Value of Antique Bulova Watches

By Rob Wagner

Antique or vintage Bulova watches are affordable timepieces for the beginning collector. Prices range from about $100 for 1930s and 1940s tank-style, or rectangular, watches to more than the $1,000 for electronic 1960s Accutrons.

History

The Bulova Watch Company was founded in 1875 to manufacture pocket watches. Wristwatches appeared during World War I. Ladies watches appeared in the mid-1920s.

Style

Bulova’s most sought-after early watches are timepieces that feature finely engraved Art Deco and Art Nouveau touches on silver and gold-filled cases.

Early Bulova Valuations

Pre-1950s Bulovas featuring Arabic numerals and seconds-hand subdial can start at about $100 depending on the condition, with two-tone dials, cases featuring Art Deco designs and rose-gold cases selling for up to $800.

1950s Changes

The 1950s-era Bulovas transitioned from tank-style to round dials. Their timeless, understated dials remain contemporary for practical daily wear.

Postwar Pricing

The larger 32mm dials and contemporary styling of the postwar models boost prices upwards from $200 to $500.

Accutrons

The electronic Accutron is historically significant due to its technology, serving as a bridge between the mechanical and electronic movements in the 1960s. Some Accutrons command more than $1,000. The movement is the mechanism that runs the watch.

About the Author

Rob Wagner is a journalist with over 35 years experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines. His experience ranges from legal affairs reporting to covering the Middle East. He served stints as a newspaper and magazine editor in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Wagner attended California State University, Los Angeles, and has a degree in journalism.