1930/1940 Clipper? Unknown? Franken?

I picked this one up on Ebay this week.  My first thought was 'American Clipper', and that is the exact case (compared it to a known Clipper I already had).

When I got it, I realized the dial isn't right.  After searching the ads from 1930 to 1944, I found no dial variants other than the black dial on the Clipper C.  Of course, then I also noticed that the shape of the outer chapter is a poor match for the bezel opening - the shape nips in too much at the ends, and there's an awful lot of empty space around the edges.  Also, the dial is noticeably smaller than the actual Clipper's dial and is dead flat, not curved top-to-bottom like the real Clipper's.

The movement is a 10AN, 15j, marked 'Swiss' and carrying the 'Omega' symbol, meaning 1930 or 1940.  Clippers, AFAIK, were 17j watches.

So, Am I correct to figure this is a Frankenbully?  I was going to make this my first attempt at a DIY restoration, but I think perhaps I'll find another, correct watch to use.

Whaddya think?

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
FifthAvenueRest...
Posted May 7, 2011 - 2:29pm

Wouldn't write it off just yet, there are other Watches that used this Case design and it may possibly be an unknown or a variant.

bourg01
Posted May 8, 2011 - 11:26am

Panel Member

I don't think the dial or movement are original to the case and if the caseback isn't marked with the typical Bulova stamps then it's a re-case. If the case is stamped, then it's mis matched to the movement and dial. 15J Swiss is 1930 I believe.

Elgin Doug
Posted May 8, 2011 - 12:26pm

That's pretty much what I figured.  The case is stamped 'Bulova', so it's a Franken.  Ah, well.  I've paid more for worse!

BTW, turns out there's another reason not to make it my first full resto. project - the hairspring's screwed up.  The overcoil is all bent out of shape.  If you look carefully at the movement shot you can see it looping way out beyond the stud.  Too bad, too, since the balance is otherwise okay, and when I took it apart yesterday there's nice snap to the pallet action, and the train spins smoothly with a slight nudge on the center wheel. 

I'll clean it, see if I can get it working again, and then keep it out of circulation!

bourg01
Posted May 8, 2011 - 1:40pm

Panel Member

You should be able to salvage a good hairspring from another 10AN that's a lost cause for restoring.

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
FifthAvenueRest...
Posted May 10, 2011 - 8:11pm

'GOLDCRAFT'?

Elgin Doug
Posted May 10, 2011 - 8:29pm

Possibly the dial and movement are from a Goldcraft.  The case, OTOH, is identical to the American Clipper case - I set it beside a real Clipper, and it's identical.

I like Bourg01's suggestion to find a junker 10AN movement with a good hairspring.