Bulova 1955 Bulova 23

Submitted by emartor on September 29, 2020 - 3:28pm
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Jewels
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Case Manufacturer
Additional Information

Bulova 23 , No stripes Black Dial, 10k Gold Filled Case, SS Back, Antimagnetic, Shock resistant, Selfwinding, Water resistanat. L5 Movement data code. Working OK

BULOVA 23 AD 1955
Posted September 29, 2020 - 5:11pm

Neat watch! I'm a bit puzzled and will have to do some digging. During this time period, "23"s had a sunburst dial, and the hands on your watch look like they were originally lumed and the lume inserts are now black. Couple of clarification questions:

Am I seeing a "V" shaped notch in the dial edge at the "12" position?

Is the date stamp on movement and the case back "L5"? It looks like it may be "L3" on the case back.

The casing might be a 23, perhaps a "G" but the face is not. Face appears to be from a different model that was refinished black and white text applied. I can't find any documented 23's with this dial marker configuration or smooth finish.

Watch looks great, I like it but suspect it might be a combination of parts. At this point, I'm at "Non conforming", but still looking.

Posted September 30, 2020 - 6:34pm

In reply to by neetstuf-4-u

Hi, thanks for your comments, confirmed is L5 movement. The "V" shaped is a little damage, and the hands are not black have a hole you can see the black of the dial.

Posted September 30, 2020 - 7:03pm

In reply to by emartor

OK, so the hands are for a luminous dial, the open slots in the hands are meant to be filled with lume, which doesn't technically match the dial or the case. I would suggest the dial started out with luminous dots at the hour markers, but maybe not. Hands are an easy thing to swap during a rejuvenation of an old watch.

Posted September 30, 2020 - 3:30pm

I agree the case and movement are a match to the 23 'G' for 1955, but the dial is not correct. 

Posted September 30, 2020 - 6:40pm

In reply to by Andersok

Hi, thanks for your comments, maybe the dial is not correct because have a smooth finish, but the gold numbers seem to me the same as model 23. you are the experts. thanks a lot

Posted September 30, 2020 - 6:47pm

In reply to by emartor

The issue with the numbers is placement. Your watch has numbers at 12, 3, 6 and 9. Generally, 23's were numbered 2,4, 6, 8, 10 and 12. They were also fully numbered or all non-number markers in this time period The issue, if you want to call it that is dial texture and markers as well. It doesn't make it a bad watch, we just can't call it a specific name, as names are based on being identical to Bulova ads and/or period documentation.

Posted September 30, 2020 - 7:42pm

In reply to by emartor

This dial could be from a later 23 model, such as those seen around 1960 or later.

Linebook 148 from 1962


Posted October 1, 2020 - 2:31pm

I can't seem to find a dial case match.   It could be an unknown variant of a Bulova 23 or more likely a movement/dial swap.  Unknown for now.

Geoff Baker
Posted October 1, 2020 - 9:20pm

Panel members, do you prefer to note this as a Non-Conforming watch due to the dial or can we enter it as a 23 G noting a dial swap?

Posted October 1, 2020 - 9:50pm

It appears by Ken's research to be all Bulova and all 23 albeit different models and different years. I'm good with

generic 1955 Bulova 23,  noting dial swap.