Skip to main content

Bulova 1950 -Non-Conforming

Model ID rating explained.

Manufacture Year: 


Movement Model: 


Movement Jewels: 


Movement Serial No.: 


Case Serial No.: 


Case shape: 


Case Manufacturer: 




Additional Information

I inherited this Bulova from my father. I have a pic of him wearing it in 1956. The watch has been  in my jewelry box for 27 years since he passed. He had not wore the watch since the middle 1960's. I finally decided it was time to bring her back to life, so I wound it up and it has been running fine for several days. 2 or so minutes fast per day. I purchased a black leather band and have been wearing it.

I opened the case and did not take pics at the time. I did write down the movement as I know this is one of the ways we date Bulova watches. I do not want to open it again as I had trouble getting it back together.

The watch face is black and hands and numerals are gold - 12, 3, 6, and 9, and the others are slashes.



Movement (written under BULOVA)


Stainless steel back

*There are no case serial #s. Also, the crown is not signed.

On the inside of the watch case I noticed several dates that had been engraved. I assumed these to be service dates. They were very small, even with a magnifying glass. The final date looked to be 1971.

The closest watch I could find on the site was a 1953 Jordan. But, I won't make a guess as I have been wrong before when posting watches. I will leave it to the panel. These guys are the best!

Any help and/or information is greatly appreciated. This is a true heirloom.

**Also, I have not cleaned the watch. I would think leaving it 'as is' is preferable. Thoughts? Suggestions?

Scott Allen Reid

Hampton, Virginia



Not For Sale
Bulova Non Conforming watch
1950 Bulova watch
1950 Bulova watch
1950 Bulova watch
1950 Bulova watch
Geoff Baker
Club 5000Panel Member
Posted August 3, 2017 - 4:58am

Hi Scott - As you know, watch cases can wear out or become damaged. There were several companies that sold replacement cases and dials to match up with brand name watch movements. The idea was to take a high end working movement out of a damaged or worn out case and give it new life. The word 'movement' on the dial under the Bulova name suggests that is what you have. The new dial had 'movement' added to denote a replacement case and dial. Because the case isn't a genuine Bulova manufactured case we refer to these watches as Non-Conforming. You're right that this case does look a lot like the Bulova Jordan but unfortunately it isn't.

The GREAT news is that you have your father's treasured watch. I think heirloom watches are simply the best. I have several of my fathers watches and consider them among my most prized pieces. If you plan to wear / use this watch I do recommend having it serviced, it really is a nice looking watch.

N5XTC's picture
Posted August 3, 2017 - 5:19am

Geoff, thanks a bunch for the information. 2 questions:

1. the watch is running fine and keeping time. does it still need serviced at this point?; should i have the case and #s on the face cleaned?

2. so, this is not a bulova case or bulova face, but is a bulova movement, did bulova sell their movements to other companies who then placed them in their own cases with their own faces OR did other companies buy movements whose cases had been damaged or wore out?

i am sure my father must have purchased the watch this way. i need to research this process more.  I have read that Hamilton did this with some of their watches and they were also marked Hamilton Movement on the face.

thanks again for the inforrmation. amazing this watch still runs and keeps time after sitting for all these years (50 years or so).


Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Panel Member
Posted August 3, 2017 - 9:54am

Bulova would not have sold movts or dials to other companies, but as mentioned, there were after market cases and dials available for worn out or cosmetically damaged ones. 

If the watch has not been serviced within the last 6 years, it will need to be serviced. 99.9% of all the watches I see have not been serviced in many years. If they are dried out and dirty, simply running them will cause accelerated wear. The movement, as I'm sure you know, is a micro-mechanical device with metal on metal wear as well as metal on jewel. Even a jewel can be worn when dirt is present and acts as an abrasive. 

When the quartz crisis hit in the 70's old mechanical watches were forgotten for many years, as the maintenance and price was far higher than the new cheap quartz watches. The main reason anyone restores an old watch is because of sentimental or heirloom value, but hang onto it long enough and it will increase in value. In the vintage watch world, Bulovas are very underrated. 

Club 5000Panel Member
Posted August 4, 2017 - 9:42pm

Thanks for sharing your fathers watch with us. If you are able and and ok with it, I'd love to see the photo of your dad wearing the watch. That just adds so much to the history of the watch and for Bulova in general to see these watches worn in their heyday.

Here's the advert of the Bulova Jordon mentioned.

Whilst the case looks to be a aftermarket replacement and as such is technically a non-conforming Bulova its certainly worth noting for me that the watch could be classified as a 'Non-conforming Bulova Jordan'.

N5XTC's picture
Posted August 4, 2017 - 9:54pm

I will post a pic, though the pic I have is not very clear as it is from a distance (and is also very old). It is really something to wear this watch knowing that he wore it well before I was born. I also have his Le Cultre Galaxy (aka, mystery dial)  in 18k Gold and 36 diamonds, a vintage Gruen, Hamilton pocket watch and a few others. Real heirlooms all of them. The older I get, the more I appreciate them!!!!! Scott

N5XTC's picture
Posted August 10, 2017 - 6:31am

Picture of my father, Lester William Reid, wearing his 1950 Bulova Ashford (non-conforming) watch.

The pic is dated 11-21-56 and was taken in Miami Florida. His new 1956 (year ?) Cadillac is parked behind him. The car had large horns on the front bumper and these are visible. He was only 24 years old and already drove a new Cadillac and wore a Bulova Ashford watch. 

Needless to say, I will always cherish his Bulova Ashford (non-conforming) watch. This watch and a few others he left behind are the reason I became a neophyte watch collector myself. I had to learn about each and every watch I had of his. The more I learned, the more I wanted to buy my own.

As I can tell from other pics, the band was alternated between black and gold squares (prob aftermarket).

What are the opinions out there as to whether I should have this watched cleaned and polished? I was thinking of leaving the patina as is. Thoughts/opinions?

Scott Allen Reid

Club 5000Panel Member
Posted August 4, 2017 - 9:53pm

Just stumbled across this on ebay. What's the chances of finding another so easily.

Back reads 'Stainless Steel Back'. It's a perfect match the the Jordon, except for the 'MOVEMENT' text on the dial.

Perhaps this model had weak lugs which were prone to breaking off.

Bulova Jordon watch

N5XTC's picture
Posted August 9, 2017 - 2:08pm

wow, that is THE same watch case, same face. only the hands are slightly different.

N5XTC's picture
Posted August 9, 2017 - 2:09pm

Again, i would like to know whether I should have this watched cleaned and polished (including the face) or leave the patina "as is"? i guess it is my call.

just wanting some informed opinions.

N5XTC's picture
Posted August 10, 2017 - 6:47am

************PANEL MEMBERS PLEASE READ***********

Since the original posting and replies, I have opened the watch case and examined the movement.

CLEARLY marked on the case is movement 10BM and LO, making the watch a 1950 (NOT 1954).

Also, I searched Bulova Models in 1950 and it is CLEARLY the Bulova Ashford case, using this example

So, while this watch is marked Bulova Movement on the face, it is a Bulova Ashford model case, face, and hands (at least in style if not actually a Bulova brand case and face).

I think the label "Bulova 1950 Ashford Non-Conforming" is the proper name designation.

I ask the panel members to please reconsider how this watch is labeled on the Bulova site and make the modification.



Master Stainless Steel Back

Engraved very small (assume these are service years)

57, 60, 71





17 Jewels

Bulova Watch Co. USA


Thanks for the help.

Scott Allen Reid

************PANEL MEMBERS PLEASE READ***********