1951 Bulova Help Needed
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  1. #1
    Member 2416B's Avatar
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    1951 Bulova Help Needed

    This 1951 Bulova belonged to my grandfather. I believe it's an Academy Award going by the ads on pg. 9 on mybulova.com. It has a 10BM movement. It came in a shoebox full of small items he owned including 6 timexes and a Benson Electra. I'm trying to restore it to working condition. The dial looks pretty rough but the numbers are legible so I'm gonna worry about that last. The crystal and the hour hand are missing. I just ordered a crystal. When I got the watch I tried to wind it but the stem was stuck and the crown broke off. The crown was barely attached anyway due to corrosion. The stem is rusty but the other internal parts look clean. I used my scanner on 600 dpi to get that image of the movement. See the rust? there doesn't seem to be any rust on the pinion.I feel like if I can replace the stem it might work again but I don't know how to get it out. I know many watches have a screw that can be partially unscrewed and others have a button. I don't think there is a button on this one and I don't know which - if any - screw to loosen. Does anyone know how to do this?
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    Last edited by 2416B; December 4th, 2012 at 14:27.
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  2. #2
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: 1951 Bulova Help Needed

    Very nice; you're probably right about the model, as that was a fairly common one in 1951. Given that it's a painted dial, it shouldn't be too hard to get refinished back to its original look. Most would agree that it's a little too "aged" to be useful as it is...

    The movement needs to be cleaned and serviced; the biggest concern is going to be the steel winding pieces on the dial side. The 10BM is part of a family of 10''' movements (including the 10AK and 10BH) that share a number of parts, so it shouldn't be too hard to fix up. The 17+ jewel movements were mostly made in the U.S., due to the otherwise onerous import tariff's imposed on movements with more then 17 jewels. The Swiss industry (at least in 1951) put a moritorium on selling movements that could be easily "upjeweled".
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  3. #3
    Member Paleotime's Avatar
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    Re: 1951 Bulova Help Needed

    Very nice...it is good to have an heirloom. If you don't have the skills and equipment - getting a movement running rather than damaging it can be tricky. You would be much better off with professional service. Parts availability on these models is still good so you shouldn't have any issue there. The rust doesn't look too bad but you never know until you get into it.

    Good luck...I am looking forward to seeing the after pictures too.

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  5. #4
    Member 2416B's Avatar
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    Re: 1951 Bulova Help Needed

    I would have a professional do the job but I don't think I can afford it. I contacted a couple of guys already and sent pics. I told em' all I wanted was for it to work. They replied with estimates of "hundreds". Maybe I contacted the wrong people. I know people who repair things for a living often charge more than they should because most people don't know any better. That's why I like doing things myself if I can. Anyway, if I do any further damage it still ain't gonna work which doesn't change anything as far as I'm concerned. I just feel like I can buy a movement in better shape and swap out a couple parts THEN have it serviced etc.. Or get some parts so the guy at the shop doesn't have to charge me AS much - hopefully. If anyone has info on how to get that stem out, please let me know. I will be sure to keep you guys updated on this project.

  6. #5
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: 1951 Bulova Help Needed

    Alas, in vintage service often costs more than the watch... such is life. But the total is still less than new watches of comparable quality!!
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  7. #6
    Member 2416B's Avatar
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    Re: 1951 Bulova Help Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeeb View Post
    Alas, in vintage service often costs more than the watch... such is life. But the total is still less than new watches of comparable quality!!
    Yep, in 1951 this watch cost $49.50. That's equivalent to $440.39 today. Check this out (below left). It's a nos 1950 model. It is slightly different than mine. Mine has small indices on the sub second dial that this one doesn't have. It is for sale for $395. I think its worth more don't you? Also I just bought this for $25 on ebay (below right). Approximately three 10BM movements. Here is the description.

    INVENTORY: 170 upper left movement in picture i did bring to the jeweler/watchmaker today to check along with your notee
    he checked said the balance staff are like new, hair spring is well and the escapmenter is working fine, no rust movement looks as it was being rebuilt was extreamly clean, and did not appear to have much use looked to be put aside years ago and never finished,

    ESTATE FROM MY FATHERS WATCHMAKING, BEING SOLD AS PARTS FOR RESTORATION OR USE IN OTHER WATCHES OF THE SAME CALIBER!
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  8. #7
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    Re: 1951 Bulova Help Needed

    If you are still needing help, I have one of the largest selections of vintage Bulova parts in the country and would be happy to help.The movement is a fairly common one for harvester movements so you should not have too much trouble.
    JJFPP

  9. #8
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    Re: 1951 Bulova Help Needed

    The small screw just to the left of the stem will loosen the stem for removal. Don't turn it too much or you will have to dis-assemble the movement to get it back together properly.
    JJFPP

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