Bulova Piping Rock?

Hi again,

 I having way to much fun here! 

 I have a old Bulova that looks just like the hamilton piping  rock, It has a rodiam plated case, it is stamped in the back Bulova watch company , pant. Jan, 11, 1927. It has a black enamal bezal and hinged lugs with the same dial design  like a piping rock.  If it had Hamilton printed on the dial you would think it was a piping rock. I have bought every complete guide to watches since 1984 and I have never seen it and I cant find any referance to it. The watch comes with a 9at movement.  I would like to restore the watch, but I want to know if it is even worth it.

 If anyone knows this watch , name , model, anything, Please let me know.

vintagebulova.com's picture
vintagebulova.com
Posted January 20, 2011 - 9:38pm

Club 5000

Do you have some photos you can post?

Jay

vintagebulova.com

 

Timemachines
Posted January 20, 2011 - 9:56pm

Not right now,  But I'll try in the next day or so to post them. all you have to do is look at a Hamilton Piping rock and imagin a bulova name on the dial. I have never seen one other than this one and I have had it for 15 years.

Timemachines
Posted January 22, 2011 - 11:10am

Ok,  I snapped a couple pics of the mysterious bulova.  I know it dont look like much right now, But I know that when it is restored, it will look and run like new. I just simply dont know what it is. I have been to 50 nawcc shows, and read hundreds of books and never seen it before. Take a look.   Mike........

vintagebulova.com's picture
vintagebulova.com
Posted January 22, 2011 - 2:30pm

Club 5000

Just my two cents, but I would not restore this watch.  I don't know what model it is but it is very rare.  I thinks I may have seen one on EBay many years ago.  The only thing I would do is repair and service the movement.  

Jay

vintagebulova.com

Bob Bruno's picture
Bob Bruno
Posted January 22, 2011 - 2:54pm

Club 5000

Mike I was wondering if there is a case manufacture's name on the inside of the case back. I know Bulova used American Standard Case Co. and Hamilton used the Star Case Co.

Bob

 

Timemachines
Posted January 22, 2011 - 3:00pm

Inside the ase back it reads Bulova Quality , Pant. Jan. 11, 1927  case # 6229703

These are the only markings on the case, the movement is a 9at with a creasant moon, so it is from 1927.  I do have all the parts to make it right again.

Timemachines
Posted January 22, 2011 - 3:02pm

Maybe this is the Bulova proto type, that Hamilton stole from Bulova !  LOL

WatchCrystals.net's picture
WatchCrystals.net
Posted March 19, 2011 - 7:15pm

Who "borrowed it," from ELGIN... (i.e. The "inspiration" therefore, anyway!) Or whichever case manufacturer dreamt it up, more likely???

 

:-)  Scott

 

P.S. And then there's also the similar bezeled WESTFIELD: "AIR KING," from 1929:

 

Wayne Hanley's picture
Wayne Hanley
Posted January 22, 2011 - 3:27pm

Mike I have a 1928 cresent moon 15 jewel 9AT movement serial number 313281, so that puts your 324928 cresent moon in 1928. 

I think Bob Bruno has a Hamilton Piping Rock. Why don't you guys trade measurements. Maybe that would help to compare.

Wayne

Timemachines
Posted January 22, 2011 - 3:53pm

Good, Idea, My watch is 37.5mm from lug to lug ends, and 26mm wide less the crown, as crowns might be differant.

 I use to have a Hamilton Piping rock, but I liked the wopping $700.00 I got out of it, back in 1984, But I wonder if the guy would sell it back to me today for the same price !  LOL, I doubt it. :)  I think they are bringing around 2300 now.

Your right about the date, I wasn't thinking right I guess.1928

 I wonder if this thing would fetch that kind of money?

 

Mike........

Bob Bruno's picture
Bob Bruno
Posted January 22, 2011 - 4:58pm

Club 5000

Mike, my Piping Rock is a 1948 model 40mm Lug to lug 30mm wide less the crown. Does your watch have the pivoting lugs like the Hamilton?

