Point me in the right direction?

Thread: Point me in the right direction?

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Point me in the right direction?

    I recently bought a vintage Bulova. It's Art Deco style, and I can't find it anywhere on the Bulova website nor through basic google searches. I was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction for finding information about.

    Or of anyone knows anything about Bulova watches on this forum that'd be great, I'll post more details later in the hopes of that.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Re: Point me in the right direction?

    More details, as promised:

    The watch is a 14K Bulova Ladies watch in Art Deco style. It's marked as follows:

    Bulova & Co. 3 AF

    Seventeen Jewels


    And it has a little switch on the inside that you can turn from AF to RS but being new to watches, I have no idea what that even means.


  3. #3
    Member JohnF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Oberstedten, Germany

    Re: Point me in the right direction?

    Hi -

    First of all, a warm welcome to the forum! I hope we can help you with your vintage watch questions: do please take a moment to read the stickies at the top of the forum about how we can help you here...

    I don't have a direct reference anywhere handy, but this dates to pre-WW2, and in indeed mostly likely from the 1920s. The 17-jewel movement is of rather high quality, even today, and these ladies' movements are more often than not unappreciated beauties that can be had for hardly anything, as they are largely out of style.

    The AFRS markings are for microadjusting the time-keeping qualities of the watch and should not be fiddled with unless you are willing to pay a watchmaker to fix what you might break.

    Seriously, that is a beaut. Be aware, however, that the case is basically only dust-tight, meaning that watch case just barely protects the movement. It's a weakness of design from back then, modern cases are vastly better in terms of protecting the movement from water, sweat, humidity, dust, magnetic fields and all sorts of environmental influences (air pollution!) that aren't good for watch movements.

    Lovely piece. While my wife and daughters don't wear them, I've got a passel of ladies' watches to practice my terrible watchmaking skills on: if you can do good work on these, you can do good work on any watch. Conversely, it's a nice challenge for any good watchmaker, given how small the movements are...

    Oh, and if you intend using it and do not know when it was last serviced, have a good qualified watchmaker have a look at it. Mechanical watches need servicing every so often, and just like a car engine can be ruined by not maintaining it, so a watch can be ruined by using it when it hasn't been maintained.

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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Re: Point me in the right direction?

    The 3AF is the movement name

    www.mybulova.com has a dating table that lists the symbols on the movement that would tell it's date of manufacture .. I'm guessing 1920s

    the AF to RS is the regulator that allows you to adjust the movement to run faster or slower

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