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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Back in 1974, when I was only 10 years old, my dad purchased a brand new Bulova automatic watch with a silver dial with luminous hands and luminous numbers on the dial. I remember that watch very well because it was such a beautiful and eye catching watch. He had his Bulova until 1978 when he gave it to me because he was unable to wear the watch while at work. He couldn't wear his Bulova anymore because he used to get his arms & hands very dirty and sticky from working with flour, sugar, dough & various muffin mixes (he used to own & manage a Dunkin Donuts at the time and used to help out the baker all the time when it got very busy at the store).

Anyways, I wore the watch on and off for only a few months. Then one day, I accidently got the watch very wet while washing my hands & from this incident, the watch ended up getting moisture in it & it got all fogged up. I somehow was able to get the back bezel off the watch in order to try to get all the moisture out. After getting the back bezel off the watch and while trying to get the moisture out, I accidently broke the mainspring and ruined the watch. Being only 14 years old at the time, I thought that I could repair the watch by myself and I made things even worse by completely destroying the movement. My father was very angry at me that I took apart and broke his watch. He loved his Bulova automatic very much and it was now gone forever. I ended up throwing away the watch because it could not be repaired.

I really loved the styling of my father's Bulova automatic with its silver dial and luminous hands and luminous numbers on the dial. I felt very bad that I destroyed his watch. I always wanted to try to replace my fathers watch with another exact replacement model, but back in 1978-1979 Bulova already discontinued this particular model. I always loved this particular Bulova model because of the luminous hands and luminous numbers that it had on the silver dial. The watch looked very masculine and very sharp on the wrist.

I could never find another exact same replacement Bulova automatic model like the one that I destroyed until earlier today. I happened to be browsing on Ebay earlier this afternoon, when low and behold, I came across a Bulova automatic for sale that had a silver dial with luminous hands and luminous numbers on the dial that was exactly just like the one that my father used to own which I broke back 32 years ago in 1978. As a matter of fact, the seller had 2 (two) of the same exact models for sale. He had one with the all silver dial just like the one that my father used to own and he also had one with an all black dial. Both watches on Ebay were identical except for the color of the dial. When I came across both watches, a lot of good memories came back into my mind about my father's old Bulova that I ruined. The 2 watches that I'm referring about that I found for sale on Ebay looked like they were in decent condition. I contacted the seller and he told me that he was not the original owner of the watches, but that he purchased both watches 2 years ago at an estate sale. The seller also told me that both watches are both working well and keeping good time.
Now get this-----Each watch comes together with its own original box, its original warranty card, all of its original owner's manuals & books, all of its original paper work including both receipts of the purchase price that was paid for each watch and the date and year that each watch was purchased in April of 1973 by the original owner. Seeing that both watches were in decent condition and that they still had all of their original boxes and paper work intact, I ended up buying both watches.
I love the styling of both models very much and I felt like I had the chance to give my father back his watch that I ruined on him when I was a kid.

I don't know anything about these 2 models. Does anybody in here know anything about these 2 particular Bulova automatic models? Would these 2 watches both be considered as military watches? Both watches look exactly alike with the only difference being that one has a silver dial and the other has a black dial.

Please help me out here. What do you think about the condition of the silver dialed and the black dialed watch that I have in the pictures in the links below? I was told by the seller that both of these watches date back to 1973 and that they are both in very good condition and that both seem to work well. I'm hoping that the seller is telling me the truth. From what I can tell from the pictures, both watches seem to be in decent condition. Take a look at the pictures in the links below and tell me what you think.

Also, from the pictures, how is the condition of the lume on the dial and on the hands on both watches? Do you think that the lume on the dial and on the hands on both the silver dialed and the black dialed watch will still be glowing well today? Do you think that the lume is badly discolored on the dials and hands on both watches? The pictures showing the lume on both watches are not very clear. I'm having a hard time trying to judge on the condition of the lume on each watch. What do you think?
Also, what do you think about the condition of the watch case and crystal on each watch? Do you think that the case and crystals on both watches are in excellent and in very clean condition?

