Bulova watch looking to get fixed

Thread: Bulova watch looking to get fixed

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  1. #1
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    Bulova watch looking to get fixed

    I found this Bulova in a relatives old watch collection. They said I could have it. Now I need to get it serviced and fixed.
    I know nothing about watches and wanted to know what to look out for. I don't want someone to take advantage of my lack of knowledge.And if perhaps you know of someone in the Atlanta, Georgia area that I could take it to.
    Thanks,
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    Last edited by rtrga; April 3rd, 2010 at 05:51.

  2. #2
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    Re: Bulova watch looking to get fixed

    A useful resource for vintage Bulova watches owners is http://www.mybulova.com

    Can you descibe what is wrong with the watch. Is it fully wound tight? When you rock the watch side to side does the second hand move? Can you set the hands?

    If you can take the back off and see if the balance wheel spins freely back and forth, then the watch might just need a good clean. If the balance wheel doesn't move freely when you rock the watch side to side then it may have either a broken balance staff or a buggered hairspring. Both are fixable.

    Stephen
    myBulova.com

  3. #3
    Member indiana_holmes's Avatar
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    Re: Bulova watch looking to get fixed

    Hey rtrga,
    That's a nice looking Bulova you have there. There are some people in here that can help you indentify the movement and year it was made if you can take some good photos of it. Someone gave me a hint to use the "macro" setting of my digital camera to get nice photos. The problem for you is opening the watch to get a photo of the movement. If you haven't done that before, I wouldn't suggest doing it. You want to keep the watch as intact as possible.

    Finding a good watchmaker to do a servicing could be a trick. Atlanta is a large enough city that you shouldn't have a difficult time doing so.

    There is a list of certified watchmakers in the the U.S.A. somewhere on the net. If you do a google search, you should find the list. I have also seen a thread in the forums of this list. The vintage watch forum is a good place to search the threads. I wouldn't overlook the public forum as well.

    Finding a good cetrified watchmaker can be trying. It took me 4 times to find one here in Indianapolis. The store I finally settled on has about 5 full time watchmakers on staff. That store sells everything from Patek Philippe to Tissot and everything in between. The people that work in that store are very friendly and nice. I have a vintage Omega tuning fork watch they replaced a battery in it for free, and they don't sell Omega watches. I did buy my wife a beautiful Tag for Christmas there.I'm kind of a redneck type, but they made me feel at ease.

    What I am saying is that I would look into the high end jewelry stores or stores that sell only watches (high end) and see if they have watchmaker on staff. They should be more than happy to help you out with a servicing or repair. Get an estimate first.

    DO NOT GO TO A PLACE THAT SENDS THEIR REPAIRS TO SOMEONE OUTSIDE OF THEIR PLACE OF BUSINESS!! I have had a very bad experience with this and ended up spending almost 2 times the amount I paid for the watch to get it running correctly.

    Lastly, the repair or service may cost more than the watch is worth. If the watch has sentimental value, I would go ahead and spend the money. You may at some point want to hand it down or give it to another family member. If it doesn't mean anything to you, you could either toss it or buy the tools and a book and try to fix it yourself.

    Whatever you decide to do, have fun with the watch. There is something about my 1942 Bulova that makes it about my favorite watch in my small collection.
    Have a great weekend!
    Chris

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  5. #4
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    Re: Bulova watch looking to get fixed

    It can not be wound because the stem is broken. I have included more pics. The second hand will not move when rocked side to side. The balance wheel does spin but only if I touch it.
    Quote Originally Posted by myBulova View Post
    A useful resource for vintage Bulova watches owners is http://www.mybulova.com

    Can you descibe what is wrong with the watch. Is it fully wound tight? When you rock the watch side to side does the second hand move? Can you set the hands?

    If you can take the back off and see if the balance wheel spins freely back and forth, then the watch might just need a good clean. If the balance wheel doesn't move freely when you rock the watch side to side then it may have either a broken balance staff or a buggered hairspring. Both are fixable.

    Stephen
    myBulova.com

  6. #5
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    Re: Bulova watch looking to get fixed

    It does have some sentimental value. It used to be my wife's great uncle who received this as a District Commander American Legion award in 1947. From what I know about him, he was a very bright and distinguished gentleman. So I would like to pass it down to my boys when they get older.Thanks for the help.
    Quote Originally Posted by indiana_holmes View Post
    Hey rtrga,
    That's a nice looking Bulova you have there. There are some people in here that can help you indentify the movement and year it was made if you can take some good photos of it. Someone gave me a hint to use the "macro" setting of my digital camera to get nice photos. The problem for you is opening the watch to get a photo of the movement. If you haven't done that before, I wouldn't suggest doing it. You want to keep the watch as intact as possible.

