Watch Repair

Looking for a good reliable watch  repair person. Have a 14k ladies 1924 watch that needs repair. Has a 6 AF Movement 17 jewel.

plainsmen
Posted October 25, 2011 - 5:21am

Club 5000Panel Member

I use one of our members, "Timemachines".  He's out of Michigan and I've had great success with him.  Very reliable/honest.

DHC120
Posted September 22, 2015 - 2:32am

My name is Charles, I'm new to this forum and have owned two Accutrons in my life.. the first, bought around '73-'74 was a "real" tuning fork model, with a solid face..  In less than two years, the salts from my sweat literally "ate" the base metal case and shorted-out the electrics..  After a couple of years of trying to find a watch I could wear, in late Dec '78 I saw an Accutron "Diver's Watch", given it was solid stainless steel, I figured it might last as long, and be as accurate as the $50 Timex I had in high school (accurate to one second per day, worked perfectly for ten years, until I "smeared" it across an asphalt driveway!)  It took me two weeks to rationalize spending $225 for this "Diver's Watch" so on Jan 13th, 1979, I bought the Bulova Accutron Quartz "N7" Series 242 Day/Date, Style #13014 & Serial #91809.  For the next dozen years all I did was have the battery replaced every twelve to eighteen months..  Until the "day/date" bezel fell off the face.. A "local" jeweler opened the back, but did not know how to remove the stem, but her finessed the bezel out..  a year or so later, the "face" shifted so "12 O'clock" was now at 2 O'clock..  that made it a little difficult to figure-out the time, so I "re-set" the watch so the 10 O'clock hash mark was actually noon/midnight.  Well, less than a year later, the hands fell off and, by then, the rotating outer ring no longer moved..  Around 1990, I sent the watch back to Bulova New York..  for $65 they fixed the watch face, reinstalled the hands and bezel and gave the watch it's 250,000 mile lube and oil change.  Then, about every 2-3 years the Accutron would die and I'd sent it back to Bulova NY..  The last time, they called me and told me they no longer work on the Accuset watches, fitted a "new works", but it would not have the "Accuset" feature so, after a (now) $85 repair fee, they returned my watch..  The most recent "death" of the watch ocurred a couple years ago (the stem fell off!!) and I "found a guy" in Florida who works on the "old" Accutrons.. I e-mailed him and he said he could repair my Accutron Quartz correctly so on April 23rd, 2015, I sent him my Accutron Quartz  Well, after six weeks he said he had a working "Accuset" unit, but could find no matching Stem.. (he said mine was a "2416.11") also, he noted that my rotating outer ring was actually epoxied in place, the "face" was NOT correct for the works so Bulova NY just glued it on and about this time, June 1st, 2015, he just acquired an "almost" new-in-box" presentation  Series 242..  We agreed on a price and I bought it's "works", Stem, etc. retaining my "original" Case, Back and aftermarket band.  This "new" Accutron died by July 23rd, 2015!  I returned it, although there was no warranty,  he had acquired a few more Accuset works and replaced it, again (for free). By the end of August, 2015, I received the repaired, repaired Accutron Quartz..  This past weekend (Sept 19th, 2015),  my son and I went Skeet Shooting..  the next day I noticed my watch had stopped, then I noticed the "Second Hand" had falled off, got "wedged" under the minute hand , thus stopping the time. (I rotated the minute hand backwards and "freed" the second hand, then I unscrewed and pulled-out the stem to reduce power consumption)  BOTTOM LINE:  I am looking for a COMPENTENT Accutron Quartz Watch repairman who can make my watch LAST more than six weeks (preferably more than ten years!) without quitting, or "stuff" falling off!!  I'd buy a new one if they were Swiss Made to the quality of the '70's era Accutrons, weren't ridiculously expensive AND so UGLY!!  PLEASE Contact Me direct at cb@xktx.org.  Thanks.  Charles.

Jim Townsend
Posted October 25, 2011 - 5:11pm

Ya he sent me an email and told me to look for him on the home page, I cant find him........I am also in Michigan

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shooter144
Posted January 12, 2012 - 2:53am

Where abouts Jim?? Im in Niles...grew up in Buchanan...

Jim Townsend
Posted September 3, 2013 - 6:16pm

Hey Shooter just now seen this a year later lol. I am in Monroe

JP
Posted January 11, 2012 - 1:43am

Panel Member

iS THERE ANY ONE IN THE MISSOURI AREA THAT WORKS ON BULOVA WATCHES?

