Bulova 1921 Lady Maxim

Submitted by Stinky_Sullivan on
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Jewels
Movement Serial No.
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Case color
Case Manufacturer
American Standard
Watch Description

I know this is nonconforming because of the disl. I wanted to get an opinion on the rest of the watch. Aside from the name on the dial, the font on the dial, hands, case, and movement all match Stephen’s 1920 Rubiayat.

1920’s Bulova dial
1920’s Bulova case
1920’s Bulova AI movement
1920’s Bulova engraving
Posted November 13, 2023 - 7:56pm

In reply to by Stinky_Sullivan

The movement serial numbers were just counters. The trapezoid we have not yet figured out what that is. It is one of several symbols we find on early Bulova movements. 

Posted November 13, 2023 - 8:00pm

In reply to by Alex

So this is likely a 1921 Bulova/Lady Maxim/Rubaiyat with S.D. Burritt added to the dial.

Posted November 15, 2023 - 4:03pm

I have to admit that this is a first for me since setting up myBulova.com. I do tend to focus on these early watches to try and match sense of what Bulova were doing in the vert early days. 

This watch certainly adds another layer of mystery. At a quick glance i would agree that a jeweler had his dials custom printed and then used by one of the highend watches his store was selling. He may have done this for Elgin watches as well. 

The question I would pose is, would Bulova allow this? If the jeweler was a big player in the industry, I could see them being ok with it as it would help promote the Bulova and American Standard Watch Case Company brands.  Looking at the great adverts Kathy posted, it would certain seem they had good presence, so it's possible.

The other question I then have is, if Bulova did allow this, then for how long did they allow it to continue?

It's possible other jewelers did the same thing, althouigh again this is the first time Ive seen this on clearly a Bulova watch.

The large Bulva advert (3rd) shown on the previous page is dated to around December 1922 and has the following words "We have recently added the Bulova to our line of Burritt watches."

Based on the case serial number and advert I'm going tp go with a 1922 Bulova Lady Maxim.

Posted November 15, 2023 - 5:00pm

In reply to by mybulova_admin

This was probably a contract Bulova had with some of it's mass merchants is my thinking. Bulova had fixed prices it's retailers had to follow in order to sell their watches. But let's say a retailer wanted to purchase 1000 watches a month from Bulova if they could set their own price. What would Bulova do to make this sale happen? Bulova might say, OK, but you can't put our name on the dial. 

   Sears & Roebuck had similar deals. They would sell Winchester rifles that had a fixed price for less by having the name Ted Williams stamped on the barrel instead of Winchester. Sears did this with the Henry J automobiles also by having the hood ornament and trunk ornaments say "Allstate" instead of Henry J. 

   Why would anyone buy from the mass merchant if they had to pay the same price as the local "Mom & Pop" jewelry stores and would probably recieve better service. 

Posted November 16, 2023 - 7:11pm

In reply to by 1955mercury

That makes perfect sense. A private label supplied by Bulova. 

Geoff Baker
Posted November 15, 2023 - 9:45pm

With the Burritt dial markings I am not really in favor of classifying this watch as Maxim or Bulova.

Posted November 16, 2023 - 4:09pm

In reply to by Geoff Baker

We could compare it to a 60s or 70s Bulova watch with Coca Cola on the dial. It's still a Bulova watch (has all the correct period parts) it just has a custom advertising dial.

The model could only be a Bulova Lady Maxim for this period.

Posted November 16, 2023 - 5:23pm

Based on all the feedback I am good with this being a 1921 Lady Maxim with the dial being a jewelers mod.