Bulova 1963 Aqua Queen

Submitted by kkitsch27 on May 11, 2024 - 9:50am
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Date Code
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Case Serial No.
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Watch Description

Purchased this watch about a month ago for $5 at an antique shop (because how could I not??) No watch band came with it. The stylized font of the numerals and design of the dial caught my eye (very atomic/space age), as well as this being a waterproof model, as the dial says. It was in good running order until I went to measure the lugs (9mm by the way) and got butter fingers at the wrong moment and dropped it, so then the second hand was loose under the crystal. $150 later for a complete overhaul at the watch repair shop, now it runs great!

I got it into the repair shop so quick that I didn’t even realize that it was a radium lumed watch until now. The glow does not linger, and from what I’ve read this is common after many years as certain chemicals and binders in the radium paint break down. They did not relume at the repair shop, and I don’t think I will pursue that. 

I also found it unique that there are only even numerals on the dial, and the odd numbers are just pointed hour markers. 

I’ve done some research, but didn’t get very far since I didn’t take photos of it before going to the repair shop. The back of the case has “M3” stamped in the center, so I believe this dates the case to 1963, while movement is marked “M1” for 1961. I was originally thinking this could be a Lady Bulova, but those all seem to be self-winding movements, which this one is not. So I was a bit stumped since it being labeled as waterproof and clearly luminous are significant to its identity. 

But I think this could be a Mermaid variant? There are very few examples of this model in the database, and most that I see are white not yellow and have a much different case design. 

I will be getting a speidel expansion band to wear this one out, as I really like having the second hand that some of my other vintage ladies watches lack.

Front dial of gold watch
Back of gold watch case with year code and serial number, as well as “shock resistant” “anti-magnetic” “waterprooof” “10kt. R. G. P. Bezel”
Inside of movement with “seventeen 17 jewels” “Swiss” “Bulova Watch Co.” “7BUC” “M1”
Front of watch with UV light showing luminous radium hour markers and hands
Mermaid “AW” 17 Jewels. Waterproof. Stainless Steel Case. Shock Resistant. Luminous. $45.00
Posted May 11, 2024 - 11:39am

Nice one. According to the 1963 Linebook; she is a 

1963 Aqua Queen "CW"

aqua queen1aqua queen2

Kathy L.
Posted May 11, 2024 - 12:52pm

1963 Bulova Aqua Queen "CW"

Posted May 11, 2024 - 3:03pm

1963 Aqua Queen "CW" is a good match. No issues with me on the 1961 movement date.

Posted May 11, 2024 - 5:14pm

Agree with Aqua Queen "CW"

Posted May 11, 2024 - 11:00pm

Thank you for the feedback! Is it possible this is a Gemini? I was reading this post and saw there’s been some discourse on the differences in the Gemini vs. the Aqua Queen. 

Posted May 12, 2024 - 12:51pm

In reply to by kkitsch27

If you had the original expansion band, it could be possible since the Aqua Queen DW (1962 linebook) and Gemini C (1963/64/65 linebooks) shared the same model number and looked identical - with expansion bands. 

The strap version stayed AQ CW through 1965.