Please look at the pictures of both watches very carefully and give me your input on both of these watches. I would love to hear all about any history or information that anybody in here might have regarding this particular model Bulova automatic. Are both watches military watches? I would love to hear your detailed input regarding anything that you might know about these 2 identical Bulova automatic models.
THANKS

I've included close-up pictures of each watch in the links below:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250643372839&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250643371847&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT
 

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Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

both watches seem to be well taken care of

thats a very heartwarming story , do update us when they arrive !
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

I'm hoping that both watches will look a lot better in person than they do in the pictures. From the pictures, I noticed that the lume on the hands and the numbers on the dial on both watches look yellowish.
From looking at the pcitures, do you think that the lume on the hands and on the dial on both watches have changed color to a yellow color over the years because both watches are 37 years old? Is this normal? Does the lume material on the hands and dial of a watch change color when the watch becomes old? How badly do you think that the lume has discolored itself on both watches from looking at the pictures?
 

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Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

The lume looks appropriate given the age of the watch. Lume does change color with age. I would not count on the luminescence being very good. The watches can have the hands and dials relumend but then you lose the wonderful patina.
 

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Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

I think that both look great. I would expect that you will be in for a little cosmetic clean up. I would leave the hand alone even if the lume is no longer glowing.

I would also take them to a watchmaker and see if it is OK to run them. If they have been sitting for many years they may need service to keep them from self-destructing in short order.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

I think that both look great. I would expect that you will be in for a little cosmetic clean up. I would leave the hand alone even if the lume is no longer glowing.

I would also take them to a watchmaker and see if it is OK to run them. If they have been sitting for many years they may need service to keep them from self-destructing in short order.
What type of cosmetic clean up are you referring to from looking at the pictures?
I will need to find a decent watchmaker. Trying to find a decent high quality watchmaker around here is going to be very tough. There are not many of them around in my area. I'm located in southern Massachusetts near the Rhode Island border.
Does anybody in here know of anybody that I can go to in Massachusetts or in Rhode Island who does excellent "high quality" watch repair? I don't want to take my beautiful mint condition Bulova watches to someone who is going to butcher and ruin them.
Can you give me advice as to who you know that I can take both of my Bulova watches to for a full service?
How much do you think that it will cost for each watch to get a "full service"? And what types of things do they do when doing a full service? I would like to know.
THANKS
 

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Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

What type of cosmetic clean up are you referring to from looking at the pictures?
They look great in the pictures. I was thinking possibly very minor scratches to the case or crystal, sometimes a little dirt is packed in behind the strap. Very minor stuff.

I don't want to take my beautiful mint condition Bulova watches to someone who is going to butcher and ruin them.
Can you give me advice as to who you know that I can take both of my Bulova watches to for a full service?
I can't help you with a watchmaker in your area. I use a great one in Colorado. I am really impressed with him. He takes work in by mail. He did work to a near mint 1930 Bulova I have in my collection and raved the whole time about how much he liked the watch, respected the condition, and liked Bulovas in general. I don't recall how much he charged. I remember he was a little more money than some people...but the service was excellent and the watches he has done are excellent time keepers. Send me a PM if you want his info.

And what types of things do they do when doing a full service?
A proper full service involves taking the watch completely apart and cleaning the old oil and such off all the surfaces paying particular attention to the pivots which are the ends that run in the jeweled bearings and the gear-teeth, etc. This is followed by re-assembly, oiling, and regulating the watch to keep the best time possible.

I hope this helps.
 

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Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

Another possibility is to have Bulova themselves look at them. I have two newer Bulovas than yours (they're from the '90s) that I send to their service center in New York for regular servicing. During a conversation with one of their reps I learned they still take in watches dating back several decades; she said that as long as they have parts in stock, they'll work on any Bulova watch ever made (IIRC, someone else mentioned once they don't service any of the old '60s/'70s Accutrons, but she made it sound to me like anything else was fair game). I would expect them to charge a premium price to service your two given their age, but they do stand behind their work and include a 1-year warranty on their service. It may not hurt to call and ask. Their contact info is on the Bulova website.

