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Bulova 1925 -Unknown

Submitted by neetstuf-4-u on January 25, 2021 - 6:17pm
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Date Code
Movement Jewels
Movement Serial No.
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Case color
Case Manufacturer
Bulova & American Standard
Watch Description

Bought this one cheap thinking it might be an Ambassador. Nope, unengraved back and no bevels at crystal corners. Case is 2 piece and marked "GF" on one end in between the lugs.

It appears to be an unengraved white gold filled version of the Executive. Measurements and case style are a match, as is movement and face.

There is only one 1925 Executive  (also 2 piece case) in the Db, and it is engraved.                                                                          Case s/n of that one is 5228038 (difference of 236) , with a movement s/n of 67222.(difference of 246).                                                 If this isn't an unengraved Executive, the proximity of the s/n's is a remarkable coincidence. 

We have seen multiple examples of watches in this time period (1925-1935) advertised as engraved , with an unengraved version also available, but not in ads. I have to say this is the oldest Mens Bulova wristwatch I have ever held in my hand and likely one of the oldest yet submitted with the standardized 7 digit s/n.

No apparent plating wear or "egging" of lug holes. Clean glass crystal. Lots of service marks - running and keeping time. Noting mismatched hands. Replacement stitched leather band as shown in ads

Posted January 25, 2021 - 6:47pm


Posted January 25, 2021 - 7:14pm

I am going to play devils advocate.  The ad clearly states hand carved on the gold Executive.   On the gold filled version it does not say engraved.   Makes me wonder if the gold version was engraved and the gold filled unengraved.

Posted January 25, 2021 - 10:35pm

In reply to by JimDon5822

I'm thinking the solid gold was engraved, with a 17J movement; while the gold filled 15J was available engraved or unengraved. That could explain not calling it out like the solid gold version is.

Geoff Baker
Posted January 26, 2021 - 8:51pm

I think 1925 is right based on the open '9' and the s/n. I don't think it's the Executive but other than that I can't find a thing.

Posted January 29, 2021 - 2:54am

I've no problem with it being 1925 as well and I like the notion of the advert stating 'hand engraved' and then not mentioning it for the gold filled version. We've never discussed this before, but I think it has merit.

I'm also thinking that hand engraved meant just that on solid gold cases, were-as gold filled cased the engraving was machine stamped. This would explain why we see different engraving designs on many solid gold cases.

I'd still be at unknown despite this, but I do like it thinking behind it which could very well turn out to be correct.

1925 Bulova unknown

Posted January 29, 2021 - 4:41am

Only un-engraved square mens from this era are the Diplomat and Ambassador, case lugs seems to be different though.

Posted January 29, 2021 - 7:18am

In reply to by mybulova_admin

Diplomat had slightly different shaped lugs. Both Diplomat and Ambassador  had a raised 45 degree line at the crystal corners. Ambassador had an engraved case back. This watch isn't a match to either.

It is a dead match to the 1925 Executive by case shape, 2 piece case and case/crystal measurements. Only difference is no engraving.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the only square watches yet identified  in 1926 or earlier are Diplomat, Ambassador and Executive.

For me, this plus the ad only calling out "hand carved" for solid gold (with no reference to engraving on plated, potentially leaving description as either stamped or not) and the close serial numbers to the only 1925 Executive in the Db is pretty compelling. What is panel consensus?

Geoff Baker
Posted January 29, 2021 - 10:00pm

In reply to by neetstuf-4-u

I'm still at at Unknown Bob, there are dozens of Unknown watches in our dB that we just can't nail down, even as close as they are to named models. This is one of them.

Geoff Baker
Posted February 2, 2021 - 9:12pm

Panel - thoughts? Let's nail this one down.....

Posted February 3, 2021 - 10:11pm

I'm at unknown for now. Bulova didn't really have a lot of variants during this period, except for solid gold vs gold filled, green gold vs yellow gold vs white gold.