comparing Crockett/Commander/Clipper cases and dials

OK, so I dug out some of my needs attention watches and came up with examples of a 1936 Crockett, a 1936 Commander, a 1937 Clipper and an unknown that appears to be in a Clipper case but with a Commander type of dial.  All of these have 10AE movements most 17 jewels and one 15 jewel.

From left to right:  1937 Clipper 10AE  17J movement, 1938 Unknown 10AE 17J movement, 1936 Crockett 10AE17J movement, 1936 Commander 10AE 15J movement.

With these sitting side by side it is easier to compare and contrast each case and dial.

Here is a close up of each in the same order as the first picture.

Clipper -


unknown with what appears to be a Clipper case but with full numbering like a Commander -

Crockett , this is the only of the four that has a hinged case -

And Commander -

With these side by side examples it should be easier to differentiate between the cases on these quite similar models.

Posted February 4, 2012 - 6:24pm

WOW, very informative and great layout . Thanks David

Posted February 4, 2012 - 6:44pm

This is very good information.  What would also be helpful is to post the case and crystal measurements for each one.

We can start with these, which are the GS crystal specs for the American Clipper and Crockett:

American Clipper - MH525 - 25.7 x 16.7

Crockett - H462 - 23.8 x 16.3

Posted February 5, 2012 - 12:06pm

Panel Member

The Black dial unknown could be a "American Clipper C". Dial layout can vary or may have been swapped out by the jeweller at the point of sale. Still a good bet it's Clipper variant.

Posted February 5, 2012 - 12:11pm

Wrong dial for the "C", so can't be the "C" variant.  May be some American Clipper variant, but we don't have an ad showing which one.

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted February 5, 2012 - 12:56pm

Can't be the 'C' because it doesn't have the Bracelet either.

: )



Setting aside the 'COMMANDER' and 'CROCKETT' how do the 2 Cases compare dimensionwise?

Case and Crystal


are they both stamped, if so in what manner?

Posted February 5, 2012 - 4:47pm

Both cases are stamped in the typical bulova manner.

Inside the case back marked Bulova Fifth Ave New York on both cases, on the outside -

Commander case 6 O'clock end:  B - 10k Rolled Gold Plate

                              12 O'clock end:  Serial number 6360726

Crockett case       6 O'clock end:  Serial number 6313918

                              12 O'clock end:  B - 10k Rolled Gold Plate

The Commander case crystal measures 19.32mm x 24.13mm and the case measures

25.40mm x 28.30mm not including the lugs  woth the lugs it is 35.49mm.


The Crockett case measures 25.30mm x 29.83mm not including the lugs and 36.50mm with the lugs.

I will post the crystal mesurements in a day or so as I want to stabilize the cracked glass before trying to remove it so matching a new one up will be a bit easier.

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted February 5, 2012 - 4:57pm

Sorry, allow Me to clarify.

Comparing Your 'UNKNOWN' to Your known 'AMERICAN CLIPPER'.

Lug to lug, then across and bezel opening.

It could be optical confusion but the lugs on the 'UNKNOWN' Case look notably narrower?

Posted February 5, 2012 - 5:35pm

Well, at least the other measurements are now out there.

TheClipper case 25.10mm x 29.62mm without the lugs 36.35mm including the lugs and the lugs are 13.00mm wide.

The unknown case is 25.28mm x 29.88mm without the lugs and 36.51mm includign the lugs and they were probably 13.0 mm wide, but someone has filed and ground the inner side out to where they are now about 14.5mm wide.

Clipper crystal measurements 16.36mm x 25.67mm while in the case

Unknown crystal is 16.32mm x 25.59 while still in the case.

Clipper case is marked Bulova Fifth Ave New York on the inside and Serial number 7075673 at the 6 O'clock end and B - 10 Rolled Gold Plate at the 12 O'clock end.

Unknown case unmarked on the inside serial number 8321406 at the 6 O'clock end and Bulova Quality on the 12 O'clock end.

The case backs will interchange between the two cases and both properly snap into place.


Also, on the unknown face the numbers and Bulova are all painted onto the dialrather than the raised applied gilt numbers.

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted February 5, 2012 - 5:41pm

In an age where quality control measurements were not as precise as today I'll go out on a limb and say Your 'UNKNOWN is an 'AMERICAN CLIPPER' , based on the measurements provided.

Thanks Davd, great info!!

Posted February 5, 2012 - 5:47pm

With all of the cases side by side that is what I was thinking as well, just with a Jeweler option dial.

Posted February 5, 2012 - 9:20pm

Panel Member

Don't get me wrong folks, I worded the post incorrectly. What I should have said is, " similar to the Clipper C" but not. A good bet it's a American Clipper variant, letter designation still unknown".

Posted February 5, 2012 - 11:13pm

Thats OK.  I am a good example of not quite typing what I am thinking (thank goodness!!)

All of the Clipper examples I have seen have the raised gilt even numbers, hash marks and Bulova on the dials. 

That is what makes me think it was probably a special order by the purchaser or had a dial transplant at some later time (which actually makes more sense).  All painted, no raised numbers or markings reminds me of the after market dials that can be found now.

Posted February 9, 2012 - 9:56pm

OK, so here are the dimensions for the crockett crystal


23.64mm x 16.37mm

Posted February 14, 2012 - 6:10am

   Nice .