Bulova 1972: Sea King, Date King?

Submitted by egidius on May 7, 2012 - 11:13am

Hi all,

Found a rather nice Bulova from 1972 recently (N2, J353804), but I'm unsure about the model. It came in a Date King box (see picture), but it looks different from most Date Kings I know: the case is a bit squared, for example, and it has a display for the day of the week. Could use some Bulova wisdom: what do you think...?


Posted May 7, 2012 - 12:15pm

Hi, Edigius.  Nice watch.  Can you open it up and get movement information, including the jewel count?

Check out this 1972 ad for the Clipper "Y".  Except for the words "Sea King" shown on the dial, it's a pretty good match for your watch.


The 1970s models are tough to identify, because we don't have very many ads.  What we do have largely boils down to Clippers of various sorts, Jet Stars, Presidents, Accutrons, LEDs, LCDs, and models identified only by a number.   Within each of those lines, there were many models, but we have ads showing only a few of them.

From Bulova corporate I have learned that, during this time, at least one non-US Bulova office was designing and making its own models, and no record of those models now exists (other than the watches themselves).  So, it is possible to get your hands on an authentic Bulova model that is entirely different from anything we have seen in ads or otherwise. 

I believe that the Date King is a 1960s model, though there are some examples in the database dating to the early 1970s.  I do not see a Date King or a 1960s model that has both the month and day windows.  I believe that was a 1970s invention.

So, my best guess regarding your watch would be a Clipper.  Which Clipper line or variant, I don't know.

You may be able to get model information from Bulova corporate, particularly if your watch was made in the US.  They do have some information regarding models from the 1970s.

Posted May 7, 2012 - 12:08pm

The box is 1960's

Posted May 7, 2012 - 12:28pm

Also, the inside of the case back may have the Bulova case and/or crystal # plus other pertinent info so a pic of the inside case back and the movement, or at least the info, will go a long way in finding an id.

Posted May 7, 2012 - 12:37pm

DarHin makes a good point.  What you're looking for is likely printed in black ink, but it's best to tell us everything inside the case, whether stamped or printed.

We may not be able to link the information to anything useful, but it should help Bulova corporate ID your watch, should you decide to contact them.  I have had success emailing their service department with an attached picture of the watch and a thorough description, including all numbers inside and outside the case.