    Finding a good watchmaker to do a servicing could be a trick. Atlanta is a large enough city that you shouldn't have a difficult time doing so.

    There is a list of certified watchmakers in the the U.S.A. somewhere on the net. If you do a google search, you should find the list. I have also seen a thread in the forums of this list. The vintage watch forum is a good place to search the threads. I wouldn't overlook the public forum as well.

    Finding a good cetrified watchmaker can be trying. It took me 4 times to find one here in Indianapolis. The store I finally settled on has about 5 full time watchmakers on staff. That store sells everything from Patek Philippe to Tissot and everything in between. The people that work in that store are very friendly and nice. I have a vintage Omega tuning fork watch they replaced a battery in it for free, and they don't sell Omega watches. I did buy my wife a beautiful Tag for Christmas there.I'm kind of a redneck type, but they made me feel at ease.

    What I am saying is that I would look into the high end jewelry stores or stores that sell only watches (high end) and see if they have watchmaker on staff. They should be more than happy to help you out with a servicing or repair. Get an estimate first.

    DO NOT GO TO A PLACE THAT SENDS THEIR REPAIRS TO SOMEONE OUTSIDE OF THEIR PLACE OF BUSINESS!! I have had a very bad experience with this and ended up spending almost 2 times the amount I paid for the watch to get it running correctly.

    Lastly, the repair or service may cost more than the watch is worth. If the watch has sentimental value, I would go ahead and spend the money. You may at some point want to hand it down or give it to another family member. If it doesn't mean anything to you, you could either toss it or buy the tools and a book and try to fix it yourself.

    Whatever you decide to do, have fun with the watch. There is something about my 1942 Bulova that makes it about my favorite watch in my small collection.
    Have a great weekend!
    Chris

  7. #6
    Member indiana_holmes's Avatar
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    Confused Re: Bulova watch looking to get fixed: added my own pic of old Bulova

    I am so happy to hear you say that this Bulova is worth saving. My 1942 Bulova is my favorite watch in my small collection. Getting it to run properly and the search for a good watchmaker in Indianapolis was both fun and irritating. It cost more than it should have and I caught some grief from my wife, but I learned more about dealing in vintage watches than I can tell you.

    It is dissapointing to me so few people have responded to you thread, but sometimes it takes the moderators and members that are really knowledgeable a bit of time to to respond to a thread such as yours, but a p.m. can do wonders for a quick response.
    Here are two watchmakers I found just "Googling" watchmakers in Atlanta, Georgia: http://www.capetowndiamond.com/?gcli...FQQhDQodVyOQIQ and http://timevantage.com/. You can look in your yellow pages or "Bing" or "Google" it yourself.
    Good luck in your quest!
    Chris
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  8. #7
    Member TheJohnP's Avatar
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    Re: Bulova watch looking to get fixed

    I live in the Atlanta area and I take all my watches for any kind of servicing to here:

    Watch Masters
    3529 Chamblee Tucker Road
    Atlanta, GA 30341-4409
    (770) 936-3071

    I've been going to them for close to 10 years now and I've never had any issues. I'll forewarn you that they're not the fastest service you're going to find, but they do a solid job for a reasonable price.

    I was going to give an example of some of their work, but I can't seem to get any kind of photo attachments working...oh well.
    I've got more Converse sneakers than watches, but it is a close race.

  9. #8
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Bulova watch looking to get fixed: added my own pic of old Bulova

    Quote Originally Posted by indiana_holmes View Post
    ...
    It is dissapointing to me so few people have responded to you thread, but sometimes it takes the moderators and members that are really knowledgeable a bit of time to to respond to a thread such as yours,...

    Chris
    Pleze, we does the best we can do

    Actually, I confess I can't read every post in every forum I moderate so sometimes the wait would be 'a long one'. John and Steve both have lives outside of WUS too!

    As to the wait for service, I have come to realize it is a bad sign if the watchmaker is not busy and turns around watches rapidly... it means they are not getting much return business. All good watchmakers in the US seem to be busy busy busy...

    The stickies at the top have a post that points to a website to find watchmakers.

    Any decent watchmaker can service a Bulova. Getting parts may be a problem but service is not.
    "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!

  10. #9
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    Re: Bulova watch looking to get fixed

    Sent you a PM with Atlanta area watchmakers that may be able to help you.

  11. #10
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    Re: Bulova watch looking to get fixed

    Thank you all so much for your help and references. I will take it to someone this week. I will let you all know how it turns out.
    Thanks again and wish me luck!

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