Unknown Bulova Wristwatch

Restoration: Starting Unknown Bulova

A New Old Watch

Before I get too far into the restoration of the Vostok Komandirskie for my wife, I want to get practice on other watches. To that end, I purchased a lot of several non-functional watches from a seller on eBay. Among the watches I received was a tiny Bulova on a chain bracelet.

Unknown Bulova Wristwatch
Unkown, very dirty, missing bezel, Bulova wristwatch.

The movement is labeled 7BPP, which, other than a serial number is about the only identification I can find. There is some additional text on the inside of the case, which I will get to in a moment.

The 7BPP moment appears to have been used in the mid-60s to 1970, according to MyBulova.com, a site with some great information on the history of the brand, photos, and details on many Bulova models, as well as vintage ads. I recently signed up for access to their forums, and hope to scour them for additional information.

Looking through the site, and the models produced during those years, my suspicion is that this is in the Concerto series. But right now, that is purely speculation on my part.

Taking It Apart

Bulova 7BPP movement
Bulova 7BPP movement. Sorry for the bad cellphone photo.

A small tab near the bracelet’s attachment point provides an easy spot to leverage the case-back off, revealing the inner workings of this watch. The 7BPP movement is tiny. In the case of this watch, the time can be set, but it will not take a wind. Some further digging will be needed to figure out what is wrong. I have yet to disassemble the movement.

A small screw holds in the winding stem. My 0.5mm screwdriver almost seemed too big, but worked fine. Once the stem is removed, the movement easily comes out of the watch case.

This particular watch is, in a word, dirty. The dial is covered in grime and will need plenty of cleaning. The case, too, shows plenty of wear and dirt. Given the amount of grime, I am not surprised that this watch is not working.

Bulova Movement and Dial
Bulova movement (7BPP) and dial.

At the end of the day, I stopped after removing the hands and dial. Now that I have the movement on its own, I can concentrate on taking it apart and getting it cleaned. Hopefully, an inspection of the parts will determine what is wrong. Given that the bezel was scrapped by a previous owner for the gold, who knows what other parts may be missing. Or, maybe the mainspring is broken. On the other hand, it could just be so dirty, gears simply cannot move.  I will, of course, provide updates as I work, and learn, on this watch.


Part 2: Mystery Solved! –>

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