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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm brand new to this website and need some expert opinions regarding the Accutron Spaceview.

I'm in the process of buying one, perhaps two, original factory made Spaceviews. I've checked to make sure that the case numbers are correct and that the watches are, in all probability, genuine factory issues.

In the process of securing information regarding a Spaceview, I got into a discussion with a seller who adamantly claims that conversions, including Bulova authorized dealer conversions, are every bit as valuable as Spaceviews made by the factory.

I disagreed. I don't think that any conversion, regardless of quality or by whom, is as valuable as the genuine article.

Who is right?
 

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Who is right?
They guy with the money.

If I were to buy a spaceview, I would pay more for a factory than a conversion. Since it is unlikely that someone would pay more for a conversion than a factory, I can quite easily say a factory is worth more than a conversion.
 

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If a AD in 1961 took a M1 Alpha removed the dial & hands and put in a Bulova "KIT" with hands crystal and spacer ring in that watch, how would you know that the watch was not a factory example. Especially 50+ years later. Of course there are obvious examples of converted Spaceviews all over the place. Do your due diligence and learn all you can about the 214 and you may have a chance of not being ripped off
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If a AD in 1961 took a M1 Alpha removed the dial & hands and put in a Bulova "KIT" with hands crystal and spacer ring in that watch, how would you know that the watch was not a factory example. Especially 50+ years later. Of course there are obvious examples of converted Spaceviews all over the place. Do your due diligence and learn all you can about the 214 and you may have a chance of not being ripped off
The factory Spaceviews' case serial numbers are on the inside of the case back, and these numbers have been publicized and are readily available on the Internet. As far as I know this is the only way to identify a factory manufactured Spaceview. So it IS possible to know for sure...at least almost 100% for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bingo. That's a real one.

Just like mine (see photo below). I'm waiting for number two, which I bought a few days ago.

 

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The experts can chime in here at any time but I think you are making it simpler than it is. I don't think the case number alone is not sufficient to tell you that you have a factory Spaceview.
I will concede that this watch may not have the correct back but back number is 2547 and I doubt that it was converted from a Spaceview.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, I agree that a watch with the correct case serial number is not an absolute guarantee that it is still totally factory. However, I think most experts will agree that the chances are much higher than you have a correct, factory Spaceview if you have a correct case. Without a correct Spaceview case with a correct SN, you have zero chance of the watch being a factory Spaceview.

I would much rather have a Spaceview with "incorrect" parts (crystal, hands, etc.) but with a correct factory case, than a Spaceview with correct parts but a "wrong" case, with a "wrong" SN.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The experts can chime in here at any time but I think you are making it simpler than it is. I don't think the case number alone is not sufficient to tell you that you have a factory Spaceview.
I will concede that this watch may not have the correct back but back number is 2547 and I doubt that it was converted from a Spaceview.
So Bulova used some of the factory Spaceview cases for other models? I've never heard of that, but would be very interested if someone could confirm or refute it.

Because as you noted, 2547 should make your watch a Spaceview. I don't know how likely it is that someone would want to convert a Spaceview into something different. Even though I was a wee lad when Spaceviews hit the market, I don't remember if they were more valuable (new or used) than most of Bulova's other watches at that time. If not, then I can understand why someone would convert a Spaceview to something else. For someone to do such a conversion in recent years, of course, would in most cases not make sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't understand how a serial number can be incorrect. Explanation ?
I apologize if I wasn't clear. My use of incorrect vs correct vis a vis the Spaceview refers to the fact that original factory Spaceviews came from the factory with a very limited number of case serial numbers. Those serial numbers would be correct for a factory issued Spaceview, whereas other serial numbers would be incorrect and make this watch a Spaceview conversion.
 

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I don't think it is totally uncommon for cases that would be correct for a Spaceview to have dials in them. I have seen others beside mine and assume that Bulova made them that way. I recently pointed out one that was for sale on ebay.
I think you are having a problem with terminology. The number which may or may not exist inside the case back is a case number, not a serial number. The serial number is on the back. With very few exceptions of some very early 1960 watches, if the first digit is a letter it was made in the USA and, if the first digit is a number, it was made in Switzerland.
I think that, if you are buying Spaceviews assuming they are factory made based on the case number, you may not get what you want. You also need to look at other things such as the crystal and the hands.
I have 3 Spaceviews but this is the only one I'm 99% confident is an original. The case number is A2528. Since this picture was taken I have replaced the hands with after market ones because of the condition of the original hands but I kept the original hands.

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don't think it is totally uncommon for cases that would be correct for a Spaceview to have dials in them. I have seen others beside mine and assume that Bulova made them that way. I recently pointed out one that was for sale on ebay.
I think you are having a problem with terminology. The number which may or may not exist inside the case back is a case number, not a serial number. The serial number is on the back. With very few exceptions of some very early 1960 watches, if the first digit is a letter it was made in the USA and, if the first digit is a number, it was made in Switzerland.
I think that, if you are buying Spaceviews assuming they are factory made based on the case number, you may not get what you want. You also need to look at other things such as the crystal and the hands.
I have 3 Spaceviews but this is the only one I'm 99% confident is an original. The case number is A2528. Since this picture was taken I have replaced the hands with after market ones because of the condition of the original hands but I kept the original hands.
Yes, I understand what you mean about the difference between case number and serial number. You're right, of course. I'm well aware of the difference, but I've been fixating so much on the case number that I have taken to using the two phrases interchangeably, which of course is wrong because they are totally different and I should be more careful. It won't happen again.

