Restoration Project #1

I am excited to finally begin the process of restoring my collection. Many of my watches need a lot of work, and I am in need of advice regarding what to do with them. Moreover, I think this information could be helpful to other members and guests who are contemplating purchasing, selling, or restoring a similar model.  I know that there will be differing opinions, but all opinions are welcome.  So, if you’re willing, please share your thoughts.

I’ll post the watches individually so that we don’t end up with an unmanageably long thread. After the restoration is complete, I’ll post pics of the finished product, so we’ll have before and after shots.
Please, for purposes of this exercise, accept my model identification and advise me on how best to restore the watch to the stated model’s specs. By doing so, you are not agreeing with my model ID. Of course, where the model is unknown, your expertise in identifying appropriate specs for the style/era will be invaluable.
I am assuming that all watches need a full cleaning, and many will need repairs to the movement. Those issues will be addressed by the professional watchmaker during the restoration process. In this series, I am seeking cosmetic advice, including style, colors, replating, redialing, reluming, etc.
Okay, so, here we go with numero uno—the oldest watch in my collection to date. . . .
Model name unknown
Running a 10A, 17J
Hinged case measures 33.25mm x 26.5mm
Crystal measures 21.7mm x 21.7mm
Gold content is described as “Filled” without a karat value
Bezel is in great shape, but there is significant gold loss on the back of the case
The crystal is slightly scratched and darkened
The dial, as you can see, has lots of patina and actually photographed lighter and brighter than it looks in person
No band
Bulova watch
Bulova Watch

Bulova watch

Bulova watch

Posted January 10, 2012 - 8:21pm

Club 5000Panel Member

This guy almost looks like it has a vertical linen dial?  Or some sort of vertical butler stripped dial? 

Great looking watch.  It doesn't look like the numbers were lumed?  The hands obviously were... so I guess you need to decide if the hands... or the numbers are correct.  And do both matching?

Does this guy need a replate on he back corners as well?

Posted January 10, 2012 - 8:35pm

I don't think it is a linen dial, though it kinda looks like that in the photos.  It's one of those poisonous ones, with lots of streaks.

Your questions are good.  Wish I had the answers.

Don't you think the numbers would have been lumed at some point?

Posted January 10, 2012 - 8:38pm

Club 5000Panel Member

See now I've seen them both ways.  Lumed... and just the outline without lume.  Obviously there's something to be said for both... but I don't know if it nessecerily HAD to have it.  I'm wondering if it wasn't an option for the buyer back then.  Something to "upsell".

Geoff Baker
Posted January 10, 2012 - 10:58pm

Club 5000Panel Member

 Lisa - this is cool case but based on the condition of the back I would not restore it. I know I'm going to get slaughtered on that but there it is, I said it and I'm probably going to take it back someday.

BTW I think the radium was removed at some point and that's the look you have now. 

Check this out

then follow to the 'previously ID'd forum' within that watch to see the 'before' and the comments.

You know if the bezel of the case is in REALLY good condition......I might consider restoring this watch.

Posted January 10, 2012 - 11:11pm

The bezel is in great shape.  Jay showed me a picture of this same model after a complete restoration, and I fell in love.  It has the potential to be stunning.

Geoff Baker
Posted January 10, 2012 - 11:14pm

Club 5000Panel Member

 OK, changed my mind - told you I would

YOU WIN!! - do Baker Dials though......

Posted January 11, 2012 - 1:16pm

Hey, Jay, don't you want to post a pic of the gorgeous restoration job you did on this model? Great way to show off your skills.

Posted January 11, 2012 - 10:04pm

If it has Lumed hands, it needs lumed numbers....and vice versa...

If you need custom crystals, let me know...I have lotsa glass on hand to fit.

shooter144's picture
Posted January 12, 2012 - 3:36am

Lisa are you dgoing to do the work on the bezel and back?? if so, Plast X from autozone is a very good and extremely fine polish ( made for final polish on plastic lenses) thats also cheap and easy to clean up. Very hard to over polish thru the gold with this stuff...Also works as designed for plastic crystals. Can be used by hand or with a dremel or such, or with a buffing wheel (a little messy and not as quick as rouge, but less chance of polish thru on the gold) but dont be stingy with it on crystals as it can still dry up and burn the plastic if your speeds are too high on the dremel.

Check out International watch man for real good and inexpensive US made watch bands, all have heavy buckles, not cheap stamped out junk you would expect at his prices.  I know I hype Rons stuff, but the quality really is there and the prices are very good and its all US made. Flat rate shipping as well ( $6 I believe for all you want).

Dont be afraid to jump in and go for it, you will be amazed and proud of your results. The value seems to go up immesurably when yo do it yourself.

 Good luck and have fun !!!