Bulova 1941 Knickerbocker

Submitted by Murray Bollen on December 27, 2009 - 11:49am
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Date Code
Movement Jewels
Movement Serial No.
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Case color
Case Manufacturer
Watch Description

17 Jewels

Bulova watch
Bulova watch
Bulova watch
Posted October 17, 2010 - 3:29am

Greetings, all...


There are at least nine Bulova models that take the same watch crystal as the Knicker and the Clinton. Can anyone here discern what is unique to these two "look alikes" (Clinton or Knickerbocker) aside from the apparent 1946+ (Clinton)  and 1948+ (Knick) production dates?

I see no mention of the "Knickerbocker" prior to 1948...  And I believe this movement dates the Knick then to 1948- 1951+ vs. 1941? And while on the subject... using "symbols" stamped on movements vs. serial nos on case backs might be useful as a secondary check... however often enough, movements were simply "recased" or otherwise later reused to utilize the excess stock... as movements in particular, were hardly inexpensive, to produce! And therefore unless one ALSO has access to production run data for comparritive analysis, there isn't really a foolproff way to accurately DATE the finished timepiece, by any less than the sum of it's parts = a finished good, ready for sale!

I've frankly already noticed several production dates here that were quite obviously "guesstimates," perhaps based entirely on the movement symbols, which may or may not be 100% accurate, either? Has anyone POSTED the Bulova production run numbers and serial no. sequences here or anywhere online, to more accurately DATE these Bullies? I don't see a serial no. on the caseback... and one can only post (3) images here which is frankly inadequate, in my view. (Case in point... no close up case back image, = no "double check" confirmation, on production...) And where is this "production data," to be found?? I know people who have it, but it must also be posted somewhere, online???

Regardless of the details and cosmetics... this was quite obviously a very POPULAR accessorized "look" (and watch case design) in the mid 40s through 1951+ ! If anyone else has photos of a model that takes a crystal approx. 19mm square and/or sports the "bullet" lugs that distinguish both this model and the Clinton, please post them!? (Or similar/likely WWII military release... sporting a like sized +/- 19mm square view window!?)


 BEST :-)  William

Wayne Hanley
Posted October 17, 2010 - 4:11pm

In reply to by WatchCrystals.net

Welcome to the club William.  As far as naming & dating Bulovas, there is no source data on Bulova watches that can give accurate information on manufacturing date of the movements, except for the date symbol.  Sure I have a problem with that also. But we work with what we have.  The principles that this site was founded on is right on the homepage. We are trying to build a database with pictures, movement date symbols, and any information in the database can be changed, if it can be factually proven that the entry is not correct. If anyone see's a mistake in my listings I would be happy if someone would tell me about it. However, for example, don't just note that something is wrong, without a suggestion to make it right, with source data to back it up.

I quote "And where is this "production data," to be found?? I know people who have it, but it must also be posted somewhere, online???" We would be glad to aquire any accurate technical data to verify Bulova models and manufature date.

Thanks for Caring


Posted October 17, 2010 - 2:27am

William, it seems that you have a valuable resource in the crystal catalog.

If you ever feel the kindness and generosity swell up in you I'd be more than happy to add a section to this site that details this information :-)

I'm not aware of any definitive listing of case vs serial numbers vs models.

You can bet your bottom dollar that Bulova themselves don't even have this information and I kinda doubt it was ever compiled......someone pleeeeease prove me wrong.

Posted October 18, 2010 - 4:56am

There is indeed a "methodology" to doing so... as one of my associates has proven time and again. I don't know how he goes about "dating" watches in general, but movements ALONE are inadequate, for doing so... for the reasons I pointed out, above, etc. Incidentally, it would appear the "inaccurate" production datings mainly relate to using movement symbology, as aforementioned? However, the inaccuracies I was referring to all seem to be around then years off, either direction... which is intriguing, I think? (Cases in point: 1951, vs '41, "Knicherbocker," 1938 vs. 48, "Rite Angle," etc.)  I already corrected a guy on one 1940 vs. '32 President "F" model... which he amended, thereafter... And of course the only way to avoid "miss dating," etc., in general is to police it, which I doubt is very realistic to Stephen or anyone else, to keep up with???

