Bulova 1944 Minute Man

Submitted by Larry Boerio on November 23, 2023 - 11:44pm
Manufacture Year
1944
Movement Model
10AK
Movement Jewels
17
Case Serial No.
4217527
Case shape
Tonneau
Case color
Yellow
Case Manufacturer
Bulova
Crystal details
23.5 (H) x 21.6 (W at widest point)
Gender
Mens
Watch Description

Back Plate:

Outside: Serial # 4217527. This would mean 1942. Can’t be sure if this is the original back plate.

Inside: BULOVA 10K ROLLED GOLD PLATE BEZEL STERLING BASE STAINLESS BACK NEW YORK.

From Movement:

17 Jewels

BULOVA WATCH Co U.S.A.”

10 AK is inscribed inside a rectangular drawn box.

All lettering is in gold.

“Chain Link” type gold wristband:

Pat 2097055 USA (I have copy of patent issued in 1937) for “Extensible Bracelet Clasp”

Clasp is marked “1/20-12K Gold Filled”

If info I was given is correct:

Given by my mother to my father before they married in 1948.

I’m fairly certain that they did not meet until he got discharged in May 1946.

Front
Movement
Back plate
Inside back cover
With wristband
Larry Boerio
Posted November 24, 2023 - 5:53pm

In reply to by Kathy L.

HI Kathy,

Thank you for your expert input. I am new at all this, so I’m glad to receive your thoughts and consideration of my watch. I can see now that it is clearly a Minute Man. Thank you!

However, I’m not certain that it’s 1944 and would appreciate your comments and further clarification considering the following information:

As mentioned in my information I recorded with posting the watch, I recall being told that my mother got this for my father before they were married. My IMPRESSION was that it was shortly before they married and perhaps as a wedding gift from her to him. They married 6/2/48. BTW, I was born 6/2/51!~  In any event, if my impression is incorrect,  I am more certain that they did not meet until he got discharged from the Navy in May 1946 although I’m not completely certain of that either. There’s always the possibility that they met while he was in the service, or even before, and she purchased the watch for him then. More possibly complicating is that the watch was probably worked on once or more before they gave it to me in the early 1990’s; although my father had not worn it in MANY years. It was not operational when they gave it to me so I can’t be sure if it was ever worked on before I received it.

Of course, I would assume that just because a watch was made in a certain year doesn’t preclude a retailer from selling it new along with a current year’s models. Would you agree?

After I received the watch I took the watch to the family jeweler who had rented his original store for many years from my grandfather prior to when this watch came into existence. He/his son did the necessary repairs. I’m very certain that the back plate with the serial number was the plate as I received the watch but have no way of knowing if that plate was original to the watch, or not. It’s not too difficult to imagine that the watch may have been damaged or the back plate had come loose and was lost previously and another plate was used to solve the matter. The jeweler was well adept at restoring watches with spare parts he kept.

In looking at the advertisements shown on my Bulova.com for 1944, I see no Minute Man in the limited selection there. However, I see a number of matches for Minute Man watches in adverts from 1947 and 1948 which would sync with my memory of when my mother bought this for my father. There are not adverts for Minute Man watches in the shape of my watch from 1942 -1948 other than these two years.

I realize that the collection of adverts online is probably just a small sample from those years; but it’s most interesting that it is only 1947 and 1948 that show my Minute Man watch; while matching my understanding for when this was purchased and given to my father.

Also, I note that the link you provided for the 1944 Minute Man reference watch is one of those advertisements in 1947.

Last, the movement for that reference watch shows a circle for the date code which is for 1944. However, my movement has no such circle and no date code at all; which if it was a 1947 or 1948 it should have 47 or 48 inscribed according to myBulova’s date table for movements.

So, I’m left perplexed about the date. For me personally, it’s more about being certain of the date as a way of verifying the accuracy of my memory of the watch being given post war, shortly before they were married. It’s a touching story to me and I hold it dear, especially when I tell people about the watch.

Any comments you can make would be most appreciated.

Thank you!

Larry Boerio

1955mercury
Posted November 24, 2023 - 6:32pm

In reply to by Larry Boerio

Hi Larry. I see a date code of "X" on the movement, which would make it a 1943 movement. It's common to see a year difference between the movement and the case. 

Larry Boerio
Posted November 25, 2023 - 2:44am

In reply to by 1955mercury

1955 Merc, 

Thanks for your observation. I had thought that was a "+" sign. 

BTW, my parents had a 1950 Merc when I was growing up. 

 

Kathy L.
Posted November 24, 2023 - 11:20pm

In reply to by Larry Boerio

Here we now date by the case as the movement can be replaced.  As mercury said a year between the movement and case is very common.  We have determined that in the 40's the year is determined by the first digit in the serial number on the men's watches.  

There is a lack of ads during the war years which is probably why we don't see them sooner.  The Minute Man was very popular and it a very nice piece to your family story.  It is very possible that your mother bought it a few years after it was made, probably also because of the war stock, but I am just guessing.  

neetstuf-4-u
Posted November 24, 2023 - 1:16pm

Agreed,

1944 Minute Man 

Kathy L.
Posted November 24, 2023 - 11:22pm

Here is an ad from 24 Aug 1944 Daily News.  There are actually quite a few ads in 1944 on Newspapers : )

1944 ad

plainsmen
Posted November 24, 2023 - 11:43pm

Yep... thats a beautiful Bulova Minuteman from the mid 1940's. 

1955mercury
Posted November 25, 2023 - 6:27am

Inside the case back is stamped "Sterling base". That's another indication this watch was made during the war years because nearly all the steel supply was being used by the military. If the case is left uncleaned for a long period of time it will turn black. That's the silver tarnish bleeding through the gold plating.