Just a thought...

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

I didn't know that. I will give Bulova a call once I receive all 3 watches.
I am also looking into an "in-house" full service watch repair watchmaker in my area. I already visited them yesterday and I met with the owner and watchmaker. He told me that he's very familiar with the models that I purchased. He even had a Bulova automatic with the same exact 11BLAC M6 movement on display in his store. He told me that he gives a 1 year warranty on the watch once he services it. I don't know whether or not I am going to use him yet.
I am also looking into another in-house watchmaker who deals ONLY with watch repairs. He told me to bring my watches in for him to look at them, but he can see me ONLY by appointment.
I also found a 3rd place that does vintage repairs, but I haven't spoken to them yet.
I don't want to make the mistake of going to someone bad. I want to make 100% sure that I pick the best repair place. That's what worries me now because I don't know how reputable each place really is. I'm going to have to take a gamble on which of the 3 places to pick and that's what I'm afraid of. I want to pick the best one out of the 3 places and I don't have a clue as to which one of the 3 places is the best choice. I don't know anybody who has actually used any of the 3 places to make a decision. I'm worried about this. I don't want any of my 3 Bulova automatics to be butchered or to get ruined by anybody who doesn't know what they are doing.
What do you recommend that I do at this point?
 

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Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

Look at it this way...if you still had your father's watch, the lume wouldn't be glowing anyway. The fading of the lume is very normal.

Those two look great :-! and your father will be quite surprised.

My dad had a 14K LeCoultre that was stolen many years ago. My sister and I were able to get a very close replacement on eBay. We were lucky, as the seller was a watchmaker and the watch was freshly serviced.

Take care,
gatorcpa
 

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Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

I don;t know man its a 1 line description and 1 pic.
maybe if you bid and win and receive the watch the band will crumble into a million pieces or the watch crystal will just shatter!

Then you got to go to paypal to make a dispute claim again.
 

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Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

I don;t know man its a 1 line description and 1 pic.
maybe if you bid and win and receive the watch the band will crumble into a million pieces or the watch crystal will just shatter!

Then you got to go to paypal to make a dispute claim again.
I don't think so pal. When I purchased both Bulovas, I had excellent communications with the seller all thruout the transaction. I was able to get all of my questions answered by the seller and he was very open and honest about the physical condition of both watches. Plus, the pictures of both watches on Ebay speak for themselves. Both watches are in "mint" condition and look like they have never been used.

On the other hand, the other person who you are referring about in your post above didn't even bother to honestly answer any of my questions that I had about the watch that he was selling. This particular seller "misrepresented" the watch that he was selling on Ebay. That was enough justification for me to make a claim and a dispute.

I'm a serious watch collector and I own numerous time pieces. And I didn't fall off the turnip truck just yesterday. I don't screw around with idiots who misrepresent the items that they sell. When I do business with anybody who is selling a watch, I expect them to be up front and honest with me about everything pertaining to the condition of the watch and to not misrepresent the watch that they're selling.

The person whom I purchased the 2 Bulovas from was very nice and he did business with me the "proper" and "honest" way, and so far, I am very happy with my purchase and transaction that I made with him.

On the other hand, the other person whom I purchased the other watch from did business with me the "wrong" and "dishonest" way. He clearly misrepresented the watch that he sold to me. That's why I made a claim and a dispute with Paypal and Ebay. I attain the right to make a claim and a dispute when someone sells me something that is not what they described it to be and when they misrepresent what they sell. Misrepresentation is unacceptable and one step below committing fraud.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

Look at it this way...if you still had your father's watch, the lume wouldn't be glowing anyway. The fading of the lume is very normal.

Those two look great :-! and your father will be quite surprised.