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William Smith
Posted January 11, 2012 - 3:03am

Club 5000Panel Member

JP  You will probably spend more on gas and time getting to a local Missouri watch repair person than on postage to mail a watch to one of the many folks recommended on this site. 

Up till three years ago I was sending my watches in bulk to a great guy in Bulgaria for service.  My reason, he did great work, was honest & reliable, and the cost was fantastic.  He told me "...my friend, $20 US dollars under the table is a lot of money in my country..."   He is now so busy that he can't find time to service my old watches at almost any affordable price.

Quality is out there, and unfortunately, the days of driving a couple miles down to main street to see Dad's old watch repair guy is almost a thing of the past.

JP
Posted January 11, 2012 - 11:48am

Panel Member

Thanks for the info William. I will send them out for repairs.

vernz
Posted July 13, 2013 - 8:31pm

Hopefully this is starting a new string.  My name is Vern and I'm new to this site.  I recently came across a Bulova watch that was my Dad's.  I want to restore it and give it to my son.  It runs, but is missing the crystal and minute hand.  The face is in pretty bad shape due to the missing crystal.  I live in upstate New York and am looking for information on a reliable watch restoration company.

You can see a picture of it in the new watch image section.  It is listed as the 1935 - unknown.

Thanks,  Vern

 

Geoff Baker
Posted July 14, 2013 - 4:38am

Club 5000Panel Member

Hi Vern, I've sent you a private message with a couple suggestions, you should see a link in the upper right hand corner of the page telling you that you have an unread message. Thanks for stopping by!

Gerard
Posted August 22, 2013 - 2:49am

Is there anyone fixing Hair Spring/Balances out there. Its hard to find a watch with a decent one so i thought maybe someone is fixing them.

Gerard

Aberlow
Posted August 24, 2013 - 3:31pm

Most good watchmakers are able to perform such tasks. With the case of Bulova parts however, I would venture to say that the labor alone for such tasks would be more costly than purchasing either a harvester movement or a NOS balance complete if it can be found. Hope that helps!

JP
Posted August 24, 2013 - 5:27pm

Panel Member

I looked into learning to vibrate hair springs and found that the tool required is selling on the bay for almost 600.00 bucks. That ended my venture into learning. Possiblely at a later date I will give it a go.

It is very hard to find balance complete for 10AN and 8AE and 7AK. Harvestor movements are about it.

Gerard
Posted August 24, 2013 - 8:15pm

Even the movements are starting to getting  expensive or you can't find a working one.

Aberlow
Posted August 24, 2013 - 10:02pm

Eventually the prices increases will justify seeking out a qualified watchmaker. Until then, harvesters, or parts are the most cost effective way to go.   

As JP said earlier, the $600 piece of equipment is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a good $1500-5000 (depending on how good the equipment is) of other tools needed to properly carry out the task of assembling a balance complete or fixing a hairspring.  

Is there a particular one you are seeking out at the moment?

 

Sbmclean's picture
Sbmclean
Posted August 27, 2013 - 7:29am

HI All:

Accutron  RR approved M5, running about 2 seconds slow per day. Is this normal or you think I need a servicing? Or..?? Also, any service hobbyists or etc in Florida any knows of?  thanks

Aberlow
Posted August 27, 2013 - 6:13pm

Hey Sbmclean,

2 seconds per day is within spec for Accutrons (Their tagline in old ads was "accurate to within a minute per month" which equates exactly to 2 seconds per day.) Its fantastic that after so many years yours is running so well! I am a huge fan of the RR Accutrons. 

That being said, its always a good thing to get them serviced occasionally as they are fantastic vintage wonders of engineering and do require servicing to make sure that the movement is properly lubricated and coils are in good condition. With Accutrons I highly suggest choosing a professional over a hobbyist as they require special tools and skill.

Best Regards,

AMB 

Sbmclean's picture
Sbmclean
Posted August 27, 2013 - 7:21pm

Thanks Aberlow.

 

Here is a great video I found on youtube. A full Accutron 214 service video.. realllllyyy interesting! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gq69S44NB1k

 

So what service establishments does anyone suggest to not get ripped off? :) I see the old father time site but his criteria are steep, he doesnt answer emails, turn around is up to 6 weeks, and his prices are high... someone out there must be able to do better on one or two of those points?

Also, can anyone suggest a case tool for removing theback of a 214? The L wrench is on ebay but the guy wants 40 bucks, surely a normal case back tool like jaxa type will work??

