Is this a Senator?

So I just picked this up.  The case looks like a mid-40's Senator?  But the two tone dial with the Roman numerals is way off... plus there's no second hand?

I'm very intrigued... seems to be rose gold?  I have to be out of town for a couple weeks so I won't be able to check out the movement with any better detail until I get back so until then it's just speculation!

What do you guys think?  The hand's are blue... so don't look original.  Is the dial even original?

What say you my Bully Brothers?!

Posted November 20, 2010 - 1:02am

Club 5000Panel Member

1940 Senator

1946 Senator

1947 Senator

  I guess my only hope here is that it says Senator "A", meaning maybe there's variations of this dial out there.  Maybe one of them has no second's and two tone roman numerals?!  Heh...

Stephen Ollman's picture
Stephen Ollman
Posted November 20, 2010 - 3:26am

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Here is a simialar dial with the sub second hand. I'd say the dial is an original Bulova dial. Whether or not it belongs on the Senator is another story, but as you say Plains it looks like there are variations.

It would make sense to have this type of dial on a rose gold version.

Bulova romain number rose gold dial - senator?

I also found this which looks to have the same lugs but numbers instead of roman numerals...damn I hate low res ads!!!

unknown rose gold watch - senator

The search begins!'s picture
Posted November 20, 2010 - 4:04am


I'd say it was a Senator (the 40s "B" dial) model... IF it had the sub seconds, as the example Steve posted?! Obviously there are at least two (3- 5?) "Senator" dial styles, as well? (The two common ones, and perhaps also one like this "look," as well?) But what's up with no sub secs? I've never seen EITHER this dial arrangement, OR a 40s Senator with no sub seconds???

And is this a 15 or 17J movement, and which one?? The 1940s Senators are all 17Js... But there were several other models that take the same plexi/glass... such as the Drake, Spencer & Radio City!

I have what I believe is the "Radio City" in England, that Philip will soon be listing... So if this isa 15J movement, it is probably the Drake??? (Either way... don't sell it, as it may be RARE!?)

That's a very stylin' dial "look," so perhaps it was then redialed (by a watchmaker/jeweler back in the day, to resemble the presidents and the other one you scored (square dial, 21J) etc.? 

And I have lots of crystals for these... But in G-S acrylics...


:-) S.cott, 1st  (i.e. Elder)

Posted November 20, 2010 - 4:05am

Club 5000Panel Member

Looks like a 15J 7AP.'s picture
Posted November 20, 2010 - 4:10am

ALSO: if you send it to say International Dial for a repaint... then when they remove the old paint, they can tell you A.) if it's ORIGINAL, or not? And B.) If it was already REDIALED, before???

Stephen Ollman's picture
Stephen Ollman
Posted November 20, 2010 - 4:18am

Club 5000Panel Member

Actually it might be a 17J as this model without the sub second hand would need an addition one or two jewels as it has a shortened stem on the second hand wheel.

Wayne Hanley's picture
Wayne Hanley
Posted November 20, 2010 - 4:07am

1939 Senator Rose Gold Exploding Dial - Black hands look good over a rose dial. Restored by Shawn Bourge's picture
Posted November 20, 2010 - 4:17am

And this is the same "style" (I was referring to above) that was ALSO USED on the other 40s Bullys. They had (5) dial variants on the President, I believe? (i.e. A- F.) This 1939/40 Senator Wayne posted (the second most common, and likely therefore most ppopular?) is probably then the Senator "E?" :-)


 :-) Scott

Posted November 20, 2010 - 11:02am

Club 5000Panel Member

Wow... great comments so far gents!  I'm very curious as to what the movement is... like I said before it will take us a couple weeks to get the results unless the seller sends me better pics they took.

Posted November 20, 2010 - 11:49am

Panel Member

hey All, First let me Thank Wayne for posting a pic of the 39 Senator I restored. Now on to this watch. The Senator made it's debut in 1939 but this watch pre-dates that, mine dates to 1937. The movement is a model 6AE 17 Jewel. I don't believe the case or dial are genuine Bulova, Mine is made by Anchor. Back in the day it was quite a common thing for watchmakers to recase/redial old usable movements.

