can certainly distinguish your piece from others, by changing the color, pattern or general design of the dial.

Things to consider:


When you buy a new dial, you will inevitably lose the luminous phosphorescent that's applied by Seiko from the factory. This OEM lume is known throughout the watch world as one of the best in its class, so this can be a bit of a bummer. 

You have 2 options to remedy this problem. First, you can buy a new dial that is already lume-coated, such as the Namoki Mods dials, which are coated with a nice layer of Super-Luminova application, which is one of the best luminous phosphorescent in the industry (usually found on high-end brands such as Breitling or Omega).

The second option you have is to buy a lumeless dial and apply your own lume mixture. This is a bit harder to do, but it is much more rewarding. Going this route allows you to choose the lume brand, color, and thickness. If you're interested, read my ''Best Watch Lume article'', to see all your options.


The color of the dial is only one of the variables you're going to have to choose. You must also keep in mind that there are a lot of different patterns and/or textures of dial available.

Seiko SKX Namoki green and white dial

For instance, you can get a sunburst, a matte, a striped dial or many more designs. The problem is: the difference between a sunburst and a matte dial isn't always apparent on pictures, sometimes you need a video to see the true light reflection. 

To make sure you get the dial you really want, try to find a video online of the same dial, or request one from the manufacturer. If this isn't an option, make sure you read the full product description before buying a dial online.

Chapter Ring:

While I could've made a section specifically for the chapter ring, I decided to incorporate it in the dial section. As you probably know, the chapter ring (small circle around the dial with minute marks) is often misaligned on the Seiko SKX007/SKX009. 

Seiko SKX007 misaligned + brushed chapter ring

If you're OCD, this is definitely something that will rub you in the wrong way during your SKX ownership. You can either choose to simply re-align your OEM chapter ring, following this tutorial. If not, you can completely get rid of the minute marks by buying a plain ring.

How Should you do it?

Since the dial is perfectly sandwiched between every other element of the timepiece, it can be quite a headache to change. You should be pretty comfortable with basic watch modding if you plan on swapping the dial.

Unfortunately, there are no videos or articles describing exactly how to change the dial on a Seiko SKX. Fortunately, Lucius Atelier wrote a general guide on how to change the dial for Seiko watches, so you should be able to adapt it to the SKX.

Also, you can  follow the general dial change tutorial below:

Where can you get it?

Movement Swap

Why swap the movement?

If you're a watch collector and you know a bit about movements, there's no doubt as to why people swap the movement in their Seiko SKX. From the factory, it comes equipped with an in-house Seiko 7S26 movement.

While this isn't a bad movement in-and-of-itself, it is the same caliber found in sub-80$ Seiko 5 models. This can be a bit insulting when you pay over 300$ for your timepiece. Even if it is quite sturdy and reliable, the 7s26 lacks in features (no hacking, no hand-winding) and precision (around -15 to +25 secs/day).

Swapping the movement is a great way to make your SKX more precise, while adding features such as hand-winding, hacking, magnetic resistance, etc..

Which movement should you pick?

Since your amount of choice is limited by the dimensions of the SKX and by the brand (most collectors prefer to use a Seiko movement for the swap), there are only a few options to choose from.

NH36A /4R36:

The most popular swap is undoubtedly the NH36a / 4R36 movement. I put those two in the same category because it is literally the same movement, just branded differently. The 4R36 is used only in Seiko watches, while the NH36a is sold to third-party watchmakers (ex: Invicta).

Seiko NH36a+ 4R36 movements

This is a movement that is most notably found in the Seiko ''Turtle''. In terms of accuracy and reliability, it is in the same ballpark as the 7s26. The only benefit you will gain by swapping the NH36/4R36 in your SKX is the ability to hand-wind and hack it. 

The advantage of this swap is that the NH36/4R36 movement fits exactly in the SKX case without any physical modifications required. The only adjustment you will have to do is to get a different crown, as your OEM crown won't fit.


The 6R15 is a movement found in watches such as the Seiko Alpinist, SARB035, etc.. This one is quite similar to the 4R36, as it is also hand-wound and hackable and they have lots of interchangeable parts. 

