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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just bought a few mons. ago, a 214 Spaceview round GF watch. At a estate sale today, I noticed as i got into my car that both the crystal and the second hand had fallen off. Lucky ME that I went back to the sale and found both parts on the floor undamaged.
So...is this crystal GLUED in? I thought it was held by a lip and maybe a flange or something.

The watch still runs!!! But why did the second hand fall off (I did not bump it)


What do I do now...should I send back to the ebay seller to fix (he repairs/restores them) or could a decent local jeweler/watch guy fix it???

My POOR watch is in a BAG...PLEASE GIVE ADVICE ASAP!! THANKS
Could cleaning with alcohol have loosened the crystal when cleaning the watch?
 

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I guess it lends on your circumstances. If you paid a low price, you could afford to have a local install the second hand and check out the crystal. Might need a new one if that one wasn't the proper size. If this watch was sold as serviced and for a higher price, you may want to return it.
 

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I don't know if any of the crystals are glued in, I didn't think so, but I don't work on them. I do know that I wouldn't be comfortable cleaning one of my Accutrons wtih alcohol.
As long as it's working, I'd try taking it to a competent local jeweler to see what he could do with it.
 

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Which eBay seller was it? A couple of them offer a warranty.

There's no glue on the crystal; it's a pressure fit. They normally are tight, the wrong size of crystal or spacer could have been used. What style is it, can you post a pic of the watch and crystal used. It's odd to hear of the hands and crystal letting go at once. When the crystal let go it could have caught them just right to pop them off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here is a photo..only the second hand fell off. The hr. and min. hands seem to move and the watch still hummed until i took out the battery.

The crystal looks glued to me..Otherwise I don't see any lip or retainer that could keep it on...

The eBay seller, "Accuwatch" said he would fix it for free, but if he just glued the crystal in when it should have been mounted differently, i am a bit concerned...are you sure these crystals weren't glued?

Since the orginal Watch Analog watch Clock Measuring instrument Gas
watch was supposedly "waterproof" to a degree, wouldn't it have to have a rubber gasket or something more than glue or pressure to hold the crystal in???
 

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Now that you have mentioned the seller, I do have concerns. My close friend and Accutron collector bought a GP Spaceview from him last year. The watch does look very nice and runs great but when you turn it over you find that the bottom of the case is not gold plated. The case is actually stainless steel over which a layer of electroplated gold covers only the top portion of the case. If it had been a factory GP case, there would have been brass under the gold plate and the plating would have covered the entire portion of the case unless worn through on some edges. The evidence points to good servicing of the movement but tricks played with other parts. I suspect the crystal was not the proper size and thus was glued in to hold it in place. As indicated, the proper way to install these crystals is with a tool that squeezes in the crystal so that once in place and the tool released, the crystal expands to fit tightly and form a water resistant seal.
 

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Return it. Do a little research and pick up a nice one or pick up an nice accutron and have a pro do a proper conversion. If he did that, what else, and how long is it going to last.

P.S. these watches are water resistant, not proof at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I am not sure it was glued in, i just assumed this... Can you tell from my photo (enlarge by clicking on it) if it looks like the proper crystal, and/or has it been cemented?

Accuwatch has a 100% feedback rating and many sales so I can't believe his watches fall apart as a rule...

I know he says he "restores" them, and that could mean re-plating, spare or new parts etc. I am not so concerned if the watch isn't 1000% factory, only that it runs and doesn't fall apart.
I am not a watch collector, but lost my org. Accutron years a go, and wanted a nice replacement. I'd rather have a "new" looking watch then a used original parts watch with flaws.
Suffice it to say, his prices for nr. mint watches afre between $100. and $200. less than other similar watches on eBay...THAT I can live with...as long as the watch works and remains intact.

Any other thoughts or comments regarding the above particular watch would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
BTW "If it had been a factory GP case, there would have been brass under the gold plate and the plating would have covered the entire portion of the case unless worn through on some edges."

Maybe the solid gold 14K Spaceview watches had the back coverplate also gold, but I just did a quick eBay search for GF (gold-filled) Spaceview watches, and ALL had the white stainless backs with gold only on the bezel, and these were from other sellers who did not restore or refurbish the watches in the listing..

SO..............???
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
PS...The back of my watch also says, " Stainless Steel" "GF 10K bezel", so it has the original back plate which is not supposed to be brass or plated!

Unless I misunderstood you.
 

