Bulova 1920 Lady Maxim

Submitted by tshanno on April 19, 2020 - 11:52am
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Jewels
Movement Serial No.
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Case color
Case Manufacturer
American Standard
Watch Description

Preliminary calling this a Lady Maxim strictly because that's what's marked on the face.  I have no clue about the date but I'm calling it pre-1923 because of the markings on the movement.

The movement is a IIB with 15 jewels marked "Bulova W. Co."  Fifteen jewels would be consistent with Lady Maxim ads from the early 1920s.  There's no date code that I can find.  The case is marked "American Standard" and "Warranted 20 years".  No patent date.

I received this watch by mistake after buying a different one that is in better shape.  The seller is currently "looking around his work area" to try to find the watch I bought.  This one is missing a lug and I'm not willing to accept it as an even exchange but it is interesting.  I have made the seller an offer for it, though, and I haven't heard back.

As I understand is, movements marked "Bulova W. Co." are considered to be pre-April, 1923.  There are no watches in the database with a "IIB" movement and its not in the "movement ranges" list on the site.  So, assuming you guys think it's genuine, I really have no idea of the date.  I will be very interested to hear your thoughts.

case back inside
Posted April 19, 2020 - 6:32pm

For what it's worth, here is a thread discussing, in part, the trapezoid stamp near the balance wheel as seen on other Bulova W. Co. marked movements. This is an early one, pre-dating the use of movement date stamps. There have been discussions in the past about these early ones and if the first or second number of the case s/n is the date.The "Warranted 20 years" is a grade designation for gold plating thickness.

I'm currently confident it's a legit watch, and a Lady Maxim. Date most likely either 1920 or 1921.

The "UB or "IIB" movement stamp is curious. It almost appears to perhaps be a Latin/Roman letter or number preceding the "B". Never seen that before.

Gut feeling is the movement is a "B", with the first symbol not related to movement designation. They (the  letters)don't appear to be the same size, but maybe it's just my eyes. Here is one in the database. (a "B" movement tentatively dated as 1920.)

Posted April 20, 2020 - 3:39pm

In reply to by neetstuf-4-u

Totally agree that the "II" is smaller than the "B".  I think you guys are right.  It's probably a "B" and the "II" means something else.

Posted April 20, 2020 - 3:40pm

In reply to by neetstuf-4-u

Also when I look closely at the trapezoid, it looks to me like it might have an "11" in its.  Hard to tell.

Posted April 19, 2020 - 7:20pm

100% genuine. The IIB is interesting, but not totally a surprise or unique as the movements of this time use AI, AAI

Based on the second number being a "0" I would ID this beauty as a 1920 Bulova Lady Maxim which was probably sold anytime between 1920 and 1923.

Kathy L.
Posted April 20, 2020 - 11:10am

Love these older models.

1920 Bulova Lady Maxim

Posted April 20, 2020 - 3:37pm

Fantastic piece of analysis.  I learned a lot.  Thanks.

Geoff Baker
Posted April 20, 2020 - 9:46pm

Cool piece Tom, keep 'em coming!

1920 Bulova Lady Maxim

Posted April 23, 2020 - 9:24am

This is just an observation for fun, with no evidence. The date stamp for 1930/40 resembles a version of the zodiac sign for Taurus. Perhaps the symbol next to the "B" is a representation of Gemini. Why?, I have no idea, unless it is possibly a date stamp for 1920. Taurus is depicted with horns on either side or connected in the center, curving in or out. Gemini is depicted with connected horizontals as well as disconnected in center. Something to ponder.