1959 royal clipper back gasket

    I have what appears to be a 1959 Royal Clipper that belonged to my grandfather. I had been wearing it as it still kept perfect time after all these years. I have an issue with the back coming off. I took it to a jeweler to have it put back on but it came right back off a couple of days later. I then took it to another jeweler and the same thing. I just stuck it in a drawer after that untill recently. I have been looking at it and it appears the issue is it is missing the gasket that goes under the back. The back says that it is water proof and I doubt it was like that without any sort of gasket in place. I can screw the back on but to get it tight it lowers to the point it interferes with the self winding mechanism. I was wondering if any of you could assist me with finding a replacement gasket for it. I have been to yet another jeweler but they could not help.

 

Thanks

Glenn

JP
Posted June 29, 2013 - 8:15pm

Panel Member

Can you give me the dimension in mm from one side of the watch opening where the gasket goes to the other side. I have many gaskets but they don't list by name.

John

simplyrandom
Posted June 29, 2013 - 10:00pm

  I have measured inside the back of the watch and it appears to be 28.5 mm. That would be the same diameter as the threaded ring that goes in to hold the seperate back plate in place. I assume the gasket would go underneath the backplate and sit on the narrow shoulder in the case. I also measured the inside diameter of that shelf and it appears to be 25 mmwhich would give me a 3.5 mm wide gasket. I have no clue as to the thickness. I really appreciate the assistance. I am not only attached to this watch because it was my grandfathers but because it just fits. I have a small wrist and it is terribly comfortable. I also have a couple of more questions if I may. I was considering having the watch cleaned an serviced but to be honest I am scared the attempt to do good could result in harm. Is it a good I dea to send it to someone to have them do a tear down and clean and lube it ? Well I wont take up too much of your time. Thanks for the assistance John.

 

Glenn

JP
Posted June 30, 2013 - 12:52am

Panel Member

I will check my gaskets tomorrow. It would be an excellent idea to have a professional clean and oil your watch before you try to run it any more. The oil gets old and sticky and with the gasket missing you probably have some dust that got into the watch and mixed with the sticky oil. That can destroy a watch quicker than you think.

I would suggest you PM RevRob for the work since he is a certified horologist and a graduate of watch making school and is extreamly knowledgeable and talented. There are others on the site who also do work but most of their work is in complete restoration and all you need is a good cleaning and oiling.

John

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
FifthAvenueRest...
Posted June 30, 2013 - 6:29am

A Case reference number would be the easiest method for determining the correct gasket and is found inside the back.

http://www.mybulova.com/node/5657

simplyrandom
Posted June 30, 2013 - 10:54am

  I have looked inside the back and there is no stamp. I do however see some information scratched in the back but I can not make it out. I have tried to take a picture of it but boy the reflections are a bit difficult to deal with. I guess its time to pull out the tripod and remote trigger. I am so glad I decided to pull the watch back out again which led me to this site. I feel a new hobby coming on.

 

  Glenn

JP
Posted June 30, 2013 - 1:26pm

Panel Member

Yes, this will be your new hobby and if you are not careful it will become your obsession as well. Welcome to the world of Bulova!!

JP
Posted June 30, 2013 - 9:20pm

Panel Member

The small numbers you see scratched in the case back are identifying numbers and letters for the person who serviced the watch and may be a code to what was done.

JP
Posted June 30, 2013 - 11:39pm

Panel Member

Glen I am sorry but I don't seem to have the gasket you need.

JP

simplyrandom
Posted July 1, 2013 - 10:14am

   Well thank you for looking anyway. I wish I had the original so that I had a better idea what I was trying to match. I must have lost what was left from the original the first time the back came off which happened while I was driving. I wish there was a stamp inside the back but there isnt. I know I can buy packs of gaskets on ebay unless that is a bad idea not knowing the quality or if they are even the right dimensions. I was wondering if another member here may have the same model watch and theirs might have the stamp in the back that could give me the reference number for a gasket. I am going to try to contact RevRob about a cleaning and service. I really want to take care of this watch. I will take some photos today and add them. I also have another Bulova around here somewhere that I need to dig out. I cant wear it as it is alot larger than this one and to be honest a little gaudy for my tastes. It has a gold case with a red bezel if I remember correctly. I think it has a sliding clasp type band as well. the band on my 59 is a Spiedel twist o flex which I assume is not original. I think all the pictures I have seen showed a leather band on this model. Once again thank you all for your help.

 

Glenn

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted July 1, 2013 - 10:49am

Panel Member

The best thing to do would be locate an actual watchmaker. Jewellers used to have them on site, but this is rare nowadays, and most jewellers and even watch dealers don't even have anyone who does battery services properly. The gasket will be flat, but even with the dimensions it is best to have the gasket fitted by hand. A silicone sealant is also used to keep water out. 

