Skip to main content

Bulova 1956 -Non-Conforming

Model ID rating explained.

Manufacture Year: 


Movement Model: 


Movement Jewels: 


Movement Serial No.: 


Case Serial No.: 


Case shape: 


Case Manufacturer: 


Crystal Details: 




Additional Information

I found this watch at an antique store for $20.00. Gold case, with remnents of what seems like the original gold band still affixed.  Based on what I saw looking through the ad's I think it may be a 1957 Commodore. It is also the first "two-piece" stem I have tackled.  It is a front loader and removing the front pieces was easy but getting the stem out was tricky.  I tried all the techniques I've read here including turning it upside down but what eventually worked was using an old presto hands remover and giving it a good yank. At first I thought I broke it but as I inspected it closer it came apart as designed.  The good - I think the case, dial and hands will clean up well.  The balance was also lively and appears to be in good condition.  The bad - I read somewhere that this particulary movement employs some sort of "Indirect Sweep 2nd hand gear on a long pinion which is held in place by the spring strap in the center of the movement?  As a novice, I'm a little nervous about it but we shall see.  The ugly - It was apparent why the stem was so difficult to deal with. The male part attached to the crown is terribly rusted.  I don't know if it can be salvaged or if I need to find an entirely new stem.  If so, any ideas where to find one?  I appreciate your opinions and analysis and also the time you guys put into helping an old novice like me identify these old bulova's. :-)

Not For Sale
[11ACC_1956] Movement
1956 Front
Andersok's picture
Panel Member
Posted April 6, 2018 - 12:25pm

Looks like a case from the Sea King, or the Convoy; but the dial is one I've only seen in the Commodore. Unknown model or a mix of different models?

Watch-N-Learn's picture
Posted April 6, 2018 - 1:04pm

I was about to post.. I'm thinking the same thing now.. I've been looking all morning and the only case that matched the lug style I saw was on a 55 Sea King but the dial looks exactly like that of a Commodore.  I feel like an idiot now that I didn't look closer before posting this for id.. Unless there is some model that is a hybrid of the two, looks like this is some combo. Sea King Pic below:



Watch-N-Learn's picture
Posted April 6, 2018 - 1:11pm

Commodore Dial from another member on this site.. note the color and shape of the second, hour and minute hands. The shape of the 4, 6 and 2. The two dots above the 12 etc. The identical markings througout.. Guess that's why I was leaning Commodore but then after Jabs pointed out the lugs.. the Sea King was the only one I found that was a match for the case.. 

neetstuf-4-u's picture
Panel Member
Posted April 6, 2018 - 5:37pm

I'm leaning towards a marriage of parts from  Sea King and Commodore. Non conforming, but all Bulova and still a cool watch. We all own at least one :o)

Watch-N-Learn's picture
Posted April 6, 2018 - 8:21pm

Thank you. I’m working on the dial now. I don’t know if this is normal for Bulova but on the back these letters are stamped into it repeatedly: GUENIN BIENNE HOGUE. Also on top of the metal stamped letters appears to be the following stamped by a rubber stamp in blue ink: UNIUS. Below it is : “dep.” This is my first Bulova year down so maybe this is normal ?

Geoff Baker
Club 5000Panel Member
Posted April 7, 2018 - 9:57am

Wow - this guy really cleaned up well, I like these lugs, they're unique.

I'm leaning to Non-Conforming, still a little unsure.

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Panel Member
Posted April 7, 2018 - 10:10am

Dep is 'Déposée', which means patent filed or applied for.

Not sure about the rest of that- Bienne is in Switzerland, do you by any chance have a pic of this odd stamping?

Guenin and Hogue are both family names, possibly casemakers, but I have no record of any such firm. 

Watch-N-Learn's picture
Posted April 7, 2018 - 6:01pm

Hi Rob this is the best shot I could get of the special markings.  It's really tough to make it out clearly.

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Panel Member
Posted April 7, 2018 - 10:45pm

My mistake, I missed the part about this being on the dial, I was thinking it was the case for some reason...

I'm seeing what looks like 'Huguenin Bienne'. Huguenin appears many times in trademarks, but began as a watch company back in 1857. Various successors through the years adapted to the changing horological climate. In 1959 the company's factories were purchased by Hamilton USA and there followed a series of watches that were dual branded.  And there is something about the dial that required a patent applied for stamp. Possibly an Industrial process of some kind like a new finishing or silvering technique? 

UNILUX is owned by Stelux manufacturing and is probably the actual maker of this dial at the factory level. 

Starting around 1961, Hong Kong (Stelux) was becoming a major player in the Swiss watch Industry. Swiss regulations allowed a watch cased in Hong Kong to be labelled 'Swiss Made', and this continues to this day. That $4000 Omega we see nowadays has its case and bracelet made in China. This is not to say that the quality suffers because of this, in fact, China has many Luxury and High End watch brands that we in the West never see. 

However, it is a bit misleading, IMO.

There is an exhaustive analysis of this here:


Watch-N-Learn's picture
Posted April 10, 2018 - 4:20pm

Wow Rob, that was a good piece of reading there... It took me a bit of time to digest it.  Thank you for the education and for taking the time to provide it.