About Those Academy Award Models

There has been a great deal of discussion on this site about how to identify an Academy Award model.  Our knowledge regarding the many different watches that bear that name has grown--and continues to grow--over time, as additional advertisements are discovered and as we collectively conduct more research.  Recently, I noticed a new member getting rather confused by some old posts on the subject, so I thought a current update on where we stand may be helpful to those just getting to know this great model.

First, it is important to note that we have so far identified only a handful of the Academy Award variants that we believe to exist based on listings in crystal catalogs.  Therefore, we still have much to learn about this series of watches.  The following information represents only what we have observed up to this point in time.

  • The following movements have been found in AAs that have been confirmed through advertisements:  7AA, 7AK, 10BM, 6BC
  • AAs have 21 jewel movements
  • AAs have all gold cases (no stainless backs)
  • Dates of AAs range from 1950 to 1953 at least, and we believe 1954 may also be a relevant date
  • Some of the AAs have movements that date to 1949
  • To date, confirmed AAs have either a curtain or a two-tone "X" dial (also known as a "shadow dial")
  • At least some of the AAs were produced in both white and yellow gold (though the color change may indicate a different variant designation)

In regard to the urban myth--repeated in many posts on this forum--that Bulova was sued by the Academy and lost resulting in a revocation of the right to use the AA name, that story has been proved false by a review of case law and other official records.  However, Bulova and the Academy did enter into an FTC stipulation in Oct. 1952 that changed the way Bulova could advertise the AAs.  An exact re-printing of that stipulation can be found in other posts on this forum.  Based on that information, there is no reason to conclude that Bulova ceased making or selling AAs prior to the end of 1954, when the contract with the Academy is believed (not confirmed) to have ended.

Boys and girls, did I miss anything?


Posted January 22, 2012 - 2:31pm

I should add that we see AA cases used later under different names, such as His Excellency and Martha Washington.   The current understanding is that those other models can be distinguished by their date (past 1954) and their dial (not curtain or shadow).  Time will tell whether those distinctions--particularly the dial design--will hold true.

Posted January 22, 2012 - 2:42pm

The only thing I see that you may want to change is the part about the (no stainless backs), There is at least 1 ladies that is advertised with a stainless back...Page 7, bottom row, second from the left, but I think it would apply to all of the men's AA's.

Posted January 22, 2012 - 2:47pm

Interesting, OT.  That changes the picture on my 1952 model. 

From a review of the AAs currently in the database, none report a stainless back, although a large percentage of the listings did not specify one way or the other, either through the photos or the description.

The fact that we have an ad specifying a stainless back certainly leaves that option open as a possibility.

Posted January 22, 2012 - 2:50pm

Or it could be an ad typo??

Posted January 22, 2012 - 2:55pm

Possibly.  There's another interesting fact about that ad:  it shows neither a curtain nor a shadow dial.  Maybe the trends that have held true for the men's watches do not apply to the ladies' models.

Posted January 22, 2012 - 3:05pm

I think there are more ad's showing the Ladies models without curtain or shadow dials, maybe that is why there are 28 Ladies models...

Posted January 22, 2012 - 3:12pm

Okay, so, OT, bringing our side chat back into the main discussion, it appears that my opening post should be qualified by stating that the trends listed apply to the men's models, while ladies' models have included plain (i.e., non-curtain or shadow) dials and stainless backs.

Anyone disagree with that qualification?

Posted January 22, 2012 - 3:14pm

I would agree with that.

William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted January 22, 2012 - 3:21pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Thanks U 2 for the very helpful summation. It’s very useful, and I time well spent!   

shooter144's picture
Posted January 22, 2012 - 6:46pm

We have to think of womens models kinda like womens shoes...more models, with even the slightest change, is better...us men are not so picky, either its cool, or its not.

Geoff Baker
Posted January 23, 2012 - 6:13am

Club 5000Panel Member

This is good Lisa, very good, thank you.

Admin we need to get the AA 'story' on the homepage updated

Posted January 23, 2012 - 7:40am

 Also the 7AA movement has been seen in Academy watches too.

