Bulova 1970 Oceanographer
Hey all, heres another of my Bulova's,
This one was a labor of love for me. And also sort of a milestone. I started learning watch making about 2 years ago , i had hurt my back and neck badly , and i retired medically . So i needed a realistic hobby. I always loved watches, always had more than 3 my whole life.
My first big milestone was rebuilding a Seiko automatic, which i did about 2 years back with a Seiko 7002 divers watch.
This Bulova Oceanographer was pretty bad off when i got it. I won a local estate auction of a watch maker.It was one single box full of "dead watches". I rescued quite a few of the watches in that box, sold many others. I pretty much trippled the money i bought the box for with in a month or so, plus i added a few great watches to my own collection.
The bulova had seen better days. The crystal was cracked. The case was scratched , dinged and pitted. The crown was missing. The hands were rusted to the dial. Apparently , the watch was in water when the crown broke off. Internally the watch's keyless works were rusted and fused together.
So when i started work , i didnt have too much hope for the watch beyond the nice solid gold 14kt bezel being harvested for gold scrap. After starting to take apart the watch, i removed the rusty hands, and lo and behold, the movement started to run ! That was enough for me to try real hard to bring the watch back to some of its glory it had when it was made.
It took about a year. I didnt have a spare movement to replace all the rusted parts at the time, so it sat dis assembled .I moved on to other projects. And after that year went by i learned more about watches. I also bought another watch estate locally. This one had a few bulova's in it, and one was a match to the Oceanographer movment, a 11alacd.
The milestone i passed was i rebuilt the watch movement from a tray of mixed pieces , with out instructions. The movements were identical.
I also filed , sanded , and buffed out the nice stainless case until it looked almost new.The watch came to me with out the original 2 tone jubilee bracelet , so i had to raid my collection of saved watch bracelet pieces , and i put one good bracelet together from numerous pieces . I made the finish of the bracelet match the polish of the bulova's case. i also replaced the crown with a matching gold plated diver type.
The dial on the bulova was a total loss. The hands rusted to the dial , making nasty brown splotches all over it. And much of the water slide decals that had the lettering and indices on it melted off when it was exposed to water all that time ago. Of course, there were no Oceanographer dials to be found online. So i had to get clever . I stripped the dial to bare metal gently , and used gold plaquing dust to gold leaf the dial. Its a sterile model, but it looks ok . I even filled the indices with black paint. And i relumed the hands.
Sorry its not all original , But the darn thing wanted so bad to run.