Bulova 1951 Commodore

1/10 votes
Model ID rating explained.
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Has the L1 stamped on gold caseback, so I've got the date of 1951.  However, I can't find the model or a picture for reference anywhere.

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1951 Bulova watch
1951 Bulova watch
1951 Bulova watch
Posted July 15, 2017 - 4:33pm

I have a really nice Bulova "Ships Wheel" here.  Has date code on case back - L1, for 1951.  However, I can't find what model.  Please help me pinpoint this one.  Thete is a watch similar to this on an eBay post listed as a 1944 Princeton, but it is classified as "unknown".

Posted July 16, 2017 - 1:47am

Club 5000Panel Member

Movement date codes X and a circle equate to 1943 and 1944 respectively, so the movement may be a replacement for the 1951 case.

We have this 1943 Bulova Unknown listing which seems to be the same as your watch. There is no photo of the back case, so cannot compare. Looking at your watch can you see if there is any possibility of the case back itself being a replacement?


Geoff Baker
Posted July 16, 2017 - 11:52am

Club 5000Panel Member

Hello altmans1, welcome to myBulova, your watch seems to be in remarkably nice condition. We have seen a couple of these watches dated mid 40's, I don't believe we seen one with from the 50's. That I know, we've never discovered a proper ID

1951 Unknown

Posted July 16, 2017 - 4:41pm

Yeah, I only said '51 because of the L1 on caseback.  Maybe replacement back on a 40's model?  It sure runs well and has a very clean movement!

Posted July 22, 2017 - 8:30pm

Club 5000Panel Member

This presents a tricky question. Do we date it 1943 when its a match for another watch in the database and 'suspect' that the case back might not original, OR do we go with what is presented (despite the difference in movement and case dates) and say its 1951?

Either way it's one of the 'unknown' models, but what year to date it?

Geoff Baker
Posted July 23, 2017 - 7:05am

Club 5000Panel Member

It seems to me that we stay with 1951.

Geoff Baker
Posted July 29, 2017 - 7:17am

Club 5000Panel Member

Panel, your thoughts? 1951 Unknown?

Posted July 29, 2017 - 7:55am

Panel Member

Agree - 1951 Unknown

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted July 29, 2017 - 10:23am

Panel Member

I think we have to go with the case here, as the movt is likely a replacement. Another possibility is the caseback itself is a replacement.

1951, Unknown for now. 

Posted August 1, 2017 - 6:42am

Ditto Rev Rob