Finding a vintage Bulova Spaceview - help! :)
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Thread: Finding a vintage Bulova Spaceview - help! :)

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  1. #1
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    Finding a vintage Bulova Spaceview - help! :)

    Hi everyone,

    I am trying to procure a vintage bulova accutron spaceview (the 'tuning fork' movement), I have a few questions and hope that the knowledgable ones in this forum can help me with:

    1. I've looked through ebay, and a few online sites and found that there are several price ranges, from $300-400 till $1000-$2000. some are gold plated, limited edition, etc. I'm just looking for the baseline model... how much should I be expecting to for a baseline model that is in good condition?

    2. What are the things in general i should ask the dealer, ask myself, examine before purchasing? I have never tried buying vintage before.

    3. what are the things i should look out for specific for this model?

    4. I'm not located in the u.s., and my country is not big on vintage watches so I don't think I'll be able to find it at a local watch shop. My only option seems to be online. Any recommended sellers and tips for getting online?

    My questions are not very well phrased, please let me know how i can phrase my questions better.

    Thanks in advance
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  2. #2
    Member Addictedtowatches's Avatar
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    Re: Finding a vintage Bulova Spaceview - help! :)

    Firstly, the Spaceview market is a minefield. There are a lot of franken, mixed parts, and DIY jobs on the Internet. Even experienced Accutron collectors have some trouble or work when determining the originality of a Spaceview.

    If however, you are ok with not getting one of the factory Spaceviews then you have some options. The original watches were 214 tuning fork models. Because of the rise in popularity a lot of people took ordinary 214 Accutrons and made them Spaceviews. They removed the dial and fitted a signed clear crystal. These aren't factory originals but look almost identical.

    These typically sell for upwards of $300 on the bay but I've never tried to grab one because of the flooded market. I'm sure others will add to this.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Finding a vintage Bulova Spaceview - help! :)

    Pricewise is basically just gonna be what you want to pay for one. I personally think that some of the ones on ebay that are showing above $300 are just hoping someone wants one bad enough to pay that much. Most of those auctions are there every week. Now this price is not pertaining to any of the gold watches of course. If you do buy one, unless it is from a a watch repair shop, I would make sure the seller has a refund policy so you can have it checked by your watch repair guy for authenticity also. Some of these have been converted and are not original. There are a couple websites that can help you with info on these. Accutron214.com is one that has some good info. I got lucky as I ran across one of these for $5 in a junk shop. I replaced the crystal and found a nice accutron band for $6. Found a nice Bulova 214 box and manuel for another $14. For about $65 I was able to complete mine. Good luck and post if you get one. Here's mine btw.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Finding a vintage Bulova Spaceview - help! :)

    Thanks for the tips. That's a very nice watch, really wish i can get one like that without spending too much. Hope I have good luck!

  6. #5
    Member trim's Avatar
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    Re: Finding a vintage Bulova Spaceview - help! :)

    As others have said - it is very hard to spot the factory originals. I'd say most on the bay aren't. You even have to go to the extreme of checking the numbers on the inside of case back. The style of the hands is often wrong and the case numbers never used (and yes they did differ to account for the thickness of the dial). A number of them are very bad conversions as well. The problem is, that the good fakes, you have to take apart to be certain. I guess what I am saying is that ebay is a huge gamble- even more than usual, and unless you want to roll the dice, the only way is to be really certain is to pay the 'big(isn)' bucks from a trusted retailer/specialist.

    This is mine, which is real - but unfortunately I had to have the hands replaced, so they are a bit shiny.

    Last edited by trim; August 20th, 2015 at 20:32.
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  7. #6
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    Re: Finding a vintage Bulova Spaceview - help! :)

    how reliable are the accutron 214? I don't know if I can get it serviced at all where I am.... are there any watchmakers that accept servicing jobs by mail?

    thanks!

  8. #7
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    Re: Finding a vintage Bulova Spaceview - help! :)

    Hi there,

    Quote Originally Posted by newbienoob View Post
    how reliable are the accutron 214?
    I know only one weak spot: The vibration breaks the thin wire near its terminal. Nobody knows whether and how this depends on the lacquer thickness at this place, so it may be that all with too thin lacquer are already broken, and nothing happens in the furure. But it also may be that all break sooner or later.

    Else consider that the youngest 214s are some 40 years old, and the vast majority was never serviced, because they don't stop like other watches if maintenace is necessary. So most dead samples were killed by tinkering, because they else don't die. So if you find a running sample and have it serviced by a competent watchmaker, it will likely survive you. And if ever the wire breaks, there are people who can repair it.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft
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  9. #8
    Member James A's Avatar
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    Re: Finding a vintage Bulova Spaceview - help! :)

    Hi Newbi,

    There are some very good Accutron Spaceview resource sites on the web and many of them offer servicing. You don't say where your located but it is possible to post a watch around the world for servicing, they are happy to offer you a quote before you commit.

    Regarding buying one, you can use the same resource sites and the various forums. Over they years several different different designs came out of Bulova, the good news is all that info is available for you to access. If you could spend the weekend researching come Monday you would have a great general knowledge and if you see a watch you like you can cross reference with the sites.Below is one such site but there others. Good luck.

    https://oldfathertime.com/spaceview.htm

    Regards,

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