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Bulova 1959 SVP "II"

7/10 votes
Model ID rating explained.



Manufacture Year: 


Movement Model: 


Movement Jewels: 


Movement Serial No.: 


Case Serial No.: 


Case shape: 


Case Manufacturer: 


Crystal Details: 

29.9 mm in watch



Additional Information

Bulova Surf King 17j 11AF ss  D803550 L9_L9 stem wind swiss

Case Measurements:  33.75Width mm w/o crown, and 4.95Depth mm w/o crystal

Case Material:  stainless steel

Crystal in watch:  29.9 mm round

Lugs:  18.00mm

Crown:  4.75 mm w/ male half-stem

Movement: Unable to remove crystal to inspect.  Presumed to be Bulova 11AF, Swiss manufactured from 1959 to 1967, w/ sub second sweep.  11AF is only 2.9 mm in height, one of a handful of movements that would fit in this unusually slim case.  Typical inscriptions on 11AF movement:  BULOVA WATCH CO; 11AF [in a box]; Seventeen 17 Jewels; date code; Unadjusted; Swiss; BXW [import code]

Inside Back:   Unable to remove crystal

Back:  closed, top-loader. Inscription from top to bottom:  BULOVA; Patent No. 2871654; L9; Stainless Steel Case; Anti-Magnetic; D803550; Water Proof; Shock Resistant;

Note:  One of very few mid century Bulova cases I have owned that bear a patent number. This is speculated to pertain to waterproof design, and may include a proprietary tool to remove crystal.  Crystal is very low-profile, as is the watch case.   Standard Bergeon crystal lift tool cannot get sufficient purchase to compress and lift crystal, though it will leave marks on crystal edge.  Watch runs well.  Has a sub-second sweep…photo was taken with a 4 second exposure and it disappears

Not For Sale
1959 Bulova SVP II watch
1959 Bulova watch
1959 Bulova watch
1959 Bulova watch
Kathy L.
Panel Member
Posted May 22, 2019 - 10:36am

1959 Bulova SVP “II”

gmmy775's picture
Posted May 22, 2019 - 1:01pm

Nice Research!  Answers some questions, and begs a few too.  So from the price sheets it appears that, according to the model numbers, the 11201 Surf King BW and the 11201 S.V.P. II are the same watch.  From the ad that Kathy L. produced I am getting that the S.V.P. is a "Style" "Value" "Performance" line of watches rather than a specific model.  The question that I have is, if by chance they are two different watches, does anyone have a pictures of the backs of the two watches to determine what is different about them?

I have also taken this whatever it is watch apart, for future reference

Kathy L.
Panel Member
Posted May 22, 2019 - 2:50pm

That is what I thought at first as well, that it was a description and not a model name.  Ken has shown from catalogs that it is indeed a model name and there are numerous ads with the name on newspapers.  Check out our conversation on it here

Panel Member
Posted May 22, 2019 - 2:51pm

Sorry I can't post a pic but in the GS crytal cataloque, but there is no references for a crystal of 27.85 or any within a close range. What I'm seeing at the 28.5 range is for the 1126- E series so I'm still leaning toward the "Sea Clipper " series of watches. I'm going to bite the bullet and order 1 and see if it fits 100%. Then I'll re-think and present what I find out. May take a couple of weeks, back at you then. In the meantime I'll post the same watch I have 1962 dated and all original. Perhaps I'll put in a shot from the crystal cataloque as well.

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Panel Member
Posted May 22, 2019 - 4:25pm

If it's not in the GS catalogue, it's discontinued as you might guess, but GS can custom make crystals, I forget what the prices are like.

What I do, I buy bags full of old packaged crystals in the hope of getting some that I can use...

Before I even start digging through my own endless number of crystals, I call a supply house and ask them if they have one. In the US that's Borel and Cas-Ker and Star Time, etc. 

Regarding these armée crystals, they can usually be compressed with the standard Bergeon type claw crystal lift, you do have to exert extra force, but sometimes it's worth a try. There were cases that required you pull the stem, and use compressed air to pop the crystal out, that was the legitimate procedure. Most of the Bulova stuff is pretty straight forward....most.

I have come across utterly bizarre attempts at water resistance from Bulova, spring loaded compressor cases and various friction and screw down bezels. 

This one still amazes me:

Armée crystals are press fit with a crystal press, as the walls of the crystal are perpendicular (straight) as opposed to the 'lip' style or flanged crystal. The inner tension ring can act alone, or in conjunction with an outer tension ring. 


Geoff Baker
Club 5000Panel Member
Posted May 23, 2019 - 9:21am

I'll go along with Ken's research on the SVP as well. We've several watches ID'd with this name.

1959 Bulova SVP

neetstuf-4-u's picture
Panel Member
Posted May 23, 2019 - 11:04am

Well done, Ken! Based on production date, it's a

1959 Bulova SVP