Bob

Bob Bruno's picture
Bob Bruno
Posted May 9, 2011 - 4:07pm

Club 5000

I recently found out my Piping Rock is actually a 28 model. Apparently the hands are not correct and closer to the 48 model. Though they are not from a 48 PR. Guess it doesn't really matter, just wanted to set the record straight on my watch.

Bob B

Timemachines
Posted January 22, 2011 - 5:13pm

Hi Bob,

Yes the lugs are hinged and they are real tight and they will lay out perfectly flat.   I'm not sure when the first Hamilton came out, but the Bulova is much older.

 See I was right, Hamilton did steel it from Bulova!   LOL

 I'm joking of course, But I do like the watch. I have had it for the last 15 years or so and I thought I might just get to it and fix it up.  I know that some people dont like the watches that are restored,  maybe thats because some people dont know how to properly restore them. But I specialize in restoring vintage watches. I believe that other the a dial refinish, you would have a hard time telling that it was not stock.   I like watches that look prestine and not all beat up, but this is just my opinion.

 Mike.... 

 

Bob Bruno's picture
Bob Bruno
Posted January 22, 2011 - 5:27pm

Club 5000

I feel the same way Mike. I'm not a fan of patina on a watch dial. I don't mind a dial that shows a little age, it gives a watch some character. I think most "patina" is really just the glue seeping to the front of the dial. Oh and I think the PR was released  in 1929. It was given to the 28 Yankees as a World Series gift, but You probably knew that.

Bob

Wayne Hanley's picture
Wayne Hanley
Posted January 22, 2011 - 5:30pm

I love it!!!!!!

One mans patina is another mans dirt! I like pristine. I am going to start selling patina in 1 ounce bottle on ebay.

Wayne

Bob Bruno's picture
Bob Bruno
Posted January 22, 2011 - 5:40pm

Club 5000

Wayne.......... you a funny guy :)

Timemachines
Posted January 22, 2011 - 6:19pm

Hay Bob,

I did not know thay gave the PR out as a trophy, That is really cool, See you can teach a old dog new tricks!  LOL

 I love learning new things.  M..

Bob Bruno's picture
Bob Bruno
Posted January 22, 2011 - 6:42pm

Club 5000

Mike I was going to post a picture of an engraved actual Yankee pr but I think admin would disapprove of posting non bulova watches. :)

Bob

mybulova_admin
Posted January 22, 2011 - 10:34pm

Club 5000Panel Member

If its relevant to the topic at hand and not the focus, it's fine to post bob.

Timemachines
Posted January 22, 2011 - 7:01pm

Thanks ayway's,

 Now maybe we can find out what this thing is, We know it was made in 1928, but what did Bulova call it? Did Bulova make them for the public, or is it just a fluke, that they may have made a few of ?  I would think if they were mass produced, that Bulova would have had some old ads, write ups, or some sort of documantation , so if anyone see's this crider out there , Please let me know.  Mike....

Wayne Hanley's picture
Wayne Hanley
Posted January 22, 2011 - 7:16pm

We know that the movement was made in 1928. I would think that whoever designed it or made it, did so at a later date than 1928. It looks like a simple square stock frame, with the movement & bezel fit for the frame.Any guess on the type of metal used on the frame? How is the watch attached to the frame? It very well could have been made by a handy watchmaker/machinist. Ya recon?

Wayne

Bob Bruno's picture
Bob Bruno
Posted January 22, 2011 - 7:25pm

Club 5000

I think you might be right Wayne. Didn't we just hear a story about a guy who worked for Bulova that made his own one of a kind watch?

Bob

 

Wayne Hanley's picture
Wayne Hanley
Posted January 22, 2011 - 7:30pm

Mike

Check the 2011 Complete Guide to Watches, AM Waltham page 652 marked 1927 & 653. Frames are pretty close, although they show the bezel numbers in arabic. Using the same source, check for a European connection. for the bezel.

