Newbie - would love some counsel on changing the hands on my Seiko

Hello, Yesterday while doing some searching on Youtube regarding my desire, I saw a video done by DIYWatch on bluing hands that was totally cool. That’s how I discovered this site.

I do not want to do work on my Seiko myself. I have never done work on watches, except for removing the back case to put in batteries. My hope is to be able to buy the Hour, Minute, and Second hand for my Seiko V657-9010 which presently has a bright white dial with silver hands and markings. The contrast is NOT to my liking.
Here’s one being sold on Ebay: SEIKO V657-9010 Chronograph Date White Dial, All Stainless Steel MENS WATCH,213 | eBay

I want pretty blue hour and minute hands, and a red second hand.

If I buy a set of hands with the correct lengths as my Seiko, do all watch makers use the same size axle (I do not know the correct terminology) that the hands fit onto? Or will the holes in each hand have different diameters between watch makers?

I would then need to find somebody to install the new colored hands onto my Seiko.

This is all new to me. I wish I had watch making skills.

And where can I find colored hands that would fit my Seiko? Or could the existing hands be painted?

Not only do different brands not share hand sizes, different models from the same brand don’t either. You would need to find what movement the watch uses and look for the pinion sizes. Then you can start looking for hands. If your watch was a seiko automatic, you’d be in luck because that movement is the most popular for modding. Since it’s quartz, it’ll likely be harder.

Your best bet may be to find other watches that use the same pinion sizes and buy them used (broken is fine! You just want the parts.)

Ironically, the step you were most nervous about is the easiest. You can swap hands in five minutes if you’re steady and the tool costs $1.

Anyway, research your watch and find what you can about the movement, bring that back and maybe we can find some matches. Doing what you’re doing isn’t uncommon, just takes googling. (The watch I’m wearing right now is using donor hands.)

Alternatively you should be able to buy spare hands for your model. Seiko is good about making parts accessible. And you can blue them yourself or paint them. The only trick with painting is you need to minimize weight and height. So a thin paint is best and a careful hand. A good and noble experiment :slight_smile:

Send the movement info and let’s see what we can find!

(Got bored while watching a show. The movement is equivalent to the VD57

Hand pinion sizes are
watch hands: hour 1.10, minute .65, and sweep second .20mm

You can buy any replacement hands that fit those sizes. You can hunt for specific watch models that also have that size or go through a service like esslinger.

Again, putting them on yourself is easy. But yes, any watch repair place can also do it.

Thanks so much, Nezumi. I will begin looking through those 2 sites you just gave.

When you ask “What is the movement info?” is that the same thing as the pinion sizes you gave being 1.10; .65; and .20?

By the way, the watch repair place I went to yesterday confirmed those sizes you gave.

If I ventured to paint the hands, and you said to use thin paint, can you point me to the type of paint I would be looking for? This would probably require me to find the exact hands from Seiko or another watch for parts, and experiment with those first.

It would be great to find hands very similar to what I have (long and slender, w/ luminous inside). I hope one of those 2 sites have what I desire.

Thanks much!

EDIT: I see now that the movement site regarding the Hattori helps a lot with understanding the various sizes on the peg (axle), and the height of that peg. Very cool.

Esslinger does not have any blue colored hands in my sizes.

I’m not sure where your skills and freetime lie. You might consider searching more for hands in your size; either just google shopping for who provides replacement parts, or find what other watch uses that same size and look on ebay for broken ones you can steal pieces from.

Painting is a very different project and can be a lot of fun. I’ve not done that myself. ChatGPT recommends “watch paint” but I don’t think that’s really a thing. But watchuseek recommends enamel paints, which is what I would have guessed. Airbrush is best, but I wouldn’t buy one just for this. So I would recommend buying:

A craft vice to hold the hands, or clamps or something else wee to just hold it.
A few colors of paints to experiment with
Replacement lume paint or powder because you’ll likely damage the lume
Some trash watches you can experiment on first

Then go to town! See what works and what doesn’t.

You might also experiment with bluing the hands. That requires some chemistry validation and again, not something I’ve done (yet). But I guarantee that’ll require you re-add the lume after (which isn’t hard).

