Q: Are all your clocks battery operated?
A: Most are. This is usually signified by the word "quartz" written somewhere on the dial. There are some keywind mantels and chime clocks that have winding holes in the dial front, and also a small assortment of 30-hour keywind travel clocks which are wound from the back.
Q: My clock is slow, or the hands move in a peculiar way. Does that mean that it's broken?
A: Usually this just means you need a new battery. Try replacing it. If that doesn't work, send it in for service.
Q: Why is an anniversary clock called an anniversary clock and a carriage clock called a carriage clock?
A: When anniversary clocks were first made, they needed to be wound only once a year, on the clock's "anniversary." A carriage clock is called a carriage clock because the original purpose of the handle on its top was so that it could be carried from room to room.
Q: What are the differences between your watch brands?
A: Bulova is our signature brand. It is mid-priced ($135 - $550) and has the most classic styling. Bulova also has a collection of 14-karat gold watches ($495 - $3,495). Accutron is our premiere brand. It is the most expensive ($295 - $1,095) and has the highest quality parts and movements. All Accutron watches are Swiss made. The Accutron brand is organized in collections; the watches in one collection all have similar styling and features. Caravelle is our lower-priced line ($45 - $125.) It is the most fashion-forward. Caravelle watches have the most contemporary styling.
Q: I've heard there are some watches that don't need batteries. Is that true?
A: Yes, it is. Most modern watches are quartz watches, which are battery operated. The non-battery watches you've heard of are either mechanical, automatic or solar. Mechanical watches are better known as "windup" watches. They are older and sometimes referred to as "jewel" watches. Automatic watches are powered by motion. The motion of daily wear causes an oscillator in the movement of the watch to vibrate and generate the energy that powers the watch. The easiest way to tell a quartz watch from a traditional automatic watch is that the second hand of a quartz watch "ticks" while the second hand of an automatic appears to "glide" around the dial. Bulova makes a type of automatic watch called Motion Quartz. A solar watch uses energy provided by light.
Q: Does Bulova make any automatic watches?
A: Bulova's Motion Quartz watches are much like automatic watches. These watches are slightly different from the traditional automatic watch in that they contain a capacitor that stores and releases energy much like a battery. Traditional automatic watches need to be worn on a regular daily basis to keep them running accurately. Bulova's Motion Quartz watches do not need to be worn every day. The capacitor can store and release energy for up to two months, keeping accurate time.
Q: I have an older Bulova watch. How can I tell what year it was made and if it's worth anything?
A: Starting in 1948 Bulova began marking the back of watch cases with the year of the watch. To determine the age of a watch made prior to 1948, you would need to send it to Bulova service, as the only year indication for these watches is inside the casing. For watches from 1948 and 1949 the actual year is printed. After that, a letter denoting the decade followed by the digit of the year is marked. This practice began in the '50s, with the letter L. M signified the '60s, N the '70s, P the '80s, T the '90s and A the '00s (2000). So, for example, if P9 is on the case back, the watch was manufactured in 1989. The only way to know the value of a watch, unfortunately, is to have it appraised by a professional jewelry appraiser.
Q: The bracelet on my watch is too small. Can links be added?
A: Yes. You can arrange to get extra links through the jeweler where you bought the watch, or you can go through the Bulova Bracelet Department. Bulova will supply two extra links at no cost on the new purchased watches(except bracelets that are made of karat gold, for which all extra links must be purchased.) Any additional links (beyond the first two) must be purchased. Send your request, with the watch so the links can be attached, to:
- Case & Bracelet Department
- 26-15 Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
- Woodside, New York 11377
Q: How do I shorten my watch bracelet (remove links)?
A: The removal of links from a watch is a professional procedure normally done at time of sale. If you purchased your watch through the mail or Internet, it is unlikely that your watch bracelet has been adjusted. This procedure is not recommended for the consumer.
You have two options:
- If You send the watch to Bulova's Service Department, with an indication of the correct size (length) and/or the number of links to be removed, your new watch bracelet will be adjusted at no charge.
- You also have the option of bringing the watch to a qualified jeweler to have it adjusted. Jewelers, however, will probably charge for this service, since the watch was not purchased there.
Q: I saw a Bulova clock/watch in an ad. I would like to buy it. How can I find a store near me that carries it?
A: You can use the Store Locator on this Web site.
Q: Can I buy directly from Bulova?
A: No, you must go through a retailer.
Q: Is Bulova a European company?
A: No. It is an American Company. It was founded in New York City in 1875. Some of our products, however, do come from other countries. For example, all Accutron watches are Swiss made.
Q: How much is my watch worth?
A: The value of an old or used watch is determined on the "open market." That means, literally, that it is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. Since Bulova is a wholesale business, we have no connection with this market. If you feel that your watch has significant value other than "sentimental," it is best to obtain an estimate of value from a professional appraiser in your area.
Q: Where can I get my Bulova watch or clock repaired locally?
A: We have one authorized Bulova watch and clock repair center in the U.S. located at:
- Service Department
- 26-15 Brooklyn Queens Expressway East
- Woodside, NY 11377
(Please refer to the "Watch and Clock Service Procedures" in the "Service Center" section of this Web site.)
Bulova has introduced tens of thousands of watch models over the years using hundreds of thousands of case, bracelet and movements parts. The only way we can ensure that the correct parts are used, and that the repair is done correctly, is to perform the watch service at our service facility. In addition, we provide a one-year warranty on all repairs.
Q: Can I get information about my old watch?
A: Unfortunately the information that we have on old watches (pre-1960s) is extremely limited. If you mail (see service address) or fax (718-204-3596) a good photocopy of the watch, to the attention of our Case and Bracelet Department, we will do our best to supply you with any information that may be available. Basic information is provided on the case back and dial.
Q: Can I get parts to repair my old watch?
A: The only way to determine if your old Bulova watch is repairable is to send your watch to our service facility where we can positively identify the exact model (see the address above). If the parts are not available we can also determine if a substitute part will fit properly. If the watch is repairable, we will send you an estimate for repair. If it is not repairable, we will return the watch to you with no additional charges. Bulova provides parts to the trade only.
Q: Where can I find a battery for my old tuning fork Accutron watch?
A: The original mercury-based button batteries (cells) for these watches have become obsolete. The sale of mercury cells has been banned by law in some states because of environmental hazards. Major battery manufacturers have discontinued the production of these mercury-based cells.
Silver oxide-based watch cells, the type used in most of today's quartz watches, are available in sizes which can be used as substitutes for the most popular sizes of Accutron mercury cells.
There are, however, several important points which must be taken into consideration:
A silver oxide-cells is 1.55 volts, compared with a mercury cell's 1.35 volts. The use of this slightly higher voltage cell will not affect the performance of a correctly adjusted Accutron. If the watch does not operate properly with a 1.55 volt substitute, the fault is either an incorrect adjustment of the movement, or worn parts in the movement.
Using a 1.55V cell will not cause any damage to the movement.
The following chart will help you find a substitute battery for your watch:
||OLD BATTERY #
||NEW BATTERY #|
*Slightly smaller in size than original battery
Q: Can I still have my old tuning fork Accutron watch repaired?
A: Although parts for repairing the old Accutrons are no longer available, we do offer the option of replacing the movements on most of these old watches with a modern "Quartz" movement. There is one Accutron men's model for which the movement cannot be replaced. That model has the setting knob (crown), plus the coin slot battery cover on the back of the watch as on most watches.
Bulova's service center can clean and adjust any Accutron that does not require parts.