Tag Archives: Ma Bell

They Don’t Make ’em Like That Any More

24 Jan

The Squire and I were in a department store Thursday night, when I overheard a fellow telling somebody else that his dad was a watch maker. I poked my head around the corner and asked where his dad worked, as I have two watches that need repairing. Turns out his business is about a mile and a half from here, so this afternoon I wandered in that direction.

When I handed the gentleman the watch I simply said it didn’t work any more. “What’s it need? A new battery?”

“Um, no. It’s a Bulova from the 50s, and it won’t wind any more.”  He turned it over and read the itty bitty inscription on the back, stating that it had been given to my dad for 30 years service with Ma Bell. Instead of taking something for himself, he had chosen to give this watch to my mom.

The short version of this is that he’s not sure it can be repaired, as they no longer make parts for “mechanical” watches. He will call around and see if he can find the parts he needs, and if he can fix it, it’s going to be about $150. I told him the watch was worth that to me, and gave him a $50 deposit.

It didn’t occur to me at the time, but I am wondering now if it is possible for him to retrofit a quartz mechanism into that case.  Then I can replace the battery!

When we get this settled, I have my dad’s Elgin pocket watch that needs a look-see. I had it fixed about five years ago, but it needs to be cleaned. When I had it fixed, the man quoted me a price that nearly knocked my socks off, but he pointed out that it was a) considered an antique, and b) it was white gold, and fairly valuable. I had never considered the fact that it might be gold – what did I think? Stainless steel? – but in looking closely at my parents’ wedding pictures, I think this is the watch he was carrying.  Definitely worth fixing.

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