A quick point; the second hand size is a tiny bit smaller than the second hands used on the NH35 watch movement. So you might look for that size second hand for your red (it’s available on Amazon) and that .01mm should be okay. I’m sure there’s a way to resolve it if it’s slipping (loctite? Might need some research there.)

I know this is sounding like a project, but it’s a hobby :slight_smile: I’m super proud of my watch which I spend a ton of time tweaking. It’s fun and very rewarding. Don’t get overwhelmed, just take it one step at a time. Figure out if you want to learn bluing (which involves fire and chemistry) or painting, buy some trash watches from ebay, and see what works. You can also go back to watchuseek forums and see what other people have done before you. You’ll probably find either this is well documented and easy… or it’s easy but you get the chance to brag about discovering it first :wink:

Thanks for the encouraging words, Nezumi. lol

Sometimes I tackle that would normally be way beyond my skill level and succeed, after doing a lot of reading, but with regard to the tiny parts of a watch, I am not so sure.

Update: Yesterday I took 4 different watches to the respected Watch Repair guy and he said again, that getting blue (color) hands for this Seiko does not seem likely, leaving me to consider what you are encouraging me to attempt.

I read on other forums or comments on Youtube, or was it you above (I cannot remember) that using a light weight paint is best when painting hands for obvious reasons. Not exactly obvious to me, but wouldn’t enamel be considered a heavy paint? In order to do this procedure, I would have to pull the stem/crown out, which I’m not so sure about doing. Then, that whole mechanism (includes the movement, right?) drops out easily enough I suppose, at which point I would then need to pull off the hands to ready them for painting. They pull off very easily I gather?

If I got to this point, ready to paint, I doubt I would have the patience and tenacity to try and relume the insides of those very tiny hands. All 3 of them have lume on them. I would probably just spray paint all of them and live with it. lol

I think a lot of model paints will fit your needs. Spend the money on nice ones though; paints save costs by reducing the tint. (Again, I’m assuming you’re not going with bluing. Bluing gives a beautiful color, but won’t do red and requires a different skillset.) You want one that can give a lot of color with a very thin layer. I’ve not heard of enamel being especially heavy among paints. But that’s also why you want to experiment. I would NOT do spray paint. If you have an airbrush kit, you can control the feed so it’s very thin. But spray paint will be too much. Instead you’ll want to use a brush, probably size 0 or 00.

Fortunately, getting the watch movement out of the case is super easy. As long as you have a VERY CLEAN WORKSPACE (including floor) you should be alright removing your movement. Number one frustration is one tiny speck of dust or cat hair gets inside and then you have to go pull it out to clean it again. I run the air filter, wear gloves, wear a hat, wear a mask, just to hopefully minimize dust. Other people don’t feel so compelled :slight_smile: But re-opening and cleaning is easy.

I am hearing a watch repair kit in your future. They’re inexpensive and make life much easier. The DIY Watch Kit one really is good, although their shipping time to me in the US is forever. You’ll use the tools to remove the hands. It’s not very hard either, but worth practicing on your spare watch so you get it down. There’s a risk of scratching the dial, but it would be hard to really damage anything at this step.

Then you put the hands in your vice (careful not to bend them) and apply paint. Cover them to avoid dust and wait for them to dry. Obviously practice on your trash watch first.

Once dry, you’ll use the hand tool and follow the instructions on the DIY Watch Club youtube. Hour hand is easy, minute hand is easy, second hand is tough. I’ve seen people do it in thirty seconds, but you and I are not that skilled. Take a break before, move slow, expect it to take 30 minutes and that you’ll drop it on the floor a bunch. But forcing the second hand in if its not aligned correctly can break your movement. (I’ve put second hands on maybe twelve times, I misaligned it once with no damage. Just… be patient and don’t force anything until you’re sure.) Then put the movement back in and close it up.

This is really a fun hobby and it’s neat that you’re trying something no one has done before. You can definitely do this :slight_smile: Just take your time.

Oh, remember, paint ONLY the hand. Do NOT paint the pinion. The pinion must stay the same size so it can fit on the movement. Another reason why spray paint won’t work.