How To Identify Old Bulova Watches


It was in 1875 when Bulova was founded. But the company started to make fine watches only in 1911. At first, the watches were especially made and distributed for military officers during the World War I. Bulova continues to make more watches until today. But with the long standing of the company in the watch-making business, Bulova old watches are now among the best and most sought after collector’s items.

Fortunately, you can find old Bulova watches for as cheap as $100, depending on the age and the quality of the watch. Some may be as expensive as $1,000. With this price range, you can say that collecting Bulova old watches is not really a millionaire’s hobby. However, if you want to collect old watches, you should be able to determine whether that piece of watch being sold to you is old or not. There are ways to do that and the following are some of the things you can do:

  • Make sure it is a Bulova watch. Bulova watches are marked with the name “Bulova” either on the watch’s face or in the metal casing. Sometimes, Bulova watches are marked with its brand names like Wittenauer, Caravelle, Marine Star, and Accutron.
  • Check the date of manufacture. Bulova watches were marked a two-number code on their backs. These two numbers indicate the year that the watch was manufactured. The company started doing it since 1948. However, other watches may have a combination of letter and number code, like A8. This means the watch was made in 1948. You can check the complete list of the number codes online.
  • Check the serial number online. More modern Bulova watches have a more complicated serial number. It’s best that you check the serial number from the company’s website to see how old your watch is.
  • Style. Early Bulova watches have engraved Art Nouveau and Art Deco touches on the gold-filled and silver-filled cases. If these are present on the watch, then it’s probably an old Bulova watch. Also Bulova watches before the 1950s are tank-style. Round dials only came up during the 1950s era.
  • Let a watch dealer check it. If you’re still unsure if that Bulova watch is old or not, then you better have it checked by your trusted watch dealer. He should know whether the watch is old or not by examining the inside and the back of the watch.
  • Call 1-800-A-BULOVA. This is the hotline for Bulova customers. You can talk with their representative to check the authenticity of the watch. Usually, they only need the serial number of that watch to check how old the watch is. You can also ask the representative if getting a certificate for the watch is advisable or not. The certificate will help you sell the old watch better, that is, if you are planning to sell it.

Amazingly, the saying “the older the more expensive” for old Bulova watches does not apply. The pricing depends upon the movement and era from where the watch came from. For instance, the pre-1950s watches can be bought about $100 while those in the 1960s movement can be as expensive as $1,000.

It’s important to understand how old Bulova watches are valued whether you are only planning to buy the watch. You don’t want to be charged high amount for a watch that should only be half the price.


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