If you’ve known me in person for a decent amount of time, you are more than likely familiar with the silver timepiece pictured above. That there is my grandpa’s watch, and up until this year, I didn’t know much about it except that it was an automatic Bulova from 1964. Seeing as 2014 marks the watch’s 50th year in existence, I sought out to find some more detailed answers about this particular model.
Now, my grandpa (dad’s dad) was hardly a wealthy man. Bobbie, as I called him, was a simply dairy farmer in the Downey area. I come from an interesting lineage of Mushakian men: my great-grandfather sold his property in the Signal Hill area for far less than it was worth to the oil company that bought it and my grandpa, Bobbie, was a decent, hard-working man who was well-liked, but not exactly held in high esteem by the men in his social circle. One of my favorite stories that my dad told me about Bobbie is actually a sad one, but it means something to me. One day, when my dad was young, he approached the family kitchen to find his dad (Bobbie) sitting at the table, my grandma (Baba) sitting next to him, and Bobbie had his face buried in a towel, gently crying. He asked his wife, out of sad frustration, “Why don’t the men respect me?”
I wear this watch of his, daily, because of the heart and notion of who he was that is portrayed in this story.
Bobbie died when I was about 5 – the first grandparent to go, by over a decade. I never really got to know him, but I think I would’ve really loved him, from everything I hear. Of course, this also means that I couldn’t just ring up ol’ gramps to ask him about his old watch. With the help of a fellow Redditor, by way of some old ads and a personal listing on a Bulova fan-site that I’d found years before (which is how I identified the year), I was finally able to nail down the specific details of my grandpa’s old watch – my watch.
I can now say that I am the proud owner of a 1964 Bulova Regatta 23, Model G.
Oh, it’s likely not worth very much, but it means quite a bit to me. I don’t save it for special occasions, though – it was the watch of a working man, and, though he likely didn’t wear it while shoveling manure, I wear it as such. The face has some scuffs around the edges and I accidentally gave it a good scratch across the middle a few years ago, but it still looks great. Unfortunately, the ol’ girl has stopped working, which is why I’ve delayed writing about it until now, just a few days before the 50th anniversary cut-off. This actually happened before, where it randomly stopped.. until one day, when I randomly put it back on again and it started working. I was hoping for the same kind of miraculous recovery this time, too, but with the extra cash I’ve taken in this Christmas, I’ll likely have to take it in this time, though, as I miss having it on my wrist and can’t be bothered to wait for chance any longer. It’s not a flashy watch, it’s not big or bedazzled with gaudy jewelry, but I regularly get compliments on it and I think it looks just grand.
Besides… if it was good enough for Bobbie, it’s good enough for me 🙂 .