Wayne

Timemachines
Posted January 22, 2011 - 7:48pm

Well, I'm quite sure that Bulova did indeed make this watch. The watch back looks to be steal, with a rodium plating, and the frame maybe nickel or other base metal also rodium plated. I'm sure that if a watchmaker made it he would have not taken the time to stamp bulove quality and serial #'s in the case.

 The hinge's are so tight and professional made, that I woud think this took some presice equipment to achive.  

 It very well could be a proto type watch that Bulova produced to test the market and maybe at the time, it didn't go over well enough to mass produce.

 Maybe it was like the Bulova / Omega tuning fork dispute, where Bulova sued Omega for making the tunning fork f300 series and Bulova won for pantent infringements.

 Maybe Hamilton had something going with this design and Bulova felt they could not / did not want to compete so they just trashed the design. It sounds like they both may have came out at or around the same time.

 I wonder if one could look up the pantents that bulova applied for back in 1927/ 28 and see if the designs are in the US pantent office?

 It's a puzzeler!!!!!!!!!!!

Stephen Ollman's picture
Stephen Ollman
Posted January 22, 2011 - 10:59pm

Club 5000Panel Member

My 2 cents.

Both the movement and back case may very well not be genuine to the case.

Is the back case attached to the main body?. If not who's to say that the front is a product of Bulova.

All it would take to make this watch is a spare movement (a case screw it missing), a Bulova stamped back plate for the late 20s and a rounded dial.

The back is a total different metal from the front case. I've never seen this on a Bulova case from the 20s/30s. They always match are are usually gold filled or rolled gold.

I've also never seen a Bulova ad showing this model and I have alot of ads from the 20s and early 30s.

As vintagebulova said I too have seen something similar go around on ebay a few times, but was never convinced it was the real deal.

Frankinbulova is my call....sorry timemachine!!

Happy to be proven wrong.

OldTicker
Posted January 22, 2011 - 10:56pm

Interesting watch... Experimental Design? Testing the Market?

Just think of all the old Files that got dumped when Bulova sold out...Kind of sad!

 

Timemachines
Posted January 22, 2011 - 11:07pm

Good point of view, BUT, ( There's alway's a but)   Your not talking with a novis here, I have been working on watches for more then 25 years on a daily basis, This is not my first rodio!  I also make custom watches, for many people all over the world as a matter of fact. So now I will only say that it is my strong professional opinion that this watch is 100% manufactured  from Bulova, and I would stake my reputation on  it.

 Since I work on only watches, I'm a pretty good judge for a real watch over a made up one. I'm sure that alot of watches out there that no one else has ever seen as well.

 I'm not trying to knock the wind out of your sales here at all,  I will just say we disagree on this one.

  Mike.....

plainsmen
Posted January 22, 2011 - 11:09pm

Club 5000Panel Member

I loves me some healthy debate.... (pops some popcorn and sits down to watch)

OldTicker
Posted January 22, 2011 - 11:17pm

Funny there is no Dust Cover... Bulova was heavy into that in the late 20's

Timemachines
Posted January 22, 2011 - 11:23pm

It's real simple, In the 20's and 30's all the watch manufactures were playing with all the new tech, of the day, They started to mixing metals, and plating in differant way;s ect. A gold filled case is a thin layer of gold stamped ofer a base metal, I have seen the base in copper , brass, nickel, and even white metal. All that had been plated or filled. It was the earlie 30's when they started to put solid steal backs on watches as they would not be so corrisive on the arm.

 I cant tell you how many cases that I have rebuilt the ends of the lugs that were worn off, by either the steal bands cutting into them or the spring bars wearing them out.  I away's have to figure out the base metal before i can weld them up and redrill them.

 So in the end, watch case manufactures did use many differant metals for the cases.

 Just because you haven't seen it, dosent meen it dosent exsist.  (I'm looking at one)  Again, just my opinion.  Mike.....

