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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a question for all on the forum. Who made the Bolivia watches? I have a Bolivia Electra, 21 jewel manual wind watch from the early seventies. I picked it up on the Bay and it looks real good for its age. However, I can not find any history on Bolivia watches. I know they were probably cheap watches for the times but I like the design. The wife hates it but she does not have to wear it. Any history or point in the right direction for information would be great. If my camera permits I will try to post a picture later.

Thanks,
Steve B.
:think:
 

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Bolivia was a cheap watch that often used the word 'Electra' on the dial and a number 23 or 21 etc so people would think that was the jewel count. Does it say 21 Jewel or just 21? They usually used a single jewel pin/lever movt. and cheap materials. Bolivia looked a lot like Bulova on the dial, and I have heard that these were specifically made to decieve people. I have a couple of these, that I got in watch lots, they are $2 watches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info, the dial does just say 21 on it. Cheap or not, who ever had this watch sure took care of it because it is keeping excellent time for a watch over 35 years old. I would still like to know who made them and I payed a little more than $2 for the watch but thats OK I imagine the $2 dollars ones do not run and look to good.

Thanks,
Steve B.
 

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We really need pictures of the case dial and hopefully the movement to tell you much more.
 

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Here is a photo of one of my Bolova's I don't know if this is cheap but any thing that can survive WW2 I don't think is cheap.This one was made in the USA and this one was a A-11,16 jewel,hack,and used for navigation.Bolova is a Swiss-USA company and it started in 1875.And I would like to see photo's of your bolova.
FYI it's Bulova not Bolova.

The original poster is talking about Bolivia watches not Bulova watches.

There is no relation between Bolivia and Bulova.

As has been said already Bolivia watches were cheaply made and were an attempt to fool people into thinking that they were purchasing a good quality Bulova watch because of the similar name.
 

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Right. A Bulova A-11 is certainly not cheap and I believe it's a legendary Military style of watch. Bolivia is a new one to me but as JimH says we shouldn't confuse it with Bulova.
 

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FYI it's Bulova not Bolova.

The original poster is talking about Bolivia watches not Bulova watches.

There is no relation between Bolivia and Bulova.

As has been said already Bolivia watches were cheaply made and were an attempt to fool people into thinking that they were purchasing a good quality Bulova watch because of the similar name.
I found one in a box as I was moving into the watch-u-zimmer. I misread the dial and thought I had a Bulova. I started to polish it and all the gold plating started to come off -- must have been all of 1 micron thick. I'll post a pic if I can find it...
 

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I found one in a box as I was moving into the watch-u-zimmer. I misread the dial and thought I had a Bulova. I started to polish it and all the gold plating started to come off -- must have been all of 1 micron thick. I'll post a pic if I can find it...
You KEPT it??
That is a true WIS - dom !!!!
 

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Here are a couple Bolivia's that I dug out of the junk box, one says Swiss Movt Hong Kong Dial, the other you can see where the 'Swiss Movt' or what ever has been rubbed out. Inside both say Swiss, and Hong Kong on the movt. Bottom line on a watch like this is, if you like it and want to wear it, and it works good, then wear it. I have a couple one jewel cheapies I really like wearing.





 

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I can repost my bulova if you would like to see it Eeeb I took it off becouse I thought it had nothing to do with this post.
Well, honestly, they were made so people thought they were Bulova's, and this proves it works. I thought the same thing at first glance. When I opened it, I knew for sure :-d.
 

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Well, honestly, they were made so people thought they were Bulova's, and this proves it works. I thought the same thing at first glance. When I opened it, I knew for sure :-d.
Shocking!

See below a Radid 'ceramic' on a certain auction site. Nothing changes.:-d
 

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It looks like a Roskopf type pin-lever movement, probably by Bettlach or Baumgartner, one of them assembled by George von Burg's Swiss Ebauches Ltd, Hong Kong and the other by Basis Watch Co, Switzerland. The case would be sourced locally in Hong Kong. Later Bolivia Electras used movements supplied by VEB Ruhla, East Germany.

There's no shame in enjoying cheap watches. They're just another side to the story of watchmaking.
 

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Well, honestly, they were made so people thought they were Bulova's, and this proves it works. I thought the same thing at first glance. When I opened it, I knew for sure :-d.
Some Bolivia watches appear to be identical to (and probably from the same source as) ASEIKON watches. ...not to mention LESEIKORI and BASEIKONE ;-)
 

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Some Bolivia watches appear to be identical to (and probably from the same source as) ASEIKON watches. ...not to mention LESEIKORI and BASEIKONE ;-)
I have an ESEIKOR watch! I knew what it was when I bought it, same cheap single jewel movement...I honestly liked the style and color.

 

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I recently came across an old Baseikone Electra 360 with a bevel glass, a Seiko Quartz Day (5Y39-7010 RD on back), and Gruen Quartz (237-902-104 on back) from a yard sale. Guess these aren't worth anything. LOL, don't guess any of these watches have any silver/gold content?
 

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When I was very young (mid-60's) I remember going to NYC with my Dad. He was giving me an education on hucksters and hustlers.

Street vendors were selling Bolivia watches with the hands positioned to partially block the name so people would think they were buying a Bulova watch. Hey man! Wanna buy a watch??? Never forgot that.......
 

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I just acquired one that may be same item you have described. Looks like it has seen lots of use, but still running OK. I'm thinking I will clean and polish it up and just wear it around the house. Mine has same inscriptions as yours and has a unique, kind of goofy, faceted crystal that has long ridges running both vertically and horizontally. An attempt at elegance, I guess, but just makes me think I need to have my glasses checked. You can discern the ridges if you look very closely at the photo between date box and the 5 marker.

Any thoughts whether the crystal might be ordinary glass, or just garden variety acrylic? Will probably try to polish out minor scratches and want to know what material I am working with. Thanks for the light you shed on this. Just a fun little project with little at stake Bolivia Electra grab bag watch.JPG if I bollux it up.
 
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