Bulova 1970 International

Submitted by LisaD on February 17, 2021 - 1:09pm
Manufacture Year
1970
Movement Jewels
23
Case Serial No.
3-125296
Case shape
Round
Case Manufacturer
Bulova
Gender
Mens
Additional Information

This watch has a full provenance, from the bottom of the manly trinket-jewelry box on his dresser in our home. We surmise that when bought in Toronto, Canada, it was worn for 10 years, and when the mister was on a management contract job in Saudi Arabia in 1980, he remembers buying a new one, of great value at a really good price.

50 years later, the watch is still working, probably a transition self winding mechanism watch before the Accutron was produced in great quantity, it is not possible to open, even with the proper 3 prong watch tool.

The bracelet is not original, and displays a large T logo on the clasp. I was not able to identify this Bulova watch with the 3 deep red time indicators, and the gold with red enamel hour marks.

I have permission to share this one with you on the site, but promised it was not going anywhere....

23 Jewel Automatic movement.

 

face and case
time case details
back stainless steel
whole watch in profile
neetstuf-4-u
Posted February 18, 2021 - 9:22am

It appears that the face has been cleaned in the past and lost it's text. In your photos, it looks like "Accutron" was under the logo at 12 o'clock and  two or possibly three lines of text were between the 6 and below the center shaft for hands. Can you determine what the text was? That would certainly help with ID if you can figure it out under magnification.

LisaD
Posted February 18, 2021 - 2:06pm

That makes sense neetstuf, the dial was odd with no written information or identification other than the Bulova gold tuning fork. I will do my best to see if I can magnify and detect some surface imprint or shadow. Since I can't open the watch, it will be more difficult.

I will get back to you.

Regards,

Lisa

 

LisaD
Posted February 18, 2021 - 6:14pm

So far all I can add is the presence of the capital letter name  BULOVA placed under the logo, if you look at my second image, you can see a slight gold color shadow, if there was more written on the dial, it has left no residue from it.

I looked at the huge number of watches and both the Accuquartz and the Accutron have a few possibilities but no exact match, see a 1974 Accuq, and several Accut. from early 1970s series of the Calendar model.

More to come. TKS.

Geoff Baker
Posted February 18, 2021 - 9:51pm

.....but it's a mechanical movement, not an Accutron? Curious that it has a tuning fork on the dial. I'm not sure what to make of it.

mybulova_admin
Posted February 18, 2021 - 11:14pm

Please confirm if the watch movement is manual/automatic wind or battery operated?

Some Accutron watches were co-branded BULOVA and ACCUTRON, but knowing the movement would certainly tell us if it is one or the other.

As indicated by Geoff, the tuning fork logo does suggest that it's an Accutron and therefore not a manual wind movement, but a battery operated one.

LisaD
Posted February 19, 2021 - 12:04am

I was also confused by the presence of the logo and the fact it is a self winding watch that still runs on time for over 24 hours when it was wound fully today.

Because I was not able to remove the back it was not possible to see what kind of movement the watch has and take a photo of it, that is why I called it a transition watch, on the cusp of the time period between the majority of self winding and the majority of battery operated Bulova watches,

Hope this helps clarify the information available. 

TKS, Lisa

mybulova_admin
Posted February 19, 2021 - 3:11am

The the watch is dated 1970, so the transition period from manual wind to battery would have well past, as Bulova introduced the Accutron movement in 1960. If this watch does have a mechanical wind movement then there is a high chance that it is either not original to the watch, or that the dial is not original to the watch. 

I think I see similar washed-out marling above the 6 o'clock position.

From what I know Bulova never put the tuning fork symbol on their mechanical watches....panel please confirm or rebut.

 

Andersok
Posted February 19, 2021 - 7:14am

In reply to by mybulova_admin

The only ads that I could find showing the tuning fork symbol on non-Accutron models look to have originated in Asia, per these off-site 1972 ads. I could not find the symbol on any other 70s ads.

Without seeing the inside markings of this watch, this could be an international model.

 

LisaD
Posted February 19, 2021 - 12:19pm

In reply to by mybulova_admin

This is what I wrote, "that is why I called it a transition watch, on the cusp of the time period between the majority of self winding and the majority of battery operated Bulova watches,"

From what I read here about the Accutron concept in 1960, was a change in the mechanism of the movement, based on the tuning fork sensor, no longer a spring and a jeweled one. It does not say that a battery operated quartz movement was involved. 

The first retail quartz movement with battery watch was produced by Seiko in 1969, called the Seiko Quartz Astron 35SQ, during a highly competitive period between the top watch makers in the world.

The information I am getting is confusing me.

 

Geoff Baker
Posted February 19, 2021 - 10:18pm

In reply to by LisaD

Hi Lisa - There really wasn't a formal transition from Mechanical (hand wound) to Automatic (wound by wrist/arm movement) to battery powered Accutron (tuning fork) to Quartz powered battery watches movements in the Bulova timeline. Over a period of roughly 25 years (1950 to 1975) the three latter types were produced en masse. Three of the four continue to be made today, the exception being the Accutron Tuning Fork movement although to be clear all four types were 'jeweled' watches. In the mid seventies Bulova switched their battery operated watch movement from being driven by a tuning fork to being driven by quartz. On another note, Accutron has recently introduced a new concept in watch movement called "electrostatic" that is fascinating in it's design.

Our primary goal at myBulova is to help people discover the history of their vintage Bulova watches. Using ephemera, advertisements and some Bulova supplied catalogs we try to pinpoint all the information we can, including sell price and model numbers and names. We are not sure what exactly your watch is, as it seems to have components of a couple different types of Bulova watches specifically a case that was used in mechanical movement watches and a dial that seems to come from an Accutron tuning fork watch. Based on your comments the movement seems to be mechanical, not tuning fork. Because of that we most likely will not be able to supply any further information as it doesn't seem to be an original factory produced configuration. Generally we refer to watches we cannot ID to model as "Unknown" model.

If you have further questions I would be happy to try answer them.