But the bottom line on production and release dates, model IDs, etc. is eventually finding more comparitive data for a refined "double check" analysis... Gruen, for instance was ultimately sold (like most) and all the records were discarded, thereafter!? However... at least most 1940ish + models were stamped inside the caseback with the movement &/or model numerics. (In: 2, 3 or 4 digits, or XXX - YYY +/- speak.) Bulova however only used watch serials and movement serial and date markings. So unless one has a vintage illustration or the like, then it comes down to serial no. production runs/dates... which DO exist somewhere, I suspect??? I'll also look into it. Has anyone perused the various watchmaker guilds and the like, online? That's where I got most of the Hamilton data to add around 200 models (and since added photo IDs) on eBay...


BEST :-) William


Posted October 18, 2010 - 6:16am

An interesting point (and I'm wondering where the "Knickerbocker" ID originated?) the Dials are all being redone at International Dial... on the several images sets I have saved (and am now trying to make sure I have 100% straight, on my crystal listings on eBay?) for the Clinton and Knickerbocker models... As Wayne pointed out, the Knicker here doesn't sport the sub second numerals, as the Clinton examples do... HOWEVER, I also now have photos of a CLINTON with no numerals EITHER, recently redone by International, then resold, on eBay... Furthermore, almost NO DIAL from say around 1950 back, hasn't been redone at least once, no matter what the reseller claims! (Just ask any dial refinisher?)  So unless one specifies that they want numerals there, then they may not get them? And therefore I'm afraid (although it may well be a simple "ommision" on the part of International, on one dial?) we can't use that detail (just yet) to claim it's a Clinton vs. Knickerbocker hallmark... until we have several (ugly) ORIGINAL dials, to compare and contrast! So for now... the 8AK movement (above) is a 1948+ Knick... and the 1945+ (round) 8AH movement, is the Clinton... Am I right!? :-)


Best :-)  William

Wayne Hanley
Posted October 19, 2010 - 3:24pm

In reply to by WatchCrystals.net


You are correct in the differences of these two watches as stated above. Be aware that I only compared the difference in these two watches. I don't have any knowledge of these watches, except to point out the difference that I noticed, as you asked.  You are absolutly right of the need to aquire as many pictures of Clinton and Knickerbockers for accurate comparitive analysis. Happy Hunting!



Posted October 22, 2010 - 4:47am

Ok... well, as aforementioned, there are in fact some 9+ different models sporting the same bezel opening, and I just found another vintage ad among several received that includes the 1948 "Chief," model... It of course only mentions the name, but it looks just like a Clinton, or Knickerbocker! And as aforementioned, there is also another "Director" model, and a "Rockland," that one or the other may well be just as similar?! 

So, after since also looking briefly at movements (not my area of interest, frankly) it would appear that the 1941 dating for the Knickerbocker is then likely correct... and the Clinton was released in 1946, then apparently the Chief model, in 1948... (I'll add a cropped photo of the Chief illustration, from the 1948 Saturday Evening post display ad, as well...)

I suspect, as par... that it ultimately comes down to making variants of a "good seller." This case syle was obviously quite popular, so the 1946 "Clinton" was a new name for the "Knicker," with a change of movement... And therefore in 1948 I suspect the movment was again changed, for the rename to the "Chief?"

As for the other five that take the same glass window, I suspect that several more will surface here shortly... and that's why I posted all this, on the "Knickerbocker" thread! (Apologies, Murray :-)


My Best :-)  William




Posted March 11, 2011 - 6:24am

Displaying the written descriptions accompanying any ad images certainly would aid in correct model ID's.

Posted February 26, 2015 - 8:32am

Absolutely no issue there William.

Nothing wrong with healthy debate.

My source for the ID of this watch was the actual advert it overlays, plus the date code.

A little late in getting back but I'm now retiring and able to focus on life's pleasures.