Timemachines
Posted January 22, 2011 - 11:24pm

 I like you guy's, I hope you dont kick me out  :)

 

plainsmen
Posted January 22, 2011 - 11:32pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Meh.. they haven't kicked me out yet and I'm raising cain all the time.. your fine!

Timemachines
Posted January 22, 2011 - 11:27pm

Hi oldticker! 

Your right, Bulova used dust covers on most of there hinged caces, not on the snap backs. 

 Good to see ya here     Mike.......

OldTicker
Posted January 22, 2011 - 11:50pm

Thanks Mike,

I am not a watchmaker, just a collector, and a amateur at that (only 20 years), but looking at the pictures you provided, I have to ask a couple of questions.

1. Does the Crystal  protect the Chapter Ring or does it fit inside?, seems that it looks good compared to the case.

2.You should be able to see some sort of Soldering that mates the 2 totally different housings togather.

3. Is the movement held in place like a Pocket watch, and also removed the same way?

not judging, just asking for knowledge...

Greg

plainsmen
Posted January 22, 2011 - 11:51pm

Club 5000Panel Member

you got mail Mike

Stephen Ollman's picture
Stephen Ollman
Posted January 23, 2011 - 2:22am

Club 5000Panel Member

Until there is some hard evidence that Bulova manufactuered this watch as a whole, then I'm at odds as to count this is a true Bulova model. Like I said I'm always more than happy to be proven wrong and eat my words. Evidence is what is making this site far better than it ever has been and If I get egg on my face through someone finding the evidence, hey I'm a happy camper with egg on my face :-)

If the backcase was hinged to the  front then you'd have me drooling over this watch, but as I see it,  anyone could have placed a Bulova movement inside with a back case.

This is all part of the fun (I hope) in putting all the pieces together to finaly put an end to all those wonderful mysterious Bulova's.

Whilst you may think I can't truely say it isn't a Bulova, I say that you can't truely say it is.

Just think though, if its proven to be authentic, how much it will be worth!!

PS... I utterly respect all the knowledge and history here on the myBulova.com site, but now for the first time (in a long time) we are finally in a real position to 'positively' identify a Bulova watch. This has never been possible before on this scale.

Timemachines
Posted January 23, 2011 - 12:15pm

Ok, Facts we know:

1. The watch case is made from a rodium plated base metal

2. The watch case is a stamp process not cast, ( I see shear marks between lug's)

3. The back is marked with pant. date and serial # and it a perfect fit snap back

4. the bezal is a snap fit , like the back ,  Black Enameled that has a crystal groove for the crystal to be inserted (like the piping rock)

5. The movement is a perfect fit and loads from the top after the bezal is removed with two case screws in the mack to mount it with.

6. The lugs are hinged like the PR

7. No solder marks on case as you would expect.

8. Movement dates to 1928 , 9at ser# 313261  Cresant moon

9. pant. date jan, 11. 1927

10. ser# C229703 ( the C could be a 6)

11. dial look original, marked swiss at the bottom of dial (stamped into the metal dial)

12. From a guy who has a 12 power loop in the backside of more then 100 watches every month for the last 25 years (thats alot of watches) say's it is original and not made up by any individual watchmaker.

 

 I know that it is a rare watch. I have tried to look into pantents for Joeshp Bulova for 1927, but tracking the pantents  without a spacific pantent # is tough!  I really dont care myself if it was custom made by a individual as that would be really cool as well, but there is nothing to tell me this happened, no signatures other then Bulova. I make custom watches all the time, and I'm proud to show my work and I do sign peices as any artist would.

 I think that Some people think that because they havent seen it before, it never exsisted, but I can tell you for a fact, I have gone to many NAWCC shows I have come accross the most strange stuff there that I have never seen.

 The art of watchmaking is a wonderful  thing, and it is my beliefe that this watch just never made it to mass production, and that happens alot. How mny times have we watch tv or read a book of really cool cars that GM made that never made it to production? Well, I think this is one of those cridders.

