Bulova Transistor watch radios

Submitted by neetstuf-4-u on

Bulova's apparent first attempt at marrying a wrist watch with something else; as well as a first attempt at a battery operated travel alarm radio. The only mention of this curiosity I  find on mybulova is an apparent mention in the 1962 Annual Report (that I was unable to open).

It would appear there were 2 versions; this one MK II ( Clam Shell Travel Alarm) and MK I - a hand held pocket radio that also had an alarm feature. They are both briefly discussed on transistor radio collector sites.  This one, the MK II is quite small and just a little bigger  than a same time period Bulova clam shell watch box. The watch is a stem set and wind 7 Jewel mechanical movement that has an alarm feature. Alarm is either the battery operated radio or a buzzer. Radio is AM only. I don't have a battery yet (4.2V) to test the alarm functions or radio. Watch is running and keeping time. Serial number 09683 is inside the battery compartment on a paper tag.

This one is labeled on the box as being "842 Black" signifying black leatherette case. One ad below calls out different colors. Included paperwork refers to these as "840 Series" (MK I being 830 series), and this suggests the last number signifies color, ie. 2 is black.  The only examples of this item I find in a box are black.

In the original box with all paperwork, tags and original bagged earphone.

First 2 ads below were sent to me by JimDon after I reached out to him for help during hours of trying to figure this one out. Thanks Jim! The third found by me from the internet  and dated Dec. 1962. Bulova seemed to refer to it first as a "watch radio".       An interesting note: in 1962 this beauty cost the equivalent of $600 today, a pretty pricey gadget with a one year warranty. 

1962 Bulova Alert MK II. 842

"All transistor watch radio"

Bulova Alert-MK II Transistor Watch Radio

Bulova Alert-Mark II Transistor Watch Radio

Bulova Alert-Mark II Transistor Watch Radio

Bulova Alert-Mark II Transistor Watch Radio

Bulova Alert-Mark II Transistor Watch Radio

Bulova Alert-Mark II Transistor Watch Radio

Posted September 1, 2023 - 3:48am

1962 Annual Report



Snippets from the manual


in boxMKIIdial

Posted September 1, 2023 - 8:02pm

That's bad to the bone Neetstuf. First one of those I've seen. Portable transistor radios were hot items in 1962. Was it made in Japan? Most of the transistor radios back then used 9-volt batteries. Everyone used to call them transistor radio batteries. 4.2 volts is an odd ball battery unless it uses 3 AA batteries. Most transistors need a 5 volt power supply to operate.

Posted September 1, 2023 - 8:18pm

In reply to by 1955mercury

Thanks, Merc. A first for me as well. Yes, made in Japan under the supervision of Bulova engineering. It took a single  camera battery shaped like a AA. The current equivalent is 4.5V  133A or A21PX. Got one on the way from Amazon. Will update when I try it.

Posted September 1, 2023 - 10:43pm

Would love to see the movement if you ever get the chance to photograph.

1962 Annual Report now fixed.

Posted September 1, 2023 - 11:21pm

In reply to by mybulova_admin

Thanks Stephen!  I intended to photograph the guts of it, but found it would  involve a complete tear apart. By looking up into it through the battery door, the watch movement is buried behind a circuit board. In order to remove the back panel; the stem, earphone jack and mode switch have to be  disassembled from the cover. I would love to see how the mechanical watch movement triggers the battery operated  buzzer or radio alarm.

Posted September 1, 2023 - 11:23pm

Only advert I could find.

1962 Bulova Alert-Mark II

1962 Bulova Alert-Mark II clock radio

Kathy L.
Posted September 3, 2023 - 11:26am

Wow this one has a lot in a small package.  I think this could go into the watch section because it has a watch or we could do a clock radio tab.  Very cool!

Bulova Alert-MK II

Posted September 12, 2023 - 9:52am

Awesome find.  Something you do not see every day. Bulova Alert-MK II