Bulova 1917 Rubaiyat

Submitted by mybulova_admin on February 6, 2016 - 1:28am
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Jewels
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Case color
Case Manufacturer
American Standard
Crystal details
Watch Description

Red 12, indicating a very early wrist watch. It is a common belief in the horology world that a red/blue 12 was used during the transition period (post WWI) from pocket to wrist watches, as a quick visual indicator as to where the 12 o'clock position was and thus the correct orientation of the watch so that the correct time may be read.

This particular watch I believe is so far the ealiest Rubaiyat (oldest Bulova) watch we have seen and the balance bridge uses the older style "Advance / Retreat" script rather that the "AF/RS" we typically see. Also the case serial number is the ealiest and I'm suggesting that the second number in these American Standard Watch Case Company cases is indicative of the year of manufacture (the case not the movement). So in this case I'm dating this watch to 1917.

Movement is stamped Rubaiyat SWISS and double stamped 15 Jewels 3 ADJ (bridge and plate).

Movement plate is a Swiss patent FHF 51482 with a lignes (size) of either 9 or 9.25.

Note the center, third and forth wheels have been plated with red gold (gold + silver + copper)

Another aspect to note about these early Rubaiyats if the movment layout. A typical Rubaiyat/Bulova movement has the balance wheel positioned opposite the crown, however the very early versions had it at a right angle to the crown (ie the 3 or 9 o'clock poistion) as shown in this watch.

1917 oldest ladies Rubaiyat Bulova watch know to exist
1917 Bulova Rubaiyat watch movement
1917 Bulova Rubaiyat watch movement and case
1917 Bulova Rubaiyat watch movement front
Posted February 6, 2016 - 5:24am

Very nice watch Admin! It is yellow gold? I wonder what Reverend Rob can say about the movement.

Posted February 6, 2016 - 6:07am


It looks more like coral/rose gold but not overly red. It also says it's gold filled. I'll have to add a picture of the back side as it has some nice deep engraving showing the base metal.

Geoff Baker
Posted February 6, 2016 - 9:24am

Wow, what a great looking watch Stephen,. You've really gone past cool on this one. I never knew about the red 12, that's an interesting fact.  

I see it's half published already but I'll add a vote it a 1917 Rubaiyat too.

Posted February 6, 2016 - 10:19am

Nice addition Stephen, 1917 Rubaiyat

Reverend Rob
Posted February 6, 2016 - 1:23pm


Just off the top of my head this looks like an FHF Robert, typical ebauche in the early watches, used by many brands also. The patent owned by FHF refers to the keyless works and was used under license by makers other than FHF, like Gruen and AS. 

Rubaiyat she is, 1917 by the serial number. 

William Smith
Posted February 7, 2016 - 1:53am

Yes an early Rubaiyat.  Nice watch.  I'd never heard about the red/blue 12, but is sure makes sense!

Posted August 1, 2017 - 6:55am

1917 Rubaiyat

Posted December 16, 2017 - 8:35pm

Great watch Stephen and cool bit of info about the colored "12". Never heard that one before.