For Your Re-Consideration

As some of you will recall, a while back I posted a watch that had for it's only support a listing in the "Complete Price Guide to Watches".  It was a tonneau shaped model dated 1928 and listed as "The Ambassador" in the Price Guide.  The general consensus--though there was some notable descent--was that The Price Guide must be in error, because we all know that the Ambassador was square.  Some even argued that the Price Guide is full of errors, though when challenged to present an example of an error in the Bulova listings, no one did.

So, to get to the point of this new post, a recent trip to the Library of Congress revealed a 1929 ad for a tonneau shaped "Ambassador".

Still think it's not possible?

I continue to maintain that many things are possible, and we might just discover them, if we do not close our minds with unnecssary, and often false, assumptions.

1929 ad from the Atlanta Constitution.

Now, to prove my theory that these two watches were named after the Ambassador Bridge, built between 1927 and 1929, connecting Detroit to Windsor, Ontario, Canada (the watch on the left is called the Windsor), per the 1929 ad below.

 

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
FifthAvenueRest...
Posted May 24, 2012 - 5:28pm

Although barely legible, the 1929 ad from the Atlanta Constitution is displaying a Watch very similar to what We now know as the LONE EAGLE II - which is not the same Watch shown in the Cooksey Shugart guide.

IMO, maybe someone with better eyesight will chime in.

 

mybulova_admin
Posted May 24, 2012 - 5:28pm

Club 5000Panel Member

The watch shown in the ad is a Lone Eagle IMO, and does not resemble the subject watch other than it tonneau shape. The subject watch may still be an Ambassadore, but the advert proves nothing other than someone ID'd an LE Ii as an ambassador. Depending on the age of the advert it may very well be correct if Bulova called it this before it changed to the LE. We see changes in names all the time during this period.

NOVA
Posted May 24, 2012 - 5:31pm

Maybe true, maybe not. 

It is another tonneau shaped watch labeled as an Ambassador, so now we have two.

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
FifthAvenueRest...
Posted May 24, 2012 - 5:31pm

admin, You got Your eyes fixed!

: p

Also, the ad states 15 Jewels - Cookseys' 'AMBASSADOR' is 17 Jewels

NOVA
Posted May 24, 2012 - 5:34pm

The details were never the point, nor was I proposing an exact match.  I was, however, showing a second listing for a tonneau shaped Ambassador dated in the late 1920s.  I think that should be worth some consideration rather than immediate dismissal simply because you've already made up your mind that it can't be true.

mybulova_admin
Posted May 24, 2012 - 5:41pm

Club 5000Panel Member

I don't think we are doing that, but we do see what looks to be a very well known watch ID'd as something unexpected. As I said above maybe the LE II went by the Ambassadir before it changed. We all know that with Bulova anything is possible. Any chance of getting a better picture of the above advert or is this the best we hope to get?

NOVA
Posted May 24, 2012 - 5:46pm

That's the best I've got right now, but rest assured I'll be looking for better.  The ad should be in your inbox, along with quite a few others, all zipped together.  Let me know if you didn't get it.

mybulova_admin
Posted May 24, 2012 - 5:51pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Wonderful Lisa. I'll make sure to get them up on the site as soon as possible for everyone to peruse and enjoy!

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
FifthAvenueRest...
Posted May 24, 2012 - 5:53pm

...as an added note the 1929 Atlanta Constitutions' 'AMBASSADOR' and 1929 'LONE EAGLE' are priced identically.

database ad Dated 1929

same Watch, IMO.

NOVA
Posted May 24, 2012 - 5:57pm

Yeah, and it's so logical to conclude that they would have gotten the ad completely wrong for what is probably the most famous and popular watch Bulova ever made, particularly when you consider how much more likely they were to sell the watches under the Lindbergh name.  Makes a lot of sense (NOT!).

More baseless assumptions.

OldTicker
Posted May 24, 2012 - 6:03pm

I would have to agree with Mark on the new ad, it looks like it has two distinct patterns on the bezel between the lugs like a LE.

I also would not dismiss the ID provided by the watch bible, they found these ad's for the book and probably found them the same place that you found all of these super ad's Lisa. Most of the ID's provided by the guide can be confirmed right here on this site.

I also think your Ambassador/Windsor theory has a lot of merit, it seems that Bulova was into "Big Happenings" and named many of their watches as a tribute.

mybulova_admin
Posted May 24, 2012 - 6:06pm

Club 5000Panel Member

One thing I just noticed with your watch at the top Lisa, is the open 9 and cathederal spade hands, to me these are typical of 1926 and early 1927. What's the date code on your watch?

