First vintage watch purchase: Tell me TRUE, how did I do?
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  1. #1
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    First vintage watch purchase: Tell me TRUE, how did I do?

    Hi!

    I recently had a long and helpful thread over on Affordables about my first real watch purchase. I went ahead and signed on to the HMT pilot group buy because I love the way it looks and it was limited edition for a good price. After too much forum and ebay lurking, I've decided that my long-term plans include a solid gold vintage watch with a (preferably interesting) inscription from its first owner, preferably a Hamilton (probably in about two years when I'm set to reach a major professional goal.)

    However, I still wanted something on my wrist NOW-- well, in time for a business trip I'm taking next week. My stipulations included:
    -preferably vintage, but also preferably ready to wear
    -mechanical (automatic or handwound)
    -as inexpensive as possible
    -different looking from the HMT pilot (maybe goldtone)
    -date feature
    -on the smaller side (I'm a woman with a 5.5 inch wrist and while I like oversized, I found 37mm+ to be TOO oversized)

    So, I went ahead and pulled the trigger on an ebay vintage Bulova. I didn't think I would win as I'd seen the same watch go for more, so it was kind of impulsive, but at $50 shipped, I figured what the heck. And I just liked the whale and got a good feeling from the watch...

    SO, tell me the truth, how do you think I did? I won't be offended. I just want to learn! I'm reallllly hoping I won't have to shell about another $150 for an overhaul, because that probably won't be worth it.

    Here are the details:
    Model: BULOVA 11 BLCD
    Serial Number: H811475
    Seller said, "look/Runs great!. Great timing!. Fully signed & numbered"
    Seller had 100% positive feedback
    From my research (here: Vintage Rare 1969 Bulova Whale Gold Plated Mens Watch Cal 11 Blcd and old ebay listings), it seems to be from the late 1960s or early 1970s
    Also from this research, it goes from around $50 - $150.


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    ChiefWahoo, Tremec, joeuk and 2 others like this.

  2. #2
    Member JP71624's Avatar
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    Re: First vintage watch purchase: Tell me TRUE, how did I do?

    Hey there,

    Great looking watch!
    I am a fan of (and own several) Bulovas. Definitely one of my favorite vintage brands, if not my favorite overall.

    This should be a 1971 Bulova Sea King. The '71 is signified by the "N1" on the back casing and on the movement. "L" is '50s,"M" is 60s, and "N" is 70s, with the number being the date in the decade.

    Sea King was a nice watch, for sure, later identified by the whale on the dial. Anyone correct me or add to that, if needed.

    If the watch keeps great time, you're pretty much good to go, but eventually you'll want to ensure basic servicing/oiling at some point. $50 is a very fair to quite nice price for that watch in good shape. If you like the look and it runs well, I'd say you should be happy for sure!
    lanalana likes this.

  3. #3
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: First vintage watch purchase: Tell me TRUE, how did I do?

    Quote Originally Posted by lanalana View Post
    ... I'm reallllly hoping I won't have to shell about another $150 for an overhaul, because that probably won't be worth it....
    No, the COA - clean oil adjust - for winders is usually only $100, sometimes less (but not much).

    Seriously, this is an old piece that has not received any TLC for decades probably. If you expect to use it you ALWAYS factor in a service. Otherwise it dies.

    And in this case, it is clearly worth it. It is a beautiful piece.
    lanalana likes this.
    "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!

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  5. #4
    Member Tremec's Avatar
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    Re: First vintage watch purchase: Tell me TRUE, how did I do?

    hey welcome to the family!
    WTCNerd and lanalana like this.

  6. #5
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    Re: First vintage watch purchase: Tell me TRUE, how did I do?

    Beautiful movement.

    The regulator looks like it's over to one side, I'd get your watch serviced ASAP.
    lanalana likes this.

  7. #6
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: First vintage watch purchase: Tell me TRUE, how did I do?

    Agree with others
    I think you made a good first start
    Enjoy
    A
    lanalana likes this.
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

  8. #7
    Member jackrobinson's Avatar
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    Re: First vintage watch purchase: Tell me TRUE, how did I do?

    very nice. congrats.
    lanalana likes this.

  9. #8
    Member fatehbajwa's Avatar
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    Re: First vintage watch purchase: Tell me TRUE, how did I do?

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  10. #9
    Member BrightShadow's Avatar
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    Re: First vintage watch purchase: Tell me TRUE, how did I do?

    Great looking watch, definitely should have it cleaned and oiled by an expert. I'm seeing bits of green on the inside of your watch, and if it was me, I would feel a bit worried about its longevity without such a cleaning.
    Looks like you took the picture with the balance wheel still moving, which I guess is your only choice unless you let it wind down again, since I would imagine it doesn't have hacking (the stopping of the seconds hand when the crown is pulled, and thus all movement in the watch).

    I really like the style of it, I think you found a treasure... that humbly needs cleaning ;)
    Last edited by BrightShadow; July 8th, 2013 at 19:20.
    lanalana likes this.
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  11. #10
    Member howards4th's Avatar
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    Re: First vintage watch purchase: Tell me TRUE, how did I do?

    Love the Bulova Whales. Nice pick up
    lanalana likes this.

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