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.

cstrom2021
Posted May 31, 2022 - 12:04am

In reply to by RPH52

That is a retaining ring that goes inside the crystal before you press fit it to the case. Keeps the dial at a distance so the watch hands do not contact face of crystal inside.

ezaragoza
Posted September 3, 2022 - 12:53am

Good evening. New to the hobby, and of course the first watch I try to work on, I totally mess it up. The $%^&* crown/ratchet screw. Snapped the head right off. Hard waw to learn that these are LH screws - sometimes/most of the time/depends on the company......... The movement is a beauty 17AE pocket watch 21J. Looking for recommendations on a good watchmaker who can drill out the tiny remnant (Chicago area ideal) , or if anyone has a 17AE 21J 6 Adjustment winding bridge for sale ???full bridge

remnant

franklin_m
Posted October 3, 2022 - 5:33pm

Can't say enough good things about "The Clock and Watch Shop" (824 Gravier St, New Orleans LA 70112 / 504-525-3961). For years I've been searching for that classic family owned watch shop, someplace I felt comfortable entrusting my Grandfather's 1956 Bulova for repair. Well, they're it! Family owned business, brothers Brett (watches) and Matt (clocks) do great work and are genuinely nice guys. They were recommended to me by a colleague, and I'm recommending them based on my experience. They even salvaged the band my Grandfather wore, it looks great!

1956 Bulova President

shrinkboy
Posted October 17, 2022 - 6:53pm

i suspect there are many here like me. i have a 1978 218 Accutron that hasn't run in years, and i want to find a dependable tech who can bring it back. it is currently in the hands of business who quoted me $2750 to do the work. i've not OK'd it, and i believe i will ask that it be sent back, but am i wrong in thinking this is way too much?

and should i get it sent back, who should do the work?

plainsmen
Posted October 18, 2022 - 8:58am

In reply to by shrinkboy

That's crazy... Usually a guy can find an Accutron service for $400 or less depending on.. but no where near that rediculiusness.

shrinkboy
Posted October 18, 2022 - 9:23am

In reply to by plainsmen

and so, a recommendation, if possible. i am not able to tell the fly by nighters from the legits...

JEV1A
Posted May 18, 2023 - 1:46am

In reply to by mybulova_admin

Thanks so much for the props. 

My services for any Vintage Bulova including Vintage Accutrons remains: 

$79.99 for basic service 

$179.00 for complete restorations 

e-mail with pic of watch and problems

[email protected]

John V.

Time & Again 

 

iplaws
Posted July 17, 2023 - 5:00pm

In reply to by JEV1A

I agree with the above comments that John V of time and again does outstanding repair and servicing work on Accutron watches.  

JEV1A
Posted September 26, 2023 - 7:55am

In reply to by iplaws

Can't thank you enough for servicing and restoring one of the greatest Accutron Collections ever assembled! 

Best

John V

JEV1A
Posted May 18, 2023 - 2:03am

In reply to by plainsmen

Good lord... you can find a nice Vintage 218 Accutron for that kind of money. The problem is nobody and I mean legit watchmakers won't touch Accutrons. One bad move on a coil and your sunk. Or to re-install the tuning forks and to calibrate you need to be a master watchmaker and if you don't know Accutrons, forget it. Sometimes I'm so frustrated, I just replace the whole movement. Bulova did not make it easy to service 214 and 218 Accutrons. only a handful of watchmakers today can accomplish this. My costs are based on my time and service. 

Makes me sick when I see these prices for Accutron Service. A new client took his non running 214 to a jeweler in Marco Island, Florida and he was quoted $350.00, lest to say he sent it to me and although the watch needed a complete overhaul, I was able to keep the costs down well under $200.00.

But some Accutron Watchmakers will argue they need to charge large fees because who else will do the work?

So you decide.. its not easy, I know. 

John V. - Time & Again 

[email protected] 

Geoff Baker
Posted October 18, 2022 - 9:39pm

I just sent you an email. Henry Encarnacion was the head of the Bulova Service Center in New York City for 25 years. He's the best. PERIOD 

Slickster514
Posted December 19, 2022 - 12:09pm

I have a 1973 model “CN” with a 218-2 movement. Was purchased in October and claims to have been fully serviced and cleaned. Not sure if it needs a repair / service or not, let me describe the issue:  Normally keeps excellent time, I check it every time I put it on my wrist, or put it down for the night, or store it for a few days. About -0.5s per day face up when not worn, and about +0.5s per day when on wrist. About every 10 to 14 days, it losses about 3 to 5 seconds in a wear or rest period of say 10 hours. Any idea what causes this massive time lag and so sporadically? The watch is not mistreated in any way and always rests on a soft surface when not worn.

JEV1A
Posted May 18, 2023 - 2:15am

In reply to by Slickster514

Your expectations for accuracy on a 218 is way too high. Vintage accutrons react to the environment. Although NASA used the accutron movement within instrumentation on Apollo Missions, Astronauts were not allowed to wear them on their wrists as it had an effect on magnetics! You cannot time a tuning fork movement like other movements. Bulova made a special timing device especially made for Accutrons. And then there is the battery voltage issues. Remember the original Bulova approved mercury cells were banned. And Bulova never really approved any other batteries in the day. So to get that perfect voltage that Bulova recommends is impossible with modern day button cells. If my accutron is slow a minute I don't care. Consider yourself lucky 

John V.