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No, not all of those watches you mentioned will have GP or SS backs. I have a couple GP cases with GP backs and some GP cases with SS backs. It varied.

Not one of us could tell by eyeballing the crystal if it was the correct size. This seller is known to "build up" watches that did not come that way from the factory. To sell a watch that was plated on the top of the case but not on the bottom - and I don't mean case back - without mentioning it in the description is close to criminal, IMHO. BTW, there are ways to keep a 100% positive rating without actually giving 100% positive service. At this point I think we have given you enough info that you have to make your decision as to what you should do with your watch. Please keep us informed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update...

UPDATE AS REQUESTED


Just got the watch back...

The seller Accuwatch is not a man of much words, as he either ignored my Q's or gave very brief answers albeit, he could only guess anyway as to WHY or WHAT happened.

To give him credit, he did "fix" (replaced with new crystal and second hand) the watch for free, only charging for return post.

Now, my minor complaints and comments:

He DID tell me that maybe the cleaning (using alcohol) could have loosened the cement, because he DID admit that the crystals he uses are slightly under sized (??)

...is it that hard to finds std. Spaceview 214 crystals either org. or NOS/Repro??...

So the fact that the crystal is not secured properly the way the factory did it is of concern..

He did ask me if the watch had been running fast or slow and I told him honestly I couldn't remember..He asked me if I wanted the watch kept for a while to check accuracy, and I said as long as it is reasonably correct that's fine..

BUT..when I got the watch (though seems to be running fairly accurately) I guess when he replaced the second hand, the HR and MIN hands are not quite in sync..meaning for example, at 12:00 the MIN hand is on the "12" but the HR hand is slightly by a few notches (second markers) ahead towards 1:00 ! Again, very slight, and the next day it "seemed" to be a bit closer together ..or is that just my imagination.

Just to reiterate..I wanted the Accutron to replace a the lost one I got as a teen (see org. post) which I wore only on sp. occasions..and as far as I can remember, was in ex. cond.

SO....my concern was to buy an affordable Accutron Spaceview in nr. mint cond. I WAS NOT concerned at all if all original, or perfect accuracy (I have my cell for that) ONLY that it was as nice cosmetically, as the lost one.

I could not afford the all original ones I saw for sale that were in as nice condition, so I AM happy with my purchase...as long as it doesn't fall apart again!!

The HR/MIN hand prob. I think it was a bit sloppy on Accuwatch's part, but I will wait and see if the hands poss. sync up as time goes on.
 

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Like I said in a precious post, anyone who gold plates only the top portion (and I dont mean the case back) of a stainless steel case (Bulova only plated base metal Accutron cases) and does not disclose in the description that it was plated, is not an honest seller. In your case, IMHO, he was less than honest and his "after the fact" disclosures would be troubling to me. It appears his workmanship is sloppy and should have been easily caught by a competent watchmaker. As to the crystal, sounds like he just used what he had in stock and glued it in place. Not the proper way to go as the crystal should be a VERY tight fit and would have to be installed with the proper tool. One option: if you are now otherwise satisfied with the watch, open a case with eBay for the amount it will cost to have a local watchmaker properly align the hands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Like I said in a precious post, anyone who gold plates only the top portion (and I dont mean the case back) of a stainless steel case (Bulova only plated base metal Accutron cases) and does not disclose in the description that it was plated, is not an honest seller. In your case, IMHO, he was less than honest and his "after the fact" disclosures would be troubling to me. It appears his workmanship is sloppy and should have been easily caught by a competent watchmaker. As to the crystal, sounds like he just used what he had in stock and glued it in place. Not the proper way to go as the crystal should be a VERY tight fit and would have to be installed with the proper tool. One option: if you are now otherwise satisfied with the watch, open a case with eBay for the amount it will cost to have a local watchmaker properly align the hands.

Well, I'll first wait and see if the hands sync up (though that may be wishful thinking on my part)

Since I assume that all round GF bezel Spaceviews are the same diameter (mine is an M7) would it be that hard to find a proper fitting crystal either NOS or repro on eBay or through another Accutron restorer?

If they are avail. I will have the hands adjusted when I have the new crystal put on. It may cost me a bit, but it is obvious that Accuwatch didn't have the proper crystal to replace as he mentioned re-cementing...

Again, I am not going to give him grief over this though I do agree with in essence what you said about not being totally truthful. Since his watches are at least $100. even over $200.less then similar condition intact factory ones I have seen on eBay, and hundreds less than on some websites where a ord. GF Spaceview 214 std. model was selling from $800.- over $1,000.!!

