Bulova 1957 International

Submitted by houstonz on November 12, 2018 - 4:15pm
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Jewels
Movement Serial No.
Case Serial No.
1 0528
Case shape
Case Manufacturer
Crystal details
Additional Information

This is a watch from my uncle that now passed away, so I do not have much information.

It is a hand winding mechanical movement, I brought to a vintage watch repair shop and they said the movement is broken, it will probably need 300 Euro to repair + 100 Euro to reprint the dial, that would be more than the value of the watch.

It would be nice if you can give me some info about the watch and if possible how to hand this situation: looks like the repair process is more expensive than the watch value. 

Thanks in advance!  

1950 Bulova watch
1950 Bulova watch
1950 Bulova watch
Posted November 12, 2018 - 4:17pm

It would be very much appreciated if you will be able to recognize this watch and give me some advice about what to do, thanks!

Kathy L.
Posted November 12, 2018 - 6:03pm

Hello and welcome to myBulova.  Did you get a photo of the movement when the repair shop opened it up?  Is there a L0 on the back of the case and/or the movement that you are using to date it at 1950?  Also can you confirm that the dial says Bulova please?  I can not make it out, thanks.

Posted November 13, 2018 - 12:23pm

In reply to by Kathy L.

Hi Kathy, thank you for your kind answer! Sorry for the quality of picture, now the watch is at the shop and I cannot make a better one... :( I didn't take a picture of the movement neither because I did not know how to open the case when the case back has no indents. I thought the marks to identify the production were those ones on the outside case back.

The shop said they need 3 weeks to prepare an estimate, so I will get it back in december...

Anyway I can confirm the print on the dial says Bulova and the logo is the same published by Andersok.

Posted November 12, 2018 - 6:57pm

Our abilities to identify many European models is limited, but I do have an ad from Italy that I think is dated to the 1960s that shows the Bulova name on the dial and that same symbol under it. The watch in the ad is not the same as the your watch, but I think the dial with this symbol may be correct. If you are able to locate some datecodes on the watch and a movement model number, that will help greatly to narrow down a year. It is possible that the inside of the caseback has the case datecode. And in the early 60s we start to see case numbers stamped or engraved inside the casebacks. That number, if your watch has one, may be useful as well.

Here is the ad:

Posted November 13, 2018 - 12:27pm

In reply to by Andersok

Hi Andersok, thanks for this very interesting picture! The logo on dial is the same, but this ad says that watch is automatic while my watch is hand winding, not sure if at that time automatic and hand winding were considered the same.

I will get back the watch in 3 weeks which is the time they need to create a quotation for the repair.... I tried to contact Bulova repair service in UK but they gave me the name of a repair shop who never answered my email. Do you now maybe some reliable repair shop in Italy?

If they confirm the repair will be above 400 Euro I don't know what to do...

Reverend Rob
Posted November 13, 2018 - 2:46pm

Hello and Welcome to my Bulova.

So if I understand correctly, the shop that has it now is only going to do an estimate but not the actual repairs?

That would mean they are acting as a middleman and the cost will be significantly higher.

I'm assuming you are in the UK, and Bulova Service Centres will not repair vintage Bulovas, you want an independent repair shop/watchmaker. Ideally, you want a place that does the repairs on site, and they are most likely to be in the cities. 

vintage watch repair in UK

I would avoid the places that are jeweller's unless they have a watchmaker on site, otherwise they will send it out. Again, ideally you want to contact the watchmaker directly without any middleman. The average price for a CTR on an automatic watch should be around $250-$325, and may not include parts. (£145-£180)

Very often the service will equal or outstrip the value of the watch, but what you are doing is the required maintenance to keep the watch valuable. Even a Rolls Royce is much more valuable if it runs.

Some watchmakers are listed under the British Watch and Clockmaker's Guild (BWCMG) or The British Horological Institute. (BHI)





Posted November 14, 2018 - 2:19am

In reply to by Reverend Rob

Hi Rob, thanks for your answer. Yes you are right: they are holding the watch for 21 days only to do a precise estimate, which is weird and it is possible they are sending it to somebody far away to have a techincal evalutation.

I am based in Italy, this shop is in Rome (orologeria Salucci) and I found it on the Bulova website as official repairer. 

I have contacted another official repairer in Milan (Orotecnica) and they said they would have sent it to somebody else for an evaluation.

I have then contacted the official repairer in UK but they did not answer (Croydon).

Now my questions is: I can contact directly a watch repairer in UK or in Italy, but so far the price they have pre-estimated is not far from the price you are assuming... Is it worth at this point to contact directly a Bulova shop, if it exists in Italy?

Posted November 14, 2018 - 2:31am

By the way it would be nice for me if I could replace the cracked acrylic glass with a sapphire one, this shop said it is not possible.

Do you think this change would alterate the history of the watch?

Reverend Rob
Posted November 14, 2018 - 12:29pm

They are correct, Sapphire crystals don't come in this shape. You should be able to get an acrylic crystal for this watch.

Bulova official repair centres won't repair the vintage ones as I say, unless they have a dealer who is also an independent watchmaker specializing in this. If you can get the watch serviced for around €200 that would be what I would expect, but not all markets are the same, it's possible Italy's prices are generally higher.

If you can find an independent watchmaker in Italy that will not send the watch away, that is the ideal situation. 

Posted November 19, 2018 - 7:43am

Based on lack of ads; and available info seemingly pointing towards European origin of watch, I am leaning to calling it an International or unknown.