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Rebuilt Bulova 23

I have a Bulova 23, 1956-1959 based on the 10 BPAC movement, unremarkable except for one thing.  Under the words 23 Jewels on the upper part of the face is the word REBUILT.  It is stamped on in the same manner as all of the other wording.  Any insight into this?  I've been asking around for years at jewelry shops but only get shrugged shoulders.  Thanks.

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Panel Member
Posted February 8, 2017 - 11:09pm

There were kits available to do this, it allowed for a refurbished watch to be made utilizing after market parts. There were a couple of companies that made these dials and some cases, but the names escape me at the moment. Badly oxidized dials could be replaced with this dial, and brassed out or damaged cases could be replaced in the same way. Now whether Bulova simply allowed this or was unsuccessful in stopping it is unclear. I've seen one of these kits in pristine condition, and this particular one said 'Movement' under the name Bulova on the dial. The dial and case were non-Bulova but looked as though they could have been. So in esssence what I think you have is one of these, unless we have any evidence that Bulova had some kind of 'Rebuilt' program going on? This has been discussed elsewhere in the forums, and here is a pic that Mark shared with us:

Posted April 8, 2017 - 8:39pm

This is fascinating.  I never knew this existed.  This would explain the watch I recently found marked Bulova Movement.  Thanks for posting.

Club 5000Panel Member
Posted April 8, 2017 - 10:23pm

Would love to see a picture of the watch in question. As Rev said, we see similar watches with the word 'Movement' under the Bulova on these reconstructed pieces. Waste not want not, and probably a great way to own a good quality watch at a greatly reduced cost back in the day.

Posted May 7, 2017 - 10:41pm

The most common that I've seen, with Bulova and others (mainly American brands like Benrus, as I recall), is with the words "Movement" underneath the name. Per a friend and second generation watchmaker still operating his father's shop from the '30s, the one's that said "Movement" were watches that were sent in and had parts replaced. There must have been an existing regulation that the brands could not take a stock watch, replace parts (etc.), and return them or market them in any fashion that would appear to be a newly manufactured watch.

I'm not certain on "Rebuilt", but I think at best you're looking at manufacturer/outsourced refurbish and at worst a clear parts kit replacement.