A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Watch?

Thread: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Watch?

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  1. #1
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    Thumbs Up A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Watch?

    Back in 1974, when I was only 10 years old, my dad purchased a brand new Bulova automatic watch with a silver dial with luminous hands and luminous numbers on the dial. I remember that watch very well because it was such a beautiful and eye catching watch. He had his Bulova until 1978 when he gave it to me because he was unable to wear the watch while at work. He couldn't wear his Bulova anymore because he used to get his arms & hands very dirty and sticky from working with flour, sugar, dough & various muffin mixes (he used to own & manage a Dunkin Donuts at the time and used to help out the baker all the time when it got very busy at the store).

    Anyways, I wore the watch on and off for only a few months. Then one day, I accidently got the watch very wet while washing my hands & from this incident, the watch ended up getting moisture in it & it got all fogged up. I somehow was able to get the back bezel off the watch in order to try to get all the moisture out. After getting the back bezel off the watch and while trying to get the moisture out, I accidently broke the mainspring and ruined the watch. Being only 14 years old at the time, I thought that I could repair the watch by myself and I made things even worse by completely destroying the movement. My father was very angry at me that I took apart and broke his watch. He loved his Bulova automatic very much and it was now gone forever. I ended up throwing away the watch because it could not be repaired.

    I really loved the styling of my father's Bulova automatic with its silver dial and luminous hands and luminous numbers on the dial. I felt very bad that I destroyed his watch. I always wanted to try to replace my fathers watch with another exact replacement model, but back in 1978-1979 Bulova already discontinued this particular model. I always loved this particular Bulova model because of the luminous hands and luminous numbers that it had on the silver dial. The watch looked very masculine and very sharp on the wrist.

    I could never find another exact same replacement Bulova automatic model like the one that I destroyed until earlier today. I happened to be browsing on Ebay earlier this afternoon, when low and behold, I came across a Bulova automatic for sale that had a silver dial with luminous hands and luminous numbers on the dial that was exactly just like the one that my father used to own which I broke back 32 years ago in 1978. As a matter of fact, the seller had 2 (two) of the same exact models for sale. He had one with the all silver dial just like the one that my father used to own and he also had one with an all black dial. Both watches on Ebay were identical except for the color of the dial. When I came across both watches, a lot of good memories came back into my mind about my father's old Bulova that I ruined. The 2 watches that I'm referring about that I found for sale on Ebay looked like they were in decent condition. I contacted the seller and he told me that he was not the original owner of the watches, but that he purchased both watches 2 years ago at an estate sale. The seller also told me that both watches are both working well and keeping good time.
    Now get this-----Each watch comes together with its own original box, its original warranty card, all of its original owner's manuals & books, all of its original paper work including both receipts of the purchase price that was paid for each watch and the date and year that each watch was purchased in April of 1973 by the original owner. Seeing that both watches were in decent condition and that they still had all of their original boxes and paper work intact, I ended up buying both watches.
    I love the styling of both models very much and I felt like I had the chance to give my father back his watch that I ruined on him when I was a kid.

    I don't know anything about these 2 models. Does anybody in here know anything about these 2 particular Bulova automatic models? Would these 2 watches both be considered as military watches? Both watches look exactly alike with the only difference being that one has a silver dial and the other has a black dial.

    Please help me out here. What do you think about the condition of the silver dialed and the black dialed watch that I have in the pictures in the links below? I was told by the seller that both of these watches date back to 1973 and that they are both in very good condition and that both seem to work well. I'm hoping that the seller is telling me the truth. From what I can tell from the pictures, both watches seem to be in decent condition. Take a look at the pictures in the links below and tell me what you think.

    Also, from the pictures, how is the condition of the lume on the dial and on the hands on both watches? Do you think that the lume on the dial and on the hands on both the silver dialed and the black dialed watch will still be glowing well today? Do you think that the lume is badly discolored on the dials and hands on both watches? The pictures showing the lume on both watches are not very clear. I'm having a hard time trying to judge on the condition of the lume on each watch. What do you think?
    Also, what do you think about the condition of the watch case and crystal on each watch? Do you think that the case and crystals on both watches are in excellent and in very clean condition?

    Please look at the pictures of both watches very carefully and give me your input on both of these watches. I would love to hear all about any history or information that anybody in here might have regarding this particular model Bulova automatic. Are both watches military watches? I would love to hear your detailed input regarding anything that you might know about these 2 identical Bulova automatic models.
    THANKS

    I've included close-up pictures of each watch in the links below:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250643372839&ssPageNam e=STRK:MEWAX:IT

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250643371847&ssPageNam e=STRK:MEWAX:IT
    Last edited by dimitribouras; June 3rd, 2010 at 07:36.

  2. #2
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    Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

    both watches seem to be well taken care of

    thats a very heartwarming story , do update us when they arrive !

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    Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

    I'm hoping that both watches will look a lot better in person than they do in the pictures. From the pictures, I noticed that the lume on the hands and the numbers on the dial on both watches look yellowish.
    From looking at the pcitures, do you think that the lume on the hands and on the dial on both watches have changed color to a yellow color over the years because both watches are 37 years old? Is this normal? Does the lume material on the hands and dial of a watch change color when the watch becomes old? How badly do you think that the lume has discolored itself on both watches from looking at the pictures?

