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

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xseler

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I'm extremely pleased with the way my 50 year old military watch turned out that you did and this looks like another great restoration @thor447.

Thanks again for working on mine.

^^ This! ^^

Glad I'm able to again enjoy the watch that Adam repaired for me! He does great work!

Thanks again!
 

Perplexed

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I really enjoy reading these write-ups; I used to have quite the penchant for well-engineered watches, and had one after another through the years. Lately though, I found myself wanting to tell the time without having to dig out my glasses…

… so yes, I got an iWatch and set the clock face to a large, bold font. It’s no fine timepiece, but hey, I can once again tell the time without glasses!
 

xseler

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I really enjoy reading these write-ups; I used to have quite the penchant for well-engineered watches, and had one after another through the years. Lately though, I found myself wanting to tell the time without having to dig out my glasses…

… so yes, I got an iWatch and set the clock face to a large, bold font. It’s no fine timepiece, but hey, I can once again tell the time without glasses!

I'm getting closer and closer to the 'time' when just determining the position of the sun will be good enough!!


.
 

TANSTAAFL

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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.
Glad to hear that. I have a few old radium dialed instruments as check sources and collectibles. I have an old aircraft oxygen air pressure gauge that the glass comes of of easily, counts went from 10K per minute to 60K per minute (with an alpha, beta and gamma sensitive geiger counter, a Monitor 4 Digalert.) Radium is a very interesting element btw, actually emits gamma, beta and alpha particles. Way back in the 1920's chemists at watch companies knew which proportions of radium 226 and 228 worked best for the best luminescence along with zinc, chlorine and sulfur compounds. Radium paint formulas were kept very secret. I have a few radium dialed items that still glow dimly to this day that date back from the 1920's. Here is an interesting experiment. Take an old watch into a darkened room along with a good magnifying lens, let your eyes adjust to the dark and view the hands or numbers under the lens. You will still see scintillations decades later. There used to be devices sold in the early 1900's called spinthariscopes that were pocket sized and you could sit and watch the scintillations. Spinthariscopes are still sold today.
 

Glock 'em down

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Very impressive! :clap3:

I love and appreciate a nice watch, but I'm not what you would consider a true watch guy/collector. I was taught at an early age, by my father, that men wore watches. Either on the wrist or in the pocket (I have both).

You never saw dad without a watch. He liked Seiko and Citizen. I think he had a Bulova as well.

Again, very, very nice work. :thumb:
 

TANSTAAFL

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Is it just me or the photograph, but the hands look dirty or darker than they should.

Tritium or radium paints "burn" the pigments over years of atomic particle bombardment. Some modern watchmakers try to reproduce the patina in what is called "old radium" colored superluminova luminous paints. BTW, Swiss watch high quality luminoupaint s Branded luminous or super luminous, Japanese watches luminous paint is called lumibrite. Rolex has branded their luminous paint as Chromlux.
 

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