Watch Repair

Submitted by Jim Townsend on October 25, 2011 - 6:15am

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

Posted March 11, 2014 - 12:45pm

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

Posted April 20, 2014 - 10:06pm

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  [email protected]

Stan The Man
Posted July 6, 2014 - 3:49pm

Bulova mvt.7AA can anyone tell me if other 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.

Posted July 16, 2014 - 2:48pm

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.


Posted July 17, 2014 - 10:56am

In reply to by [email protected]

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.

Posted July 17, 2014 - 1:32pm

In reply to by 1955mercury

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.

Posted July 17, 2014 - 2:07pm

In reply to by [email protected]

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.

Posted July 16, 2014 - 3:08pm

Here is a picture of the flip top photo watch.   Mine is missing the face and hands.  (Still trying to figure out how to upload a picture of mine; technical difficulties. :))  Again, ANY leads as to where I can have mine restored will be GREATLY appreciated.  Keep a picture of my late father in the the locket compartment.  Miss him!


Reverend Rob
Posted July 16, 2014 - 3:25pm

You might have to find another watch to be a donor, or another movt that has the dial attached. Unless your watchmaker happens to have one of these as a parts watch, that's what will be needed. It is possible that the flip top watch has the same dial as another Bulova. For example, if you know your dimensions and movement type, you might be able to find another movt with dial attached. I trawl eBay for things like this when finding parts for customer's watches. It can be a long drawn out process. Another resource would be a local Mart of the NAWCC. 

Posted July 17, 2014 - 4:56pm

Thanks.  I have started to look on the internet for just such a remedy.  In the meantime, reached out to Bulova Canada and spoke with someone there.  Have a lead on a local watchmaker who may be able to help.  Will keep you all posted.  Thank you!


Posted July 18, 2014 - 7:46pm

This is my watch...Sorry state

This is what it should look like.  Any one know where I can find a new bezel, crystal and hands...?


Posted July 18, 2014 - 8:25pm

In reply to by [email protected]

The crystal and hands will be no problem to locate. The bezel is going to be almost like trying to find a live dinosaur. I would wait until I found it before even trying to find the crystal and hands. If you're anything like me, you will have forgotten where you put them by the time you find a bezel.

Reverend Rob
Posted July 18, 2014 - 7:57pm

International will refin the dial. They do excellent work, I had a couple done recently. To source a bezel, you will need an empty donor case or another watch. I search 'Vintage Bulova' as a constant thing on eBay. 

Posted August 11, 2014 - 9:50am

I have two bulova jump hour watches: one silver, one gold that need servicing. The silver works for short periods and then stops; jump hour mechanism rolls versus jumps. The gold works mechanically but I would like case/stem replated and dials refreshed. Any suggestions on watchmaker that can assist with these watches. I live in Northern California. Thanks. 

Geoff Baker
Posted August 12, 2014 - 6:21am

eshahin - I've sent you a private message


William Smith
Posted August 31, 2014 - 7:44pm

Bobbee  We also discussed a couple android cell phone apps, and I think an iPhone app in another thread here.  Maybe it was a group of us in a private message.  I'll look for it, if it was open thread.  Rev Rob had tried one of these, and I've got two different ones on my android cell phone.  If I use an external microphone and place near the watch in a quite area, it works OK.  I even think one of the apps has the option to generate some kind of graphic file which can be printed.  A static graphic file that encapsulates a short period of real time readings - it ends up looking like a tape strip.

I'll also check out the links above.  ...and what a great suggestion on amuzing the kids.  My two apps are mostly used by my boys (when I even let them touch my cellphone).  They know how to "use them" better than I do.  It actually can function like a learnign tool for the kids, so they get exposed to the concepts in a fun, graphic computery kind of way... 

William Smith
Posted August 31, 2014 - 7:50pm

In reply to by William Smith

....O   By the way.  One of my apps is the WildSpectrraMobil. IMO bite the bullet and go for the full (purchase) version. The lite version- which is free- didn't cut it by comparison to the full version which one purchases from your app store.  I think the full version was about $6.  Had I stuck with the free version very long, I would have deleted it right away and moved on....but the full version is worth the price of a couple of beers...

Geoff Baker
Posted September 1, 2014 - 5:46am

In reply to by William Smith

Hmmm, beer is cheap where you live Will. Must be the only thing cheap out there.....

William Smith
Posted August 31, 2014 - 8:12pm

Seriously- we have a Tic-Tock Watch Club here, geared for Juniro Horologists.  It's part of our NAWCC chapter.  Since watchmaking/repairs is almost a dying trade, we have gone to schools on career day and tried to get youth interested in watch repair/horology.  The cell phone spectra tool is an excellent learning tool for teaching concepts...  Watchmaking isn't that glamorous for youth, so anything that can hlep make it more "modern" is a good thing.  Somebody is gonna have to work on our watches in 30 years from now....and my 80 year old watch maker isn't gonna be doing this at age 110.

