Bulova 1961 International

Submitted by DeluxeRaccoon on March 13, 2019 - 10:18pm
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Jewels
Movement Serial No.
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Case Manufacturer
Additional Information

I bought this 30 Jewel on eBay from a seller who seems to specialize in classic Bulovas. It seems that all the watches they sell are restored by them and seem to be in excellent shape, so I felt very confident in spending a little more than I usually like to on this gorgeous watch.

Unfortuately, the stamping on the caseback was either originally very shallow and has worn over time, or was worn down during it's restoration when the caseback was polished. Either way, I could not find any date or case number, but the movement is dated 1961 (M1). The inner caseback is stamped "BEZEL GOLDLAYERED G 40 MICRONS" then there looks to be a case maker stamp and other case maker information. It looks like the case maker is MLB Modele Depose, I believe, but I'm not sure who that is as I've never seen it before. These stampings are what confuse me the most on this watch. The movement is a 10BZAC and has, of course, 30 jewels.

The dial is marked "BULOVA 30 Jewels" and "SELFWINDING". The hands and markers and been redone and glow brightly. 

The watch showcases exactly what I love about vintage Bulova watches: The style, elegance, and panache of late 50's and early 60's America. That "Breakfast at Tiffany's" style, to quote the seller. But it's that time in American design that really speaks to me, and why I love this watch. It's another one that only comes out at special occasions.


Any help and information on this watch is much appreciated!

[field_year-1961] Bulova 30 Jewel
[field_year-1961] Bulova 30 Jewel Caseback Outside
[field_year-1961] Bulova 30 Jewel 10BZAC Movement
[field_year-1961] Bulova 30 Jewel Caseback Inside
[field_year-1961] Bulova 30 Jewel
Posted March 14, 2019 - 7:36am

The case appears to not be an original Bulova, as it is lacking the name/serial number/datecode stampings. Additionally, the Bulova 30 line in the early 60s was a higher end line and electroplate finish seems out of place, in my opinion.

In saying all of that, I am also wondering if this is a non-USA model, of which we have limited data to go on.

Posted March 14, 2019 - 8:08am

In reply to by Andersok

I should have mentioned that I did buy this watch from a seller in the UK, which could mean it it may not be a US model. The outside of the caseback is stamped "Bulova Watch Co". Very interesting.

Reverend Rob
Posted March 14, 2019 - 10:29am

I'd say the caseback has been overzealously polished, but you can make out the Bulova stamping. There is also a good chance this dial has been refinished. Black is the most common dial colour on refins. 

MLB is Maeder-Leschot of Biel and was a common case suppler to Bulova Internationally. 


Posted March 14, 2019 - 12:12pm

Thanks for confirming the caseback marking. The case would appear to be authentic. Do you find an import stamp on the movement?

Posted March 15, 2019 - 3:23pm

In reply to by Andersok

I found one other stamp on the movement. It could either be a "+" or an "X".

Posted March 15, 2019 - 8:29pm

In reply to by Andersok

Not that I can see. Just the "+" or "X" and the date code "M1".

Posted March 16, 2019 - 4:52pm

Gut feeling - internationally distributed watch not sold in the US. That said, I am pretty sure  I have seen this case before, however, it may be the same watch and I saw it on ebay.

Being movement dated 1961 and displays case markings associated with European models; I would be comfortable calling it a tentative 1961 Bulova 30 noting  possible dial alteration during refinish. Date falls right in the middle of production of the original Bulova 30 line.

It's a beauty, I really like it and can see why you were drawn to it.

Geoff Baker
Posted March 20, 2019 - 6:21am

A very nice watch, I really like this one. I do not find anything to match it either.

1961 Bulova Unknown

Reverend Rob
Posted March 20, 2019 - 10:09am

I think it's very likely this is a European model, but it may have the same name as the North American versions, so I'd be down with 'Bulova 30' as a tentative. 

Alternately, we could call it an 'International unknown'.