I think the Spaceview I just received, though the case number is good, may have some non-original parts. For example, the crystal does not have the tuning logo on the top center, as yours does. It doesn't have the tuning fork logo anywhere. Do you know if ALL factory Spaceview crystals have a tuning fork logo?
 

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I honestly don't know whether all factory Spaceview crystals have the tuning fork logo on them but there are people on this forum who will know and hopefully they will be coming along.
I'm sure we'd all love to see a picture of your Spaceview and some of the experts here, of whom I am sadly no one, will probably comment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I lost my good light for the day so these photos could be better. I rarely use artificial light for macro shots...almost always take the item outside and take advantage of natural sunlight whenever possible. These shots were taken under fluorescent light, so they're washed out. Didn't feel like trying to software improve them.





Here's my (hopefully) factory Spaceview. Even though the case number is good, there is no serial number on the back of the watch and no tuning fork logo or name on the crystal. Regarding the hands, I've seen supposedly factory Spaceviews with the same type of rectangular hands, and I've also seen factory Spaceviews with all white hands. Notice this watch is an "N7" (1977) making it one of the last Spaceviews made.

But why no serial number on the back and is the crystal original or even correct?
 

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Can't help with other questions but an "N7" 214 I would think is pretty rare, let alone it being a possible Spaceview.
 

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First, I'll agree with OliverB that an N7 214 has to be pretty rare and I sure don't understand there being no serial number.
Second, that movement looks older than N7 to me, more like mid 60's.
Third, I have never before seen those hands on a chapter ring Spaceview. They look to me more like cushion case spaceview hands.
The touch up of the lume in the indices wasn't a very professional job.
I don't know enough to comment on the crystal.
I'll look forward to further comments from OliverB or comments from Accutron or Sam2 or Akkatron and some others.
 

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I think you are doing just fine researching your watch. Isn't it fun? You are correct in that the crystal for a Spaceview with case number 3396 would have had a tuning fork logo. Crystal number 1271AYS had the fork just below the 9 and above the word ACCUTRON at the 8. Once in a while you will see the 1271AYS listed on eBay with the fork at the 12 but those are not correct.
Your movement is a 2-wire nickel plated 214 and although I would rather see a gold plated 2141 in a gold case. Unless your movement is date stamped earlier than N6 or so, it could be original.
I can't say much about the hands except that I have seen photos of similar hands on pillow case Spaceview watches starting in about 1977.
You need to get your hands on the Accutron Bulova, Caravelle – Case Parts Catalogue that was published in 1979. A supplement was also published in the year. Look at eBay Item number: 310392037542
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Thank you to every one for the valuable information, advice, and opinions. I'm looking forward to more input, and perhaps a definitive answer as to whether or not I should consider my watch a genuine factory Spaceview.

I guess at the very least I can be sure my watch has a factory Spaceview case SN and perhaps a proper chapter ring, and possibly other characteristics that would qualify it as much closer to a factory Spaceview than a conversion. Perhaps...other than obvious and important characteristics that must necessarily be present in a factory Spaceview...perhaps even experts can disagree on the subject of exactly what makes a factory Spaceview a factory Spaceview.

Based on e-mail with several eBay Spaceview sellers, some of whom apparently know nothing about conversions, etc., and based on their auction photos and case back numbers...are falsely advertising their watches as genuine factory Spaceviews. But nevertheless are receiving high bids for their watches. I've seen many supposedly factory Spaceviews described that way, but their accompanying photos make it clear that the watches are being falsely advertised.

I don't know if mentioning price is allowed here, so I won't mention how much I paid unless someone tells me it's allowed.

I'm still waiting for another non-functioning but supposed factory Spaceview, with correct case back SN, to arrive. Based on eBay completed sales information, I'm fairly certain I got good deals on both watches and could easily sell both for more than I paid if for some reason I wanted to.
 

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Looks to me like you are learning about Spaceviews pretty fast and, like Sam2 said, isn't it fun. i came here to learn about Accutrons and have learned a lot but still have a lot to learn. There are some good teachers here but I don't know of a single source with all the answers.
In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with a conversion if you don't try to pass it off as an original like many sellers do, probably out of ignorance as much as larceny.
As far as your watch is concerned., I would keep an eye open for an original crystal and I would buy a set of the Clark hands, they are very close to the originals and cost about $17. For reference, they are what I have in my Spaceview of which there is a picture above.
Like Sam2, I'd rather see a bronze/fold colored movement in it.
I'm glad you found us and hopefully we will learn together.
 
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