Is this vintage Bulova fake?

Crunchies,

This is my great-uncle's watch. I was given it by my aunt, and it wasn't working.

In my haste, I took it to a very well respected (and expensive) master watch maker. He told me it was from 1966 Bulova Ambassador, but it had a 1959 movement which was cool. Nothing crazy or rare, but it was a nice vintage watch. He then took 3-months to repair it and it's now back in working order.

Recently, however, I was staring at the dial and noticed something. Ambassdor was missing an 'a'.

Not that I mind, as it's an heirloom, but it did bother me that the watch maker did not saying anything to me when he repaired it? Perhaps he didn't want to hurt my feelings? Or perhaps I should have asked? 

But I feel it would be strange that my great-uncle would have bought a fake Bulova? Especially a manual wind (Bulova did release exciting Electric watches in the 1960).

What do you think? Is it fake or could it be a misprint?

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Image

FYI - caseback.

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That’s very odd. I don’t know much about how prevalent fake watches were in past decades, but this doesn’t seem like the kind of watch somebody would have faked. I don’t recall hearing about watches other than Rolex and the like being faked that long ago. 
 

My very amateur guess: somebody altered the writing on the dial, possibly as a repair. Something looks a little off about the “ass” in the middle.  And for once I’m not making a joke. 

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thekris

That’s very odd. I don’t know much about how prevalent fake watches were in past decades, but this doesn’t seem like the kind of watch somebody would have faked. I don’t recall hearing about watches other than Rolex and the like being faked that long ago. 
 

My very amateur guess: somebody altered the writing on the dial, possibly as a repair. Something looks a little off about the “ass” in the middle.  And for once I’m not making a joke. 

Thanks, @thekris! That's a good hypothesis. I'll post this on a few other forums and see what others think.

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I agree that the 's's are disproportionately wide compared to the accompanying letters and that this points to a restoration oopsie of some sort. Having an earlier movement in it seems to also point to a period make-do repair. 

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It would be interesting to know what the Bulova code was on the movement. That watch looks to be 1980's, certainly not a 1966.

I concur with the others. The paint on the dial probably got damaged when the hands were removed for repair and a helpful technician repainted it. It may have had to have a movement swap due to some water damage or something like that. You mention that it is hand wind. It should be automatic.

Watch makers are not collectors or preservationists. They want the quickest and easiest way to get a watch running. Yesterday I inquired about cleaning and re-luming a handset on a 75 year old watch with my watch maker. His solution was just to swap out a new handset. (I told him "no".) It is a different mindset.

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Fake? Not sure I would go that far, as it sounds like you've got authentic Bulova parts in it and I don't think there was necessarily any deceit involved. Original? No, it sounds like a replacement movement had to be put in it and clearly the dial was refinished, as Bulova wouldn't have had a misspelling on their dial...I think the sentimental value associated with the watch should outweigh these other factors though - enjoy the watch!

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Aurelian

It would be interesting to know what the Bulova code was on the movement. That watch looks to be 1980's, certainly not a 1966.

I concur with the others. The paint on the dial probably got damaged when the hands were removed for repair and a helpful technician repainted it. It may have had to have a movement swap due to some water damage or something like that. You mention that it is hand wind. It should be automatic.

Watch makers are not collectors or preservationists. They want the quickest and easiest way to get a watch running. Yesterday I inquired about cleaning and re-luming a handset on a 75 year old watch with my watch maker. His solution was just to swap out a new handset. (I told him "no".) It is a different mindset.

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Hi @Aurelian, sharing an image of the movement 😀

My apologies, it is automatic. This 12 ECAD movement was put in the watch maker. Seems to be period correct i.e., 1966 is denoted by "M6."

I agree also with the dodgy repainting hypothesis. In any event, like @WatchoLibre says, it's all about the sentimental value anyway! 

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UPDATE:

This watch does seem to be a variant of a 1966 Bulova Ambassador. Does just seem to be a spelling error during a repair.

1966 Bulova Ambassador 24-70-02
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I never would have noticed the missing 'a.'  What cool history you're uncovering about this watch!

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Fascinating! Great info. Always learning something new here!

Cheers!