Bulova 1924 -Unknown

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Recently replaced.
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This was my Grandfather's pocket watch. I would be very interested as to the date of construction, and if it is possible to get the proper 'hairspring'....this is what my local watch repairman said I needed. He cleaned it, put another crystal in it (the old one was very yellowed, plastic I think...I think the new one is also....is this proper?)....I'm not really sure what year the watch is...the repairman said he saw a triangle symbol inside...I couldn't see it...according to the symbol as I understand it it would be a 1935 or 1926. Can you help me with this?

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Steve Stermolle
Posted September 13, 2011 - 1:17pm

We found the triangle.  You can see it below the balance wheel, and between that gold colored gear wheel.  It definately has a '21' or a '27' stamped inside the triangle.  Do not see a year stamp by the stem.  Any idea of what model this could be, other than a 17TR?



FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted September 13, 2011 - 4:09pm

The Date code would not be below the balance. see My prior post

Posted September 14, 2011 - 1:05am

 What a beautiful watch! The movement is high quality - floating hairspring stud, micrometric regulation, jewels in settings - and is that engraving I see on the balance cock?

Regarding your hairspring, it's the one part that is pretty much non-standardized. The closest anyone came back in those days were the Americans, which developed a statistical method to match them to the balances (but one still had six or so choices) - but to my knowledge all Swiss hairsprings were matched individually to the balance. So, if you truly need a new hairspring, you are really looking at a "balance complete". 

But if the old hairspring is there - and I see that it is - it can very likely be repaired; usually they aren't as bad as they look, and good watchmaker should be able to at least get it close to straight; if not nearly perfect. That might be your best option, as even a replacement "balance complete" is normally not standardized/interchangeable, and will probably have to be fitted.

I hope that your watchmaker did not charge you for "repairing" a watch without a functional hairspring. What training does he/she have?

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted October 12, 2012 - 10:30am

Omega Date stamp and a Case serial number beginning with1


bobbee's picture
Posted October 12, 2012 - 11:22am

I can't find the datemark, Mark!

Everything about this watch says early 1920's, case, dial hands and movement.

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted October 12, 2012 - 12:31pm

Panel Member

The Movt is one of Bulova's own, the base being the 17R. I would second what Dystopiologist has said, a competent watchmaker should be able to correct the hairspring, or, fit a replacement properly. This involves vibrating the new hairspring to determine the correct pinning point, and installing it, shaping the terminal curve, be it flat or Breguet Overcoil. This watch is definitely worth the extra effort and expense. 

William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted October 12, 2012 - 4:32pm

Club 5000Panel Member

I don't see a date mark either.  Admin shows 17TR in this 1925 Prince of Whales example earlier in thread.   Don't see a date code on that one either.  Movement SN for subject (2175) vs Prince (2680). 
Case SN's for both start w/ "1".  Wish we had a pic of the inside case back of this watch, to see whats stamped over the perlage.

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted October 12, 2012 - 5:53pm

Then what We would be saying is the numerical method of Dating a Case does not apply to Pocket Watches?

ad Dated 1930 http://www.mybulova.com/sites/default/files/vintage_ads/bulova-ad-13-Dec...

ad Dated 1933 http://www.mybulova.com/sites/default/files/vintage_ads/bulova-ad-1933-1...

The 17 TR movement of the subject appears to have an Omega Date stamp near the stem.


William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted October 12, 2012 - 6:57pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Indirectly that is implied, and I think it would be incorrect.  It may depend on who made the case.   No inside caseback photo for subject watch. I've PM'ed Steve RE inside case back pic or info. 

For the prince of whales, the photo doesn't indicate.  Admin shoud have the Prince of Whales on his desk, so he may know/remember. 

The second ad linked above is to an Illinois Pocket Watch.  The first is to 17 jewel 1930 Newton.

RE: omega on subject watch.  I've done a bunch of processing on one of the images, and don't see the omega.   Am I looking in the right place?

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted October 12, 2012 - 7:55pm


Im now noting the Dial is absent of a signature.

Could this piece be pre 1924 ? it would certainly explian the Case seriel number and the absense of a familiar datecode.

seen again here http://www.mybulova.com/watches/1924-Unknown-325