Bulova 1928 -Unknown

Submitted by Silvercloud on May 22, 2021 - 1:32am
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Date Code
Cresent Moon
Movement Jewels
Movement Serial No.
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Case color
Case Manufacturer
Crystal details
25.2mmX22.1mm, tonneau
Watch Description

According to Watchophilia this is a 1928 Ambassador produced to commemorate the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit & Windsor (opened in 1928).  The 1928 Windsor in this database is the companion piece with the same enamel markings but different case shape.

1928 Bulova 'Ambassador' dial
1928 Bulova 'Ambassador' side engraving
1828 Bulova 'Ambassador' 10AN movement
1928 Bulova 'Ambassador' back
Ad from 'The Complete Guide to Watches'
Posted May 22, 2021 - 7:59am

Dear Silvercloud, congrats with the nice watch and thank you for posting it on this website!

Being aware of the story posted on Watchophilia, it is very unlikely this watch is the Ambassador. There are several reasons for that. First of all, the "Complete Price Guide" is a secondary source when it comes to names, and not very reliable. On this site we used one ad from the price guide to identify the Athlete, but well, although not a very "Bulova-like" name, there is no other watch named like this so at least we all know what model we are talking about. That is not the case with the Ambassador. First introduced in an ad of June 1926, it was a long standing model, that with dedicated ads in both the Saturday Evening Post as well as the American Magazine was succeeded by a new Ambassador (not your watch!) in October 1929. The new Ambassador was a star seller, advertised well into 1930 in both national magazines as well as newspapers. And that includes Canada. Theoretically it is possible that Bulova "hi-jacked" a model for a special event and gave it a different name (shortly). They did so in the past, but this was always related to people e.g. Charles Lindbergh, Amalia Earhart, never to an object like a bridge, besides that we will always find an ad to confirm the name. Not so for the subject watch. A last reason: your watch is known already, but all examples are from 1928, while the bridge opened on 15 November 1929. If it were used to commemorate the opening of the bridge, we would find 1929 or 1930 examples. So far we didn't.

All in all, a beautiful watch, clearly a brother of the Windsor, but.....Unknown.

Posted May 22, 2021 - 8:03am

PD, you are missing a "6" between the 5 and 9 of the case serial number. The serial number should read "817 9569".

Posted May 22, 2021 - 4:19pm

Hi Alex

Thanks very much for your reply. I think that the existence of the drawing of the watch on the Watchofilia website means that there was an ad for the watch in some publication but as you have said, it has not been corroborated separately.  I have thousands of Bulova ads on my hard drive & haven't found anything resembling the watch myself.

The name listed in the 'Complete price Guide' could be made up however.  But the resemblance to the Windsor and fact that it was made in the same year could indicate some relationship between the watches as enameling of Bulova watches in that era were pretty distinct.  Even the treatment of the single groove either side of the dial and the engraving on both sides of the watch match the Windsor.  Hopefully an ad will surface at some point to provide a name for the watch but you are right it is a beautiful watch and in remarkable shape for its age showing very little wear. The dial is especially nice with a raised striped pattern and a recessed gold center of the seconds hand. The hour and minute hands are likely replacements and should probably be 'cathedral' hands.  The numbers are raised gold which someone has said may be transitioning toward 1929 or so.

PS Thanks for correcting the serial number.  It should be 8179569.

Geoff Baker
Posted May 22, 2021 - 9:23pm

We have a similar watch in our dB here and have also concluded it is an Unknown model although I note that the dial treatment is different than the subject watch.

1928 Bulova Unknown

Posted May 23, 2021 - 8:24am

That is a great watch, however I am inclined to agree with the Panel and  also say

1928 Unknown

Awaiting a verified period ad.

Posted May 23, 2021 - 9:31pm

1928 Unknown.