Bulova 666 Case 386-1 Loose Bezel

Submitted by Mike Ohrnstein on August 29, 2021 - 7:37am

Hello - I have a 666 diver with case number 386-1, dates from 1967. The bidirectional bezel has a spring loaded ball that is still intact. However, the bezel is a touch too loose; I can make it slightly rattle with a shake of the watch. It is not so loose as to fall off, thankfully.

Does anyone know if this model needs a bezel spring or gasket? I cannot find this info anywhere on the 386 series cases. Thanks in advance. 

Posted August 30, 2021 - 7:15am

It looks like this case had a 'known' issue according to Bulova's 1972 ABC Case Parts Catalog.

The case number is actualy marked "Return Complete Case to Case Dept."

So to me that sounds like the loose bezel issue was a major issue for Bulova.

Amazingly this was the only case reference I could find where they did that.

Thus the official 1972 ABC Case Part Catalog has no part information for the 386-1

Mike Ohrnstein
Posted August 30, 2021 - 7:19am

Ha, amazing. Thanks for looking into it. I tried a 0.50mm rubber gasket (a shim of sorts), and it snugged it up but made it very hard to turn. Gonna get a 0.20 or 0.30 gasket and try the same. Will report back for the next person asking the same question. 

Thanks - Mike

Mike Ohrnstein
Posted September 11, 2021 - 10:55pm

I was able to find a work around by using a 0.30mm gasket as a shim. 


Separately, I've seen elsewhere on this site that 361-1 cases take the 386A-1 crystal. GS makes a generic (pa 429-36), but it 28.23mm, whereas I measure the width of the slot at 27.87mm. I tried one, and it cracked before I could get it to work. Having dealt with many tension ring crystals, it seemed too big. 

Can anyone confirm the 386A-1 is the appropriate crystal for the 386 case? Anyone know where a suitable replacement can be found? Thanks in advance. 

Geoff Baker
Posted September 12, 2021 - 9:40pm

In reply to by Mike Ohrnstein

Mike - as noted above the catalog of replacement parts has a note on all three 386 cases = The case number is actually marked "Return Complete Case to Case Dept." We do not know what the correct crystal is for that case, we have no way of knowing.

Mike Ohrnstein
Posted September 12, 2021 - 10:20pm

In reply to by Geoff Baker

Thanks - wasn't sure until now that the note re: the case applied to all specifics. If anyone has first hand anecdotal advice on a 386-1, I'd welcome any input. Thanks!

Posted September 23, 2021 - 5:45am

there were 2 BEZELS produced the carried the ref# B - 138 

the first version is meant for the first model with Case ref#:  386  whose bezel had an applied decal [not engraved]

Bezel 138Bezel 138Bezel 138


Second version of the BEZEL is engraved into the the bezel itself and is meant for use  for the following later case ref# as reflected on the chart  ...Bezel 138Bezel 138

Posted September 23, 2021 - 6:00am

I could be wrong but , I think case ref#  386. 386-1, and 386-2  would have been paired with the applied decal version