Bulova 1919 Rubaiyat

Submitted by dhhirsch on March 13, 2014 - 1:05am
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Jewels
Movement Serial No.
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Case color
Case Manufacturer
American Standard
Watch Description


Hi all,

Here's a fun one.  I picked it up recently on eBay with a winning bid of only $20.50 and its keeping good time.  I've gotten my money's worth just having fun researching and puzzling over it...  I wanted to add it to the database for reference since I don't see much as far as old Rubaiyats and I also wanted to see what folks thought about it.

Its a very early Rubaiyat, possibly as early as 1917.  I've read both Mark's fine article "Retracing Bulova History" and the information on LIsa's site about early Bulovas.  This likely was made not too long after Bulova got the Rubaiyat trademark registered in May, 1917.  It could even be earlier (Reverand Bob noted a listing for Rubaiyat dating to November, 1916 in Biel Switzerland by J. Bulova & Cie, Mark found a 1948 document that said the Rubaiyat trademark had been in use by Bulova since November 1916, and Will Smith posted about a 1917 Jewelers Circular Weekly that claimed use of Rubaiyat by Bulova dating back to November 1, 1916).  BTW, great stuff in Mark's article and the accompanying comments and discussion...

Anyway, I found this watch interesting for several reasons.  First, the case is marked "American Standard W.C. Co", so it presumably predates Bulova's acquisition of the American Standard company.  It seems similar to the makings on the case of the Rubaiyat pocket watch posted by Mark in the discussion after his article.  No globe or shield marking on the case, and the case number starts with "2", which would date it to 1917 under Lisa's list of characteristics for 1917 watches.  I also noted that Will Smith's article "American Standard Cases Revisited C1919 through c1924 & later" included a Patent Office document that indicated that American Standard had been in use since August 1, 1918, but I assume that's when Bulova started to use it.  Also, Lisa theorizes that  the "American Standard W.C. Co" signiture pre-dates Bulvoa's ownership of American Standard, so perhaps this watch is either 1917, or early 1918 (before August 1, 1918)?

What is puzzling is that the watch has the crown at 3:00, not 12:00, so it doesn't square with LIsa's listing of characteristics that date a watch to 1917.  Does that also point to early 1918?

As you can see in the photo, the movement is marked "Rubaiyat", not "Rubaiyat W. Co.".  Also, there is no caliber or other markings on the movement other than "15 JLS" and "3ADJ".  Rubaiyat is also on the dial.  In any event, a very early Bulova...


Bulova watch
1919 Bulova watch
1919 Bulova watch
1919 Bulova watch
1919 Bulova watch
Posted November 11, 2017 - 9:29pm

Just noting that the watch was dated to 1919 based on the case serial number 2999369.

At this time it is thought in the early American Standard cases, that the second number in serial number relates to the year of manufacture.

This line of thinking may one day be challenged and changed.