I purchased this watch at a flea market several years ago. It did not run, but I was drawn to the dainty design and the cleanliness of the watch face. I had it refurbished (making the decision not to fix the small chip in the crystal as that added significant cost to the repair) and it ran like a champ for several years. Recently, I noticed that while I could fully wind it in the morning, it would begin to lose time throughout the day, finally ceasing to run by late afternoon. The next day it cannot be fully wound (although after several days of sitting, it will wind as usual) leading me to believe that perhaps the main spring needs to be replaced.
I assumed when I purchased the watch that it dated from the 40's - 50's and have since dated it to 1950 based on the Lo on the back of the watch, however, a search of the adverts of the era do not match this watch exactly. I recognize that the drawings seldom match the actual watch, so I suspect this watch may be a Susan as it is the closest drawing in the adverts that I can find. There are others that appear somewhat similar to my watch, but none (including the Susan) look to have the distinctive double "V" hinge that mine has. I cannot find another like it on the internet outside of a white gold version that is being sold for parts only.
The back is stamped 14k gold (vs rolled or gold filled) and has an expansion bracelet joining the two double rope bracelet parts on each end. The movement is 17 jewels. The inside of the case is marked "Bulova Fifth Avenue New York" and contains "ghost writing" that appears to read L 83H or H83H or 1183H and what looks like 01986H. This lettering is very faint and difficult to make out and I do not know the purpose of it.
Her name is "Darcy". We have an ad dated 1951 (18 of 36 on the 1950 page). the 'ghost writing' are watch makers marks - the people who SERVICE watches are called watch makers and are meaningless to most people. Have her professionally serviced and wear her proudly, she's worth it. Nice photos, pretty watch.
In reply to Her name is "Darcy". We have by Geoff Baker
Thank you! My research was at a standstill due to being stuck looking at the 1950 ads because of the Lo on the back of the watch. The Susan was the closest that I could get in an identification and I still wasn't sure, but looking at the 1951 ad for the Darcy clinched it. I am correct about the dating though, right? Lo is 1950? There can be no doubt that my watch is the Darcy - is it possible they just didn't advertise it until 1951 even though it was created in 1950?
The ad shows that it came with a silk cord, so it appears someone went to extra expense ($71.50 in 1951 - not a lightly made purchase) to put the rope and expansion bracelet on. The expansion portion of the bracelet is not stretched out. My wrists are small, so I would guess that the woman who originally wore it had a wrist only slightly larger than mine. This watch was either treated like a cherished timepiece or hardly ever worn due to the cleanliness of the face and gold.
How it ended up in a jumble of watches on a table at a flea market is anyone's guess.
Again, thank you for identifying my beautiful Bulova. I will treat her with care.
In reply to Geoff, Thank you! My research by pthoresen
Yes, your watch is a 1950 date code. It's not uncommon for a watch to be dated before and in many cases after an ad. Could mean we just haven't found an ad for 1950 yet OR it was first advertised in early 1951 and produced ahead of that (must have items in stores when the ad hits the street). I've sent you a private message with service suggestions - You should see link in the upper right of your screen with a link to the messaging system. You can also float on the "home" link above and slide down to "My messages" to read it.
Agree 100% with the Darcy model ID. A first for the site I believe, so thank you Pamela for adding it here.
As posted on the Bulova FB site $400 to have it repaired is way too much and you should be able to use the services of someone on this site to get her up and runing again.