Bulova 1970 International

Submitted by LisaD on February 17, 2021 - 1:09pm
Manufacture Year
Movement Jewels
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Case Manufacturer
Additional Information

This watch has a full provenance, from the bottom of the manly trinket-jewelry box on his dresser in our home. We surmise that when bought in Toronto, Canada, it was worn for 10 years, and when the mister was on a management contract job in Saudi Arabia in 1980, he remembers buying a new one, of great value at a really good price.

50 years later, the watch is still working, probably a transition self winding mechanism watch before the Accutron was produced in great quantity, it is not possible to open, even with the proper 3 prong watch tool.

The bracelet is not original, and displays a large T logo on the clasp. I was not able to identify this Bulova watch with the 3 deep red time indicators, and the gold with red enamel hour marks.

I have permission to share this one with you on the site, but promised it was not going anywhere....

23 Jewel Automatic movement.


face and case
time case details
back stainless steel
whole watch in profile
Posted February 20, 2021 - 10:22am

In reply to by Geoff Baker

Thank you Geoff,

My watch posts are carefully worded, I feel I need to explain my background. In every category of collectible items, the producers that lasted several decades and centuries, all went through transition periods, where the traditional way of making the items went through a transformation, often this created a void with a mix up in the identification markers that company had.

As a dealer in several decorative categories of antique pieces, I learned to identify these item in a different way if possible, or give it an ID and date that was not possible to confirm.

In the world of quality wristwatches, when it also had several important improvements and changes, during the 20th century, the term 'transition' is not as clear cut and applies to a much more complex series of mechanism with a long time frame, as you explain clearly. I enjoy learning about the history and applications of Bulova, 

If you leave my watch as an 'unknown' I do understand why. Perhaps in time, we can change that. That is why I really like this informative Bulova site. You have kept your enthusiasm for many years, and you offer an excellent wide range service to your members.

Posted February 19, 2021 - 11:14pm

In reply to by LisaD

Just to clarify that the 1960 Bulova Accutron was not a prototype but a full production mass market product release which continued into the mid 1970s. 

All Accutron watches (and there are many variant movements types) are battery operated.

Posted February 19, 2021 - 8:46am

 The more I look at the face I see that the red color on the indices appears uneven, which like the missing text and missing minute track would seem to also indicate a radical cleaning.

After going through many line books, I can't find a match to either the case or this face with date window,  displaying tuning fork below the 12.  Pre-1970, it appears that the only watches with the tuning fork logo placed below the 12 were date window Accutrons. They had "Accutron" placed on the "9" side of the dial opposite the date window. I find nothing mechanical with a tuning fork logo on face.

 I'm at a loss.

I'm leaning towards calling this non-conforming. That's not a bad thing for an heirloom watch due to the link to the family. I wish it could talk.

Posted February 19, 2021 - 9:10am

In reply to by neetstuf-4-u

Excellent observation that I now see after posting comment above. Well done Ken!  I was focused on the premise it was a US production watch. The serial number starting with a "3 " followed by a dash could very well be an indication of a non US production watch. Here is a clip from the ad you reference. Case of subject watch on the left. Face could very well be an original to the case (variant unknown) that has been scrubbed.

Undersize Tuning Fork  below "12" - "Bulova" under tuning fork and 2 lines of text above "6". Recessed crown at "3" position would be a good indication it's a mechanical movement. Others in the ad that have crown at "4" have "Bulova Accutron" on dial.


1970 Unknown International Model


Posted February 19, 2021 - 11:48am

Thank you for all your efforts panel members. The markings in 2 rows under the hands stem and above the 6 are in a washed out small font, and about 9 letters. I will try again to take an image I can modify for a clearer resolution.

Looks like the 1st watch neetstuf has shown in comment above is a good match 

The dial was scrubbed and is also missing the dial's minute marks on the edge of the face, the metal and enamel hour marks look discolored and eroded unevenly, I find it hard to believe someone would do this harsh treatment when the watch was still working.



Posted February 20, 2021 - 12:09pm

I have two modified close ups with a clearer view of what the marks said, BULOVA under the Accutron logo and below, the top word could be AUTOMATIC, the last line is not decipherable, unless you might know what the possibilities are.

Can't seem to upload here, will send to admin. Thank you.

Posted February 20, 2021 - 12:28pm

In reply to by LisaD

Below the possible 'AUTOMATIC' line would likely state the jewel count for models with more than 17 jewels. Your last line may state '23 JEWELS'.

Posted February 21, 2021 - 1:28am

Thanks Lisa, from the images you sent I can confirm that the dial does indeed have BULOVA under the Accutron symbol and AUTOMATIC, 23 JEWELS above the 6 o'clock position.

I will update this record accordingly.