Posted January 23, 2012 - 10:27am

The 7AA is listed in the first bullet in the original post above. 

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted January 23, 2012 - 8:59am

Ya, I wouldn't view what has been concluded as Gospel.

Posted January 23, 2012 - 10:46am

If you disagree with anything stated, please say so.  This is supposed to be a learning tool for new members and a short-cut through many months of debate, discussion, and research.  If you have something helpful to contribute to the discussion, then please do so.

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted January 23, 2012 - 11:02am

I believe Your statement

"continues to grow--over time, as additional advertisements are discovered and as we collectively conduct more research"

pretty much sums it up.

It's very early in the Game to draw any conclusions as there are several 'UNKNOWNS' to Date without 'X' or 'Ribbed' Dials that show the characteristics of and have a strong potential of being part of the 'ACADEMY AWARD' series of Watches.


Posted January 23, 2012 - 11:11am

I think my post was clear that no "conclusions" are being drawn.  Rather, I said that this is what we believe at this point in time, having, to date, identified only a handful of the known models.  I see no reason for, or value in, the point you are making, as it was already adequately made in the very first post.

P.S.  The watches to which you refer don't have any of the characteristics of an AA--as in not an AA dial and not one of the movements we have seen in AAs.  We have no advertisement at this point that allows us to expand the AA definition to cover those watches.  That is exactly the point of this thread--to discuss what we have evidence to show, and what we do not as of this point in time.

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted January 23, 2012 - 7:39pm

* Note the absense of any minutes register (an 'AA' trait) The 'open' sub Seconds register (an 'AA' trait) The positioning of the numerals (an 'AA' trait) the Gold (filled) Caseback (an 'AA' trait) and 21 Jewel 7 AA Movement (an 'AA' trait)

The Dial design fits perfectly into the Theatrical theme of known 'ACADEMY AWARD' series Watches and the Date is dead on - 1952.

Posted January 23, 2012 - 9:45pm

Club 5000Panel Member

 What has this watch got to do with the AA series. Other than the fact that it has Bulova written on the dial and may have a 21j movement there is nothing else to suggest that this watch is remotely a AA.

Fifth, I'm unsure why you are trying to cloud the discussion with watches that clearly have nothing to do with the subject matter.

Now if you have been hiding an advert from us that shows this watch as an AA, then I'll happily eat my words......but......

Posted January 23, 2012 - 7:43pm

But, alas, still no ad to support it being an AA.

Again, this thread was intended to catch folks up on where we stand at this point on known characteristics of confirmed AAs.  You really don't seem to be helping with that effort.  Instead, you just want to argue about what has not yet been proved.

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted January 23, 2012 - 9:34pm

No arguement from Me Lisa, merely showing and sharing what I personally have observed. Your statement above 'The watches to which you refer don't have any of the characteristics of an AA' was incorrect. The Watch shown has all the charactersitics of an 'AA', check for Yourself. We just haven't seen this design, and others, in print, yet.



You said 'We have to think of womens models kinda like womens shoes'  referring to there being more Models. I would have to disagree with that statement. 'ACADEMY AWARD' variants are listed to the letters "ZZ'. If 26 of those are Womens then the remaining 26 alphabtized variants would be Gents. 

Posted January 23, 2012 - 9:31pm

No, it does not have "all the characteristics" of an AA.  GET REAL.  The characteristics that we have confirmed to date do not include that dial.  It's plain and simple, Fifth, whether you are too hard-headed and argumentative to acknowledge it or not.

AGAIN, this post is about what we have confirmed to date.  The watch you posted does not fit within those confines.

You are wasting everyone's time and confusing the purpose of this post for no reason other than your apparent amusement.  Well, I for one am not amused.  I'm fed up.

I posted this thread to help people who don't know a lot about AAs and who are trying to make sense of many months of conflicting posts and arguments.  It would have been nice of you to aid that effort rather than hinder it, but, clearly, that is just too much to ask of you.