Bulova 1958 Bulova 23

5/10 votes
Model ID rating explained.
2.802
Manufacture Year: 
1958
Movement Model: 
don't know
Movement Jewels: 
23
Case Serial No.: 
D261644
Case shape: 
Round
Case Manufacturer: 
Bulova
Gender: 
Mens
Additional Information: 

I could only upload a face and back picture, as I already have the watch packaged to send to Mike Cousineau on Monday for repair, and I didn't take the back off to get a picture of the movement. Case material is 14Kt gold. I had watch repaired at least 20 years ago. Worked ok for a couple years, now gains time again. Crystal has been replaced at least once. Obviously, band is not original. Has been in family since around 1960 when my father purchased from his hard-up-for-money best friend for $25. I can get the movement details when I receive watch back from Mike, or I can ask him to relay them to me when he send the watch back. I went through all of the 1958 ads and even the 1957 and 1959 ads. I  couldn't find a picture of a similar watch with the same dial (no numbers). I assume this is another derivation of the "23"? Thanks. Great website, BTW!

Not For Sale
1958 Bulova watch
1958 Bulova watch
FortyCaliber
Posted March 18, 2018 - 12:53am

I have no idea how to take the back off to get movement information or a picture and I don't want to break it trying.

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted March 18, 2018 - 1:29am

Panel Member

The silver locking ring unscrews and the back can then be removed. There is a specific Bulova wrench for this, but a Jaxa case wrench also works. 

FortyCaliber
Posted March 19, 2018 - 9:08am

Reverend Rob wrote:

The silver locking ring unscrews and the back can then be removed. There is a specific Bulova wrench for this, but a Jaxa case wrench also works. 

 

Hi and thanks Reverand Bob. I sort of thought that may be the way the back came off, but wasn't sure. I don't have that wrench. Maybe for me, it may be best for me to just wait and let TimeMachines Mike C. tell me after he gets the watch and opens it up for repair. As you can see it needs quite a bit of work.

Andersok
Posted March 19, 2018 - 7:59am

Panel Member

I could not find any ads matching this design, but I did find a photo of a similar white gold version with a tag stating model# 31312 at $175. The pricelists show a few Bulova 23 models at that price, including the 31312 variant KW in white gold, and a similar IW variant with model# 31310 $175 and case color 'Y' is listed. I would say that you may have the 'IW' variant in yellow, but it is not a lot to go on, especially with no supporting ads.

 

FortyCaliber
Posted March 19, 2018 - 9:24am

Thanks Andersok. That looks darn close at least to my eyes. May I ask where you found that ad?

Also, I see it came with a leather strap, as oppsed to the stretch band that my father had installed on it when he bought it, and, I'm sure, had replaced a time or two over the years. I spoke with Mike C. about the band already on the watch and he told me that the stretch metal bands can cause damage to the "side prongs" where the spring bar would secure because the 14Kt is just too soft. Personally, I really don't like leather straps, either. I know my faher wore this watch daily for upwards of 40 years IN A FACTORY until he got his retirement watch. I can't see any damage myself to the side prongs, but, then again, I'm no watch repairman. I told Mike C. that I'd worry about what band to stick on it after I get it repaired. Right now, it has a worn out Speidel band on it. I was perusing some of the other ads in the 1958 section and saw some really nice metal bands that, I think, would look great with this watch, but I think all of the metal bands in the ads I looked at were installed on Stainless watches.

As an aside, just because I was curious,  I just visited a website to calculate how much $175 in 1958 would be worth today. It stated that $175 in 1958, in today's dollars because of inflation, would be worth $1492.79! Wow!

 

Andersok
Posted March 19, 2018 - 12:28pm

Panel Member

The tag states strap, so it would have come with a leather strap originally; however, I don't know if the strap in the picture is original, as it looks more modern. I could see a nice gold expansion band with leather inserts as a good match for this watch.

The pic is one that I saved from an online auction sale to be able to reference model information from an original tag. There is always the posibility that tag and watch are not original together. If we had an ad showing the watch and variant, that would validate the pic.

-Ken

Geoff Baker
Posted March 20, 2018 - 7:19am

Club 5000Panel Member

Great story FortyCaliber, I'm a big fan of heirloom watches (my father was a collector too) so anything your father wore is totally cool to me. The problem with a lot, but certainly not all expansion bands is that some of them are 'self adjusting' so they'll fit several lug spacing sizes. That type applies constant pressure to the inside lug surface and causes unnecessary wear. Regularly sized bands are generally not an issue, even with solid gold cases.

I'm not sure of the variant on your watch. I think it's a Bulova 23 model but I'm tentative on assigning a variant at this point.

1958 Bulova 23

FortyCaliber
Posted May 11, 2018 - 5:58pm

I just wanted to do a quick update on my watch.

 

First, thanks Geoff. Yes, it is a variant of the "23" according to Mike Cousineau, who has the watch now. He already did all the repair/cleaning to the watch. He told me its a "23', but he has never seen one with the large dial markers like mine has. After conferring with him some more about the watch and looking at some pictures he sent to me, it was decided that the dial was so badly damaged that it would not clean up well enough, so it has been sent out for total restoration. That's where it stands now. When Mike gets it back, I'll pay him for his work on the watch, and when I get it back, I'll start looking for an appropriate band for it. As many of you probably know, Mike is a purist and would like to see a leather band back on the watch. I'm still up in the air about it. I like the look and convenience of expansion bands. He doesn't like expansion bands, because, just as Geoff stated, they can cause damage to the lugs. I don't know. I know my dad has always had expansion bands on this watch and he wore it every day to a heavy, dirty,  factory job and, according to Mike, the lugs are still in good shape on the watch. I surmise my dad probably installed at least 3 expansion watch bands over the 30 to 35 years that he wore it. I've been looking on eBay at the NOS vintage, old stock, GF watch bands and I'll say that the one seller (maybe even a member of MyBulova) has some REALLY nice old vintage watch bands that would look great on my watch. However, I've been looking at some leather bands, too, that look great, but would have to get one of those quick deployment clasps to go along with it. I'll decide which way to go when I get the watch back and I'll post pictures of Mike's completed work.

 

Some other interesting info on the watch: Mike took it apart and weighed it and it has 13.8 grams of 14kt gold.

I'll ask him about the movement model when I talk to him again.

 

Geoff, also, what would the "variants" be if you were able to assign one to my watch?

 

Thanks

Tony

Geoff Baker
Posted May 12, 2018 - 8:00am

Club 5000Panel Member

Hi Tony - Great to hear the it's on Mike's workbench, I've found that to be a really safe place for my watches too. 

Variant refers to a sub category of a particular model. Bulova made the mid-fifties "23" model in over a dozen different styles. They matches several different case styles with several different metal compounds (rolled gold, solid gold and stainless steel) along with three or four different dial styles (ribbed, shaded, etc). Each watch was designated as a "23" model along with a series of letters to denote the the different variation.

The band / strap dilemma can be a simple as what you prefer. If you plan to wear it like dad did, you choose the mount that suits you the best.