The main difference is that the 6R15 uses a different mainspring, barrel and adjustment lever, which allows it to be a bit more precise, and upgrades the power reserve from 40  hours to 55 hours.

Seiko 6r15 movement

The 6R15 swap is much less popular than the NH36/4R36  swap since it needs a lot more work to be accomplished. The dimensions are a bit different, so you will need to swap the dial and crown for it to work.

How should you do it?

Before I start with this section, I want to say that swapping a movement is very hard and requires lots of maintenance and/or mod experience. If you're not confident that you can do it yourself, there are lots of people who will do it for you, in exchange for a fee usually ranging from 100-200$.

NH36A /4R36:


Unfortunately, there's no video tutorial on how to swap the 6R15 into a Seiko SKX, but you can follow along with this article.

Where should you get it?

Crown mod

Why should you do it?

Since I was already started on the subject of crown changing, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about it next. The two reasons why people change the crown on their SKX is either by necessity or for aesthetic purposes.

As we've seen above, it is absolutely necessary to change the crown of your SKX if you plan on swapping the movement. On the other hand, you can also change the crown simply to give a new look to your timepiece.

Which crown should you pick?

Jumbo crown:

A common complaint about the Seiko SKX is that the crown is too small. The SKX is marketed as a diver's watch, and most people associate diving with thick cases and bulky crowns. A good way to give the proper diver styling the SKX deserves is to put on a Jumbo crown, as pictured below

Seiko SKX007 jumbo crown

Signed crown:

The OEM crown on the SKX is plain (unsigned) and this is a bit of a disappointment for most Seiko fans. A remedy to this problem is to pick a signed crown from another Seiko model that fits with the SKX. Also, some third-party companies sell manufactured signed crowns. This way, you can get custom designs such as the gold-tone crown below.

Seiko SKX007 gold crown

How should you do it?

If you want to change the crown while you're swapping the movement, you should refer to the movement swap tutorials above. Changing the crown for aesthetic purposes is not as common, so the only good tutorial I could found is on the SKX013 and it isn't described in English.

The video above will still help if you're visual, but it can be hard without the proper language. If this video is too hard to follow, watch the video below, which is a general guide on how to change a watch crown.

Where should you get it?

Hands mod

Why should you do it?

Modding the hands of your Seiko SKX is a way to let your imagination go crazy and make a timepiece that suits your style perfectly.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of variations possible, all you have to do is to make sure the hands you buy fit in the SKX case.

Which hands should you get?

As I stated above, the options for modding the hands are pretty much limitless, so I will simply give a few hands sets that are quite popular in the SKX modding world

Cathedral / Mercedes hands:

A set of cathedral hands is a classic, not only for the SKX, but for any watch out there. This style was predominantly used in military watches, but nowadays you can find these hands on any type of watch.

Seiko SKX007 cathedral hands

Putting cathedral hands on your Seiko SKX is a great way to switch up the diver styling a little bit by adding more class to the watch. Above, you can see an SKX equipped with "Mercedes Hands", which I consider to be a sub-category of cathedral hands.

Plongeur hands:

The cathedral hands swap I spoke about above is meant to tone-down the diver styling of the SKX. On the other hand, some collectors want to dive even deeper (pun intended) in the diver style.

Seiko SKX007 plongeur hands

Plongeur hands are perfect for that: the term "plongeur" is french for diver, and it earned this name by being found exclusively on diver watches. As you can see above, the trademark of plongeur hands is the bright orange color of the minutes hand.

Custom hands:

If the styles shown above are too mainstream for you, you can go for the ''custom'' route. This category includes any set of hands that don't have a designated appellation. For example, DLW Watches offers lots of unique hands. 

Seiko SKX007 custom hands

As you can picture above, they sell all types of shapes, with different kinds of colors and even ''mix and match'' sets. This is a great option if you want your Seiko SKX to be as unique as possible.

How should you do it?

Changing the hands on your SKX is a pretty straightforward installation, but it requires a lot of patience and thoroughness. Below, you can see a video by the Lume Shot channel, showing how to replace hands on a Seiko watch.

Where should you get it?


Why should you do it?

