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Dilemma. Can’t see the hands


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The time is everywhere.  

We know approximately what time it is even before we look. 

When we do look, we can see it within microseconds of looking at our watches or within seconds and that's the thing that either can make us happy or destroy our love of the timepiece.

Is it that important that it takes a couple of seconds to know the time from a watch that is accurate? 

Only you can decide if those microseconds is enough to sell that watch or keep it. 

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49 minutes ago, Rotundus said:

i assume modding it would stuff the warranty ?! 

would seiko be able/willing to swap the hands ?

It would stuff the warranty and I don’t think Seiko would be willing to swop the hands. 

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Just now, Roy said:

It would stuff the warranty and I don’t think Seiko would be willing to swop the hands. 

Personally I would flip ... and get a watch that is more suited ... a bit more in-your-face with regards legibility ... :thumbsup:

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Even if your eyesight is still reasonably good (I'm hanging in there :laugh:), the modern fashion for very highly polished steel hands means they can 'disappear' completely at certain angles. In fact, I find dark dials even worse than light ones for this. Yes, I know that's one of GS brand cues, but I can't help feeling it's more about embellishment for the sake of higher prices, rather than improving the actual ownership experience. Many a watch is ruined by being blinged up IMHO, I admit I'm a tool watch fan preferring brushed finishes, but even so...

High polish steel is just too reflective.  Good legibility depends on high contrast and/or very low specular (ie defuse) reflection; eg white hands on a matt black dial, or black hands on a matt white dial (sunray and other reflective dial finishes don't help).  Watch makers know full well about this - one reason why they put anti-reflective coatings on sapphire crystals to lessen multi reflections.

Brushed, bead blasted or otherwise matt steel hands are generally far easier to read, which might be one mod option @Roy, although purists will be horrified I know.  @Boxbrowniesuggested gold hands, so you could perhaps switch so something like the SBGA401 instead (one of the more affordable gold hand ones at £4,400 RRP);

SBGA401G.png

In the end the thing is no-one wants to be annoyed by the watch they are wearing, no matter how well made or top-notch it is...

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I think Grand Seiko are at fault here not your eyesight. It seems a pretty obvious oversight making a watch with very little contrast between face and hands.

I recently built my first watch out of Vostok parts, the dial was mostly silver and the only hands I could source were polished stainless. I thought they would be ok, but in anything other than perfect lighting they were very hard to read. I have now swapped to blued hands as several people on here suggested and they look much better :thumbsup:

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8 hours ago, Roy said:

Yeah tried that. I struggle even with glasses on these days. 

If so, you need new ones. Get another eye test. You may need an upgrade to bi- focals.:wink:

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10 hours ago, Roy said:

It would stuff the warranty and I don’t think Seiko would be willing to swop the hands. 

Personally, I'd move this one on and find an alternative. Modding, imho, is fine for a few hundred quid bit of a laugh but add another zero and that's a lot of wedge to be messing with, especially if re sale value might be significantly negatively impacted. 

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11 minutes ago, Rotundus said:

Personally, I'd move this one on and find an alternative. Modding, imho, is fine for a few hundred quid bit of a laugh but add another zero and that's a lot of wedge to be messing with, especially if re sale value might be significantly negatively impacted. 

I'd agree if it were me or some other clutz like me, but clearly @Roy is far more skilled and experienced than your average watch fan, as a maker of watches himself it would almost be 'developing' rather than 'modding'.

Also, the resale value is only an issue if he is ever likely to sell the watch, if the intention is to keep and enjoy, then it's market value has no relevance, and if the longer term intention is to hand it down to someone he loves, then it's being unique and amended by him, might actually increase the sentimental value to its next owner.

So it comes to a decision that should be based upon the longer term plan for the watch, if it is to stay as part of the collection and one day in the very distant future be part of an estate legacy, then switch or paint those hands and make it a part of you to enjoy for many years and leave behind for someone to treasure, but if it is 'just a watch to be a passing part of a collection' then it should probably be traded out in its original condition.

 

Edited by Bricey
Autocorrect un-correcting
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swop the hands for something more legible Roy then you can enjoy your watch.you can always swop them back when you sell it.not in the same price bracket but i changed the hands on this for the very same reason.not as elegant as the originals but at least i can tell the time at a glance..KOk1mcZ.jpg?1

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15 hours ago, Roy said:

The question is am I mad to change or even paint the hands or should I just sell it and get something I can see? :( 

I think the consensus on here is to change them for something more readable, and since you're a skilled watchmaker I would imagine swapping the hands for new ones in black wouldn't be much of a problem.

My main criteria for buying watches these days comes down to: "Can I read the time on it from across the room...?" :laughing2dw:

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15 hours ago, Roy said:

I didn’t want a boring black dial :laugh:Probably should have gone with one though cause I would have been able to see the hands against it. 
I’m thinking now, what if I blued the original hands? Is that madness? :huh:

Madness! Sell it & buy the black dial.

I'm all for a bit of modification, especially if it improves the original or makes it easier to use. You could do a tutorial on how you do it with before & after shots. Or failing that open it up & use a black sharpie to colour the hands. If it all goes wrong you could fit set of ploprof hands.....:swoon::jawdrop1::biggrin:

Edited by pauluspaolo
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@Roy I sympathise. I have a GS with a very similar dial / hand set (though not a Spring Drive). It can be hard to read in some lights, but I find that a slight change of viewing angle will pick up the reflections on the facets.

However, if you decide you cannot go on with it, as many have suggested above, I am prepared to make a sacrifice (in recognition of the debt we owe you) and swap your illegible watch for this highly readable Limited Edition:

large._T6A6449.JPG.1417cb0cbd3dcb514397ff99b3a6a354.JPG

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17 hours ago, Roy said:

The question is am I mad to change or even paint the hands or should I just sell it and get something I can see? :( 
 

That is one helluva nice watch as it is. Keep the watch, don't change the hands, wear the watch and use something else to tell the time.

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