I'm new to the site and have a couple of questions I hope someone can help me with. Twenty years ago, I traded for a 1968 Oceanographer Snorkel, 666 ft, Swiss Automatic. Wore it for 15 years and loved it. Five years ago, it fogged up after minor contact with water (caught in the rain). I brought it to a local watchmaker who cleaned, oiled, and adjusted it. He said it was in excellent condition. I had wanted him to replace the crown (for waterproofing) and crystal (for appearance). He later advised he could not find parts and recommended I just hold on to it and not wear it (which is what I've done, periodically winding it to move the oil). A year ago, I inquired of several watch restoration services that I found on the web and was led to believe that waterproofing was probably not possible. I sent it to the Bulova service center in New York, which promptly returned it saying parts were not available. Do I have to just accept that waterproofing is unachievable (I don't dive and am only hoping for protection from incidental water contact)? If not, who could do such work? Also, can a replacement crystal (mineral or sapphire) be found? I really miss the watch and would love to wear it again. Thanks.

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted July 15, 2013 - 6:15am

Big lee,

You will need to reference the Case number (Case reference number) which is cast or stamped in a rectangle on the inside of the Caseback.

eg below: Case # 314 (1963 'SNORKEL' manufactured June of 1963)

Once this information is known it is used to determine which parts are correct for Your particular Case.

eg: Case # 272 (1961 'SNORKEL') uses Bulova Crystal # 1139AW, Crown # 272WH, Gasket G746, Bezel B125 and Movement ring MR450. (thanks Stephen!)


In most instances the original Bulova parts are still out there and Waterproofing the Watch to spec. can be achieved by using them.

Hope this info helps.


Posted July 15, 2013 - 6:39am

Club 5000Panel Member

Agre with 5th. Have a look at the back inside case to see if there is a reference number and let us know what it is if you find one. From there we can hopefully at least point you in the right direct to get the parts you need.

Big lee
Posted July 15, 2013 - 4:22pm

The Number is 714. Thanks.

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted July 15, 2013 - 7:10pm

Panel Member

I would imagine that generic gaskets are available in sizes to fit the watch. Does it have a gasket at the crown, as well as the caseback and crystal, assuming the crystal is mineral? It is best to use brand new materials as NOS gaskets may fail. Diver's crowns are available in many sizes and it wouldn't be hard to find a double sealed one to fit the watch. Does the crown screw down? Depending on the design of the case tube, a replacement could be made that would allow for threaded crowns. Any competent watchmaker should be able to waterproof this watch. (By 'waterproof' I of course mean to seal it to withstand a specific static pressure test. )

Sapphire would be available to replace mineral crystals, but they're more expensive. 

Posted July 16, 2013 - 4:57am

Club 5000Panel Member

Here are the parts for case 714.

Caliber: 11ALACD
Crystal: 714AWD
Crown: 386-3W
Gasket: G796
Bezel ring: B194
Movement ring: MR511

Case Clamp: 191-9-11AL
Case screw: 45C-11AF


FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted July 16, 2013 - 5:48am


Bulova Case # 714

Big lee
Posted July 16, 2013 - 5:06pm

Thanks all for useful information. Thoughts on who might have these parts and want to restore the watch?

Posted July 16, 2013 - 6:00pm

Just asked my supplier. I will let you know once I hear back. I have the gasket on hand. 

Posted July 17, 2013 - 11:23am

Sorry, no luck on anything except the gasket.

Big lee
Posted July 17, 2013 - 11:55am

Appreciate your effort Aberlow. 

Posted July 17, 2013 - 2:17pm

No problem. I actually just saw that someone put the correct crystal for the watch up on eBay. It is expensive for what it is, but is the one made for this watch and maybe they guy would sell for a lower price. So now you have sources for the gasket and the crystal. Just a crown away from a resealed watch!

Big lee
Posted July 17, 2013 - 8:33pm

Cool. I checked eBay and couldn't find it. Is it a 714AWD?

Posted July 17, 2013 - 11:23pm

It is the 714AWD but i see it was purchased! I hope that was you!!!

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted July 17, 2013 - 2:39pm

Cas-Ker Co should have the Glass and Crown needed.

If going the eBay route I have the Crown

Big lee
Posted July 17, 2013 - 8:35pm

That would be great. If I can get the crystal would you be interested in doing the work?