How to remove Bulova 23 cover

Discussion in 'Watch Repair' started by dalesr, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. dalesr

    dalesr Registered User

    Jan 4, 2009
    225
    1
    18
    New Jersey
    Country Flag:
    I have a Vintage Bulova 23 watch and I want to remove the cover. This watch has small notches around the front of the bezel. I have a Watch Opener set and it is supposed to open cases with holes, oystger cases, polygonal cases, slotted cases, and & rolex watches. None of these fit my watch. I attached a picture of this watch for your review. Can someone please let me know what tool I need to remove this cover and where to buy it?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. QuartzWatchRepair

    QuartzWatchRepair Registered User

    Jun 19, 2011
    67
    0
    0
    I don't usually work on vintage watches but I'm guessing that the grooves you see in the bezel are purely ornamental. What does the back of the case look like? It's also possible that the movement comes out through the front of the case by removing the crystal and separating a split stem. Clear, close-up photos of the front and back would help make a better guess.
     
  3. dalesr

    dalesr Registered User

    Jan 4, 2009
    225
    1
    18
    New Jersey
    Country Flag:
    I took a picture of the back.


     

    Attached Files:

  4. psfred

    psfred Registered User

    Sep 25, 2009
    975
    4
    0
    Probably comes out the front, but check to see if there is a separation at the back just beyond the lugs that will allow you to insert a case knife and pop off the back cover.

    I've seen both for that vintage Bulova -- usually the ones held in by a tension ring have a visible chapter ring between the crystal and the dial, although this may not be obvious. They also tend to have a fairly high standing crystal, but you might not see than in comparison.

    it can be hard to see the separation line between the back and the bezel on the back side. If it's there, the cover will have a lip that snaps over the back of the bezel, if there is a round edged insert into the bezel, it's not designed to come off and the movement will have to be removed via the crystal.

    The notches in the bezel are decorative, attempting to remove the bezel using them will damage the case badly.

    Peter

    Peter
     
  5. dalesr

    dalesr Registered User

    Jan 4, 2009
    225
    1
    18
    New Jersey
    Country Flag:
    I checked the watch closely with a magnifier and there is no lip on the back cover. So this one requires that the crystal be removed to access the movement.
    Thank you!!!;)


     
  6. jimH

    jimH Registered User

    Apr 3, 2009
    150
    0
    0
    On this watch you remove the bezel with a case knife and the movement will come out the front of the watch.
     
  7. dalesr

    dalesr Registered User

    Jan 4, 2009
    225
    1
    18
    New Jersey
    Country Flag:
    Thank you! :)

    How does the crown get removed from this watch movement?

     
  8. psfred

    psfred Registered User

    Sep 25, 2009
    975
    4
    0
    If the movement comes out the front, the watch will have a split stem. Once you get the bezel off, slowly turn the stem until the movement lifts off. I believe the part in the watch is female, the stem with the crown is male, and they interlock. Be careful, it's hard to find those split stems these days. You can also pull them out with cutting tweezers or something similar, but I would recommend attempting to get it to slide apart first, you don't want to mangle the case or break the stem.

    Seiko watches often have a small release tab hidden in a recess with the crystal in place, but I don't think Bulova ever used a similar design.

    Peter
     
  9. dalesr

    dalesr Registered User

    Jan 4, 2009
    225
    1
    18
    New Jersey
    Country Flag:
    Once I get the bezel off, do I put the watch in the set position and then slowly turn the stem until the crown (male part) slides out of the watch? Also, am I applying any outward pressure while turning this stem slowly so that it will disengage from the movement?

    I really appreciate the instructions here. I have already learned a lot.

    Ray


     
  10. psfred

    psfred Registered User

    Sep 25, 2009
    975
    4
    0
    No, the stem has a keyed slotted fitting between the male and female parts. When it is lined up so that the parts will slip apart, the movement will lift out (or if you are brave, fall out into your hand). Naturally, if the parts are rusty, it may not come apart very easily, and it's impossible to see behind the dial. It will come apart in either the set or wind position if it's free enough to move. it cannot come apart while the bezel is in place because the movement cannot move relative to the case. Once the bezel is off, when the slot is perpendicular to the case the parts of the stem can move apart.

    It should also come out if you pull somewhat harder than necessary to pull the stem to the set position, but you may not be able to pull hard enough with your fingernails.

    Peter
     
  11. dalesr

    dalesr Registered User

    Jan 4, 2009
    225
    1
    18
    New Jersey
    Country Flag:
    I removed the bezel very easily with a watch knife but no success with the crown removal using technique described below. I am sure I am doing something wrong here. :eek: I tried to pull out within my hands but not enough force I guess. I spoke with someone today who said I could use a pair of end cutter pliers to remove crown. I would first put the watch into the set position and then use pliers to pull crown off very carefully.



     
  12. Randy Beamer

    Randy Beamer Registered User

    Jul 5, 2011
    132
    13
    18
    Male
    Retired
    Davenport Washington
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Can you post photos of the front and back ? that would help us to help you...even shots of another, similar watch if you don't have a camera.

    Randy
     
  13. dalesr

    dalesr Registered User

    Jan 4, 2009
    225
    1
    18
    New Jersey
    Country Flag:
    i was able to remove bezel very easily per Peter's instructions. I am definitely doing something wrong when trying to remove crown using his technique. Attached is a photo with the bezel removed. There is a picture within this thread showing the back of the watch.



     

    Attached Files:

  14. psfred

    psfred Registered User

    Sep 25, 2009
    975
    4
    0
    The interconnecton the split stem looks something like a horseshoe in cross section, with the female part on the movement end.

    When the slot and tab in the stem are aligned front to back in the case, the stem should slip apart unless rusted together, allowing the movement to come out.
    Any other point in the rotation of the stem will not allow the movement to come free as the stem cannot slip apart.

    Check to make sure the movement will come free of the case, they are sometimes stuck.

    It can also be pulled apart, but you then risk snapping off the sides of the slot in the female part of the stem.

    Peter
     
  15. dalesr

    dalesr Registered User

    Jan 4, 2009
    225
    1
    18
    New Jersey
    Country Flag:
    I did notice that the movement was firmly seated with the bezel removed. I did not try to loosen the movement first. So if I understand you correctly, I need to first loosen the movement within the case with the bezel removed. Then I can try to align the slot and tab to remove the movement from case. Because of the risk of breaking the female sides of the slot, I would prefer not to pull it apart. Thanks for following up on this. It is greatly appreciated and I really do like this forum!!. :)

     
  16. Randy Beamer

    Randy Beamer Registered User

    Jul 5, 2011
    132
    13
    18
    Male
    Retired
    Davenport Washington
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    From what I can see in your picture,it appears that the crystal is still installed. If that's the case, I think that you are going to have to remove the crystal before you are going to be able to see past the dial, in order to line up the stem sections.
    You'd have to do that anyway, in order to get the movement out.
    Sorry if I'm not seeing this correctly...
     
  17. dalesr

    dalesr Registered User

    Jan 4, 2009
    225
    1
    18
    New Jersey
    Country Flag:
    The crystal is still installed with the bezel removed. I will need to purchase this tool. I know that Merritt's has this tool.
    Thanks Randy!;)


     
  18. stiff muckler

    stiff muckler Registered User

    Oct 30, 2010
    207
    0
    16
    If dat's actually da "front loader" and has da split stem, stiff just pulls da stem and blows da crystal out with da puffer. [Don't try dis!]

    You would still need to compress da crystal to re-install it. stiff usually uses da Mido rings for dis.

    sm iiH!
     

Share This Page