Bulova 1955 Royal Lancer

Submitted by familytradition on June 22, 2022 - 9:09pm
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Additional Information

I believe this is a 1955 Bulova Royal Lancer. It was my great-grandfather's watch that has now been passed to me. It's in fairly good condition with very little wear.

The case is yellow gold and features distinctive decorative lugs with a triple 'wave' pattern. Lug width is 17.75 mm. Case diameter is 31.15 mm.

The face is creamy off-white and simply says: BULOVA Selfwinding SWISS. It only features even digits which are yellow gold outlined in black.

The movement is a sweeping second hand, but no other complications.

The crown is stamped "BULOVA".

Exterior of the caseback reads: Bulova. Stainless Steel Back. Anti-Magnetic. Shock Resistant. Self-Winding. Water Tite.

Inside of the caseback reads Bulova. 10K Rolled Gold Plate Bezel. Stainless back. New York.

The band is a yellow gold expansion band which is stamped "1/20 10K GF TOP. SS BOTTOM 55-" The links are all marked "Bretton."

The watch hasn't been serviced in a few decades, if ever. It currently runs inconsistently (will go for a few minutes and stop), even when being worn. I suspect its original lubrication is long gone. I'd like to get it serviced back into working order. 


Some questions for the forum:

Any insight on the band? It looks just like the band in the '55-'57 line book, but it's marked "Bretton". Is that a brand that Bulova worked with? Or the model of a Bulova-brand band?

Any tips on where to get it serviced? I live in the Washington, DC area, but for the right price and turnaround time, I'm open to shipping it out. 

What's a good rate for service? 

I contacted the Bulova Service Center (Veterans Watchmaking Initiative) and they indicated that they are backed up and wouldn't even be able to take a look at it for six months.  Their 'Complete Service' was quoted at $503.  My local watchmaker said it would take him 3-5 months and would be $650 and up (depending on what was needed).

1955 Bulova Royal Lancer vintage automatic watch, detail showing face
1955 Bulova Royal Lancer vintage automatic watch showing detail of crown and face
1955 Bulova Royal Lancer yellow gold vintage automatic watch with band
1955 Bulova Royal Lancer vintage automatic watch stainless steel watch case back
1955 Bulova Royal Lancer vintage automatic watch movement 10CSC
Bulova 1955-1957 Line Book showing Royal Lancer Model 1051
Posted June 22, 2022 - 9:46pm

Thank you for sharing your grandfather's watch.  It is indeed a Bulova Royal Lancer.   A service is definitely necessary to make sure you do not damage the watch.  Some of the other panel members may be able to recommend someone.  I used one of the online services listed on ebay and paid $125 and the watch was serviced well.  As for the bracelet I am not a big fan of stretch bracelets.  I would just get a nice leather strap and enjoy the watch.

Posted June 23, 2022 - 6:42am

Looks well taken care of. The Bretton band is commonly seen on Bulova models as original equipment.

Royal Lancer

Posted June 23, 2022 - 7:22am

Nice watch, thanks for sharing. I'm a big fan of heirloom watches.

1955 Royal Lancer

like this one

Geoff Baker
Posted June 23, 2022 - 9:20pm

1955 Bulova Royal Lancer is a good match