Bulova 1959 Bulova 23 "Mystery Dial"

2/10 votes
Model ID rating explained.
Mystery Dial
Manufacture Year: 
Movement Model: 
Movement Jewels: 
Case Serial No.: 
Case shape: 
Case Manufacturer: 
Additional Information: 


Thanks for all your knowledge and help in advance. This watch was my grandfather's and has probably not been touched since the early 1980's. When I picked it up it started working right away. It is 14K gold and the caseback says E248368. On the outer case back it says shockresistant, anti magnetic, water proof, self winding. I found the date codes on the site here and it says L9. I will take it to my local watch guy and get pictures of the movement soon. I have found it on this site and it was called a 1959 Mystery Dial. It is a beautiful watch and it is in great condition. Any information would be great. It is not for sale.


Thank you.

Conrad Vanderlely

Not For Sale
Bulova watch
1959 Bulova watch
Posted December 5, 2012 - 10:24pm

Very nice watch Conrad, and it is named accordingly because it is a mystery...I don't think we have found a confirming ad on this one yet, but it is known by its nickname. L9 is correct for a manufacture year, and there should also be a date code stamped on the movement.

If it has not been running for many years, I would suggest you have it serviced by a master watchmaker, the jewels have probably dried out and running it could cause expensive damage down the road. It looks like it has been well cared for.


Posted December 6, 2012 - 5:57am

Club 5000Panel Member

Agree on the mystery dial version. I don;t think we have come across and advert have we?

May simply be a Bulova 23 variant unknown.

Geoff Baker
Posted December 6, 2012 - 8:07am

Club 5000Panel Member

Conrad, you are a very lucky man to have a solid gold watch from your grandfather. Please take Greg's advice and have it professionally serviced and wear it proudly for years! I hope you have a son or daughter to pass it along to someday.

BTW, I also agree that for now it's a mystery..........

William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted December 9, 2012 - 4:41am

Club 5000Panel Member

What a Great family Heirloom!  We have three other Mystery Dial's ID'ed here:  1959 Mystery Dial ; 1960 Mystery Dial ; 1960 Mystery Dial   No ads in these other records.  I think we ID'ed as such without an ad.

William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted December 14, 2012 - 9:52pm

Club 5000Panel Member

None of the Bulova pirce lists show any enter for a model named "Mystery Dial". Nor do any ads.  Like OT says, a nic-name- also used in the three other examples linked above. 
It could be a Bulova 23 unknown variant.... but it could be something esle.  By 1960 could this be a model for which we don't have an ad?  Were there other model names w/ 23 jewel in this timeframe which were not a "Bulova 23"? (not regetta or BB of course)

Unknown from me (although likely a Bulova 23 unknown variant). 

Posted December 15, 2012 - 7:00am

Club 5000Panel Member

Options are:

  • Unknown
  • Bulova 23
  • Mystery Dial
Geoff Baker
Posted December 15, 2012 - 7:07am

Club 5000Panel Member

I gues we're moving away from AKA's so I don't think we can call it a Mystery Dial any longer (there are three others in the db). Once the "Woody" goes, they all have to go (sigh).


William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted December 17, 2012 - 10:24pm

Club 5000Panel Member

The Woody's didn't go anywhere....:)  We entered it in the variant field under Day & Date model. 

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted December 20, 2012 - 6:36am

We have become very specific in Naming some Watch models yet loose on others.

The 'Mystery Dial' could be a Dial option covering several models as they are seen with various Jewel Counts and Case designs, or a stand alone Model.

The subject Watch is obviously a "23", yet there is no ad to confirm.

We know it as a 'Mystery Dial', yet there is no ad to confirm.

"23" 'Mystery Dial' is a safe entry, or is it - this would depend on the mood of any given Day.

Geoff Baker
Posted December 22, 2012 - 6:33am

Club 5000Panel Member

C'mon panel members.....bring out your votes