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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked up a Bulova Chronograph C, the "Stars and Stripes". I tend to prefer a restored watch, especially since the history and wear on this one are not my own.

It needs some mild mechanical work (the chrono hands aren't lining up and the 12 hour accumulator is constantly running).

I want a dial clean, relume, new crystal, and case clean and detail.

Any recommendations on a trustworthy restoration outfit? I typically use UWR, and although excellent, they typically take 6+ months and are very pricey.

 

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I just picked up a Bulova Chronograph C, the "Stars and Stripes". I tend to prefer a restored watch, especially since the history and wear on this one are not my own.

It needs some mild mechanical work (the chrono hands aren't lining up and the 12 hour accumulator is constantly running).

I want a dial clean, relume, new crystal, and case clean and detail.

Any recommendations on a trustworthy restoration outfit? I typically use UWR, and although excellent, they typically take 6+ months and are very pricey.

Beautiful watch. If this watch was mine I wouldn't touch a thing for originality and collectability purposes. The lume also looks perfect and so does the dial. Also would keep it unpolished. All would do is a movement service and waterproofing(not sure if these were waterproof).
 

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It's your watch to do with as you see fit but I agree with Cruvon, I'd have it lubed and leave it like it is. That thing is just too darn nice to mess with.
 

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Could be some of the owner's cosmetic concerns don't show well in the pic. Yes, it is a personal decision as to whether to restore the case or not. I don't mind some minor signs of wear and most of my watches show such but if the crystal is deeply scratched and/or the case is on the dull side with lots of surface scratches, I would go for it. Only one of my SS Acutrons needed some attention and after being buffed plus the graining restored on the bezel, the case looks just about new and I am very pleased. That's the great thing about SS! This was done by my watchmaker, not a restoration service. Yours is a beautiful watch as is but could look even better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Could be some of the owner's cosmetic concerns don't show well in the pic. Yes, it is a personal decision as to whether to restore the case or not. I don't mind some minor signs of wear and most of my watches show such but if the crystal is deeply scratched and/or the case is on the dull side with lots of surface scratches, I would go for it. Only one of my SS Acutrons needed some attention and after being buffed plus the graining restored on the bezel, the case looks just about new and I am very pleased. That's the great thing about SS! This was done by my watchmaker, not a restoration service. Yours is a beautiful watch as is but could look even better.

I did share the seller's pic, so obviously shows the watch in the best light. In person, the crystal is discolored and when viewed from an angle, almost completely cobwebbed with swirl scratches. Maybe underneath, the dial is cleaner than the crystal lets on. The bezel is flat and high polish, so a quick buff will make it pop. The lume markers have some dark dust spots.
 

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If I were you , I'd replace the crystal. One would be easy enough to source. Polishing the case and re doing the circular graining on the case back would make it look showroom new. As long as care is taken to leave the edges crisp and sharp. I would leave the dial alone, there is no one out there IMHO that would be able to make that complex of a dial look factory new and fresh. You would always see something different than on the unrestored dial, something small is always amplified in the owners minds eye and would probably disappoint and bug you forever. There are several higher end watch companies out there where you can send a dial back to the factory and it will come back 100% correct since they have all the manufacturing equipment and dies necessary to reproduce the dial exactly, but since Bulova no longer exists and is an entity of Citizen now, you are quite frankly SOL in that regard. Good luck in whatever you decide
 
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