vintage bulova

1952 Bulova dress

1952 Bulova dress

Picked this up at a live auction last week (along with the worlds ugliest ashtray) and it’s in pristine condition. It’s a mid size at 31mm with no brassing at all although it does carry the scars of sloppy uncasing on the bottoms of the lugs. Polishing the case and crystal was all that was needed. The movement is a 17 jewel adjusted 10BRC automatic also in excellent condition. After a quick COA it’s up for sale and ready to wear. It comes with the period correct flex band which is in great condition but it’s a hair plucker and painful to wear if you’re a little furry on the arms. I’d change it to a nice leather band.

Bulova 10BRC Automatic 17j Adjusted

Bulova 10BRC Automatic 17j Adjusted

1930 Bulova Sky King1930 Bulova Sky King
1930 Bulova Sky King1930 Bulova Sky King hinge back
1930 Bulova Sky King1930 Bulova Sky King with celluloid dust cover on
1930 Bulova 10AN Movement1930 Bulova 10AN Movement

This eighty year old isn’t in the best of shape but it’s completely original as far as I can tell with celluloid crystal and dust cover intact. The metal seems to have taken more wear than the top. The insides are average for a watch this age. It’s been serviced numerous times according to the watchmakers marks and maintaining a mirror finish wasn’t their top priority. I did a light brush with a felt pad and red compound so I could see the date code and serial but found neither. Thankfully Stephen Ollman at My Bulova filled in the information while I wasn’t looking. Despite the evident filth inside the movement it starts beating after a half turn, I had a hard time believing that myself so I let the mainspring down and tried it again, amazing. That isn’t really very unusual for a Bulova from this period as they were some of the finest movements made at the time no matter the continent. The finishing on the pallet fork alone is something to marvel at.

The 10AN is an adjusted 17 jewel movement using a breguet hairspring? over a split bi-metalic balance beating at 18.000 vph.

It looks like another job for International Dial unless it looks a lot better after a bath. Then again I can’t imagine the entire watch not looking a lot better after a bath.

updates and stickies as it’s restored…

Bulova Sky King case after cleaning and deburringBulova Sky King case after cleaning and de-burring
FHF 3 escapement with anglaged and polished lever FHF 3 escapement with anglaged and polished lever

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Nov 15 2010 Update

With two extra parts movements in I’m cleaning and adjusting both to gauge which parts are the best. First of all the 17 jewel adjusted is the USA movement which looks to be chromium plated finishing so not a match as far as bridges. It did come with a step sided¬† case with very little or no brassing so that can be put aside for future use. Also a 15 jewel that looks as though someone used emery cloth to remove rust from the barrel cover and crown wheel. Not attractive to say the least but the other parts seemed to escape the clumsy restoration attempt.

USA made bulova 10AN movementUSA made bulova 10AN movement
Swiss made Bulova 15j 10ANSwiss made Bulova 15j 10AN
Bulova 10AN lever with machine anglage hi-resBulova 10AN lever with machine anglage hi-res
Bulova Step side case using the 10AN movementBulova Step side case using the 10AN movement
Bulova 10AN Balance cock, wheel and hairspringBulova 10AN Balance cock, wheel and hairspring

If you’ve ever wondered how much torture a balance cock could take and still run, this is a good example.

1932 Bulova cal 7AP

1932 Bulova cal 7AP

One of my first Bulova’s and still one of my favourites is this 21 jewel cal 7AP. It’s clad in a rose gold case that gives it a warm glow. It’s a small watch by today’s standard at 33 x 21mm but switched over to a leather strap it’s quite wearable and always receives compliments. Bulova has lost much of the prestige when it comes to their designs and movements but it’s easy to see why they were at the top of the industry in the early to mid 1900’s

Bulova cal 7AP movement

Bulova cal 7AP movement

Bulova cal 7AP movement

Bulova cal 7AP movement

The finish on this era of Bulova movement is as good as any American made watch at the time. These were anything but an ordinary watch and the finish reflected that. This watch will get a restoration rather than a refinish. The white areas of the dial will be cleaned and given a light wash of white water base acrylic that can be removed at any time in the future. The hands will be cleaned, polished and re-blued which should improve the readability greatly. For Sale