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Bulova 1955 Clipper

4/10 votes
Model ID rating explained.

Manufacture Year: 


Movement Model: 


Movement Serial No.: 


Case Serial No.: 


Case shape: 


Case Manufacturer: 




Additional Information

Hopefully, the Bulova Experts will help to answer some questions:

My wife presented to me for Christmas a Bulova. Well, I like it, but I have no knowledge about Bulovas (I’m more interested in Hamiltons). I made already a search for Bulovas on and it seems to be a 1955 Clipper.

Technical data are:

Movement: 10CSC, L5 date coded (I haven’t opened the watch yet for obvious reasons, but photos of the seller are present)

Case: 10 K Gold rolled plated, SSB, L5 dated, SN A568461

Box: non-matching (?) Duo-Wind Box (the German seller is notorious known for pairing vintage watches with non-matching boxes)

Now and what makes me nervous: is the dial real or Franken? I haven’t seen such a dial on any other Clipper or “Something plus Clipper” model. Is it a Clipper? Or something else?

There’s a ding on the dial (what hasn’t been described by the seller) – well, I can live with it. But if the dial should be a fantasy creation, my wife will have to send it back. What I want to avoid, of course (it’s a Christmas present…..).

Consequently, you input is highly appreciated!

Best regards


Not For Sale
1955 Bulova Clipper
1955 Bulova watch
1955 Bulova watch
1955 Bulova watch
1955 Bulova watch
Andersok's picture
Panel Member
Posted December 27, 2016 - 2:01pm

Yes, I agree that this is the Clipper model. In my opinion the dial looks to be correct - in that it is the correct design of applied even numerals and triangular indicies with luminous dots at each marker. Now, the two-tone pattern of the dial, the non-crisp print of Selfwinding, and that the lume appears fresh and not aged radium tells me it has been refinished. Looking through the ads for this model 1951 thru 1955 I do not see any that show a two-toned dial. I'd also guess if you had the dial out of the case you may see a notch along the edge, an indicator used for alignment during the redial process. 

As for the display box; it may be correct. This box can be seen in ads from 1949 thru 1953, and could have been used past that time. 'DUO-WIND' was used on the Clipper dial and can be seen in the early ads for this Clipper model, and changed over to Selfwinding around 54/55. So, it is possible that this model watch came in a DUO-WIND display box, but I would expect to also see DUO-WIND on the dial. Here is one in a Selfwinding box.

I also do not feel the hands are correct. They should be the yellow gold radium type. Also the second hand is incorrect

Bulova watch


Posted December 27, 2016 - 8:18pm


Geoff Baker
Club 5000Panel Member
Posted December 28, 2016 - 8:28am

Hello Martin, welcome to myBulova. How exciting to receive a vintage watch for Christmas, Congratulations! I like your watch a lot, I also think the model is "Clipper". As Ken states the hands are probably replacement. Bulova shaded dials in the 1950's, I don't recall seeing this design but I really like it. I would keep this one, it's beautiful.

1955 Bulova Clipper, one of my all time favorite watches.

Club 5000Panel Member
Posted December 28, 2016 - 8:22pm

I have one of these (in origonal condition) in my hand as we speak, and agree with both Ken and Geoff. First of all, I really like the two toned effect on this, it really does make the watch pop.

I'd agree that the dial has been redone. As pointed out by Geoff the 'SELFWINDING' print is in a different and thicker font from that of the original and the hands are obviously incorrect for this particlular model.

BUT I still like it and and would ID it as a Bulova 'Clipper', noting the dial and hands modifications. 

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Panel Member
Posted December 29, 2016 - 11:09am

Mods noted, 'Clipper' works for me as well.

Mugea's picture
Posted December 29, 2016 - 12:34pm

Hello Ken, Geoff, Rob and „mybulova_admin“ (sorry, I don’t know your name),

Thank you all very much for your expertise!

OK, the box might (!) be a match, but

  • the dial is refinished
  • the dial has a noticeable ding
  • “SELFWINDING” isn’t executed professionally
  • -hands aren’t correct

And moreover, the dial isn’t aligned properly. Hard to see from the small images, but a line going through the “12” and “6” hasn’t an angle of 90 degrees, but of 93.3 degrees. Look at the first photo: while the lugs are perfectly aligned horizontally, the dial looks sloped (aslant?).

What to do now? On the plus side:

  • a Christmas present from my wife
  • a nice looking Bulova

Hum. I’ll have to think that over……

BTW: better (larger) photos of the “Christmas Surprise Clipper” can be found here:

BTW No. 2: on the vintagewatchforums I already posted an interesting Bulova Design Patent by which something like a “Bulova’s Piping Rock” was patented:

I don’t know, if this Design Patent is already known here (I guess so) – if not, I can post it in the appropriate sub-forum-

Best regards


Club 5000Panel Member
Posted December 29, 2016 - 10:40pm

I say wear the watch and enjoy the comments it attracts. The issues we have highlighted are fairly minor and shouldn't distract from a great looking vintage Bulova watch and a Christmas present from your wife to-boot.

Please feel free to add the patent information here: