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Old 22 October 2012, 07:13 AM   #1
~dadam02~
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Custom Speedy Mod - My Journey (Pic Heavy)

So having owned my Speedmaster Pro for the last 6 months i decided pretty early on that I would go down the custom mod route. There are many that have gone before me and lots of examples dotted all round the net so there was plenty of opportunity to research, but the main thing I decided early on was that I wanted to create my very own configuration, one that was completely unique and individual to me.

So before we go on any further, if you are a purist i'd probably suggest you look away now.............

For those remaining, this is what we started with. It's a standard calibre 1861 2011 Speedmaster Professional, model reference 3570.50:



So what have we done, lets break it down:

Dial:

I’ve been hankering for a white dial watch to add to my collection for as long as I can remember; the clean and clinical dials just have something about them that draws me in. Unfortunately i've yet to come across one (within my budget) that has tempted me to pull my purse strings so the search continued. Little did I know it was staring me in the face all along. Having seen, and admired, a number of similar mods it never occurred to me to do one myself but a lightbulb moment one day led to the beginning of a journey that has been interesting, exciting, educational, frustrating and of course expensive.

Commonly referred to as the ‘Panda dial’ but also named ‘the Domino’ by the late great chuck Maddox - the Mitsukoshi Speedie was a limited edition run of 300 watches (reference 3570.31) made for the Japanese fashion company and department store, Mitsukoshi. It's a white dial (it actually changes from white to ivory to silver, depending on the light), with black sub dials and applied logo and indices. In my opinion, the very best of the endless limited edition Speedies and one I’m surprised Omega haven’t since rolled out into a larger production run. When I saw an NOS dial appear earlier this year during the Watchco sale it was a no brainer and it was soon on it's way to the UK. I believe these are now becoming quite rare and I’m not aware of any retailer now offering these for sale whilst i’ve also read that Omega are no longer releasing replacements. If anyone is thinking about doing a similar mod and you come across one for sale I’d pick it up asap if I were you!



Bezel:

A last minute purchase and not part of my original plans, i didn't know this even existed until someone recently posted a link to a Speedie editions list published by the Ace List. The Pulsations bezel, also known as the 'pulse register' or 'doctors watch' was originally available on the Speedmaster for a limited time between 1967 and 1969 and was fitted on the regular production run calibre 321 model reference 145.012

On this bezel, the tachymeter scale is replaced with a scale used for measuring a persons pulse and with the bezel marked 'gradue pour 15 pulsations' (graduated for 15 beats - available as a 30 beat scale by some manufacturers but never by Omega as far as i know). This type of bezel works by simultaneously starting the chrono function whilst counting the pulse. Once the pulse count reaches 15 beats, you stop the chrono and the pulse rate (in beats per min) is then indicated on the bezel where the chrono hand has stopped. Pretty neat.



Hands:

The source of much frustration, in fact it continues to frustrate but more on that shortly.....when I started this mod I knew instantly that I would keep the Mitsukoshi true to form and fit the silver baton and sub dial hands as per the original LE configuration. Yes this has been done before and there have been many concerns raised about the legibility of the hands against the white background but I like the clean, modern look so I can live with the readability of the dial. I did however want to add a bit of individualism so I decided to add some colour, and the sweep second hand was clearly the opportunity to do that. So what was the criteria? I wanted colour, I wanted something different, I wanted the red chrono hand from the Alaska Project LE....yeah right, snowballs chance in hell of finding one of those (Omega does not offer these, under any circumstances, not even to those with a parts account, relative working for the firm, celebrity - forget it!). I then spent the next couple of months looking for a suitable replacement, including raiding the entire Ofrei's catalogue and buying up almost every hand that fits a calibre 1861. Unfortunately nothing quite hit the spot, I even went down the custom painting route (with some help from dreamboat - thanks for your help) but although good the finish fell just short of the levels my my OCD would allow. Back to the drawing board....

So what did we end up with? Well those eagle eyed amongst you would have got it already from the first picture above. This really was nothing more than a punt, and I had no idea if it would fit but I picked up a 'red tipped' sweep second hand from the calibre 2500 Planet Ocean (model reference 2201.50). I say red tipped because that's how it was labelled when I purchased it and I'm frustrated with myself for not checking when it arrived but its actually orange tipped but it certainly adds something IMO. I may continue to look for that elusive red.....



The Reveal:

So I've rambled on for too long, I'll keep the rest pretty short........parts sourced, everything was shipped off to Duncan @ Genesis Watchmaking (well who else!) and a couple of days later the following arrived.













