Bulova 1959 -Unknown

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Movement and case dated L9; has the distinctive lugs of a Winchester, but has scalloping on the sides of the case that doesn't match up to any ads or watches in the data base. All shown have smooth sides. Signed 4 times and has a "X" shadow dial with lume at indices and on hands.  Mounted on a period generic band. Very little wear and is keeping perfect time. Is this a Winchester variant or something completely different that I missed?

Not For Sale
1959 Bulova watch
1959 Bulova watch
1959 Bulova watch
1959 Bulova watch
1959 Bulova watch
Posted November 3, 2017 - 9:12pm

Club 5000Panel Member

I'm at 'Unknown' at the moment due to the variation in case and hands from that of other Winchesters. Still looking though.

Posted November 20, 2017 - 6:53am

I'm pretty sure that 3 of the 7 Winchesters with a clear photo of face in the data base have identical hands to subject watch, for what that's worth. It would appear hand style changed in mid to late 1953 to style seen on subject watch?

Geoff Baker
Posted November 7, 2017 - 6:40am

Club 5000Panel Member

Lugs do seem to be those of Winchester but these scallops are throwing me off too. Anyones guess on the originality of the hands. I'm leaning toward Unknown as well.

Posted November 7, 2017 - 7:20am

Panel Member

I could not find this case with the scallop sides in the ads, and the dial/hands match what we typically see in the Clipper line. The pricelists show two Winchester variants, A (white dial) and B (black dial); since this watch doesn't exactly match the ads I'm thinking it is not a Winchester. I'm also at Unknown for now.

Posted November 7, 2017 - 7:36am

Thanks for trying Ken. It's curious they would use the same basic design as a Winchester but add the scallop "bells and whistles" upgrade. What year did the Winchester cease production, any idea? Could this have been a re-tooling of an obsolete die and then re-named? An interesting note: I have another 1959 unknown posted with unusual lugs that sports the same face and hands as subject watch. I wonder if they are somehow related? Probably not, I'm just thinking out loud.

Posted November 7, 2017 - 12:36pm

Panel Member

Not really sure about production. The pricelists have it listed 1954 through 1964, but we do not have a list beyond that year. The ads that it shows up in look to range from 1953 through 1955. Perhaps the style changed in 1959 to try to give it fresh look. The Yankee Clipper had a case design that also incorporated the scallop style, but I don't see this Winchester lug style in any Clipper ads.

Posted November 13, 2017 - 4:06pm

It's unfortunate that the only 1959 Winchester in the database was uploaded in 2012 and only shows pictures of the movement 11AFAC (same as subject watch) and back. No face or case sides photos.

If that watch was better represented, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation. From my research of ads and watches in the database and elsewhere, the only model to ever have these distinctive lugs is the Winchester.

Of uploaded verified Winchesters, 2 dated 1953 and one dated 1954 have identical hands and 2 dated 1953 have the "X" shadow face. I think your assertion that the style of case changed slightly in 1959 is probably a good one.  Playing "connect the dots", I personally would be inclined to call this a tentative Winchester.

Posted November 19, 2017 - 7:52pm

Any other panel thoughts on this one?

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted November 20, 2017 - 12:38am

Panel Member

It is interesting that the 1959 version of the watch, based on what we have in the dB, has a movt that is slightly larger than the 10CSC's we see in the earlier models. This may or may not mean that the case was re-designed at this point, but it is certainly a possibility. 

It is too bad we don't have pics of the sides or front in the example. The ads are no help, they often show very little detail, especially of the sides. 

My gut is telling me this IS a Winchester. 

Posted December 4, 2017 - 4:43pm

So, is this a tentative Winchester until proven otherwise? My gut feeling is the same as yours, Rob.