Trying to identify a 1924 or 1941? 17 jewel 5AB movement ladies watch

Hi.  I have a very old ladies Bulova that I could not find in pictures in the search section.  There is a section for a 1924 movement 5AB but no photo's. 

The watch I have seems very rare, I cannot find anything like it despite my efforts.  It has no information on the outside of the case which leads me to believe it is pre-1949.  Inside the case, it is difficult to read the serial information as it is handscribed (believe it says KT3L5W but handwriting is poor.)  Movement has BXW and 5AB. and an asterick symbol (*).  It says 17 jewels and Swiss made.  The jewels look like rubies.  Were these made in 1924 or 1941? anyone know?  Are the 8 diamonds on the face (one is missing) real diamonds?  I assume the ones that connect to the band are not real, seems they are mounted in 1/4010K RGP.  I'll attach some pics.   I appreciate any comments or info. 

This is a neat old watch :D 


Wayne Hanley's picture
Wayne Hanley
Posted October 29, 2010 - 6:15pm


At the top of this page click the Information button, then click Vintage Bulova ads. The last ad on the 1st Ad page is Ad 1928-12. I croped the following picture from the ad, the left watch has the outlines of your watch. (Link)

Could start your search to find a readable ad or picture. I sure can't translate this one!


Stephen Ollman's picture
Stephen Ollman
Posted October 30, 2010 - 12:28am

Club 5000Panel Member

I'm going to go with 1941. I'm possititve this is not a model from the 20s.

Are there any case marking waht so ever?

Voter Colonel
Posted October 30, 2010 - 11:28pm

Thank you guys for your responses.   I reviewed the ad from 1929 and the watch is very close but not exact.  I have been trying to find a clearer image but no success as of yet.

It has no markings on the back of the case ( I will upload a new pic)

 However there are markings on the inside of the back stamped stainless and some unreadable initials also hand scribed numbers that read DP50 - 17M and KT3L5W kinda hard to read and to faint to get a clear pic. also according to the site the 5AB movement is listed for 1924 but not under  1941 and by then they were 21 jewel and not 17 which this is. correct?

I'm eager to find out what the year and value may be as I am possibly going to sell  and need to be able to describe it correctly. 

Posted October 31, 2010 - 11:08am


Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.....

This case is not a Bulova case, the stones are certainly paste and the quality really lacks on the rear of the lugs to be a bulova. the wear on the case suggests it is a chrome plated model.  This is certainly a recased movement. The 5AB movement was not produced in the 1920s so this will be a 1941 movement.


Hope that helps

Voter Colonel
Posted October 31, 2010 - 2:34pm

OK  thank you for that info that helps alot and certainly makes sense because I was puzzled by the obvious low quality case. The clasp on the band has 1/40 10K RGP but looking closely at the case itself, it looks like base metal only and not even that good.

While this isn't the best news, it has given me a reason to research and learn more about the Bulova name.  This has really deepened my appreciation and respect  for the brand.  Thank you so much for the valuable info and the help you have provided. 

Have a wonderful day :D