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Bulova 1966 Sea King "AN"

3/10 votes
Model ID rating explained.



Manufacture Year: 


Movement Model: 


Movement Serial No.: 


Case Serial No.: 


Case shape: 




Additional Information

My best guess is a variant of the Sea Cloud but I couldn't find an exact match in the models or the ads uploaded. Front loader so unable to give movement info. I made the mistake of winding this on a cold winter morning straight out of the postmans hands because I was too excited to wait, it may be coincidence but something broke whilst winding so it's a non runner.

Not For Sale
1966 Bulova Sea King AN
1966 Bulova watch
Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Panel Member
Posted March 28, 2017 - 9:53pm

Cold shouldn't make it any more likely to break, it may have just been a mainspring on its last legs. There is air inside the case, (albeit a small amount) and going from cold to warm will mean condensation due to the small amount of humidity in said air.

What this means is exactly what it says in the watch's original manual: Avoid extremes in temperature. 

Sometimes this is unavaoidable as in a watch being shipped. My usual spiel is to get the watch serviced anyway if you plan to wear it. A broken mainspring usually presents no difficulties during service. Not sure what to call it yet, but it's cool. 

Posted March 29, 2017 - 2:47pm

Thanks Rev, I was under the impression that due to the cold the oil would be thicker and on a potentially old gummed up movement there was potentially more risk of damage, it's never happened before but I have to test a watch works on arrival, I just usually wait a few hours if it's particularly cold outside which may be unnecessary but can't hurt. Don't think it's the mainspring that's gone, the crown won't turn now I'll find out in a day or two as I'm taking it to be looked at. As you say it's cool so hopefully it'll be running soon, I'll at least have some more info on it.


Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Panel Member
Posted March 29, 2017 - 8:04pm

It really depends on how much oil is left on the movt. Most old watches are dried right out, with the residue of oil and dirt causing abrasion as well as friction. Ones that get sprayed with oil or WD 40 are even worse, as the new liquid washes all that crap exactly where you don't want it. 

If you wind the watch in question, you will feel how tight nor sticky it is, and if it wants to run, great, if not, warm it up, but either way the watch is either wound up or it isn't. The 'Overwinding' myth is still very prevalent to describe a watch fully wound but not running. There are literally 200 reasons why the watch stops, and DeCarle often threatened to write a book with this very title. 

Balance issues are the most common problem with older watches, and even if they are intact and swinging, the vintage watch invariably will have beat error issues as well as hairspring problems, poising problems, all manner of rate issues. The balance being very delicate, it may be cold and gummed right up as to be immobile, and this will change as the temp rises, but  99.9 per cent of all watches I see on a daily basis (clocks too) are WAY overdue for a CTR, and require significant work, even if there is no shock damage. 

Water damage will also jam watches up, obviously, and a common incursion point is the stem, which will then allow corrosion of the keyless works. Sometimes they are solid with rust, and if the watch resists attempts at winding, don't force it. Sometimes very clean looking movts are absolutely wrecked under the dial. 



Geoff Baker
Club 5000Panel Member
Posted March 30, 2017 - 5:21am

I think I see a Banker P as in this advert.

Andersok's picture
Panel Member
Posted March 30, 2017 - 6:44am

Geoff, I think that Banker has different lugs, ones that are thinner, and I'm not sure it is a waterproof.

I did find this 1967 ad showing the Sea King 'AN', which looks to be a good match

Geoff Baker
Club 5000Panel Member
Posted March 31, 2017 - 4:31am

I think you're right Ken - Sea King AN it is 

Posted March 30, 2017 - 10:20am

That Sea King looks right to me it's got waterproof on the dial too.

Rev - you'll notice I avoided saying it was overwound, it made a sound like something breakinging when I wound it but may have been something slipping, it's definitely fully wound and can't get a tick out of it, I figure balance is the first place to look. Regarding servicing it's the age old issue of a watch being economical to repair. I have a guy I can use who will clean a movement and oil it for cheap but I know he's not doing a full job, I don't think he's even oiling the mainspring but in some cases it's better than nothing. In an ideal world I'd get them all serviced but it's not an ideal world. Always on the lookout for repairers in the UK and always hearing rumours about a guy that might do it but....