MODIFYING A SEIKO SKX781 BRACELET TO FIT A REISSUE SUB 300T
© Dr. Peter McClean Millar - December 2002
The design of the SUB 300T case while unique, does come at a price. There are very few alternative straps or bracelets which will fit the watch. During my comparative review of the SUB 300T and the Seiko SKX781 I took the Seiko bracelet apart and fitted it to the Doxa. It looked good and felt great. I eventually bought a spare bracelet and fitted it to the SUB 300T. The modification was fairly easy to do using just a few jeweler's screwdrivers and the screwdrivers that came with the Doxa. A set of Jeweler's screwdrivers can be bought in places like Walmart or discount stores for just a few dollars.
The SUB 300T bracelet is held in place with 2 screwed pins. They can be a bit tight. I would recommend buying a set of Jewelers screwdrivers and using the larger Doxa Screwdriver on one side and one of the new screwdrivers. The smaller of the 2 Doxa ones don't allow enough torque and you can damage the head of the screw if you are not careful.
One thing I noticed when I had the bracelet off is that the polished areas between the lugs are infact small inserts, held in place by spring clips. With these removed the lugs are actually 12mm long.
The pins on the Seiko bracelet are unusual in that they have spring steel retaining collars. They are fairly easy to remove using a very small screwdriver. The one I use allows the center pin to be pushed out while retaining the small collar on the actual screwdriver blade. The end pieces of the bracelet have to be removed as they will not fit in the SUB 300T lugs. Depending on the size of your wrist you may have to remove 2 or 3 links from the bracelet. I would do this over a tray or something that will catch the collars should they fall. They are very easy to lose!
You have to use the Seiko collars to attach the bracelet to the watch case. The Doxa screwed pins are too thick to go through the holes in the Seiko bracelet. When the pins and collars are pushed in and 'locked' they hold the bracelet tightly. The width of the links are an exact fit for the lugs. There is no lateral movement and the bracelet is a very nice fit against the lugs. Because of the design of the Doxa case there is still a gap between the body and the bracelet edge. I think it actually looks quite appealing.
The bracelet is a good match for the watch. It is brushed finished with polished center links, just like the original. It is a heavy, solid bracelet with a diver's extension, safety clasp and push button release mechanism. In my opinion it is one of the best bracelets on the market.
And that's basically all there is to it. I did manage to take the Doxa clasp off the original bracelet and put it on the Seiko bracelet. It worked well but I decided to keep the Seiko clasp as I think it is a really superb functioning clasp, also it means that the whole Doxa bracelet will stay in pristine condition. In order to hold the Doxa clasp on the Seiko bracelet it is necessary to superglue the pins in place as they are a bit too small and can fall out. If at a later date you change your mind, the pins can be removed with superglue disolver.
OK I now have a great alternative to the original SUB 300T bracelet, however, it does say Seiko on the clasp. Not a problem. Because the Seiko name is forged into the clasp it does not show in on the back side like the stamped name on the Doxa bracelet. A small, fine metal file will remove the Seiko name in a matter of minutes. A buff with a very fine sand paper will have the area looking like new. Note how I screwed the Doxa pins back onto the bracelet for storage (do it, because you just know you will lose them otherwise!).
I purchased the bracelet from Singapore at a cost of 39 dollars plus 10 dollars shipping from Adrian Low at www.skywatches.com.sg. It took about 5 days to ship it to New York.
I've been wearing the SUB 300T with the new bracelet for almost 2 days and it feels great. In fact I can't tell any differenece between it and the original bracelet in terms of weight and comfort. It doesn't pull any hairs on my arm and distributes the weight of what is a fairly heavy watch anyway, evenly on my wrist. I'm very pleased with it and think it makes a nice alternative to the original bracelet.