Thanks for your time, and i hope you have enjoyed my journey.
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Old 22 October 2012, 07:44 AM   #2
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Looks great, you're certainly braver than me!
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Old 22 October 2012, 08:28 AM   #3
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Great job, congrats!!
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Old 22 October 2012, 11:36 PM   #4
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Excellent I dont usualy like "busy" dials but it looks great well done! and the bezel is very unusual
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Old 24 October 2012, 04:38 AM   #5
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Looks amazing!!
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Old 25 October 2012, 09:43 AM   #6
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Some black-outline hands a-la Polar EX-II would be rather sporty looking.

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Old 25 October 2012, 09:59 AM   #7
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Old 29 October 2012, 12:03 AM   #8
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Thanks all, it was definitely a fun project to do and can be reversed pretty easily if needed. Couple more shots taken today:





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Old 29 October 2012, 12:06 AM   #9
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Although the classic dial can't be beat that comes close ....never met a Panda I didn't like!
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Old 29 October 2012, 02:48 AM   #10
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Not too keen on the bezel, but the dial is absolutely gorgeous and the hands are fab. Well done. Having said that I don't think I would EVER mess around with my Speedy.

Never say never, I know.
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Old 29 October 2012, 02:50 AM   #11
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Not too keen on the bezel, but the dial is absolutely gorgeous and the hands are fab. Well done. Having said that I don't think I would EVER mess around with my Speedy.

Never say never, I know.
Yah, I'd like to see it with original bezel...but that's be a 1969 then I guess....
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Old 29 October 2012, 01:14 PM   #12
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I'm usually not a fan of mods but I gotta say, the it was tastefully done!
congrats.
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Old 29 October 2012, 02:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~dadam02~ View Post
So having owned my Speedmaster Pro for the last 6 months i decided pretty early on that I would go down the custom mod route. There are many that have gone before me and lots of examples dotted all round the net so there was plenty of opportunity to research, but the main thing I decided early on was that I wanted to create my very own configuration, one that was completely unique and individual to me.

So before we go on any further, if you are a purist i'd probably suggest you look away now.............

For those remaining, this is what we started with. It's a standard calibre 1861 2011 Speedmaster Professional, model reference 3570.50:



So what have we done, lets break it down:

Dial:

I’ve been hankering for a white dial watch to add to my collection for as long as I can remember; the clean and clinical dials just have something about them that draws me in. Unfortunately i've yet to come across one (within my budget) that has tempted me to pull my purse strings so the search continued. Little did I know it was staring me in the face all along. Having seen, and admired, a number of similar mods it never occurred to me to do one myself but a lightbulb moment one day led to the beginning of a journey that has been interesting, exciting, educational, frustrating and of course expensive.

Commonly referred to as the ‘Panda dial’ but also named ‘the Domino’ by the late great chuck Maddox - the Mitsukoshi Speedie was a limited edition run of 300 watches (reference 3570.31) made for the Japanese fashion company and department store, Mitsukoshi. It's a white dial (it actually changes from white to ivory to silver, depending on the light), with black sub dials and applied logo and indices. In my opinion, the very best of the endless limited edition Speedies and one I’m surprised Omega haven’t since rolled out into a larger production run. When I saw an NOS dial appear earlier this year during the Watchco sale it was a no brainer and it was soon on it's way to the UK. I believe these are now becoming quite rare and I’m not aware of any retailer now offering these for sale whilst i’ve also read that Omega are no longer releasing replacements. If anyone is thinking about doing a similar mod and you come across one for sale I’d pick it up asap if I were you!



Bezel:

A last minute purchase and not part of my original plans, i didn't know this even existed until someone recently posted a link to a Speedie editions list published by the Ace List. The Pulsations bezel, also known as the 'pulse register' or 'doctors watch' was originally available on the Speedmaster for a limited time between 1967 and 1969 and was fitted on the regular production run calibre 321 model reference 145.012

On this bezel, the tachymeter scale is replaced with a scale used for measuring a persons pulse and with the bezel marked 'gradue pour 15 pulsations' (graduated for 15 beats - available as a 30 beat scale by some manufacturers but never by Omega as far as i know). This type of bezel works by simultaneously starting the chrono function whilst counting the pulse. Once the pulse count reaches 15 beats, you stop the chrono and the pulse rate (in beats per min) is then indicated on the bezel where the chrono hand has stopped. Pretty neat.