Time & Again 

[email protected]  

jstump2490
Posted January 16, 2023 - 9:11am

John V. at Time & Again (a few posts up) did excellent work on my 1958 Bulova 23 D recently! He is very responsive to messages, his service cost isn't crazy, and has quick turn around time. I will definitely be using his services again if I buy another Bulova needing work done!

JEV1A
Posted May 18, 2023 - 1:50am

In reply to by jstump2490

Thanks so much. It was a real pleasure to bring your watch back to specs and do the restoration work.

Return clients get 10% off! 

Best

John V. 

Time & Again

[email protected] 

Birch
Posted February 23, 2023 - 6:47pm

I have recently acquired a ‘43 A-11 military watch that sadly has worn lug holes. Is it repairable an if so could anyone recommend someone in Australia to do the work? Failing all else would there be one for sale by one of the members?

Birch.

mybulova_admin
Posted May 18, 2023 - 1:52am

Birch are the lug holes broken through, or just wide and loose?

teakyou
Posted June 5, 2023 - 10:22pm

I have several old Bulova watches (Sea King, Clipper, Oceanographer) that develop condensation on the underside of the crystal if I wear them when I'm working and just moderately  perspiring. They've all been serviced, so I wonder if I need to replace one or more seals. Is there some resource that lists the required seals?

Thanks in advance,

TQ

mybulova_admin
Posted June 5, 2023 - 10:51pm

In reply to by teakyou

The ABC Parts catalog may list these. Does your watch have an case model number stamped in the inside back case?

teakyou
Posted June 6, 2023 - 7:30am

In reply to by mybulova_admin

The Oceanographer is stamped "307". It loads from the front. The 2 Golden Clippers have case #s 2999 and 3007.

TQ

JEV1A
Posted June 12, 2023 - 9:08pm

In reply to by teakyou

Removing an old Crystal and sealer ring won't help the damage already done. You need to remove the movement and dial and ultrasonically clean all the parts. The condensation issue probably has caused corrosion if you see discoloration. Movement will have be oiled and recalibration must happen. Simply replacing a Crystal won't help the bigger issue. 

John V.

Time & Again

[email protected] 

teakyou
Posted June 12, 2023 - 10:17pm

In reply to by JEV1A

Thanks, John. All of the watches have been worn sparingly since they were last serviced, so I'm hoping that corrosion isn't an issue. I don't see any discoloration. What I'd like to know is if I should be asking for other seals to be replaced when I have watches serviced, or is the crystal the culprit when it comes to moisture ingress? Is there a document that lists the seals (if any) for a given model or case?

Thanks,

TQ

JEV1A
Posted June 13, 2023 - 10:09pm

In reply to by teakyou

Not really do I have any documentation.

Manufacturers suggested service is different for every brand. Seals are generally used when watch is sold as waterproof. Such as pro divers and other sports related timepieces. The Accutron Spaceview inner Crystal Ring is famous because of aftermarket size problems. I have made my own gaskets in the past and or use a clear jewelers glue, pressed and mounted makes great seals. No matter what we do moisture finds its way into watches. Either from bezel or back of watches. Bulova had serious problems with dial corrosion and rusting. Once a crystal becomes loose, you need to replace and reset. You can purchase micro-thin strands of silicone and place within the bezel grooves for a super tight seal. Work arounds are tough because of the lack of original parts available.

John V. 

Time & Again

[email protected] 

bklyn1947
Posted June 13, 2023 - 7:45pm

I was given a Accutron 214 Spaceview by my late father in 1965. I have not worn the watch in over 20 years. It has enormous sentimental value and I would like to have it serviced and fully restored. While I will not say that price is no object it clearly is a secondary consideration to finding the right person who can restore this heirloom. I live in NYC but will send the watch wherever it will be restored properly. 

Thanks in advance for your help and guidance in this matter n

JEV1A
Posted June 13, 2023 - 10:13pm

In reply to by bklyn1947

Happy to help.. 

Send pic, front and back to [email protected] with short description of services needed

I specialize in 214 and 218 Vintage Accutrons

John V 

Time & Again 

Apopka, Florida 

Mark Summers
Posted September 23, 2023 - 4:44pm

Just received my 1966 Accutron Calendar watch back from John V. at "Time & Again" ([email protected]).

I could not be happier.  I highly suggest him for any Accutron inspection / restoration / service needs.

peatnick
Posted November 22, 2023 - 9:17am

Lost the crystal on my 1966 Date King “PM” 

Anyone know size for replacement ? 
 

It is domed so guess I need 3 dimensions, diameter x height x thickness

Geoff Baker
Posted November 22, 2023 - 8:23pm

In reply to by peatnick

What is the case number? (stamped inside case back)

peatnick
Posted November 22, 2023 - 9:37pm

Thanks again Geoff!

JEV1A
Posted December 15, 2023 - 9:17am

On any Accutron 214 or 218 Crystal replacement. A trick I use is go Esslingers watch supply. Search watch crystals. Find stella low or high dome and select correct size in millimeters. Its a cheaper-faster process than finding a NOS correct crystal. And be aware crystals in original packaging if not properly stored will scratch after 60 years or so. John V. - Time & Again

Pamela Feyereisen
Posted February 4, 2024 - 3:58pm

Looking for a reliable repair for my 1967 Golden Centennial "X".  It may only need a cleaning, but it's so tiny.  I don't want to pass this along to my daughter non-working.  Have another tiny vintage watch (not Bulova) probably pre-1940's, that I would like to have evaluated also.  I'm in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago.