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Thread: American Graffitti The US tradition of Customising original post 24/01/2007

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    Default American Graffitti The US tradition of Customising original post 24/01/2007

    Not all of these watches come from the US here is an Omega Speedmaster MKII that I has PVD coated to rescue it from a terrible 'hand brushed finish with wet n dry, caused quite a stir with the traditional Omega collectors.

    When George Lucas made American Graffiti in 1973 he was reminiscing about an earlier time in the US, the post war period of economic growth, baby boomers, Rock an’ Roll, calling your dad Sir and of course ‘The Hot Rod’.

    I speak to many watch collectors in the US and I must say they are an incredibly enthusiastic bunch. Many have followed in the pioneering footsteps of those Suburban Hotroders with their watch collection hobby. In fact some of the guys I have spoken to who are a little older than me I think where some of the original guys who’s speed has slowed but who’s passion for creating through engineering has not.

    These are the hotroders of the watch world, they have sought out specialist guys who can transform their watches so they can have it ‘There way’. This has come from the attitude which is ‘don’t take no for an answer’ as you will find someone eventually who thinks like you do which is an attitude I admire. Many collectors started out with cheap Seiko divers from Ebay as well as some brave souls taking Panerais or Tudors, even Rolex and PVD coating them to create a 'one off' things have moved on to new watches like the cheap new Tissot Seastar (see below) which has a great case and movement but the styling could be better. The guys listed below are true alchemists of the dark art of watch making.

    Pioneers of this work in the US read like the cast of West Side Story

    You have Jack ‘Snowboy’ Alexyon who has done some great work for me.

    Jack's site here!

    Bill ‘Baby John’ Yao who has had a hand in most of the watches in this article and he like the others makes his own range of custom watches now and he is the king of the sterile watch - look!
    Bill's site here.

    Finally there is Kent ‘Action’ Parks – His skill with reluming and custom dialling watches is very impressive.
    Kent's site here!

    Long may they continue their craft, and it is a craft no doubt as they can only offer services to make our lives more interesting. Below are some shots of their work and I have their owners permission to post.

    At the bottom is a case study by Tyler Y from Equation of Time

    A military sterile mod Bill Yao - NALU - Eot

    When your Breitling has too much 'Bling' get it bead blasted matt by Jack at IWW

    Seiko SKX007 dial by Bill Yao hands lumed by Jack at IWW - owner 'Snailfan' - Eot

    Certina DS3 with mod hands and date wheel Yao and a Seiko SKX007 full mod
    dial, hands, case, based on the Omega Plo Prof - owner Bulldog EOT

    Seiko Diver - Full sterile mod with Yao hands and 24 hr dial - owner Mike F - EOT/Dive

    Tissot - Mod hands, Yao dial, custom bezel and blasted case by Jack at IWW - owner unknown

    Should look like this...

    Even just getting the luminous material re done on the dial

    because the manufacturer didn't do a good job like Mike D EOT had done by IWW

    Below is a case study by Tyler who had 'his' watch 'his' way!


    I wrote up the whole story of this piece I designed with Kent Parks' help, Seiko parts from, and Bill Yao's accessories and assembly and test. Unfortunately, it was lost on the other EOT site.

    Completely a "have it your way" piece, I've always liked Orange Monster hands, but not the case and dial. I've always liked the SKX case, but not the hands. Drawing my own dial, gave me the simplicity I wanted. executed it printing it onto a laminate which he glued to the original dial base. the dial in crooked! Might have been cool to leave it like that, come to think of it.....

    I even managed to incorporate a "logo" on the dial of my initials- TY. We decided against this seconds hand based on this shot, but it's a good shot of the Yao Sapphire crystal, and the logo on the dial.

    Heavy Luminova!

    Ready for liftoff!

    Moon Glow

    Long term report: It's been diving several times, two different trips to Indonesia, diving at least 3x/ day, several surfy California abalone dive trips. Keeps good time, and has never leaked (knock on something wood!).

    Last edited by ATG; 26-04-2011 at 10:33.
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