NOVA
Posted May 24, 2012 - 6:12pm

Everything points to 1928.  The case serial is 8291815.  The movement symbol is the crescent moon.  The movement serial is 809533.

mybulova_admin
Posted May 24, 2012 - 6:28pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Ok thanks.

bourg01
Posted May 24, 2012 - 6:37pm

Panel Member

Lisa,

Given the evidence presented and in light of the new ads, I would have to agree with you on this one.

As for Cooksey - Shugarts quide...............well it's not a reliable source for ID's and in fact very few are ID'd in the guide. Not very reliable for pricing either for all that matters. The market place drives the prices so, so much for that.

The subject watch you've presented is an exact match to the ad that supports the ID. I vote "confirmed" as an Ambassador.

 

mybulova_admin
Posted May 24, 2012 - 7:49pm

Club 5000Panel Member

The advert above is not the same as Lisa watch. It tonneau in shape but thats about it. You can clearly make out the top and bottom fish notches synonymous with the LE II and Richard.

bourg01
Posted May 24, 2012 - 8:02pm

Panel Member

Hi Stephen,

I was referring to the ad Lisa posted at the beginning of the thread. My Bad, it's not an ad but the excerp from the C-S price guide. Lisa's going back to the library, I'm Sure.

NOVA
Posted May 24, 2012 - 6:44pm

I realize that the Price Guide gives few model names, and, in that sense, is not a reliable source for finding a name.  But what I would like to know is if there are any examples where The Guide gives an ID for a Bulova watch and that ID has been proven wrong with advertisements or other equally reliable information?  Do we have an example of that?

 

OldTicker
Posted May 24, 2012 - 6:55pm

No

From what I can see, most every named watch can be confirmed with ad's on this site, the Curtis, your Ambassador, Argyle, and Spencer looks to be the only ones in my guide (2007) that have no ad's to back them up.

NOVA
Posted May 24, 2012 - 7:03pm

The Spencer has an ad. 

The Argyle also has an ad, thought I can't prove it.  I saw the vintage advertisement showing the Argyle as the background in an eBay listing.  Unfortunately, I didn't ask the seller for a copy of the ad.

 

OldTicker
Posted May 24, 2012 - 7:03pm

My bad...

That only leaves 3 with out ad's...

bourg01
Posted May 24, 2012 - 6:59pm

Panel Member

From what I can see, they seem to have the 1920's watches ID'd correctly. I just took a quick look but I'll dig a little more if I can find some time.

NOVA
Posted May 24, 2012 - 7:01pm

Here are the model names that I see in The Price Guide for Bulova watches.  I'm looking at the 2011 edition.

  • Ambassador (the one that is the subject of this post)
  • Curtis
  • Athlete
  • Governor
  • Wellington
  • Spencer
  • Norman
  • Argyle
  • Ambassador (rectangular one)
  • Lone Eagle (First)
  • Lone Eagle (Second)
  • Lone Eagle (Fourth)
  • Oakley
  • Senator
  • Masonic
  • Ford
  • BMW
  • Right Angle
  • Photo Watch
  • President, wandering sec.
  • Duo dial (perhaps a description rather than a name?)
  • Drivers watch (description or name?)
  • Accutron (many of these, including Deep Sea, RF AG, RF CK, etc.)
  • Accuquartz
  • Astronaut
  • Mark IV
  • Railroad Approved
  • Spaceview
  • Accutron "Mickey" (hard to get that one wrong)

Have any of these, or any others that I haven't listed, been shown to be incorrect?

 

JP
Posted May 24, 2012 - 7:03pm

Panel Member

I don't know the answer to that but if my vote counted I would vote Ambassador. If you look at the LE it has engraving on the verticle as well as the horizontal and Lisa's watch is only on the horizintal.

Ambassador

JP

OldTicker
Posted May 24, 2012 - 7:21pm

The new "Ambassador" ad

Note the position of the engraving below the lugs (Red), and the square seconds track (Green) and compare it to this ad...

Now tell me why we have 2 different Lone Eagles in the same ad??, compare the top watch in the second ad to the one in the display case...

 

William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted June 1, 2012 - 2:35pm

Club 5000Panel Member

perhaps this model sold w/ different dials while being listed as the same model :)  ...or no one else looked at these ads as close as we do.  Or both.

bobbee's picture
bobbee
Posted June 1, 2012 - 6:30am

Seconds register barrel in bottom watch, rectangle in top one, numerals thinner and rounder in top watch, case has thinner sides in top watch and different engraving on the sides, bottom of number 6 showing at bottom of seconds register on bottom watch, not in top one. Very, very weird advert....