Test of Time and the Art of Beauty

Sometimes when I come across a timepiece, especially a vintage piece, I marvel at the thought of how many hands this wristwatch must have exchanged over time. Perhaps it stayed in the hands of one person through its decades of wear, tear, nicks, scuffs and scars. In either case, I am amazed that a wristwatch such as this has endured the test of time when you consider it’s almost 60 years of age.
Yet, its glistening patina, scars of age and its tired leather strap take nothing from its beauty. The sweet sound of its self-winding mechanism is magic to the ear. The smooth feel as I wind the crown is amazing and you can sense the workmanship of this piece was not compromised in any way… For being such a tiny piece at 34mm it weighs about as much as a vintage Datejust from the 1970s. That is quite significant.
So what is this piece I seem to be so fond of… It’s a vintage Bulova Self Winding, Circa 1956, 23 Jewel wristwatch known as the Bulova 23. When you consider the period along with the features of this Bulova, you know it was a high caliber watch of its time. It has a Six Adjustment feature, waterproof, anti magnetic, shock resistant and more. Another grand feature is its adjustable leather strap (which is still with the watch). The condition of the watch, original strap and box lead me to believe there was only one owner to this piece.
The gold-filled case and its acrylic crystal are in remarkable condition given its age. I have had it thoroughly checked and cleaned and amazingly it was well maintained. It needed a strap replacement but only to preserve its original strap and buckle (see the before and after pictures). I replaced the strap with a blonde alligator strap in order for the patina to really show up on the watch. The case itself looks as though it was never dusted given the amount of grime in the crevices of the case. I did have it steamed and water tested and it passed…
More Specs:
Variant: K
Manufacture Year: 1956
Movement Model: 10BPAC
Movement Jewels: 23
Case Serial No.: B771030
Gender: Mens
I was fortunate enough to find a copy of the original advertisement when the wristwatch originally debuted. It sold for a whopping 77.50 USD! That was a lot of coin for a watch in the 1950s. I have attached a copy of ad located on the internet.
So… given its beauty, condition, along with the rich Bulova history that started in 1875 by Joseph Bulova (1851 – November 18, 1936), I’m proud to own this wristwatch. The first Bulova to my collection but feel there will be more…


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