There's just something about vintage military watches. They have proven reliability, and the simple contrasting dial for visibility serves a dual purpose; because they're in no-way outrageous, they will look good forever, on a variety of straps.
The downside is that Vietnam-era military watches are rather hard to come by in perfect condition at an affordable price; and even if I could find one, there's no promises it'll actually work.
I've therefore set about building my own out of parts I know are reliable. Watch this space...!
Here's the watch I have chosen as a starting point for my build; the SNKK87, this variant is the K1 (with a bracelet). The only parts I'm actually interested in are the case, movement and hands, as I will be replacing the dial, bracelet & crystal. I will also be modifying a SKX second hand with a lollipop end I already have to match the red 'tip' of many vintage military watches. Chances are I'll forego the day/date complication entirely in favour of a super-simple dial design.
Parts have started arriving for Project Huey, with both the vintage style lumed dial & the core donor watch now in my possession. As I will be retaining the 7s26 movement, I can commence work on this one almost straight away. The only parts left to arrive for this build are the strap & crystal.
Having received some core parts for this build I went about dis-assembling the Seiko 5 and commencing the build. Retaining the core 7s26 movement allows a bit more confidence everything will fit properly as it should.
Stripping the hands and original sunburst dial reveals the day/date complication. The new dial has no window for day or date; as such this complication is null & void.
Reattaching the hands is always a tad fiddly however proper tools certainly assist.
Slotting the movement back into the case gives our first idea of how the end result may look. Whilst we're 'jumping the gun' a little here given the movement will need to come out again once the crystal arrives, this process is relatively straightforward.
Domed Mineral Crystal
The final piece arrived for this build, a single-dome mineral crystal for the vintage distortion vibes. Once installed this provides incredible distortion at a sharp angle and the dial almost looks concave from certain angles. The mineral crystal also doesn't have the same clarity as modern sapphire, so the overall effect is spot-on with a vintage feel.
The 'Fashion Show'
Given I am still waiting on a crystal and strap, this photoshoot is only part-way through the process.. however any opportunity for some photos...!
Update November 2019
Coming into summer I opted to replace the case with a custom aJuiceT case complete with a stainless bracelet, and swap the handset to a diver-style for increased visibility.