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    Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

    The lume looks appropriate given the age of the watch. Lume does change color with age. I would not count on the luminescence being very good. The watches can have the hands and dials relumend but then you lose the wonderful patina.

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    Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

    I think that both look great. I would expect that you will be in for a little cosmetic clean up. I would leave the hand alone even if the lume is no longer glowing.

    I would also take them to a watchmaker and see if it is OK to run them. If they have been sitting for many years they may need service to keep them from self-destructing in short order.

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    Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

    Quote Originally Posted by Paleotime View Post
    I think that both look great. I would expect that you will be in for a little cosmetic clean up. I would leave the hand alone even if the lume is no longer glowing.

    I would also take them to a watchmaker and see if it is OK to run them. If they have been sitting for many years they may need service to keep them from self-destructing in short order.
    What type of cosmetic clean up are you referring to from looking at the pictures?
    I will need to find a decent watchmaker. Trying to find a decent high quality watchmaker around here is going to be very tough. There are not many of them around in my area. I'm located in southern Massachusetts near the Rhode Island border.
    Does anybody in here know of anybody that I can go to in Massachusetts or in Rhode Island who does excellent "high quality" watch repair? I don't want to take my beautiful mint condition Bulova watches to someone who is going to butcher and ruin them.
    Can you give me advice as to who you know that I can take both of my Bulova watches to for a full service?
    How much do you think that it will cost for each watch to get a "full service"? And what types of things do they do when doing a full service? I would like to know.
    THANKS
    Last edited by dimitribouras; June 3rd, 2010 at 17:37.

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    Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

    I can't give you a personal recommendation but these two lists might help https://forums.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=166630 The NAWCC is a collectors organization, so it's list is the best place to start, if you don't get a personal recommendation.

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    Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

    What type of cosmetic clean up are you referring to from looking at the pictures?
    They look great in the pictures. I was thinking possibly very minor scratches to the case or crystal, sometimes a little dirt is packed in behind the strap. Very minor stuff.

    I don't want to take my beautiful mint condition Bulova watches to someone who is going to butcher and ruin them.
    Can you give me advice as to who you know that I can take both of my Bulova watches to for a full service?
    I can't help you with a watchmaker in your area. I use a great one in Colorado. I am really impressed with him. He takes work in by mail. He did work to a near mint 1930 Bulova I have in my collection and raved the whole time about how much he liked the watch, respected the condition, and liked Bulovas in general. I don't recall how much he charged. I remember he was a little more money than some people...but the service was excellent and the watches he has done are excellent time keepers. Send me a PM if you want his info.

    And what types of things do they do when doing a full service?
    A proper full service involves taking the watch completely apart and cleaning the old oil and such off all the surfaces paying particular attention to the pivots which are the ends that run in the jeweled bearings and the gear-teeth, etc. This is followed by re-assembly, oiling, and regulating the watch to keep the best time possible.

    I hope this helps.

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    Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

    Another possibility is to have Bulova themselves look at them. I have two newer Bulovas than yours (they're from the '90s) that I send to their service center in New York for regular servicing. During a conversation with one of their reps I learned they still take in watches dating back several decades; she said that as long as they have parts in stock, they'll work on any Bulova watch ever made (IIRC, someone else mentioned once they don't service any of the old '60s/'70s Accutrons, but she made it sound to me like anything else was fair game). I would expect them to charge a premium price to service your two given their age, but they do stand behind their work and include a 1-year warranty on their service. It may not hurt to call and ask. Their contact info is on the Bulova website.

    Just a thought...

    Mike

    The Collection: Too many to list
    The Wish List: Still too many to list
    The Grail: Bremont ALT1-P (blue dial)

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    Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

    I didn't know that. I will give Bulova a call once I receive all 3 watches.
    I am also looking into an "in-house" full service watch repair watchmaker in my area. I already visited them yesterday and I met with the owner and watchmaker. He told me that he's very familiar with the models that I purchased. He even had a Bulova automatic with the same exact 11BLAC M6 movement on display in his store. He told me that he gives a 1 year warranty on the watch once he services it. I don't know whether or not I am going to use him yet.
    I am also looking into another in-house watchmaker who deals ONLY with watch repairs. He told me to bring my watches in for him to look at them, but he can see me ONLY by appointment.
    I also found a 3rd place that does vintage repairs, but I haven't spoken to them yet.
    I don't want to make the mistake of going to someone bad. I want to make 100% sure that I pick the best repair place. That's what worries me now because I don't know how reputable each place really is. I'm going to have to take a gamble on which of the 3 places to pick and that's what I'm afraid of. I want to pick the best one out of the 3 places and I don't have a clue as to which one of the 3 places is the best choice. I don't know anybody who has actually used any of the 3 places to make a decision. I'm worried about this. I don't want any of my 3 Bulova automatics to be butchered or to get ruined by anybody who doesn't know what they are doing.
    What do you recommend that I do at this point?

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