Posted September 12, 2014 - 6:10am

Hi all  Bit of a sad tale.  I live in Spain and after quite a search found what l thought was a good old fashioned watchmaker who assured me he could at least service vintage bulova's. I give him six to start with five of which jst needed cleaned and oiled and one which required new hands tpobe fitted and cleaned /oiled. When l went to collect them only 3 still worked . Of the other three, two had been over wound and the one which wanted the new hands fitted is completly jammed and the hands will only turn in an anticlockwise way. To say l wasnt a happy bunny was an understatement but all he would say was they antque and what did l expect. So now im down two 7AP  21j  and one 7Ak 21j  working mvements. Can anyone recommend a watchmaker (reliable) who might be able to sort out these three movements for me. lm willing to send them off to the US if need be.

Regards to all George

Posted September 12, 2014 - 7:18am

That is a sad story indeed, George. Especially after seeing some of the nice Bulovas you've posted on here. One tip: when someone tells you a watch has been over wound, don't let them touch your watches. It is impossible to over wind a watch. I don't know where that term came from, but when people use it, it usually means the watch is wound up tight and doesn't work. Watchmaking has become a nearly extinct occupation and if you collect vintage watches and have to depend on someone else to service and repair them you are going to nearly always invest more in them than you will ever recoup. Have you ever thought about learning to repair them yourself? There are a lot of good books on the subject. With a lot of reading, investing in tools a little at a time, and a lot of patience and practice, you can learn to repair them yourself. It's a fun hobby, although frustrating in the beginning. But I can't describe the feeling you get when you bring one back to life. Start out with some cheap brand that you can pick up for around $10 and practice on them, because you will fatally wound a few in the beginning. The mechanical basics are the same on all watches. When you progress to a point where you can take a cheap one completely apart and put it back together and it still works, you're ready to move on to the more expensive ones. That's my advice, but I'm sure someone on here can recommend a good watchmaker if you don't have the time to invest in doing it yourself.

Reverend Rob
Posted September 12, 2014 - 2:10pm

I'd like to comment on the state of the trade... There is a global shortage of watchmakers, and mechanical watches are a multi-billion dollar industry. They are not going away, in fact, quite the opposite, despite the quartz watches and the new Apple Watch. Companies are screaming for watchmakers, and if you can get the training, you can pick and choose where you want to work. Rolex, for example, had their biggest year in the heart of the recent recession. There are 6 or 7 schools in the US, and 1 in Canada, but in Europe and Asia there are considerably more. Modern watchmaking is not something you can teach yourself, I strongly recommend getting training for those that are interested. We had students hired before they even completed the courses. By all means, get the manuals and books and start learning, you will be prepping yourself for fromal training. I can recommend the WOSTEP textbook 'The Theory of Horology', and any books on watch repair by Donald DeCarle.  Yes, it costs money, and yes, it is full time school, and it can take 3 years, but the future is bright for watchmaking.  My own opinion on electronic and quartz watches is that they fill the landfills with dead batteries that need to be recycled due to hazardous materials. A vintage mechanical watch is the definition of 'Green', it has been restored and continues to operate without batteries, and can do this for an extremely long period of time, spreading what little environmenal impact it may have over many decades of use. Imagine still driving a car that does the same job after 100 years. 

Posted October 22, 2014 - 9:07am

Hello everyone! I am new here and to Bulova watches. My father recently gave me his 1968 accutron astronaut which I remember him wearing when I was a child.  It has not worked in years if not decades, and I would like to have it repaired and the crystal cleaned. I am in Honolulu and was wondering if there is any place anyone can recommend here? If not, somewhere I can perhaps ship it to to have it repaired?

Thank you  

Posted October 27, 2014 - 8:54pm

Hello all,
there are still some of us younger people attending schools. The watch thecnicum in Litiz is a Rolex school, they really only teach you Rolex and ETA movements. I know many a watchmaker who has attended the school, it is a great program if you plan to work on modern Rolex and Swatch group watches. They do not teach much in the way of vintage repair. I currently attend the York Time Institute, headed by Daniel Nied. It us a very small school max of 7 students. We learn to make parts for watches and clocks from the 1600s to modern timepieces. I was in the boat that many are in here, got to a point that I needed formal training. I would highly recommend our school but understand that there are a few programs still out there. If anyone has questions contact me. I also know Rich on here who is very active with this site.

Posted December 13, 2014 - 9:46am

Gentlemen, I have an early 50's Bulova Excellency and I would like to access the link for recommended service/repair facilities. I have heard only horror stories about the Bulova service facility in New York state. Many thanks Will

Posted February 4, 2015 - 9:53am

Hello, I just joined and I am looking for someone that can repair a 1920's era pocket watch that was my grandfathers. I live in the East Texas area and can drive up to 250 miles. Thank you for your information.

