Splitting metal along the length of lugs

Submitted by gweber on June 1, 2024 - 8:15am

Hi, I just joined the website and recently bought a gorgeous Bulova watch.  I was so happy!  I had looked at quite a few before I bougth this one.  When I put it on I was surprised to feel that the lugs were somewhat sharp.  Looking closely showed me that all the lugs have a metal split happening.  I searched online and have found some images of watches on sale that show the same thing.  Is this a possible manufacturing issue or did I get ripped off?  Any feedback is much appreciated.

Posted June 1, 2024 - 5:39pm

Hi Gweber. Welcome to mybulova. That's not metal splitting. The "L6" on the back of your watch means it was made in 1956. That makes it 68 years old. The gold plating has worn off of the lugs in those spots from either wearing the watch or polishing it and exposing the base metal. You can take some very fine sandpaper and smooth the rough edges so they don't irritate your wrist. If the cosmetic look of it bothers you, you could have the entire case polished and electroplated (not a cheap process), or you could sell it and look for another that hasn't seen as much wear. 

Posted June 2, 2024 - 1:04am

Thanks 1955mercury, I didn’t think about that.  It is such a lovely watch I would hate to think it’s not the real deal.  The look is not off putting, I’m only 6mths new to watch collecting and am really sad, annoyed and cautious because of unscrupulous people trying to make a quick buck.  I absolutely love the watch, and now more so.

Posted June 2, 2024 - 1:41am

As Merc said this is very normal for a vintage watch, espcially a 68 year old watch. It just means it was a well worn watch and probably much loved by it's original owner.

Those areas on your watch will be the high points touching the skin and years of wear will do this to plating.

I say smooth off any sharp edges and wear your wonderful vintage Bulova watch for all it's worth.

Posted June 2, 2024 - 2:18am

I will.  Thanks guy.

Posted June 2, 2024 - 2:19am

Guys I meant.

Posted June 2, 2024 - 2:59am

I think this type of 'splitting' is more of corrosion forming on the base metal of the case underneath the RGP forcing the seam to split.

I could be wrong.  

Posted June 16, 2024 - 9:54pm

I have used an emery board to date down the rought edges.  It doesn't really harm the watch.