I guess the old adage, you get what you pay for applies here..so I do accept part of the responsibility, though as a novice, I wouldn't have known what Q's to ask in the first place!
 

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You can't assume that all Spaceview cases take the same size crystal. There were many different cases made for true factory Spaceview models and with the vast majority of Spaceviews now on the market being conversions of non-original Spaceviews, who knows. Estimates run as high as 90% of the Spaceviews out there are conversions, not factory originals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You can't assume that all Spaceview cases take the same size crystal. There were many different cases made for true factory Spaceview models and with the vast majority of Spaceviews now on the market being conversions of non-original Spaceviews, who knows. Estimates run as high as 90% of the Spaceviews out there are conversions, not factory originals.

Hmm...but is it safe to say that a bezel which the crystals are matched to are the same size for each model year?? In other words, mine is a Spaceview M7 w/ a round std. bezel. Wouldn't all Bulova crystals for the round M7s fit alike?
Even if the guts were modified, the bezels would be the same..yes?

I KNOW my watch was restored/refurbished, but how would i know if I had a true Spaceview?

And..just went on a Accutron website that does repairs, and the few Spaceview Accutrons they sell start at $800. and go to well over $1,000. so i got mine for $300. so can I complain as long as it works??
 

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I have 3 original spaceviews. One for $150, and two more for $250. Two are Swiss. All of my other spaceviews were built by me using factory correct parts. If you want to know the crystal size, it needs to be removed and a set of dial calipers to measure the opening. That case takes a dome crystal and a special tool ($20 on eBay for a crappy one). You should find one 0.2mm over ID of case. Sometimes I lightly sand them down do I don't have to put as much tension on the crystal to get it in and out... I've broken them before... CRACK! lol Hope I helped
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Even if not original..maybe the cemented one I have will hold up better than one held in just by compression (if you are not too picky...as i am not) Also, I didn't get your answer...did you mean that a Spaceview with the marking M7 GF 10K bezel and round, ALL had different size crystals?? That is hard to believe that a factory spitting out a year's model would have such variances within the same model and year!!!!

BIG Q!! OK, it wouldn't be original, but why doesn't someone make a Spaceview crystal out of mineral or sapphire glass like even the cheap modern watches today?
I am really sick of having to "baby" my watch to keep it from getting even slight bumps over normal use.

I have a sapphire/mineral(?) glass crystal Patek Philippe that I just dropped face down on concrete a few days ago when the band broke...not a scratch on it!!
 

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Perhaps you are expecting too much from your vintage watch. Bulova used very few mineral crystals in watches of this era. I don't think you really u deer stand just how many different crystal sizes were used in all the models. It just wouldn't be financially feasible for someone to product that many different designs and sizes of crystals for such a limited market. Clark does produce repro Spaceview acrylic crystals. Other companies produce generic replacement crystals. I'm not trying to be harsh but a glued in crystal is just not as good as one properly fitted they way they were designed to be fitted. IMHO, an Accutron should not be thought of as a knock around daily wear watch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Point(s) well taken..but...

Again, I am being specific here..I KNOW that different Accutron Spacevews may have had a different crystal diameters for a specific year, or case styles..

BUT are telling me that Bulova made a different size crystal for the same model watch in the same YEAR? (such as did they, in 1967 make their Spaceview M7 214 with GF round std. bezel with different diameter crystals??)

THAT would seem more implausible than anything I said!

Also, about the mineral crystals..

I WASN'T referring to Bulova themselves back in the 60's making an ORIGINAL mineral glass crystal, but the fact that I am wondering why TODAY, some co. doesn't make a replica mineral crystal for the Space views, just like they make repros out of acrylic?

It may not be authentic, but it sure would make the watch more durable.

As I said my DOMED Patek Philippe glass crystal is just as raised as my Spaceview, so manufacturing it wouldn't be impossible.

Finally...about the Accutrons not being an everyday watch...if one can wear a multi-thousand $$$ watch like a ROLEX, Patek Philippe, Brietling, etc. etc. every day as people do...then I should be able to wear my $300. Accutron every day or frequently..
What does wearing it have to do with it? It is still running, even when in a drawer, and i can just as easily bump it wearing it one hour, as well as 5 days a week.. I am NOT talking about playing in a softball game, or washing dishes with it on...

Just my novice op.
 
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