Many years ago (1971 or 2) I bought my green-faced Zodiac Astrographic ("Airborne Watch") at the old "Airborne PX" at Fort Bragg, N.C. Though not really knowing much about watches I must have thought it was beautiful - and I must have been right (not something I could always count on [being right] across time). : ) However, being stupid at the same time I replaced the original gold band with a leather one, because leather watch bands were cool in the day, and proceeded to lose the original band / or threw it out or something. And I wore the Astrographic for a while before putting it away in my dresser drawer where it stayed for many moon.
Last year I pulled it out of my dresser, dusted it off, put it on, and began to fall in love with it again. It had a couple problems though; the leather band just wasn't cutting it, and the crystal was badly scratched. I found a similar gold plated band online. As for the crystal, however, I kept hearing rumors about the existence of aftermarket replacement ones - maybe even some NOS versions, but was never able to find one for sale.
I also couldn't find any jewelers who were knowledgable and / or confident and / or willing to polish the crystal so I did some research and found diamond grease online and cotton-tipped conical Dremel tool type buffers and went ahead and polished out the scratches myslelf. I have a habit of doing things myself, expecially if it's the only way I can see something getting done that's important to me. I think for a polished (versus new) crystal it turned out just fine - and further deepened my love for Airborne Watch. I've included some before (cyrstal) and after pictures.
Still, I woundn't mind having a backup crystal if anyone ever finds a source. Thanks for reading about my Astrographic!
Nice story for a nice watch! Thanks for sharing it with us. Welcome aboard.
Thanks, Butch. Glad to be on board!
Blurry picture but shows the color and shape of a 1971/2 gold Zodiac Astrographic when I was out getting scratches on the crystal.