Replace the motion of my Pop-pop's pocketwatch
January 7, 2013 10:43 PM   Subscribe

So I have my father's father's retirement pocketwatch. My father gave it to me almost twenty years ago and it has never worked. Recently I pulled it out of the china cabinet and tried to fix it myself following some youtube tutorials. Unfortunately I forgot that I am clumsy and bad at not losing small things. Long story slightly longer, I lost/broke a couple pieces. At that point I took it to a jeweler/watchmaker and he could not fix my mistake. Now I'm wondering if I can just replace the entire internal mechanism of the watch while keeping the part that has my Grandpa's name on it. I'm having no luck finding anything online.

The watch itself says "F.C. Caravelle Watch Division, Bulova Watch Co, Swiss, 890" On the actual mechanism (which I'm told is called "the motion") it says "Caravelle Watch 16 0A" and "Seventeen, 17 Jewels". Pictures here and here. I'm willing to spend under $500 to get this done. Bonus points if you can point me to a nice matching chain (like the one Lincoln had in 'Lincoln').
posted by runcibleshaw to Technology (6 answers total)
If you send it to bulova, you'll get an estimate for the repair, which might be the sanest course of action here.
posted by jenkinsEar at 4:04 AM on January 8, 2013 [3 favorites]

I mailed you.
posted by Yellow at 5:38 AM on January 8, 2013

Yes, contact Bulova. There is a good chance that if you're willing to pay, one of their horologists could fabricate the missing parts.
posted by bfranklin at 6:24 AM on January 8, 2013

Caravelle is Bulova's budget watch. It looks like that watch was made in 1970 (the stamp that says N0 indicates that) and you could probably find a working one on eBay for less than $20.

I know it's the case and the fact that it's your grandfather's retirement watch that makes it special, so maybe you could have a watch repairperson replace the entire motion.

These forums seem to be a wealth of info. They might be able to help you faster and cheaper than going to Bulova directly.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:04 AM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Appreciate the info everyone. I'm not sure why I didn't think of just looking on ebay. I have a bid in on a watch (with a knife chain!). My google searches were turning up nothing, but a search for 'caravelle pocketwatch' got me three hits that look exactly like the one I have. Thanks again dudes. I'm going to leave this one open a little while longer in case any other hiveminders have any helpful hints.
posted by runcibleshaw at 4:57 PM on January 8, 2013

So, I got the clone watch on ebay, but like a stubborn bastard, I didn't take both watches back to the jeweler and instead tried to fix it myself. Because, well I don't know why. I almost destroyed the new mechanism on more than one occasion. At one point I thought I had it all back together and ticking (because of the audible ticking sound), but it would stop running after a few minutes, plus the winding mechanism didn't work at all. Meaning, that I had to take everything apart again and find the problem. Long story short, after breaking a few pieces (luckily I had two of each), I finally got it back together and working. The only thing that does work is the latch release, which I can live with. There's just something very soothing about the tick-tock of pop-pop's watch.
posted by runcibleshaw at 12:03 AM on January 17, 2013

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