Bulova 1972 Bulova 30

Submitted by gmmy775 on February 18, 2024 - 2:27am
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Date Code
Movement Jewels
Movement Serial No.
None observed
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Case color
Case Manufacturer
Crystal details
30.00 mm, in case
Watch Description

Bulova 30 Jewel micro-Rotor 12EBACD  GEP 419405 N2/M8 reference R/7287

Case Dimensions and features:

  • Width w/o Crown:   35.35 mm
  • Length:   41.40 mm
  • Depth:   5.00 mm wo/crystal, 10.10 mm w/crystal
  • Lug Width:   18.10 mm
  • Crystal:   30.00Dia mm, in watch.  Domed acrylic
  • Crown:   5.45Dia mm, unsigned
  • Case Back:   32.05 mm
  • Case Back thread O.D.:   31.70 mm
  • Inside case back inscriptions:   R/; 7287; Swiss. 
  • Engraving on outside case back:  BULOVA; 419405; N2; Stainless Steel Back; Gold Electroplate Bezel


  • 12EBACD Automatic Micro-Rotor 30 Jewel
  • Engraving on Movement:   BULOVA  WATCH CO;
  • 12EBACD; 30 Jewels;
  • Swiss; M8 (misstrike above). 
  • Under each side of Balance Wheel:  SX; D

Notes:  This is my first example of this model. I thought it would be the only one documented, but another showed up last week on ebay, in a lot.  I lost the bid at a price that would have exceeded 500USD with tax.  I definitely wanted another one. I expect that the second one will show up on mybulova soon. Like my prior 4 Bulova 30s, I will collect these as long as they are not price unrealistically.  Not a bad runner, though the amplitude and fluctuations would indicate that it needs a service.

I will comment that every Bulova 30 I have acquired exhibited an M8 code on the Bulova cal. 12EBACD movement, and an N2 code on the case back.  This movement is slightly different in that there is an obvious misstrike above the M8.  Under my microscope only the top portion is legible, and it is either M8 or N3.

Full Face 2172024
Back 2172024
Movement 0 2172024
Inside Case Back 2172024
Dial 2172024
Geoff Baker
Posted February 18, 2024 - 9:20pm

Thanks Jimmy - you just sent me down a rat hole.

Here's what I uncovered. Your watch has a twin in our dB already - it's HERE although we ID'd it (incorrectly I think) as an Ambassador. I note that there are only 213 numbers difference in the serial number and also note that the case and movement date codes are 4 years apart, just like yours. I can't find very many watches in the dB that list the 30j 12EBACD (4 of them are YOURS) but they all seem to be in cases marked SWISS, Which leads me to ponder that these could be International models. When I look up the two case numbers 7287 and 7283 of yours neither are in the 1974 ABC parts catalog. I do find a Bulova case 7284 listed amongst a list of Accutron cases and guess what movement is assigned to it - 12EBACD. I wonder why a 1972 Bulova case isn't listed in the 1974 parts catalog and it leads me back to what I surmise (read as wild guess) is an International (SWISS) watch. Additionally I did a rapid flip through several 1970 era linebooks and notice that US Bulova didn't list ANY 30 jewel watches.

We'll likely tag this as a Bulova 30 but we could call it an "International" model. I prefer the "30 designation for two reason - it separates them from the other International model and it does read "30" on the dial. I concede however that arguably we have no documentation that "Bulova 30" is an official watch name

BTW - Cool watch

Posted February 18, 2024 - 9:55pm

In reply to by Geoff Baker

Hi Geoff

You know, I had seen that watch way back, before I acquired this one.  It seems that I didn't recognize it recently because the 30 in the image is almost too fuzzy to make out.  Couple of things.  I have always thought that this could be a re-use of already produced movements by the Swiss arm of Bulova.  My logic is that Bulova (along with just about everybody else) was already having Buren manufacture both this, and the 17j version from the mid 60s...before Hamilton bought them.  Alternately, Buren could have actually manufactured these "30s" themselves, under agreement, and Bulova confined distribution to Europe.  This would have prevented a conflict with the early 70s US Ambassadors, which were already transitioning to an entirely different movement.  Probably never know now, since under Citizen leadership Bulova documentation seems to have vanished.  My recent personal communication experiences with US Bulova concerning Accu-Swiss data and parts was akin to cows staring at a passing train.

IMHO, "Bulova 30 International" seems to cover what these are succinctly.  Seems obvious that this was a limited run, confined to outside of the US, with a specific design language that included a distinct outer track, and the 30 under Bulova.  And of course, the '68 12EBACD and 1972 production year.  I have searched your database exhaustively (join the club, right?) and there is not a single case that matches these in every detail.  Specifically the super-flush fit of the hefty case back, and the reverse side is convex rather than concave. 

Anyhow, you are a nobleman amongst researchers, and caught that "Ambassador" that I had missed just a couple of weeks back.  If you want, I could send this and one of the greenies for you to inspect for any additonal clues.

Take care my friend.



Posted February 18, 2024 - 9:59pm

I could not find any matches to this watch.    I also suspect an international model.  For the most part we do not archive many of the International ads so maybe someone with access to European magazines might find an ad match for this.   Unknown for me.    Great looking watch with an awesome movement though,

Posted February 19, 2024 - 12:28am

The 1979 Case Parts Supplement also has the 7287 case as taking a 12EBA and 12EBACD movement.

It would certainly make sense if the movement has a second date stamp of N3, to align with the N2 case stamp.

Many of these mystery watches are from either 1968 or 1972 as these are the only gaps we have in the available linebooks. Your watch hits both nails on the head, so is a double mystery.

This watch is also another example of Bulova using possibe old stock for future model releases, to a different audience (location and/or time).

I think we should group these together as generic a 'Bulova 30'.

Posted February 19, 2024 - 1:25am

One of the most enjoyable aspects of mybulova membership is that it is like having a front row seat to the internal workings of Scotland Yard (grin).  Best of the best