Name: Bulova 24h 1960
Model Reference: 10CNCH (actually a movement number, but identifies very accurately this model)
Movement: Bulova 10CNCH, 21 jewel, hand wind, central seconds hand, hack set, shock protection, 18000 bph
Time display: 24 hour, minute, seconds,
Date: no date
Case: all stainless steel with screw on back
Size: 34 mm diameter without crown, 37 mm with crown
Height: 11 mm
Face: silver, grey band for night time, even hours numbers and lumed dots, odd hours markers, 24 on top
Text on dial: Bulova, waterproof
Text on back: BULOVA - * stainless steel case – antimagnetic – M0 102454 – waterproof – shock resistant
Hands and markers: silver lumed hour and minute hands, narrow silver central seconds hand
Crown: main crown at 3
Crystal: domed acrylic crystal
Lug: 19 mm
Bracelet: leather strap with buckle
I paid for this watch last year $278 (plus shipping $35). The selling procedure was not straightforward. Somebody bid more, but seller sent me a second chance offer, because “The buyer of the item just emailed me to say they are in vacation and asked if they can pay 02 AUG which is rather too late for me as I need to pay the owner of the watch“. I accepted this offer. I had some thoughts that maybe something is not right here, but I had no proofs. This watch is rare, in a very good condition and the price was actually right I think.
Bulova has had several 24h models, especially in 50s and 60s, but also later. See the Bulova 24h gallery at 24h main reference site 24hourwatches.info. My watch is one of them, 2nd from the left.
This watch has many good points. First, it is Bulova. That means it is an American watch and therefore very collectable as other American brands like Elgin, Gruen etc.
The watch is in a very good condition, especially dial and case. Caseback has marks, which is common with Bulova. You have to have a special wrench to open this caseback and not everybody has it.
Inside is Bulova signed movement 10CNCH. Googling shows me that this version is rare. Actually no Bulova movements table includes this type of movement. Of course I would like to know how to decipher this movement code.
First I can say that if you need any information about vintage Bulova watches then go to http://www.watchophilia.com. (Almost) everything you need is there.
Bulova caliber number.
I was amazed that I could find only one explanation how to decipher Bulova movement codes. This text is repeated several times. Here is (I think the original) from » Vintage Watches: » Information about Bulova WatchesAfter some research in movement databases and Bulova sites I can propose some letters more:“It’s been probably close to 30 years since this numbering system for watch movements has been used by Bulova.
This is what I know:
a. The number digit signifies the Ligne size of the movement.
b. The next two alpha digits (as below “AE”, “AA”, “CS”) have no real meaning other than a reference ( like a name).
c. The third and fourth, and sometimes fifth alpha digit would signify the functional characteristics of the movement.
I do not have any printed references for this anymore, but I seem to remember the following:
Letter “C” means “center second hand”
Letter “A” means “automatic”
Letter “B” means “day and date display”
Letter “D” means “date only”
Letter “F” means „small seconds hand“
Letter “L” means „no seconds hand“
Letter “R” means „alarm watch“
And finally my thought:
Letter “H” means „hack set“
Therefore my 10CNCH is a 10 ligne caliber from family CN with central second hand (C) and hack set (H). The closest movement I could find googling was 10BNCH – with this movement both 12h and 24h military issues exists. I think that the difference between BNCH and CNCH is that BNCH was used for military issues with double caseback as additional dust cover, CNCH is the same movement for non-military models with single caseback.
Dating a Bulova
This is easy task, the tables are available. Usually both, the case and movement have the year of production stamped.
My case has serial number M0 102454. M0=1960. The movement has yearly code L6 (inside the red circle on the picture), that means 1956. When the movement and case date don’t match – nice formula is here:That means my watch is from 1960!Ideally, the date of the movement will match the date of the case. Occasionally, however, that is not the case. In those circumstances, I subscribe to the "latest date wins" theory only when the case and movement are dated within one year of each other. If more than one year separates the movement and the case, for me, the case date rules.
This case is made by Star Watch Case Company which is signed on caseback inside:In general - to handle this watch is a pure joy. I like the big (unsigned) crown. For hack set just right.The Star Watch Case Company was known to make some mid-century military issue cases for Bulova and other watch manufacturers, and those watches bear the Star signature and trademark symbol inside the case, while the Bulova name is printed on the outside of the case back.
Back to the face. As I said, the dial is still flawless. Even the lumed hands and hour markers are visible. The only design shortcoming is the lack of contrast on the dial. Dial, hands, markers, everything is silver. The other questionable design feature is 19mm lugs. My watch was equipped by seller with very nice high quality anti-allergic 20mm leather strap and I’m very satisfied with it.
Very nice watch. This is the only Bulova I have. When writing this review here I was amazed how much information exists to help vintage Bulova collectors and I learned a lot. And now I know that this is also a rare watch you can’t find in databases.
The price was also OK. For about the same price you can find fake 24h Elgins. And one military 24h 10BNCH is offered on the bay right now for for $1800 !?!?