 Your turn!    Mike..

vintagebulova.com's picture
vintagebulova.com
Posted January 23, 2011 - 12:22pm

Club 5000

Whether this watch is a prototype, custom, or a rarely seen production model it's one cool Bulova that I'm certain any one of us would love to own.

Jay

vintagebulova.com

PS - You've got a lot of us looking through every scrap of watch info we can get our hands on to find out what it is.

 

Timemachines
Posted January 23, 2011 - 12:59pm

Well, I just sent a e-mail to Bulova and I'll see if they give me any idea's, hint's or some solid fact's.

 I peosonally dont think that anyone would make this up. Stephan say's he needs hard proof this was made by Bulova, but to me it's a smoking gun! It has only Bulova writtin all over it, and it seems like he would need alot of proof that it wasn't made by anyone except Bulova!

 Take the case for instance, The case was stamped out, not a cast. This would take a huge die, that would cost  tens of thousands of dollars back in 1928 to produce. A indiviual would simply make a wax mold and cast it.

 No one would ever spend that kind of money on fitting dies, enamel process, ect, without having a plan to mass produce it.

 I DONT KNOW WHAT IT IS? But I'm sure it's a Bulova!

 

 Mike.....

plainsmen
Posted January 23, 2011 - 2:45pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Unfortunately contacting Bulova will not be your answer... please read the post I submitted last week:

www.mybulova.com/node/1354

Timemachines
Posted January 23, 2011 - 1:06pm

I found a Westfield (made by Bulova ) back in the earlie 30's with a simular design, and that makes me think that the design was on there minds. 

William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted May 19, 2012 - 1:55pm

Club 5000Panel Member

December 1929 Westfield Ad in The American Magazine, advertising the Westfield watch above.

 

Timemachines
Posted January 23, 2011 - 1:46pm

Hay Wayne,

I did go look at the book and your right on 653, the Waltham looks real close to this watch. I also had no idea that Waltham made one like it.

 I'm sure that some watch case makers like star ect. probably made up proto type watches that they could show to the big watch manufactures, But I would think if this were the case, that the case would just be marked with the case manufactures name, not the watch manufactures name.

 It's certainly fun to find out, I hope we as a team can find the answer.  Mike....

Wayne Hanley's picture
Wayne Hanley
Posted January 23, 2011 - 2:30pm

The evidence says that this is a Bulova watch. The site displays quite a few Bulova Unknowns without any source data to back them up & we hope that someone will identify them someday. I think if we accept it as a Bulova (which I do) it will be a publicity draw for myBulova.com. Let the world attempt to shoot down it's authenticity or confirm it. The evidence is going to come from outside the site, we have been discussing it for two days and everything I see about the watch screams authentic. This thread proves our interest in it. Rather than condem it because we never saw one before, make it known that one of our members has of a One of a Kind Bulova from ca. 1928.

Wayne  

 

simpletreasures
Posted January 23, 2011 - 2:56pm

AMEN Wayne! ..............Bob

Bob Bruno's picture
Bob Bruno
Posted January 23, 2011 - 4:01pm

Club 5000

I'm leaning towards real Bulova. I'm thinking it's a proto type never released due to some sort of patent

problem.

Bob

Timemachines
Posted January 23, 2011 - 8:32pm

LOL!

 I was just looking over the entire post, and I noticed that I'm a much better watchmaker than a typest! 

 Sorry for the typo's.  I feel dum........... no that's dumb isn't it!!!!   LOL

simpletreasures
Posted January 23, 2011 - 8:43pm

I wouldn't loose any sleep over the TYPO'S Mike we all get our tongues wraped around our "EYE TEETH" and can't see what were typing!!

Timemachines
Posted March 18, 2011 - 3:24pm

Just thought I would show the Bulova Piping Rock after a new crystal, dial reprint, staff, and cleaning.

 I sure would like to find out what this is.

 Mike..

plainsmen
Posted March 18, 2011 - 3:41pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Wow... that is a great looking refurb.  Good job Mike!