Sometimes you will see "BULOVA MOVEMENT" marked on the dial, a dead givaway that it's an aftermarket recase. Hate to be the bearer of bad news but I am correct, it is not a true Bulova, only the movement is.

Sorry, Regards Shawn

Posted November 20, 2010 - 11:55am

Club 5000Panel Member

Well that's certainly crap news if it's the case!  Heh...  how would you be able to tell the case wasn't a Senator though?  Could it be the movement was swapped out of an origianl Senator when it's movement bit the dust?

Stephen Ollman's picture
Stephen Ollman
Posted November 20, 2010 - 6:23pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Shawn, as there is no jewel for the center wheel, where would the other 2 jewels be to make it 17.

I thought that having no sub second they might place another one or two there instead, but I'm not sure.

Normally when I see a movement without a center jewel its usually a 15 jeweler.

Posted November 20, 2010 - 12:33pm

Panel Member

Every genuine Senator model I have ever seen has a stainless back that is stamped Bulova and a serial number. Inside it will be stamped Bulova, 10 or 14k Rolled Gold Plate Bezel, Stainless Back, New York. The Senator model spanned many years using 7AP,7AK, 8AC,8AE ,8AD and 8AH movements, all have the sub seconds though there are several dial variations.

What I see that is very clear in your pictures is a 6 series movement (never used in a Senator) and a unmarked caseback. This movement was just redial and recased in an aftermarket product that looks like the Senator. If I was shopping and seen those pics I would have passed and kept on shopping.

Posted November 20, 2010 - 12:38pm

Panel Member

One more observation, the dial is flat, All the Senators will have a dome shape that follows the contours of the bezel. Study the pics closely and you'll see what I mean.

Posted November 20, 2010 - 6:16pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Bah.... ah well.  Live an learn boys!  So it won't go in my collection but it's a pretty cheap lesson on what to look for in potential watches.

I'll sell it as a nice vintage watch and hopefully break even.  Still a pretty nice case and it's a bit old so I think we'll be ok.

Thanks so much everyone for the comments and the research!  What a great time this is!'s picture
Posted November 21, 2010 - 5:18am

Another... "FRANKENBULLY, eh!?"

Email the seller and ask for a FULL refund... either prior to/after shipment! This watch is therefore clearly "not as described," so they will refund your $$.00... my friend. And every time we "call them" on these (in theory?) the less likely they'll be to avoid scutinizing them... prior to buying/reselling' em!  :-)

Most of these eBayers have no clue... and won't think twice about refunding your money, vs. risking poor feedback... I have one FrankenBully the seller wouldn't even admit was misrepresented... The other sellers (2?)  couldn't refund the money fast enough...

If there's still a market in 2011... I'll soon be in contact with people who won't try to sell me CRAP... (i.e. buyin' RUNNERS with clean cases, dials, etc. and primarily selling OFF eBay, as well... for 2- 3 x the margin...)


:-)  Scott



Posted November 21, 2010 - 11:28am

Panel Member

Hi Stephen,

The one I have has the center jewel and is marked 6AE 17 jewels. This one probably is 15 but I'll bet it's still one of the 6 series of movements. Still at the end of the day the watch is not a Senator model.

Regards Shawn

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted November 21, 2010 - 11:33am

all is not lost, you could always make one of these!! don't laugh, if I see one with cathedral hands I'm buying it!  : )'s picture
Posted November 22, 2010 - 5:48am

Retro Biker Chic  "HARLEY's  ANGEL" ala Steam Punkette??? (aka: Momentos Bulovarious???)

Posted November 21, 2010 - 6:46pm

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Thanks for the laugh Mark!!!

Posted November 21, 2010 - 10:31pm

Club 5000Panel Member

That would be sweet!!  Heh... Mark you card.