Bulova 1925 -Unknown

Submitted by RobW on March 3, 2018 - 10:37am
Manufacture Year
1925
Movement Model
9A
Movement Date Code
Circle
Movement Jewels
17
Movement Serial No.
-
Case Serial No.
unk
Case shape
Rectangle
Case Manufacturer
American Standard Bulova
Gender
Mens
Additional Information

This watch appears to be a 1925 President based on a watch posted by Geoff Baker some years ago with the identical green gold case and absence of subseconds on the dial. I find no version of this watch in the adverts database. This watch keeps perfect time so it won't make a visit to the watchmaker anytime soon and an image of the movement is not immediately available. However, it's 17 jewels and appears to be a 9A movement. The case measures about 38mm lug to lug. My guess is the dial has been refinished and the hands are not original. Any input is appreciated.

False
1925 Bulova watch
1925 Bulova watch
1925 Bulova watch
Reverend Rob
Posted March 3, 2018 - 1:14pm

It does look like a President, and that may well be a a re-dial, watches of this age usually have a bit more patina.

Is this solid or gold fill? 

I will add my usual recommendation here, I always strongly suggest that any mechanical watch be serviced if it is to be run. It may be running well now, but if it is dry and/or dirty, it can and will damage itself. I had a 70's NOS diver that I got at a Flea market before I became a watchmaker, and it took a total of three months to destroy the dried out movt with daily wear. There was so much friction on the cannon pinion that it stripped a pinion in the train, among other issues. 

 

RobW
Posted March 3, 2018 - 4:08pm

Gold fill, and yes I will get the movement serviced based on your recommendation.

mybulova_admin
Posted March 3, 2018 - 9:26pm

It would also be good to get the case serial number and movement date code to confirm 1925, as dial and hands suggest later.

If you have trouble finding some one to service let us know.

Reverend Rob
Posted March 4, 2018 - 1:52am

If you check the NAWCC website, they have watchmaker listings by location. 

Geoff Baker
Posted March 4, 2018 - 6:25am

Hi Rob, this is a great looking watch, We never found an advert for this one and have, as you state tentatively identified it as a President model. As far as I can tell this design was used for just a year or two. I doubt the dial and hand are original but it looks good, thanks for sharing it. Are you building your collection back up?

RobW
Posted March 4, 2018 - 8:11am

Thanks, Reverend Rob, I have a watchmaker in Pasadena, Ca., who does all my work and is excellent with servicing and refurbishing vintage watches. When he services it I will photograph the movement and serial numbers, etc.

Hi, Geoff, great to hear from you. I bought this one precisely for the green gold case and unusual design. I have not seen anything like it before. Yes, I am building up my collection and focusing on the mid to late 1920s and early 30s. I am a big fan of the art deco period and Bulova provides the best examples from this era.

RobW
Posted April 3, 2018 - 11:42pm

So, my watchmaker is putting this watch through its final paces, but I managed to take some photos today of the movement and case.

The movement is indeed a 9A 17-jewel unadjusted movement. It looks like it has a circle date code, but I can't quite make it out. This would put the movement manufactured in 1925, I believe. The serial number is 61564, which makes it about right for 1925.

The caseback, however, is a mystery and I wonder if it's a replacement. It has no identification and only the number stamped on the inside case is "1839." My watchmaker said he counted about a dozen jewelers' marks, which tells me the watch was well cared for over many years. But I also noticed that the caseback appears to have been damaged and repaired (the exterior caseback is in perfect condition so maybe it's something else). I didn't notice it while photographing it, but it is evident in the image. If it is a replacement, it bothers me none since it has been part of the watch for many decades. Any thoughts?

The watchmaker also said the dial does not appear to be refinished, although he was not 100 percent sure.

 

RobW
Posted April 17, 2018 - 12:23am

UPDATE: This watch came back from the watchmaker with problems. But upon closer inspection the case is a Bulova and not a replacement as I speculated in a previous post. There is a "Bulova Quality" signature inside the case and below that "filled" is stamped, presumeably for gold filled. Near the bottom is the serial number "1839." In the absence of a contrary opinion, this is a 1925 President.

The movement, however, is not working properly. The bridge needs to be replaced and the jewel immediately to the right of "Co." is badly worn and also needs to be replaced. My watchmaker is unable to locate a 9A movement to cannibalize for parts. In the meantime, it sits in the drawer until a 9A movement can be found.