DennisVA's picture

Hi everyone,

My name is Dennis and I have been a member for about a year and half. I would like to say thank you to all of the members for making this a great Bulova reference site and a special thank you to Admin. for all of your hard work in putting this site together and keeping it going. It has been an invaluable tool to me in my hobby of collecting, buying and selling Bulova watches. 

My question is about crystals, In some of the BB catalogs (and others) they reference a Bulova number,

example; Bulova number 2231 BB number CMT 2293. It says on the top of the page that the Bulova (Gruen, Elgin,Hamilton etc. ) number can be found stamped on the inside of the case. I have looked at dozens of cases and on a few occasions have found the serial number but that is all. Do any of you know what this number is in reference to?

Thanks, Dennis

Posted January 31, 2012 - 12:50am


The number they are talking about is usually stamped inside the caseback, it will range from a 3 digit to 5 digit number, or letter/number combo.

Some manufacturers will stamp it on the caseback with a stamping die and others, (Bulova) will stamp it in ink.

Bulova didn't start doing this until the early 60's, so to ID a crystal before that, crystal measurment, shape, and curvature are needed to deterime the right crystal

DennisVA's picture
Posted January 31, 2012 - 12:55am

Thanks OldTicker, I was afraid that on the older watches there wouldn't be an easy answer.


Posted January 31, 2012 - 1:01am


You've got that right!

If you have a digital calipers, and and measure the old crystal, and the clean crystal groove, figure out the crystal curvature, you are half way there...the other half is finding one!

Elgin Doug
Posted January 31, 2012 - 12:06pm

One thing that I've noticed is that the old G&S catalog PDF that Esslinger has, if you set it at 100%, the crystals are life-sized.  I used that to find the right crystal for a couple watches where I couldn't find any kind of listing anywhere.

DennisVA's picture
Posted January 31, 2012 - 9:05pm

Thanks Doug,

That is good to know