Bulova 1965 Commander

4/10 votes
Model ID rating explained.
Manufacture Year: 
Movement Model: 
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Case Serial No.: 
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Additional Information: 

30J self winding movement dated M5 as is the front load case. Pie Pan dial is silver in color with gold ring. Indices thicker at outer end to compensate for the pie pan effect that drops away from the ring to the edge. Decal on face of a Compact brand vacuum cleaner. Watch was most likely a service award. Back not personalized. I find nothing in the DB; my gut feeling is that it's an undocumented Commander based on dial and movement.

Not For Sale
1965 Bulova watch
1965 Bulova watch
1965 Bulova watch
1965 Bulova watch
1965 Bulova watch
Geoff Baker
Posted July 11, 2017 - 5:09am

Club 5000Panel Member

Wow, I didn't realize the life of a vacuum salesman was so tough, this little watch has been worn hard.

I'm at Unknown for now. The 30 jewel Commanders all have '30 Jewels' on the dial under the Bulova name, it seems odd that it would have been removed although it is possible. The dial isn't quite like any of the Commander dials in the dB (at least that I saw). The case appears the same as the mid sixties Clipper.

Posted July 12, 2017 - 1:36pm

Yes this one was rode hard, lots of contact marks but not much plating wear. I found the '66  ad for Clipper B and one other that escapes me now (17J), and those were the only instances I found of this casing. I didn't find any identical dials either, but the gold ring on the face paired with the 30J seems to say Commander. There is a Commander E in the DB with a similar case, except engraved; it's also  1965.

Geoff Baker
Posted July 15, 2017 - 5:52am

Club 5000Panel Member


Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted July 15, 2017 - 1:03pm

Panel Member

This will be a custom dial, obviously, and therefore I think it may be a Commander. I don't recall exactly, but I had a conversation with Bulova a couple years ago and they indicated at thet time that they still did custom logo dials for awards, etc, and all you had to do was tell them what model you were interested in. Some do not lend themselves to customization, but quite a few cleaner dials do. 

I spoke to somebody in Queens about this also, they indicated that it was popular and common many years ago to get an award order. 

Posted July 21, 2017 - 7:31am

Good info Rev.  For what it's worth, I located an identical watch on ebay dated M4. Only difference being the dial markings. 'bay watch had "30 Jewels" under "Bulova" and "self winding" at bottom instead of the vacuum. I agree with your thinking that it's a customization of a Commander by Bulova as a special order.

Geoff Baker
Posted July 22, 2017 - 6:55am

Club 5000Panel Member

Panel - do we want to go with Commander?

Posted July 22, 2017 - 8:03am

Panel Member

I'am good with Commander, I see the similarity with my

Posted July 22, 2017 - 9:21am

Panel Member

I am also good with Commander, tentative id and noting the custom dial.

Posted July 22, 2017 - 7:07pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Agreed, all components are a good match with Jabs Commander.

Bulova Commander watch