Some of you guys might contest the use of the word ''mod'' here, but I couldn't list the best Seiko SKX mods without talking about the strap/bracelet options. The reason to get a new one is quite simple: the bracelet is often the weakest point on Seiko watches.

Changing the bracelet for something else allows you to get better quality, but also to make sure the SKX is perfectly suited to your style.

Which strap/bracelet should you get?


Even if the SKX007 and SKX009 are usually equipped with a stainless steel bracelet when bought new, it is often a point of complaint, since the OEM bracelet is pretty rattly, light and has no diver's extension.

The two most common third-party bracelets used on the SKX are usually the Jubilee or Oyster styling. Take note that these may be sold under a different moniker since the classic Long Island Watch cease & desist incident.

Seiko SKX007 jubilee and oyster bracelet

Above you see an SKX equipped with a Jubilee bracelet on the left  and one equipped with an Oyster bracelet on the right. Another popular choice is a mesh bracelet, as pictured below.

Seiko SKX007 mesh bracelet

Leather band:

While this isn't my cup of tea, there are a few collectors online that try to give a dressier styling to their SKX by implementing a leather band.

Seiko SKX007 leather band

I find that this doesn't suit the SKX's style at all, but all tastes are in nature. Also, it might look better when mixed with other mods, such as cathedral hands or a bezel swap.

Nylon strap:

A Nylon or Nato strap is a great way to give a playful touch to your Seiko SKX007/009. With thousands of nylon straps to choose from online, you can get one that fits perfectly with your previously done mods.

Seiko SKX007 nato strap

Also, a lot of people consider the nylon strap to be the most comfortable way to attach a watch to your wrist as there's no hair pulling and it can easily be adjusted for any wrist size.

How should you do it?

Even if swapping a watch strap/bracelet is pretty straightforward, I will still leave a tutorial below in case you haven't done it before.

Where should you get it?


In conclusion, modding your Seiko SKX can be very fun and super rewarding, but you must be 100% sure you have the skills to do it, or else you might ruin your favorite timepiece.

I suggest starting by the most simple mods (bracelet, bezel, crystal), then slowly building up to harder mods such as movement and dial. If you absolutely want a movement or dial swap right away, please do yourself a favor and pay a professional to do it for you.

If there's anything I left out, please leave a comment below so I can continue to add on to this article over time!

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. andy p

    hello, does anyone know where i can access a GMT style bezel (pepsi) with lume, for an skx 009? massive thnaks. regards

  2. Rex

    Hi, I am the author of the SKX013 crown swap video: I am very flattered my video is featured in this post and I understand it is difficult for your readers to understand it as I narrated it in Cantonese (my first language). I have actually provided English subtitles and it is available if you click the correct button at the bottom right corner of the video. Cheers!

    1. Romeo's Watches

      Hey Rex,

      Thanks for the advice, keep on doing some great videos!

  3. S. Roberts

    Overall a good, informative beginners write up, thank you. However, it must be mentioned some modification to personal tastes, can ultimately devalue the watch, you are unlikely to get back most of investment of aftermarket parts, if you chose to sell the watch. Added to that post modification pressure testing is crucial or there goes the 200m water resistance. In essence even good aftermarket parts do not always fit precisely, they are not tuned to your particular watch, but to standard dimensions.
    I’ve never really heard of criticism of the crown size, the longer one pictured looks very odd at best.
    The workhorse 7s26 can be timed to chronometer level, the NH36 is based on it, and to me it receives unnecessary criticism, the SKX007 is over 25 years old, non hacking, winding at this price point was acceptable then, plus the watch is a true ISO rated diver, most hacking winding 200M watches for under $500 still are not.
    Ultimately, to mod or not to is a personal choice, and although I like the look of a few, I would probably never buy a mod watch, it takes quality equipment, time and skill to do a professional job, you can never be sure what you’re getting.
    The SKX despite the vast numbers it has been sold in is increasing in price and gaining true collectors status, and its one’s with original scratchy hardlex crsytal, non hacking non winding 7s26, scratchy bezel, original dial and hamds, plus rattly comfortale jubilee bracelets that will be the ones most sort after.. Fantastic watch.

    1. Romeo's Watches

      Thanks for this additional information!

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