Bulova 1955 Bulova 23

Submitted by BlackbirdM3 on September 16, 2015 - 8:43pm
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
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Additional Information

1954 movement in a '57 (L7) case. Nice stainless case and back. I have a feeling the stem on the watch is wrong since it protrudes so far from the case, or the crown is wrong. I don't know. The watch is hard to set turning it forward, it tends to make the crown come undone. It sometimes runs for awhile but not always. The movement needs to be serviced. I was planning on installing a nice working black faced movement into this case as its currently in a non Bulova case. I can't figure out how to remove the crown to remove it from the case however. 

1955 Bulova watch
Posted September 16, 2015 - 9:33pm

Hi BlackbirdM3. To get the movement out you have to remove the stem and crown together. I don't have a self-winding movement to show you as an example, so I'm going to use this 10AE movement.

You need to loosen the little screw just to the left under the crown about two turns. Then gently pull on the crown and see if the stem will come out. If not, loosen it about a 1/2 turn at a time and try pulling the stem out. Do Not Completely back this screw out or you will have to take the hands and face off the watch to put it back in.

   When you go to put it back in, push the stem in until it's seated and snug this screw up. Then pull the stem out to the set position and tighten the screw down. Don't use excessive force or you will break the screw. If the stem and crown pull completely out when you snug the screw down you didn't have it seated completely. Push it back in and slowly loosen this screw until you feel the stem seat and then snug it down as mentioned above.

Posted September 16, 2015 - 10:38pm

23 Sunburst.

Posted September 17, 2015 - 7:16am

This case was used in the Bulova 23 A and B; the B had the black sunburst dial with silver markers and luminous hands and dots; the A had the white sunburst dial with silver even numbered markers. Your dial is not correct for either or those variants; it was used in other variants, like the yellow gold G. Your dial also appears to be a re-dial, because the bottom lettering is wrong or at least none I've seen before; it should be SELFWINDING first, SIX next line, ADJUSTMENTS 3rd line. 

It appears to be all Bulova 23 (though not sure about the black second hand), but a mix of different variants and years.

Posted September 17, 2015 - 3:06pm

for me look like Bulova 23 "B"

Posted September 17, 2015 - 3:08pm

I'm good with a Bulova 23.  If I recall there was a whole pile of different variants on these.  Almost to many to distinguish.

Posted September 17, 2015 - 4:34pm

The back doesn't match that of my other Model 23s. It looks like its laser ingraved rather than being stamped like my 23F. 

Geoff Baker
Posted September 18, 2015 - 6:50am

I'm tentative on a "23" ID here. To Ken's points there's a three year spread on the movement to case and a slight issue on the dial. I can overlook the dial as it may be a redial that skipped some of the standard lettering.

I'll go along with a tentative "23" ID but want to float a Non-Conforming ID to the panel first. I don't want to push it too hard because at the end of the day it really is a 23 I guess. 

Panel - your thoughts?

Posted September 18, 2015 - 7:01am

I would say this is a dial from a Bulova 23 model, though not one from the A or B, which is what this case is. It is a marriage of different 23 models, so I could see it as being non-conforming, if this falls in the definition of that category

Geoff Baker
Posted September 19, 2015 - 6:03am

In reply to by Andersok

I agree that all the components are Bulova and model 23 specific, I'm just not sure they all belong in the same place at the same time.

Posted September 19, 2015 - 8:21am

Agree, a 'Buova 23' variant of some sort. Maybe a mariage of case and dial/movement, but also maybe original in a not previously seen configuration.

The 1955 price guide shows 14 basic Bulova 23 variants from "A - P"

  • $59.90
    • Bulova 23 "A"
    • Bulova 23 "B"
  • $71.50
    • Bulova 23 "C"
    • Bulova 23 "D"
    • Bulova 23 "P"
  • $75.00
    • Bulova 23 "K"
  • $85.00
    • Bulova 23 "E"
    • Bulova 23 "F"
  • $95.00
    • Bulova 23 "G"
    • Bulova 23 "H"
    • Bulova 23 "L"
    • Bulova 23 "O"
  • $175.00 (14Kt Gold)
    • Bulova 23 "I"
    • Bulova 23 "J"

Known variants here: http://www.mybulova.com/forums/bulova-23-series

Variants with the arrow head markers: "D", "E", "F", "G", "J", "I", "K" - all not matching subject watch.

Variants not identified by and advert: "L", "O", "P"

Variants "L" and "O" are higher in price but have the same features as all models so I'm thinking the price difference comes down to the case and in particular the rolled gold bezel versus stainless steel.

Thus leaving the "P" variant.

Tentative "P" but 3 ticks for Bulova 23.