Posted May 26, 2015 - 8:26pm

I want to thank everyone for their help and attention. I am wondering if anyone knows a good watchmaker on the West coast> Calif,Nevada, New Mexico ETC. Thanks James

Posted May 28, 2015 - 12:09am

I am looking for a Watch repair person on the west coast. Ca,Nevada, New Mexico Utah, Oregon, Washington. I would appreciate any suggestion Thanks James

Posted June 19, 2015 - 12:36am

Randy I am a collector of vintage Bulova's from the 20's-60's and need some one to overhaul clean and polish the cases. I have a lot of Bulova NOS parts I have purchased over the years. Thanks James

Posted June 20, 2015 - 3:51pm

James, What in particular do you need service on at the moment ? If I read this want a COA ( clean -oil-adjust ) and the cases/crystals attended to ?? Best, Randy

Posted June 20, 2015 - 8:21pm

Hey Randy Thanks for getting back to me. That is exactly what I need. Just so you know my movmts range from the 20's - 60's all Bulova except for 1 Gruen Curvex. Any idea what the cost per watch would be. I willl be waiting to hear from. James

Posted June 22, 2015 - 7:23pm

Hi James. Sorry to get back to you so late..been really busy. Most standard, mechanical wind COA's are around $90.if nothing else is needed other than a new mainspring, and labor. I include cleaning and hand polishing the case in that price as well I'm not doing automatics right now. Crystals are separate. I don't charge "extra" for them..just what it costs to source one if I don't have one in stock, and I only charge another $5 to install them. Shipping is negotiated, and I ask that the return postage is paid by the customer as well. My estimates are $10, which is applied to the COA if you elect to have me do the work. I always tell the customer what I see,..then we go from there. If that sounds ok to you..let me know. We can start with one watch if you like..and then you can see how it all goes ?? Best regards Randy

Posted June 22, 2015 - 7:51pm

That sounds great except for the price I am paying $70.00 now however my turn around time is not two my liking. If we can agree on terms I would like to send you my Gruen Cruvex.

I use USPS Priority mail to get it two you it should only cost about $5.25

Randy pls contact me on my home em [email protected]



Posted June 22, 2015 - 11:26pm

Does anyone know what type and size crystal a Bulova 3818A military watch tales?

Posted June 23, 2015 - 12:36am

Reinking72 Please give me more info like date code on the movement ,calibre of movement, as well as what the back of watch has engraved on it. I will do my best to help James

Posted September 18, 2015 - 9:20am

Hi everyone; My father-in-laws Bulova accutron has stopped working. A local repair shop here in Ottawa Canada could not fix it. It was a gift from his wife who recently passed and I would like to get it working for him again. Any suggestions? It has a n2 stamp which matches the 1972 timeframe of the gift. thanks for your time.

Geoff Baker
Posted September 18, 2015 - 9:26am

In reply to by Stevek613

Hi Steve - I just sent you a private message with a suggestion.

Posted October 27, 2015 - 12:24am

Hi All I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving. The watchmaker I was using has stopped taking in work (family health issues ), and it is a real shame he's work is excellent, once again I need to find some one how can do my work. I am looking for a Watch repair person on the west coast. Ca,Nevada, New Mexico Utah, Oregon, Washington. I would appreciate any suggestion Thanks  James

Posted November 12, 2015 - 3:10pm

Hello All,   I just purchased 20,000+ Bulova parts / material. & 300K in other branded watch material. I'm sorting it out piece by piece & looking at the fleaBay market to sell it off. If I can help anyone with locating NOS Bulova parts. Some minor Earliest Bulova parts are invoice dated 1946. Some Accutron & Accuquartz coverage. Decimal calibres too.   The material house was regional & in headquartered Wisconsin. Material coverage primarily on the 1946-1980 Era. I would say pretty good coverage on hand sets, sweep seconds & subsidiary seconds hands. Followed by factory crowns then factory crystals. (not a lot of Accutron coverage). Micro-rotor 12EBA & 14EA PARTS. Lots of NOS Bulova case gaskets.   Provide me with calibre & factory Bulova part#'s & I will search my stock in a timely fashion. My email address; [email protected]. eBay: strange_findings

Posted December 5, 2015 - 5:51pm

Hello All I have a 1950  Berkshire Men's watch with the 10 BM 17j movmt and something strange keeps happening. When I take the watch out wind it and have it sitting on my bench it keeps great time HOWEVER,  when I put it on it stops if I shake it or tap it runs for about 10 seconds. Your help would be appreciated. Thanks and Happy Holidays. James 


Posted December 5, 2015 - 6:30pm

Hi James. A question, does it run in all positions laying on your desk. By that I mean does it run laying on the back, laying up on the stem, laying up on the opposite side from the stem, and also laying on the crystal? I've seen movements with broken balance staffs run either laying on their backs or laying on their crystals depending on which end of the staff is broken.

Posted December 5, 2015 - 9:03pm

1955 mercury Thanks good though I will see and let U know Thanks James

Posted December 15, 2015 - 2:28pm

Hi again James. I don't exactly know how to interpret this but this is from the 1952 Bulova Interchangeable parts catalog.

I'm guessing you are still working on the 10BM movement. The Cannon pinion is Bulova part #11 but I don't know what the 11, 11A, 11B, etc. over the lengths mean. Maybe we will find out together.

Posted December 15, 2015 - 5:47pm


Their is only one challenge with the catalouge it does not cover the 11ALC.

I have not found any reference material that covers the 11 series any ideas?

Posted December 15, 2015 - 6:15pm

In reply to by jamesdudman

Odd. I don't see a part #11 listed for the 11ALC in the ABC parts catalog or a reference to another movement for this part.