My dad had a 14K LeCoultre that was stolen many years ago. My sister and I were able to get a very close replacement on eBay. We were lucky, as the seller was a watchmaker and the watch was freshly serviced.

Take care,
gatorcpa
Yeah, I'm hoping that my dad will be happy with seeing his old watch again that he once owned back 37 years ago. It will be a nice sight to see him "reunited" with his old watch. He owned the one that has the silver face. From what the seller told me, both watches are in mint condition. This particular style Bulova is the only style Bulova that I like. I love the style of the watch case and dial. I especially like the way the numbers are printed on the dial and the lume on all the numbers and hands. The particular styling of the case and the dial make the watch look like a very serious timepiece. It makes the watch look very sharp. My fathers watch was very sharp looking and I remember it very well. It was a very basic watch, but it had style to it. It would always catch my eye when he wore it. It's too bad that I got it wet and pried it open and ruined it when I was a teenager. My dad is 81 years old now and he wears an all gold Bulova day/date quartz on a bracelet that he got about 10+ years ago. If my dad wants to continue wearing the gold Bulova that he currently owns and if he doesn't want to wear any of the other 2 vintage Bulovas that I just purchased for him, then I will keep both vintage Bulovas for myself and just wear them. I'm hoping that my dad will like to see his old watch again after 32 years. :-!
 

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Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

I don't think so pal. When I purchased both Bulovas, I had excellent communications with the seller all thruout the transaction. I was able to get all of my questions answered by the seller and he was very open and honest about the physical condition of both watches. Plus, the pictures of both watches on Ebay speak for themselves. Both watches are in "mint" condition and look like they have never been used.

On the other hand, the other person who you are referring about in your post above didn't even bother to honestly answer any of my questions that I had about the watch that he was selling. This particular seller "misrepresented" the watch that he was selling on Ebay. That was enough justification for me to make a claim and a dispute.

I'm a serious watch collector and I own numerous time pieces. And I didn't fall off the turnip truck just yesterday. I don't screw around with idiots who misrepresent the items that they sell. When I do business with anybody who is selling a watch, I expect them to be up front and honest with me about everything pertaining to the condition of the watch and to not misrepresent the watch that they're selling.

The person whom I purchased the 2 Bulovas from was very nice and he did business with me the "proper" and "honest" way, and so far, I am very happy with my purchase and transaction that I made with him.

On the other hand, the other person whom I purchased the other watch from did business with me the "wrong" and "dishonest" way. He clearly misrepresented the watch that he sold to me. That's why I made a claim and a dispute with Paypal and Ebay. I attain the right to make a claim and a dispute when someone sells me something that is not what they described it to be and when they misrepresent what they sell. Representation is unacceptable and one step below committing fraud. Maybe you are just too stupid to understand this.
Ah, you are obviously very astute and will never be disappointed with
your purchases because you can sort out the good and honest sellers
from those who might misrepresent.....although I have to say that
your first post didn't give that impression as you sought reassurance
about the condition of the watches and you 'hoped' the seller
was telling you the truth.

I sincerely hope that these watches live up to your very high
expectations but I doubt that they'll still glow in the dark.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

Ah, you are obviously very astute and will never be disappointed with
your purchases because you can sort out the good and honest sellers
from those who make misrepresent.....although I have to say that
your first post didn't give that impression as you sought reassurance
about the condition of the watches and you 'hoped' the seller
was telling you the truth.

I sincerely hope that these watches live up to your very high
expectations but I doubt that they'll still glow in the dark.
I don't want to go off the subject or off topic, but since you mention all these things I will be more than happy to give you my answer to your statement that you made in your post above.
First of all, I never said that I will never be disappointed with any of my watch purchases. And I never said that I will ever be able to sort out the good and honest sellers from those who might make misrepresentations. I believe that there are both good and bad sellers out there on Ebay. If a buyer gets stuck with a bad seller he must "report" that seller to Paypal and Ebay. I think that this is the only way to resolve any issues that a bad seller brings forth to a buyer.