I also found a great copy of the Accutron 214 service manual online. Have it in PDF if anyone wants and doesnt have.

 

Thanks!

richjuls's picture
richjuls
Posted August 29, 2013 - 8:55am

I have recently joined the group here, mainly because I have a 23 Jewel  (1956), which was given to me by my parents as a high school graduation gift, that I wore for years.  I stopped because I did not want to risk any harm while traveling outside of the country.  I now want to have it serviced in order to begin wearing this treasure again.  One problem: some years ago while having it serviced by what was probably the highest regarded jewelry shop in Philadelphia, they removed and replaced the original stem with something else.  It reads "Bulova" but it is not the same design as the original which is still the one that belongs on this watch.  Can anyone advise me about a reliable repair service in the Philadelphia area, preferably in the Main Line suburbs, but any where else --- as well as where we might find the right replacement for the original stem?   Thanks to all.  It's been great fun reading about these watches on this site.

Geoff Baker
Posted August 30, 2013 - 5:02am

Club 5000Panel Member

Hi Rich, I've sent you a private message with a couple suggestions, you should see a link in the upper right hand corner of the page telling you that you have an unread message. 

JP
Posted August 29, 2013 - 7:47pm

Panel Member

Is it the stem or the crown you need replaced? I have most of both. What is the movement? PM me and we can talk.

JP

LisaK
Posted September 3, 2013 - 12:35pm

Hello.  i'd like to have my 1970 Unknown, 23 jewel ladies watch (see pics on this website) cleaned and serviced. It does work (it's wind up) and keeps time beautifully but went a long time without being used until now.

I'm in Windsor, Ontario Canada.  There is a reputable jeweler listed on the bullova official website for sales of new watches that I am familiar with in my city and I know they have service as well.  Is that a safe bet to protect this little beauty?  I'm very proud of it and don't want anything to go wrong.

Thank you.

Geoff Baker
Posted September 4, 2013 - 4:49am

Club 5000Panel Member

Lisa - while I can't give you advice on that specific jeweler, I would like to think that an official Bulova dealer will have a good service record. Understand that many stores send their repairs out to someone who is not an employee of the firm. If their watchmaker is in the store itself that's a very good sign, if he / she isn't that doesn't mean its a bad sign though. We have a couple members in Canada who are professional watchmakers. If you need the contact info on either, let us know. 

Gerard
Posted September 4, 2013 - 11:13am

Geoff

Could you pass the contact info for the Canadian watchmakers to me.

Thank you

Geoff Baker
Posted September 5, 2013 - 4:55am

Club 5000Panel Member

Private Message (PM) sent.

Jim Townsend
Posted September 4, 2013 - 4:09am

Timemachines Mike    Anyone know how to contact him? He has fixed a few watches for me but alas i have lost his contact information. Thanks

Geoff Baker
Posted September 4, 2013 - 4:44am

Club 5000Panel Member

Jim - send him a PM thoutgh our messaging system, he's a member here. (float on the "HOME" link above and slide down and click "My Messages". Start typing his user ID in the "TO" box - it auto fills.

Jim Townsend
Posted September 4, 2013 - 3:18pm

Thanks Geoff i did and he sent me a message.  Sending him a movement to look at for me.And if it can be fixed he will get the job. I had him fix a few for me and was very pleased.

kodb
Posted December 27, 2013 - 1:13pm

Hi all, just joined as I have been working through watchmaking courses on TimeZone and now have been bitten by the Bulova bug.  I bought a 1956 23J with sunburst dial off ebay and cleaned and reassembled.  Prior to cleaning it started and stopped.  After cleaning and appropriate lube it will run when wound but only if dial up.  When I remove the balance it looks ok and turns freely.  It turns freely in the dial up position when installed.  The hairspring looks ok and the balance does not seem to wobble excessively (although I have previously only worked with more "modern" swiss balance wheels not this type) .  When I remove the pallet fork and bridge the escape wheel spins freely with either a puff of air or if the spring is wound.  Thus it seems I either have a pallet fork lower pinion/shaft problem or a problem with the balance.  I did also clean and relube the shock assemblies as part of trouble shooting this and it did not seem to change anything.  Obviously, I still have the autowinding bridge and rotor off while trying to solve the above issues.

Any help from the Bulova experts here would be greatly appreciated by this novice!  I am really looking forward to restoring this watch.  Also, any help with how to clean/restore the dial would also help as the dial looks water stained or dirty.  There was no rust in the movement itself.

