Need help fixing my Old Bulova

1596 Views 7 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  cookaacoo
Okay so here is a 1970s? Bulova my grandpa gave me, I'm learning to fix watches and this one does not run.

I ordered a screw case wrench to take the back off and see whats going on.

I'm having trouble finding a watch clasp for this one as you can see in the photos its missing, also is it common for this model to not have a second hand?

The only numbers i can find are on the back No. H382611

Any help is really appreciated!


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Thanks, But by chance do you know where i can get a watch clasp for it?

There is no second hand ive turned the hands. Very strange.

Welcome to the Bulova & Accutron Forum, cookaacoo.

A couple of things:

1. On the caseback, is stamped "N0" (N zero). That is the date code indicating the watch was manufactured in 1970 (See: Vintage Bulova reference material)

2. I appears the second hand is intact but currently lined up with the minute hand, from what I can see by the photos. At any rate, yes, it should have a sweep seconds hand.

3. If the watch is not running, I wonder how long it has been sitting in that condition. As it is a 41 year old watch, the movement could possibly just need cleaning and oiling. It would probably be best to at least have it professionally brought back to working condition and start your learning experience from there. Because it is as old as it is, at the very least the automatic movement needs to be properly cleaned and its parts oiled. Both the cleaning chemicals and the oil are special materials made specifically for watchmakers. A professional watchmaker will disassemble the entire movement to perform the parts cleaning & then oil and reassemble the movement. Without the proper tools, equipment, and training there is no way you can expect to do this yourself. That's just my suggestion. That is where I would start. You can take it to a local jeweler and get an estimate for what it would run you to have that done. You'll probably be looking at somewhere around $100. It looks like a nice watch and probably worth it. If you really want something to work on, it wouldn't be very hard to find a non-working watch on Ebay that you could get real cheap on a bid. I don't know if I'd want to take the chance of ruining a nice watch like that one.

Hope that answers some of your questions.


Thanks for the info, its just the only 2 local watch repair places, rip people off (im in cypress, TX)

2nd one last thing any idea of the original cost of this watch?
Thank you for all your help!

You should be able to get the watch clasp from a jeweler as well. I'm sorry to hear that you don't have any honest jewelry store operators where you live. We have a couple of good ones here that have been in business for many years. Run a query on Ebay. Maybe somebody on there has either the clasp or the entire band for that watch.

I'm not sure what the original 1970 cost was. You have to realize that the dollar meant a whole lot more in 1970 than it does in 2011. My first real job out of high school in 1971 was at a local steel mill. Hourly wage was $3.18 p/hour...and that was good money! You could provide for a wife and 2 children on that kind of wage, buy a house, and a new car! No kidding! That being said, I would give a guestimate of between $49 - $59 in 1970, which was a lot of money for a wristwatch for a working stiff.

Another thing you must keep in mind when restoring, buying, or selling vintage watches is that their value is fluid and dependent on what someone is willing to pay for one. What it cost new 40 years ago has little to do with what someone wanting that same watch today will pay for it.

By the way, there is one exactly like yours being auctioned on Ebay right now (ending tomorrow). And it is not in as cosmetically good a condition as yours is. But it is interesting to look at because the guy has photos with the caseback removed so you can get a look at the movement inside. See here:

Turns out it has a broken balance staff/ thats why the watch runs at a angle etc. for it to work the cost is $265.....

Guess ill just hold onto it.

My pleasure! :wink:
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