And as for the reason that I gave the above response to that person above, it was because I was being given some flak in one of the other forums on this website because of an Ebay seller that I dealt with who misrepresented a watch that I purchased from him. I ended up filing a complaint with Paypal and Ebay. Some of the forum members in the other forum were against me filing a complaint. That's why that particular poster above came in here. He just wanted to give me a hard time and to harass me. That's why he made that particular post above.

Anyways, I created this thread to get more information about the Bulovas that I just purchased. I also wanted to get opinions from the serious members in here of the condition of the watches from the pictures that I posted. I'm a serious watch collector just like everyone else in here and I enjoy my hobby.
Now, let's please not go off the subject anymore and let's all please keep this thread "on topic".

THANK YOU
 

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Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

You got those watches for silly prices, so the price for service on top of that would still bring your purchases to a great price.
It's a shame these watches don't command more money, given how cool they are. Good for us collectors.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

You got those watches for silly prices, so the price for service on top of that would still bring your purchases to a great price.
It's a shame these watches don't command more money, given how cool they are. Good for us collectors.
I think that the prices that I purchased both watches at were very fair. From the picture and from what the seller told me, the watches are almost nos. I was told be the seller that both watches do not have any scratches anywhere on the watch case or crystals. I was told that they are both very "clean". Plus, the seller told me that each watch comes in its original box together with all the original paper work that came with the watch like owner's manual, warranty cards and even the original receipts from when the original owner purchased them brand new.

I'm not 100% sure, but I think that these particular models sold brand new back in 1973 and 1974 for under $60. I figure that I may have to spend at the most about $150 for a full service cleaning for each watch. I feel that even though I will spend that type of money for each watch for a full service, that if I do this that the watches will both not need any servicing for a very long time after that. I'm planning on wearing them on and off in rotation with my Casio G-Shocks.

I was also able to grab a third Bulova automatic off of Ebay just like the one with the black dial that I won the other day which is in nos condition. This one though is in "used condition". This one doesn't look like it's ever been opened up. There are no tool marks that I can see on the the screw back bezel ring. It only has some light hairline scratches on the watch case and crystal and on the middle part of the screw back cap bezel, but it's very clean. I'm also going to get this one serviced too. I think that the hairline scratches on the watch case and crystal and on the back bezel can easily be buffed off by the watchmaker if I take the watch in for a full service. Here are a few very large close-up pictures of the third Bulova automatic watch that's in "used condition" that I'm referring about which I won on Ebay the other day:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=360265922571&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

This third Bulova automatic is the same exact model as the other one which is in NOS condition that I won the other day. I just received this third Bulova today. It's a very sharp and beautiful looking watch in person. I'm also happy to say that even the lume on this "used condition" Bulova glows in the dark pretty good. The lume on the watch doesn't look worn & it doesn't even look like it has any patina in it. If you look at the picture in the link that I've attached above, you will see what I mean. Both the dial and the lume are very clean.

I'm still waiting for the other 2 nos condition Bulovas to arrive. I can't wait to get them.
 

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Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

I'm not 100% sure, but I think that these particular models sold brand new back in 1973 and 1974 for under $60. I figure that I may have to spend at the most about $150 for a full service cleaning for each watch. I feel that even though I will spend that type of money for each watch for a full service, that if I do this that the watches will both not need any servicing for a very long time after that.
Yes, and you could buy a Rolex for a few hundred dollars back then, too.
You can't use the retail price of the time to determine the watch's current value. It has no bearing on collector market reality.

On top of that is inflation: What cost $60 in 1973 would cost $286.51 in 2009, so even if you factor in service, you still came out ahead. :)
 

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Re: A Sad Story & A Happy Ending for A 1973 Bulova Auto. Do U Know anything about this Wat

both are very nice.....I don't know if it was a 'marketing thing ' or not ,but the black dial certainly stands out in the orange box...maybe that is why if I had to choose ,I'd pick that one...great story too
 
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