Venture GMT Master Watch Project

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Not really a spoiler but the end of Radiant is the Blood of the Baboon Heart featured a GMT master Rolex engraved with the Venture logo on the front and ELIGE TUA on the back (“”Elige tua” is a Latin phrase that appears in The Venture Bros.. It is a command to “choose” directed at a single person. “Elige” is the second person active imperative of “eligere,” which means “to choose”. “Tua” is likely an adjective that comes from “tuus,” which means “your”” — Thanks AI). Since I am a low key watch guy wanting to get into modding I thought this would be a good place to start. This is also my first bracelet watch

I bought a “Coke” Bezel GMT Sub Masters w/Seiko NH34 Automatic Movement on Mercari and a Venture blue dial on Ali Express.

Making of TBD

I used Inkscape to cobble up some files for the MOPA laser to engrave the case back I found a logo and traced the bitmap. The typeface on the back is close enough to Playfair Display. Pew pew and the back is done.

If you have a hammer then every problem looks like a nail. So of course I tried to laser engrave the front. This failed. Either the paint was impervious to the laser or it burnt and bubbled up. I could kind of get a weak white engrave but it also had black burn bubbles and never looked good.

So a friend suggested water slide decals. I found an online vendor and sent them my file and about 30 dollars 15 for setup, 10 for the decals and a few more for shipping. The good news is I got a bunch of them which was nice because I used a couple to practice and one or two derps. I found at this scale the decal is hard to work with and you can see the clear edges if you look close enough. Maybe this is only a problem for me as normally it looks fine.

Once I had the decal installed it was time to open up the watch and replace the dial. THis was a little scary for my first time but I watched a few modding videos and became an expert. The only real problem I had was the new dial was not made for a GMT watch and the hole was too small. I worried about derping something during drilling but it worked fine. I first drilled some holes in a board for the alignment pins on the back of the dial to go into. This made the dial flat and also helped to secure it during drilling.

Putting the hands back on was fraught with anxiety. It is a delicate operation and requires careful dexterity and alignment so that the hands do not interfere with each other. A minor problem was the GMT hand again where none of the ebay hand installer tools were large enough for it. Instead I carefully used tweezers on each side and was successful. The seconds hand uses a pin and the videos warn if you do it wrong you can permanently damage the movement. Well burn and learn time I soldiered on and hoped for the best and again success was obtained.

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