Another OSA Owned Watch Rebuild – 1961 Bulova Type A17A Military Issue Navigation Watch

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FrankNmac

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After viewing all of your magnificent watch rebuilds, my self-confidence regarding any likelihood of successfully completing an intricate assembly/disassembly of any mechanical device is now even less than the probability @RickN will quit posting eye bleach pictures!
:yikes2:
 

thor447

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After viewing all of your magnificent watch rebuilds, my self-confidence regarding any likelihood of successfully completing an intricate assembly/disassembly of any mechanical device is now even less than the probability @RickN will quit posting eye bleach pictures!
:yikes2:
Give yourself some credit. That’s a really really really low bar to set for yourself. It is not within Rick’s ability to stop posting such materials. At least with this you can try as much as you want until you succeed. With Rick it’s a lost cause.
 

RickN

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Give yourself some credit. That’s a really really really low bar to set for yourself. It is not within Rick’s ability to stop posting such materials. At least with this you can try as much as you want until you succeed. With Rick it’s a lost cause.
No, I just keep jump starting you guy's hearts. Some of you are getting pretty dang old you know. Every now and then a little shock is good for you.
 

Bocephus123

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Regarding the case, there was a lot of work to do on this one. The watch, while in great shape for it's age, had 60 years of gunk crammed in every nook and cranny, and there was a little bit of surface rust that had to be dealt with. Rather than posting 19 before and after photos, I combined them down to just 2 pictures showing before and after results of the front and rear of the case.

View attachment 326530


View attachment 326527

The crystal has seen some action over the years. I might have been able to get most of the scratches out, but some of them were deeper than what the polish could buff out. I would've had to sand down the crystal, and I really didn't want to do that.

View attachment 326522

I did have the correct size/type crystal in the small stock of parts I've built up, so it got a brand new acrylic crystal.

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This watch also got new gaskets all the way around – caseback, crown, and crystal.

Lastly, I held back a little bonus for the owner of this watch and surprised him with it when it was returned. When I originally got the watch from him to repair, it did not have a strap on it any longer. He had mentioned that he tried to install one, but it wasn't the correct width and wouldn't fit. I told him that I'd see if I had one of the correct size, and if so, would install it for him. I asked him if he wanted black, green, etc. He said he really didn't mind either way. What he didn't know is that I actually sourced an original, new old stock, un-issued OD green strap from the correct contract – DA-36-038-AMC-2199/W that would've been issued to him with this watch in 1966. Now his watch is fully rebuilt, and has a correct NOS strap (and new spring bars). It's ready for service once again!

View attachment 326525

Here it is all finished up.

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It is now back with its owner.

Like previous posts, this one went long, but kudos for making it this far. Thanks again to the owner of this watch for trusting me with it. I hope you enjoy it for many years to come.
Truly Amazing love those Military Watches.
 

SDarkRage

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This is the first one of your posts I’ve read, and I gotta say - nice work! Thanks for posting, I learned way more about watch workings than I ever new. Thank you for your attention to detail and all the knowledge that you imparted. Much appreciated.
 

TANSTAAFL

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Beautiful watch, you may be aware but just in case, Swiss and US made watches post 1965 luminous paint Made with Tritium (usually a wax or thick paint.) which will have lost most of its radioactivity has decayed away. If the watch was not "self luminous." it was simply light charged glow paint. Pre 1965 Most were radium. Hope you were taking precautions with the dial and hands If this watch was made prior to 1965. Radium paint dust can easily contaminate your workspace.
 

thor447

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Beautiful watch, you may be aware but just in case, Swiss and US made watches post 1965 luminous paint Made with Tritium (usually a wax or thick paint.) which will have lost most of its radioactivity has decayed away. If the watch was not "self luminous." it was simply light charged glow paint. Pre 1965 Most were radium. Hope you were taking precautions with the dial and hands If this watch was made prior to 1965. Radium paint dust can easily contaminate your workspace.
I have a Geiger counter and test the older watches I work on. I do take the proper precautions when needed, and ventilate outside when the dial and hands are removed/installed. On this particular watch though, I tested it and it was not radium. I've worked on a few in the past and have put together a setup to work on them when needed.

FYI - the radium half-life for those dials and hands is 1600 years! Even though they may not be luminous, they are still radioactive. Thankfully, it is beta particles and cannot escape through the glass or skin. Ingestion of beta particles can be a health risk though. Proper precautions are taken in that rare event, but we were good to go on this one.
 

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