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1961 Bulova 23 10BZAC restoration--how much is enough?

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I posted about this watch on the timing sub-thread, but thought I'd share the completed project here.

For background, I purchased this watch on eBay for $32 all in ($25 for the watch, $6 tax and shipping). 

It was listed as a non-runner with significant dial damage, so I knew it would never pass for much more than a project watch since the cosmetics were so rough (first three pictures). 

I serviced the movement, including removing and cleaning the 'sealed' mainspring. Did not have to replace or correct any parts.

Once I got the movement in running order, I started to try to clean up the dial.

First I soaked it for a few minutes in warm water, hoping that would remove the lacquer. However whatever was used at Bulova was much harder than other dial coatings and it didn't budge. So I soaked it in acetone knowing that would probobly remove the painted logo and dial markings (it did) I cleaned up the numerals and applied a fresh coat of acrylic lacquer (spray on). I also re-lumed the hands.

Overall turned out pretty nice, but don't think it is worth much as resale given the dial is now non-branded, so I'll probably keep it as a daily runner since I don't have a mechnical watch of my own. \

Was thinking about trying to apply a new logo using the technique that I saw in one of Mark's videos (using a transparent film-free decal paper), but the dial is black and laser printers don't print white.

Curious what you think--leave well enough alone or try some other method (or use laser decal method Mark used but maybe with red letters). 

BTW: I had the watch running at 0mm beat error before reinstalling the hands and re-casing. It slipped a bit as a result but decided .7mm is good enough for a 62 year old watch.

Dial original.jpg



Dial refreshed.jpg

Caseback polished.jpg


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29 minutes ago, dadistic said:

The dial looks nice! I have one that has similar problems, maybe I'll  follow your lead with it. 


It did turn out nice, however whatever resale value it had (was hoping to recover my costs at least by reselling on eBay), has probably been lost. Still a nice daily runner once I get a nicer band for it.

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