Bulova 23 Jewel Semi-Winding

Found this old Bulova in a trunk from my grandfather's estate.  It says 23 Jewel and Semi-winding.  The back says the case is stainless steel.  I just would like more information on the watch, i.e. year, etc.  Apologies for the quality of the photo, as I am restricted to a phone's camera capabilities at the moment.  Thanks for the help in advance.


Posted October 8, 2011 - 1:31am

 The year should be an alpha-numeric code on the back, right (see the "Information" section).

I'm not a Bulova expert like others are around here - but I'm going to guess 1958, + or - a few years.

Beautiful watch! Have it serviced by a pro, and enjoy it!


FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted October 8, 2011 - 5:38am

Bulova '23'

First seen in 1954 and Bulova's first fully automatic movement to be produced entirely in the U.S.A.

Posted October 8, 2011 - 6:59am

Club 5000Panel Member

Smokey, feel free to add your watch to the database with all its detials.



Wayne Hanley's picture
Wayne Hanley
Posted October 8, 2011 - 4:14pm

If it is labeled semi-winding it may be one of a kind. jk

Posted October 8, 2011 - 7:35pm

Whoops!  Excuse my ignorance--this was done in a hurry.  Haha. Thanks, everyone, for the swift replies!  Not that I am looking to sell, but any ideas on what this may be worth now?  Also, what would I look to spend to get this fixed up.  It seems to run, but when I set the time, only the minute hand keeps time.  Hmmm... 

shooter144's picture
Posted October 8, 2011 - 10:13pm

A service should cost $40-$60 or so...

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted October 8, 2011 - 4:18pm


Posted October 8, 2011 - 9:22pm

Panel Member

That's not a serious issue with the hour hand. The hour gear has simply jumped and is not fully engaging in the drive gears. It's a common failure often corrected with  a good clean and re lube job.  Regards Shawn

Posted November 30, 2011 - 12:32pm

 Just finally called o see what a cleaning would cost--I was mistake about the faulty hand, runs great!  I was quoted a ballpark of $100.00 to clean it up.  Seems a little steep, right?  Also, I'm afraid the crystal may need to be replaced as it is pretty heavily scratched.  I've heard crystals start at around $45.00

Two questions:

1. Is this too much?

2. Am I going to be spending more than the watch's worth by putting an est. $150.00 into it?


Thanks for the help guys.

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted November 30, 2011 - 2:11pm

The quotes are a little high for a basic service and a crystal replacement IMO, but the Watch is a Family heirloom.

timerestoration's picture
Posted December 1, 2011 - 10:29am

 If cost is your main concern, I know a guy that will do it for 20 bucks....

Yes, I am being a bit facetious... bit I really do know that guy.

Posted December 1, 2011 - 10:34am

Club 5000Panel Member

Who is this guy who will fully clean/lube, service a watch for said 20 bucks? 


timerestoration's picture
Posted December 1, 2011 - 10:51am

 I would not be doing you any favors by giving you his name. Alot of work comes my way AFTER the watch has been "SERVICED" by this guy. 

At times in these posts, I see various costs thrown out there when someone is interested in having a watch repaired and/or serviced. There are guys who will simply dunk the movement in Kerosene, or soak it down with WD-40 (yes, I have seen it). There are also Watchmakers who will completely disasemble, polish the plates, re-blue and polish screw heads, polish all pivots, disassemble balance jewel settings and properly lubricate the movement with 5 different types of oil/grease where applicable, replace the mainspring, reduce beat error to near zero, get amplitude up to an average of 275 bph, and rate within 20 seconds a day, and GUARANTEE there work. And then there is EVERYTHING ELSE between these two extremes.


FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted December 5, 2011 - 6:14am

....an excellent point Jeff.


Posted December 5, 2011 - 12:37am

 And what I am looking for is a replaced crystal and a polished body.  So, still my question remains.

Posted February 11, 2012 - 2:43am

Got a good jeweler friend of mine to replace the crystal at cost.  Ended up needing no work inside and the case cleaned right up.

Now I am in search for a new band.  What color would look good with the dark face?  Any suggestions/recommendations for Bulovas? Thanks!