Thanks and looking forward to participating here

Bob

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted December 27, 2013 - 3:55pm

Panel Member

99% of the time, hairspring adjustment will be necessary, but your problem sounds like a pivot, balance or otherwise. Damaged pivots will sometimes show their presence by jamming when the endshake forces them further into their respective jewels. 

Did you disassemble the shock setting on both sides of the balance? These must be cleaned separately, I use TCE or PCE, and some modern hairspring cleaners. The jewels must be absolutely clean, and of course they are different thicknesses, you don't want to mix them up, so I always do them one at a time.  Sometimes the smallest amount of gunk will bind against the balance staff pivots in certain positions. 

A cracked jewel in the train will also cause issues, but is less likely on a wristwatch from the 50's. If the balance staff has been replaced, a host of problems could exist, like wrong staff, poorly fitted roller table, roller jewel, etc. The hairspring must be perfectly concentric, and absolutely flat, and everything demagnetized, also of course. Microscopic examination of the balance staff pivots, particuarly the plate side, might be helpful. 

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted December 27, 2013 - 3:58pm

Panel Member

I should add, dial cleaning is never a good idea, unless you accept the risk that your dial will be ruined. Rodico and some saliva are about all I would ever recommend, if it's really awful, you can send it to International for restoration. 

kodb
Posted December 29, 2013 - 10:03pm

Thanks for the help Reverend Rob.

I took apart the KIF shock settings on both sides and cleaned them but went ahead and re-cleaned. Unfortunately, the cap jewel on the lower setting decided to launch into the "Bermuda Triangle" and seems lost for good.  What is a good source for parts for these old watches or am I down to simply buying more movements on ebay in an effort to get parts?

Thanks,

Bob

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted January 22, 2014 - 2:16pm

Panel Member

Sorry for the delay, Bob. 

Movts that you can harvest parts from are a good bet, just keep in mind loose movts tend to be pretty scrappy looking from rattling around in a drawer, and damage to these isn't always readily apparent. A movt still housed in its case is the best bet, as it has been protected. I buy these from NAWCC marts, usually they are non-running, with no hands, bad dials, you get the idea. But at least they are more or less intact where it counts. 

I will use eBay as a last resort, especially as there are Swiss parts specialists that have online stores there. 

BlackbirdM3
Posted January 19, 2014 - 8:06pm

I bought a model 23A on ebay last week. It seems to be in pretty good shape, minimal scratches on the case or crystal. I have a feeling that it hasn't been serviced in a long time, and might have the wrong back on it as well. It gains about 2.5 minutes per 24 hrs. Is there anyone on the board here who does service on these? I'm in Napa Ca if that matters at all. Here are a couple pics. 

Thanks,

Will

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ArchieGoodwin
Posted January 22, 2014 - 11:53am

Nice looking example Will.  I'm down in the East Bay.  A guy on another forum recommended Andre Fleury of fleury.com.  He's located in San Rafael, CA.  Let me know if you try him and how it works out. 

 

Eric

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Reverend Rob
Posted January 22, 2014 - 2:17pm

Panel Member

Sign Mr. Fleury's petition if you get a chance, he explains clearly how the big makers are breaking US law. 

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thejake27
Posted March 4, 2014 - 12:06am

I am new to the site and am looking for any 1971 Bulova Oceanographer Automatic 333 service manuals.  The watch was willed to me by my late grandfather.  It runs, but upon removing the screw back I notice one of the screws was just floating around in the case.  I would like to know where it goes.

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thejake27
Posted March 4, 2014 - 5:54pm

I am trying to get into the watch making/repair trade.  I have little to no experience.  Does anybody know of any classes or trade schools in Virginia or vermont?

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted March 4, 2014 - 6:18pm

Panel Member

There is the Lititz Watchmaking Technicum in PA, one of the best schools, if not THE best, in the US. There are, I believe, Nicholas Hayek schools in Boston and somewhere in FLA. 

It is cheaper to go to a school in your own country, as foreign students always pay a much higher tuition. For example, the school I went to was in Trois Rivieres, Quebec, and the tuition for me was around 5 grand. Our Madagascar student paid somewhere in the neighbourhood of $22000.

Richard Callamaras
Posted March 9, 2014 - 10:30am

I have a 1956 navigator with a water right back. It has a ton of patina on it but has no spot for a knife to pop it open. It's it possibly a screw back. If so my ball is not getting it open either. Does anyone know for sure which one it is, and any ideas how to coax it off.... Other than elbow grease.

