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Bulova 1927 -Unknown

Submitted by Reverend Rob on October 13, 2017 - 12:40am
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

This one is an oldie, part of an estate. The case is White Gold Filled, and oddly, the dial appears to be white gold filled also, or white gold plate of some kind, and originally highly polished. There is no evidence of any Radium on the dial or in the hands, but I will be testing this when I get to the shop and use the Geiger Counter. It's possible the Radium was removed, but the dial will still be hot.

EDIT: The dial shows no trace of radioactivity, and neither do the hands. 


The movt is a 6AF, which is an FHF 332, like the 6AE, 6AB, 6AR, 6AS, and 6AW. 

15 jewels and in surprisingly good condition for its advanced age, with original dust shield made of celluloid. A very petite and good looking ladies watch. I originally thought the crown might be a replacement, but I have seen several now in the Debutante series that are the same as this, just a gold filled crown.  This is the condition as found, and we will be doing the CTR and cleaning up the case and putting on a new strap also. 

1927 Bulova watch
1927 Bulova watch
1927 Bulova watch
1927 Bulova watch
1927 Bulova watch
Posted October 13, 2017 - 12:54pm

Hi Reverend Rob, super interesting watch! It is very much like the woman's sports model Debutante as introduced in 1927: it has the same case with spring lugs, the same dial (although this one is polished and originally had the radium numbers, you will see when you test it with the geigerteller), the same hands, same side laurel leaf engraving on the bezel. I have seen hundreds of these early art deco ladies watches until now, and I have found 6 variations of the Debutante, but this watch ads variation number 7 to the collection. Nice find! Since we don't have an exact ad of this 7th variation: Unknown for now.

Posted October 14, 2017 - 4:16am

1928 works better for me based on the case serial and fits in with the 'ladies sport' model that wa popular in 1928/29.

Plain case model certainly isn't common or known to us, so I'm also with 'Unknown'.

I'm curious to see what the geiger reads when you test it.

Posted October 14, 2017 - 4:36am

But did you know that American Standard signatures as used in 1926 and 1927, but with numbers starting with 8 and 9 always have a 1927 movement. So the case signature seems to be leading. In 1928 Bulova switched to New York case signatures. Those always have 1928 movements. And the case serial numbers don’t overlap between the two signatures...... 

Geoff Baker
Posted October 14, 2017 - 6:40am

I'm taking 'Unknown' route as well. It never ceases to amaze me how these heretofore unseen/unknown watches just keep popping out of sock drawers.

Reverend Rob
Posted October 14, 2017 - 10:13pm

While I do see an element or two of the Debutante series, what we have as evidence in the ads seems to only show an engraved bezel version. This one does have engarving on the sides, but it is minimal in comparison.

If the dial was polished at some point, it would have easily stripped off the numerals, so I am betting the original finish is this polished one. In the close up, it does look a bit cloudy and spotty, but appears less so under normal light and from a distance. 

Despite my suspicions that the dial was originally Radium, there is absolutely no trace of Radioactivity anywhere, not even the hands. Normally I can even find spikes in Radiation on the movt if it has had a Radium dial, but here there is nothing. 

I'd have to agree with unknown at this point as well, and Alex has a good point with the 1927 signature on the case.

EDIT: Also, anybody know what patent (1924) they are referring to in the signature? I've seen the patent change to '1927' and I used to think maybe it referred to the dust cover. It seems odd that a 1928 watch wouldn't have the '27 patent

Posted October 14, 2017 - 9:46pm

I'm thinking that the cases may have been produced on mass in 1927, but where serial stamped later in 28/29 as demand required....just a thought. I can't see Bulova mixing up their serial number method for the sake of it.

Posted October 15, 2017 - 1:33am

I also don’t understand why they did it. I will send you an overview via email.