Hands:

The source of much frustration, in fact it continues to frustrate but more on that shortly.....when I started this mod I knew instantly that I would keep the Mitsukoshi true to form and fit the silver baton and sub dial hands as per the original LE configuration. Yes this has been done before and there have been many concerns raised about the legibility of the hands against the white background but I like the clean, modern look so I can live with the readability of the dial. I did however want to add a bit of individualism so I decided to add some colour, and the sweep second hand was clearly the opportunity to do that. So what was the criteria? I wanted colour, I wanted something different, I wanted the red chrono hand from the Alaska Project LE....yeah right, snowballs chance in hell of finding one of those (Omega does not offer these, under any circumstances, not even to those with a parts account, relative working for the firm, celebrity - forget it!). I then spent the next couple of months looking for a suitable replacement, including raiding the entire Ofrei's catalogue and buying up almost every hand that fits a calibre 1861. Unfortunately nothing quite hit the spot, I even went down the custom painting route (with some help from dreamboat - thanks for your help) but although good the finish fell just short of the levels my my OCD would allow. Back to the drawing board....

So what did we end up with? Well those eagle eyed amongst you would have got it already from the first picture above. This really was nothing more than a punt, and I had no idea if it would fit but I picked up a 'red tipped' sweep second hand from the calibre 2500 Planet Ocean (model reference 2201.50). I say red tipped because that's how it was labelled when I purchased it and I'm frustrated with myself for not checking when it arrived but its actually orange tipped but it certainly adds something IMO. I may continue to look for that elusive red.....



The Reveal:

So I've rambled on for too long, I'll keep the rest pretty short........parts sourced, everything was shipped off to Duncan @ Genesis Watchmaking (well who else!) and a couple of days later the following arrived.













Thanks for your time, and i hope you have enjoyed my journey.

WOW... beautiful piece!!
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Old 30 October 2012, 08:59 AM   #14
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Fantastic. Wear it well (and send me a PM when you are ready to flip it!)
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Old 4 November 2012, 06:15 AM   #15
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I like it and you're much braver than me. The two changes I would have made would be to use the Polar black hands and added an exhibition back. Maybe next putting it on a strap to completely transform the look. Overall, nicely done.
Cheers!
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Old 10 November 2012, 12:33 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTS Dean View Post
Some black-outline hands a-la Polar EX-II would be rather sporty looking.

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The hour and minute hand would look sweet on your watch, but the tach second hand needs the lume and red tip pointer. The search continues...
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Old 10 November 2012, 05:06 AM   #17
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Bravo! I love it!!!
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Old 10 November 2012, 07:39 AM   #18
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Lookie here!



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Old 10 November 2012, 09:24 AM   #19
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That is awesome. I'm with you...love the white dial. Those modifications are one of a kind and definitely eye-catching...

Well done!
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Old 10 November 2012, 12:42 PM   #20
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I'm loving' that white dial Speedy. What reference number is it? That is special.
Cheers!
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Old 10 November 2012, 03:11 PM   #21
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That should be a production model for those in the medical field. Very nice!
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Old 10 November 2012, 06:49 PM   #22
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Great effort my friend. Really love the looks of it!
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Old 21 December 2012, 11:38 AM   #23
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Where is a good place to hunt for a pulse register speedy bezel?
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Old 21 December 2012, 11:52 AM   #24
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Looks good. I would be scared to death that I would ruin the watch. Good job
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Old 21 December 2012, 12:16 PM   #25
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Superb job.
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Old 21 December 2012, 05:10 PM   #26
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Where is a good place to hunt for a pulse register speedy bezel?
Hey, I would start here:

http://www.watchco.com.au/A_index.htm

This is where I purchased mine and their website isn't always up to date but if you send them a mail, Marcus normally responds pretty quickly. Good luck!
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Old 22 December 2012, 12:27 AM   #27
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Looks great...just did mine too. Except i used a 3572. It looks amazing. Good call on sweep.
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Old 22 December 2012, 12:48 AM   #28
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Great project!

Thanks for sharing.


Cheers,
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Old 22 December 2012, 01:13 AM   #29
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Hey, I would start here:

http://www.watchco.com.au/A_index.htm

This is where I purchased mine and their website isn't always up to date but if you send them a mail, Marcus normally responds pretty quickly. Good luck!
Great! Thanks for the lead.
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Old 22 December 2012, 04:42 AM   #30
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Very nice. Great pics as well.
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