Further to my above comment, if you take a watch somewhere for a battery change, and they:

1. Touch it at any time with their bare fingers

2. Touch the inside of your watch with their bare fingers or press the battery down with a bare thumb

The battery will stand a greater chance of decreased life, leakage, and the movt may well be ruined. It may not happen right away, but oil and acids from fingers will corrode the circuit, coil, upper plate, and introduce dirt to the movt. Quartz watches fail easily from any contamination. 

simplyrandom
Posted July 1, 2013 - 12:03pm

  Well the watch I am speaking about is not a battery operated watch it is self winding. The issue I am having is when the back is put back on in order to get the threaded ring snug enough to not easily spin itself off it interferes with the self winding mechanism. I assume that is because the gasket is missing which if in place would provide adequate tension for the ring not to loosen and still maintain clearance. I am not expecting it to be waterproof anymore. I will keep looking for a local watch maker I guess which seems to be rather difficult anymore. I know of one actual watch maker in the city but their rates are quite high and it is a state of the art facility which caters more to the Rolex crowd and pocket book. My watch runs just fine and keeps time I just want to keep it that way. The back staying on doesnt hurt either...lol

     Glenn

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted July 1, 2013 - 3:34pm

Panel Member

Sorry, Glenn, that is just me getting off topic with the quartz comments. 

The two piece back you mention does indeed need a gasket to fit properly. The proper fitting of a gasket isn't high end watchmaking, so I would hesitate to suggest sending it through international mail just to get it done. You may be able to locate a local watchmaker if you inquire through the NAWCC online. 

simplyrandom
Posted July 1, 2013 - 7:22pm

   Oh I totally agree with that. To be honest I hate sending it anywhere but at the same time I hate spending my hard earned money on services done by people not qualified or experienced enough to do the work. I have purchased quite a few guitars and ended up learning to do adjustments and repairs myself because finding a reasonably priced qualified person was next to impossible. I would much rather have a competent technician recommended that shoot in the dark. I called another location today that advertises watch repair and they wanted 250.00 plus for a clean and lube. I know I am ignorant on the process but I tend to think that is a bit steep. I would rather think that sort of cost would be for a restoration. I do not think that quote even included polishing the crystal. Is it really that costly to have a watch serviced if it is in running condition ? I have contacted vintagewatchrestoration.com for a quote as their rates seem much more reasonable.

JP
Posted July 1, 2013 - 9:29pm

Panel Member

You are being smart. Shop around and ask Rob if he would be willing to work on it for you. He is more than qualified as a graduate of watch making school.

John

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted July 2, 2013 - 8:30am

Panel Member

Thanks for the vote of confidence, John!

Glenn, a full CTR for an automatic watch can run anywhere from $100-$250, and much higher if it's a luxury brand. It should involve full disassembly, inspection and repair or replacement of any worn parts, cleaning in industry standard solutions (no ultrasonic) , and reassembly with regulation, demagnetization, and proper lubrification using the latest synthetic lubricants. In some instances, the crystal, if the acrylic type, is included. In a British survey last year, the average price for this was $150. 

simplyrandom
Posted July 2, 2013 - 9:34am

  Thanks again for the information. I didnt realise you were not in the states. I cringe enough trying to mail something local and have it arrive safely. I do feel the average of 100 to 150 seems much more like it and of course if there were issues with the watch the cost could easily go higher. I just do not want to ebay a bag of gaskets to get one that fits correctly and then ruin the watch by wearing it without proper service. I did pull out the tripod and took some photos of it and after looking closer I am guess I need to put it in the unknown category as the case is different than the Royal Clipper and I can not find a watch like it on the 59 pages.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/36600032@N04/9190771603/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/36600032@N04/9190771839/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/36600032@N04/9190771345/

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
FifthAvenueRest...
Posted July 2, 2013 - 11:07am

simplyrandom
Posted July 2, 2013 - 11:26am

  Well thank you very much. I was going by the L9 on the movement and the back plate. Now I just need to find someone in the usa to give her a good sprucing up so it will last me another 50 years of reliable service.

 

 

JP
Posted July 2, 2013 - 11:55am

Panel Member

If you go to the forum tab and enter a new forum asking for a member in the US who will do the service you should get several responses. There are a number of members that are qualified to do the work necessary on your watch. I had mentioned the Rev because I know he is a certified watch maker/repairman and does excellent work.

I was doing that kind of work myself but at 71 years of age my hands ane starting to fail me so I don't work on anyone elses watches but my own.

John