Gift recommendations: vintage jump hour watch
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  1. #1
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    Gift recommendations: vintage jump hour watch

    Hey there,

    I would like to get my boyfriend a vintage jump hour wristwatch for a Christmas present (I know, a bit late, but I won't be seeing him until after New Years). I personally don't know much about watches, so I'm hoping someone here can help. He prefers the 70s aesthetic and loves vintage mechanical things. Ideally, I'd like to stay under $200, but I don't even know if that's reasonable.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for a particular watch or a place to shop? (For physical stores, anything in the Los Angeles or Orange County area works.) I know eBay has vintage watches, but I'm worried about the authenticity of those.

    Any help would be appreciated!

    Thanks so much,
    Danielle

  2. #2
    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: Gift recommendations: vintage jump hour watch

    Fortunately, we have had reasonably good success with these "gift for boyfriend/husband" threads recently.

    So hang in there and someone with the requisite expertise will probably stop by and respond. I don't know much about jump-hour watches personally.

    If you could possibly post some photos of the general type(s) of watch you are interested in, it would help narrow things down and save a lot of time. Also, I think it's going to be unlikely to find a very good selection of such watches in a brick-and-mortar shop, so you should try to remain open-minded about eBay or an online watch retailer. You can get help from the experts here on evaluating condition and authenticity.
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  3. #3
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    Wow thanks so much for such a quick response!

    Online shopping sounds great to me and is definitely a lot easier! I love eBay...but for things for which I already have some knowledge. So once I find something, I'll be sure to run it past here to double check quality.

    As for photos, he currently has the Nixon Rotolog pictured. (This gift will be his first legit vintage watch.) I'd like to get him something with a rectangular/square face like the other photos (just found them from a Google image search). I'm thinking 70s, but I don't mind going into a different decade as long as it's unique/quirky.

    If there's some history to the watch or the brand, even better. I also know that jump hour are either mechanical or electric, and mechanical would definitely be my preference.

    (Also if I use incorrect terminology or have some info wrong, please correct me! Watches fascinate me, but I'm very new to all this, and would love to learn more.)
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  5. #4
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    Re: Gift recommendations: vintage jump hour watch

    Note that not all direct read watches are also jump hours. It has become common for people to call ALL direct read/digitals "jump hours" but that is often quite incorrect and misleading.

    The jump hour function is a movement complication that makes the hour indicator "jump" instantaneously at the change of hour, whereas a normal direct read watch will have a constantly rotating hour display (just like the minute and seconds displays in such watches). There were far more normal direct read watches made than there were jump hours. Be sure of what you want, and what you are looking at. The jump hour watches often have the benefit of being more easily read as the hour numeral/display stays still and fully visible for most of the hour. The wandering displays may have the hour numeral only partially visible as it rotates thoughout the hour and it can be a tad diffcult to read quickly as it's not always clear whether it's coming or going, so to speak.

    Also, note that many of the less expensive vintage direct reads will have inexpensive pin lever movements, often 1 jewelers. If you are considering the older mechanical watches look for something that clearly states a jewel count on the dial, and not just a number by itself (ie, "17 jewels", not "17" (or make sure it's a jeweled lever movement for better quality, and it's unwise to buy a mechanical watch without seeing the type and condition of the movement).
    Last edited by Gumby992; December 27th, 2017 at 12:23.

  6. #5
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    Re: Gift recommendations: vintage jump hour watch

    There are many of those jump hour watches around. You have to be careful what you buy, if you want to have genuine vintage.

    There are many re-makes (mostly clearly offered as those) like the one on the right on the image below. Then, there are others, which are sold as 'NOS' (new old stock). In very rare occasions, you will find such a new old stock vintage jump hour watch (which might have fallen behind the desk of a jeweller and recently dicovered etc.) but most of them are just cheaters. The watch on the left was sold as NOS but there are some many of them around, that it is hard to believe that an entire wing of a production side was locked for decades. They are either remakes from NOS-PARTS or completely new.

    There is also a set-back with vintage jump-hour watches. With so many (officially disclosed or not-) remakes and fakes and whatever around, you might not feel well wearing one (vintage). It's different, when you can clearly see that is totally new, mostly from China, just adopting an old technique.

    And too often, people put aside their jump hour watch again, because on some it is very difficult to tell the time, like the idiotic 11:60 below right, which should be 12:00 (actually, it is 11:59:54, just before the 12 'jumps' into place)
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    Last edited by Border-Reiver; December 27th, 2017 at 22:08.
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  7. #6
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    @Gumby992 and @Border_Reiver, thanks so much for all the helpful info! And the 11:60 is hilarious! Given all the info, my preference would be a genuine jump hour.



    After looking around a bit, I found this Buler Super-Nova that I absolutely love from an aesthetic standpoint: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-197...EAAOSw1NFaLRPA. Added bonus that it's called a "Nova" since my boyfriend's project car is a 1970 Nova. However, I'm a bit concerned about the quality. I did some more digging and found a very similar watch (might be the same model??) here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-197...QAAOSwy0JZ-MPP which includes a photo of the jewel count (see photo below)...turns out it's only 1. I messaged the seller of the first Buler watch (the one with no jewels listed), but I'm assuming it also only has 1 jewel given that it's not listed on the watch face on in the product description.



    At this point, I have 2 main questions:

    1) I love the look of the Super-Nova, and I love the price. But what am I losing out on with only 1 jewel? I also know that with such a low budget, I'm not going to get the highest quality, and that's okay. But I'd actually like to buy a watch, not just a bracelet.

    2) Are there any particular brands/companies that I should look for or avoid? Whether it's for reasons of quality or just reputation/image.
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  8. #7
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    Re: Gift recommendations: vintage jump hour watch

    This is a very low quality "pin-lever" movement that was basically meant for disposable watches. Over time they experience significant wear to the moving parts and will not run well or keep good time. Unfortunately most watchmakers will not work on these movements and will often tell you that they are not worth the trouble or money, since once they are "worn out", there is really no good way to bring them back into acceptable condition. I strongly suggest avoiding watches with these movements unless you pick up a working example for $25 as a novelty item and expect that it will be disposable.

    The $199 asking price is absurd, and the case is badly overpolished as well, which is not uncommon in watches from Thailand. If you compare the two watches you posted, you will see that the second one (which shows the movement) has a nice sharp edge between facets on the case, including between the brushed and polished sections. While the first one (the expensive one with no movement photo) has been destructively polished on a buffing wheel, rounding over the edges. You want to avoid that.
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  9. #8
    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: Gift recommendations: vintage jump hour watch

    Unfortunately, after spending some time browsing, it looks to me like the vast majority of the 1970s jump-hour watches were made to be disposable with crappy cases and movements. Maybe he is better off with a vintage-style watch.
    Last edited by badbackdan; December 27th, 2017 at 21:16.
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  10. #9
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    I see what you mean about the sharp edges in the Buler. I didn't even notice that when I was looking at it, so I'll definitely make sure to pay attention for polishing quality.

    And thanks for the examples. That really helps! I'm going to look around some more today and see what else I can find. I know, finding decent 70s retro items is always a challenge :/

  11. #10
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    So I'm definitely okay going with something older like 50s or 60s

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