Bulova 1973 Oceanographer

Submitted by gmmy775 on August 15, 2023 - 11:06pm
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Date Code
Movement Jewels
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Case color
Case Manufacturer
Watch Description

Bulova Snorkel ref. 7095 in stainless steel w/cal. 11AOACB auto and 1973 movement.  My watchmaker has the timepiece at the moment, and I did not do measurements prior.  Also, I neglected to photo the outside of the caseback.  When it returns from service I will post a concise description.  I have owned the watch for about six months, and I do have a couple of questions for the esteemed panel.  One, is the bezel supposed to have click-stops, as this one just turns smoothly.  Two, is there a preferred method of removing the bezel from the case.  Three, are there any of these bezels available within the MyBulova community?  This one has a loss of black ink/paint in the first quadrant of the insert.  If a replacement bezel is not available, does anyone have experience in restoring this bezel insert to something close to original.

I do have a few other somewhat interesting vintage Bulovas to share, so I will get busy with the camera and calipers.

Thank you ahead of time for any enlightenment.  jimmy

snorkel 666 dial
snorkel 666 movement-1
snorkel 666 movement-2
snorkel 666 inside caseback
Posted August 16, 2023 - 6:16am

Thanks for sharing your Oceanographer "V".

I've not had many of these types, but I do recall having one where the bezel turned smoothly (no clicking), and I thought the same if this was standard. Sorry, I don't have any guidance on bezel removal or replacements. I do wonder if the bezel insert can be changed without removing the entire bezel.

1971-73 Bulova Oceanographer "V" watch

Posted August 16, 2023 - 9:06am

Thank you, your recollections are appreciated.  I am hoping to restore this tasty little watch to its former glory, but even my watchmaker is not sure how approach the bezel without damaging it.  If the bezel actually doesn't have any stops will make the task somewhat easier.

Posted August 16, 2023 - 9:10am

One other question.  In the past I have seen this model with this 23 jewel movement, as well as a different seemingly earlier movement.  Because the Bulova catalog listing indicates a 17 jewel movement, I am wondering how many movements were known to be installed in the "V"?  Thanx again.

Posted August 16, 2023 - 9:23am

In reply to by gmmy775

What is the datestamp on the caseback?

I don't believe a 23 jewel movement is correct, possibly a replacement of the movement or the oscillating rotor. I believe that dials would state '23 Jewels' if it was designed to have that jewel count.

Posted August 16, 2023 - 9:27am

I will message my watchmaker and ask him what the datestamp is.  There is another 11AOACB version in the MyBulova database, but I still am not sure if that is correct.  Many non-"V" versions contain this movement.

Posted August 16, 2023 - 4:57pm

Just chatted with my watchmaker, Matt.  He said the code on the caseback is N1.  He also said that he doesn't see anything that would suggest that the movement did not ship with that watch, even though the movement is two years newer.  According to him, he has serviced a number of the nicer Bulovas in which the movement is either a couple years older or newer then the case.  I have experienced this myself before, and the disparity was attributed a carry over of surplus cases or movements into later years.

Geoff Baker
Posted August 16, 2023 - 9:41pm

1973 Bulova Oceanographer V - all should be 17 jewel movement, this is a replacement. It should be an 11ANACB. The chances of you finding a replacement bezel are next to zero but don't let that stop you from looking, the part number is B177. It is a smooth, no click turn and is held in place (I think) by a spring.

PS - 7095 is the case PART number, not the serial, please update the case s/n when you get it, it's on the outside of the back

Posted August 18, 2023 - 11:55pm

In reply to by Geoff Baker

Hi Geoff

Thank you for your expertise, I don't think there are many with more Bulova experience than you.  I will be looking for the B177 bezel, but as you mentioned...pretty scarce.  Been mum for a minute, as I was waiting on an 11ANACB/N1 watch to come up for auction.  It just did, and I won it.  So I am going to send it on to Matt to install in the "V".  That will bring it into general conformation.  I think I will just have to be satisfied with the faded bezel insert though, as I spent many hour trying to locate one.  Still will be a pretty cool watch once it has been serviced.  I will provide the serial once I get it back.

take care  jimmy

Posted August 17, 2023 - 1:04am

Oceanographers are listed as being 17 jewels. I agree with the notion that watches could have had their movements replaced or 'upgraded' post purchase, but I don't think they were neccessarily sold this way. I suspect that the watch is a 1971 Bulova Ocranographer "V" with a replacement movement (same model).

Posted December 22, 2023 - 2:06pm

Hi. Definitely someone was „working” on that watch. This model was produced only in 1971 so N1 on the case back is correct. Second thing - hands. Hour hand is original but minute and second hand are replaced. Second hand should be simple and thin, and minut hand should have other shape. Third - this bezel should work smooth - it doesn’t have click. This is similar case to bleck faced, day&date model, with red lolipopnsecond hand. Fourth - as Goeff mentioned - the movement was probably swapped, but I think You don’t have to worry about it. As to bezel - it’s correct and as it was mentioned - really hard to get - I saw only two on ebay during last two Years.

Either way - that’s very cool watch!