Vintage Bulova Oceanographer 333

Thread: Vintage Bulova Oceanographer 333

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  1. #1
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    Vintage Bulova Oceanographer 333

    Hi guys,

    I'm asking about another supposed serviced watch on eBay, so I'm prepared for the worst here haha. I've been looking at some of the Bulova Oceanographer 333 watches from the late 60s with the kind of square design. Seems there was some variation after 1969 or so that they couldn't write "Waterproof" on their watches anymore. I've seen some from 1968 that say "Super Waterproof". There seem to be different types too, I've seen type A, type H, type J all from the late 60s. Can anyone explain these differences?

    Anyway, I've found this one for $250. Seller says it was serviced in March of this year. The case is quite brushed but that's alright with me. Any input? Thank you very much as always.

    Vintage Bulova Oceanographer c1969, Serviced Automatic, Original Box, NOS Strap

  2. #2
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    Re: Vintage Bulova Oceanographer 333

    I don't know the differences among those letters. I do think $250 is a fair price for that watch IF it has been serviced, and there are papers/receipt showing it was serviced. You might ask the seller for evidence that it was serviced. The movement looks very clean. If s/he cannot substantiate that is was serviced, assume it was not and be prepared to have it serviced, and factor in another $100-150 for servicing. I always have my new watch acquisitions serviced for peace of mind. It gives me my own baseline.

  3. #3
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    Re: Vintage Bulova Oceanographer 333

    Quote Originally Posted by Oceankid View Post
    I don't know the differences among those letters. I do think $250 is a fair price for that watch IF it has been serviced, and there are papers/receipt showing it was serviced. You might ask the seller for evidence that it was serviced. The movement looks very clean. If s/he cannot substantiate that is was serviced, assume it was not and be prepared to have it serviced, and factor in another $100-150 for servicing. I always have my new watch acquisitions serviced for peace of mind. It gives me my own baseline.
    I would say the evidence that it's been serviced is visible by the scratches on the face that he left behind when he used the hand-puller. It always kills me when people do that. Esslinger specifically sells a plastic protective sleeve that's VERY thin that you can slide under the hands so your puller doesn't damage the face. :(

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    My guess is that the crystal was replaced, and the strap is an NOS or replacement.

    But honestly, for an automatic, and with unique styling and Bulova... $250 is a great deal (as you said). I've sold lesser watches for more.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Vintage Bulova Oceanographer 333

    Interesting. Hadn't noticed. You don't think those are a pre-existing blemish?

    Quote Originally Posted by WengerTodd View Post
    I would say the evidence that it's been serviced is visible by the scratches on the face that he left behind when he used the hand-puller. It always kills me when people do that. Esslinger specifically sells a plastic protective sleeve that's VERY thin that you can slide under the hands so your puller doesn't damage the face. :(

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    My guess is that the crystal was replaced, and the strap is an NOS or replacement.

    But honestly, for an automatic, and with unique styling and Bulova... $250 is a great deal (as you said). I've sold lesser watches for more.

  6. #5
    Member YuriyV's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Bulova Oceanographer 333

    The blemish could be pre-existing.
    And I see a bit incorrect fit for crown stem. Tiny gap between case and crown is visible. Crown should go deeper. Not a big deal though.
    In general 250 is a good deal. Crystal, crown, hands and dial look correct.
    Last edited by YuriyV; May 11th, 2019 at 01:46.
    Vintage Zodiac addict.

  7. #6
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    Re: Vintage Bulova Oceanographer 333

    I revoke my statement about crystal originality. It is replacement from probably other Oceanograper.
    Crystal for this model was without groove.
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    Vintage Zodiac addict.

  8. #7
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    Re: Vintage Bulova Oceanographer 333

    The watch is in a good shape (aside what the others above have stated) but personally, I think the price is bit over the top for this particular example.

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    Re: Vintage Bulova Oceanographer 333

    Thank you for the input, guys. I've asked the seller about the paperwork for the service and this was his reply:

    "Hello, thank you for your interest in this watch. I can understand your concern for paperwork on the servicing. I use a couple different experienced watchmakers and I have one that sends me a detailed invoice and one that is more casual and doesn't provide me any paperwork. This Oceanographer was done by the watchmaker that doesn't provide the paperwork. So, unfortunately I cannot provide you that. I've been working with him for several years and he does great work. I just don't have anything to send with the watch in regards to the servicing."

    I'll ask him if he can answer any questions about the scratch on the face. Old Navman, what do you think is a fair price for this watch? Thanks again.

  10. #9
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    Re: Vintage Bulova Oceanographer 333

    Thank you for the input, guys. I've asked the seller about the paperwork for the service and this was his reply:

    "Hello, thank you for your interest in this watch. I can understand your concern for paperwork on the servicing. I use a couple different experienced watchmakers and I have one that sends me a detailed invoice and one that is more casual and doesn't provide me any paperwork. This Oceanographer was done by the watchmaker that doesn't provide the paperwork. So, unfortunately I cannot provide you that. I've been working with him for several years and he does great work. I just don't have anything to send with the watch in regards to the servicing."

    I'll ask him if he can answer any questions about the scratch on the face.

    Old Navman, what do you think is a fair price for this watch?

    Thanks again.

  11. #10
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    Re: Vintage Bulova Oceanographer 333

    As I suspected, no paperwork substantiating service. If I was in your position, I'd include in the overall cost a service because you want to make sure it is serviced before wearing it on a regular basis. There is no harm in asking the seller if s/he would accept $200. You could then put the $50 you save toward a service. Sometimes sellers list a water as a BIN because they don't want lowball offers. I think $200 is fair considering there is no paperwork on servicing.

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