ROGLEN
Posted March 10, 2014 - 9:32am

I to am looking for a place to have my 1970 Bulova Accuton Deep Sea watch repaired.

It was my High school graduation present from my dad and i always keep it running in till resently

i sent it in to Bulova repair center in NY and they sent it back to me saying they couldnt fix it becasue the parts are no longer avaiable?

i thought this was strange since the company has been in busness for so long you would think there would be someone that repaire out of prduction watchs. But i guess not.

 

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted March 10, 2014 - 9:35am

Panel Member

Keep in mind that the company has undergone a lot of changes, and is not the same company it was even in the 70's. For those following Bulova news, the company has just discontinued ALL of the BUlova Accutron Swiss watches. The new line, which will no longer feature ETA movements, to appear 3-4Q 2014, will be known as the 'AccuSwiss'. Word is they will be Ronda Quartz and Sellita Swiss movts. 

ETA is owned by Swatch Group, and they are further restricting supply of their movts to non-Swatch companies. 

JP
Posted March 11, 2014 - 11:45am

Panel Member

Rich try popping the crystal off. I think the watch is a front loader.

llattuca
Posted April 20, 2014 - 9:06pm

I am looking for a qualified repair/restorer to work on several watches of my Bulova and LeGant collection.  Specifically, I am in Orland Park, IL so ideally someone local to me in the SouthWest Suburbs of Chicago or any Chicago suburb.  Thank you!!  -Larry  LL3554@GMAIL.COM

 

Stan The Man
Posted July 6, 2014 - 2:49pm

Bulova mvt.7AA can anyone tell me if other mvt.parts are interchangeable with the 7AA? I have a nice Academy Award that's missing the winder and wheel and pawl.Only one I've found is the complete mvt.for $48.00 which is more than my budget will allow for this piece.

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William Smith
Posted July 6, 2014 - 3:10pm

Club 5000Panel Member

I think we have a Bulova Interchangability catalog on site.  Don't remember for sure.  Check here:
http://www.mybulova.com/vintage-bulova-catalogs

hodiekahn@gmail.com
Posted July 16, 2014 - 1:48pm

HELP!!! Looking for help with a 1950 Bulova photo watch (the watch pops up like a locket) in desperate need of majour repairs.  Face and hands have fallen off.  Jeweller unable to repair.  Very sad....The watch has great sentimental value.  Any leads very much appreciated. Thank you.

 

1955mercury's picture
1955mercury
Posted July 17, 2014 - 9:56am

hodiekahn@gmail.com wrote:

HELP!!! Looking for help with a 1950 Bulova photo watch (the watch pops up like a locket) in desperate need of majour repairs.  Face and hands have fallen off.  Jeweller unable to repair.  Very sad....The watch has great sentimental value.  Any leads very much appreciated. Thank you.

 

Hi Hodeikahn. By "Face", are you referring to the dial or the crystal? If it's just the crystal, that's not a big deal. If you still have the old one, it can be glued back on with crystal cement or new ones are available. If it's the dial, have the dial feet come off or did it just come loose from the movement? If you still have the old hands, they can be put back on. And if they have become lost, new ones can still be found, but it might take a little while to locate some. Please explain the problem in more detail. I don't think it's as serious as you may think.

hodiekahn@gmail.com
Posted July 17, 2014 - 12:32pm

Hi.  Thank you for responding to my email.  To clarify:  The entire top of the watch is gone.  I can't The watch was always a bit problematic with this feature, the face popped off every now and again, but I was always fortunate to find it and pop it back on.  I lost the original hands this way; the hands that were most recently lost were not the orignal ones.  I guess it was inevevitable that there would come a day when my luck would run out...That day has now come and the watch is faceless and handless.   I hope these parts are available.  As I mentioned, huge sentimental value (it does not keep great time:)).  Belonged to my late father, and I keep a small photo of him in the locket compartment.  Thank you.

1955mercury's picture
1955mercury
Posted July 17, 2014 - 1:07pm

This partial photo watch is on Ebay right now, but it is not the same year as the one you have pictured.

Do a search for: RARE VINTAGE BULOVA MENS WATCH 10K GOLD FILLED 8AE PARTS REPAIR

I tried to post the link, but apparently that is not allowed. I don't know if those parts will help you or not. You'll have to look at it. I'll check some other sources of parts and get back to you if I find anything that might be what you're looking for.