Bulova 1940 Marshall

6/10 votes
Model ID rating explained.
3
Manufacture Year: 
1940
Movement Symbol: 
Omega
Movement Model: 
7AP
Movement Jewels: 
17
Case Serial No.: 
0249845
Case shape: 
Rectangle
Crystal Details: 
Amber, curved, 27.1 x 13.8mm, MX432
Additional Information: 

Curved shape, Omega date mark (1940), bought 1999 in Palo Alto, CA for $250.  "B-10K Gold Fill" on case.  

Watch has a white face, appears yellow through amber crystal. Watch is 9.5/10 functional and aesthetic condition. Crystal size is an exact match for MX432, which corresponds to the "Palm Beach", the original designation of this watch.

However, in August, 2012, an ad surfaced which almost certainly demonstrates that this watch is the 1939 Marshall model.

Pix of the movement and inner case are available in the comments section.

Many heartfelt thanks to the denizens of MyBulova, who generously shared their time and expertise to help ID this watch!

EDIT 2012.08.09. Changed from 1939 Palm Beach to 1940 Marshall by request of owner. Will Smith

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NOVA
Posted April 26, 2011 - 10:45am

Quick answer - no.  Which is why Admin keeps saying that this ID is tentative and in need of a confirming advertisement. 

Many of us, given the lack of evidence for a positive ID (in fact, often when we have more and better evidence than this), would keep this as an "unknown" until further proof comes along.

As you can see, we do not have consistent standards for making IDs.  What works for one watch in one circumstance is often argued the opposite way by the same individual(s) during the next debate.  And personal motivations drive broad assumptions and override any meaningful search for objective evidence.

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
FifthAvenueRest...
Posted April 26, 2011 - 6:18pm

Allow Me to clarify:

If a particular Crystal fits numerous models, inluding variants and  Models produced by another Watch manufacturer, it will state so within the Catalogue.

When only one Watch model is listed in the Catalogue this indictaes the Crystal is specific to this particular Case design, as in the example shown by OT for the 'PALM SPRINGS' and the MT366-10 shown below which fits the mid-late 1930's 'MINUTE MAN' Case.

 

NOVA
Posted April 26, 2011 - 6:22pm

That certainly paints a pretty picture, but the reality is this:  1) the crystal catalogs were not produced, nor approved by Bulova, so there is no guarantee of accuracy, 2) the crystal catalogs do not include anywhere near all the Bulova models by name, so for many (perhaps most) of the models, we have no reference in any crystal catalog, 3) we do not have crystal catalogs for all the years of Bulova production, 4) as OT pointed out, the names could change in the catalogs for the same crystal, and/or Bulova could change the name of a given watch model and the change would not necessarily be reflected in the catalogs, 5) we know there have been cases where no crystal was listed in any catalog for a particular watch model, so we know the catalogs are not complete.

That's not such a pretty picture.  That's why we need advertisements or other documentation produced by Bulova showing the watch and its given name at any particular time. 

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
FifthAvenueRest...
Posted April 26, 2011 - 7:28pm

In a perfect World I would agree, but even then there are discrepencies.

This method of identifiction has worked and worked very well when the Glass is Model specific. It's only when variants or additional models are added to the possibilities that it becomes more of a guess.

A combination of a Crystal ID and an advertisement with a Watch image and a description would be perfect, for now this is all We have....

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
FifthAvenueRest...
Posted April 26, 2011 - 7:29pm

.

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
FifthAvenueRest...
Posted April 26, 2011 - 6:35pm

In a perfect World I would agree, but even then there are discrepencies.

This method of identifiction has worked and worked very well when the Glass is Model specific. It's only when variants or additional models are added to the possibilities that it becomes more of a guess.

A combination of a Crystal ID and an advertisement with a Watch image and a description would be perfect, for now this is all We have....

OldTicker
Posted April 26, 2011 - 7:19pm

Not saying it is a 100% positive ID, but it can be listed in the database as a "Palm Beach" as ID'd by crystal specs. Sooner or later an ad may pop up and either prove or disprove the ID credibility

A few posts back this watch was a nearly positively ID'd as a "Minute Man" and how many ad's in the database do we have for them? There are also many watches ID'd as a positive and are wrong in the database, GJ's Ambassador "C"  which is an Oxford comes to mind.

I would use a crystal ID as a tool to towards a 100% positive ID and ad's or other info to back it up or tear it down. I think a crystal catalog is what  first ID'd your Treasurer and an ad by Scott backed it up.

I think required info on every watch we try to ID should include,

1. Crystal specs

2. Case Dimensions

3. All required movement info

4. Clear pictures of the case, dial, back of the movement, inside of caseback.

5. Any know history of the watch.

Some will be easy and many will be hard.

NOVA
Posted April 26, 2011 - 8:04pm

I agree that crystal specs can be useful.  I just don't agree that they should be the sole basis of an ID.  So, in my opinion, this watch should be an "unknown" if we cannot agree on the Minute Man, which I still believe is a strong possibility that was not given fair, complete, or open minded consideration.

If we're going to have IDs that are so tentative as to be based solely on crystal specs, then we need a clear way to segregate tentative IDs from those that are proven (i.e., have an ad and a forum consensus to support them).  But we don't have a tentative designation.  Instead, we have known and unknown.  In my view, crystal specs alone should not place something in the known category.  

I myself have purchased watches based on our database IDs only to find out later that there was nothing to support that ID.  Sure, knowing me, I probably would have bought the watch anyway, but I would have preferred to purchase it with an accurate understanding of what it was/was not. 

I think what we need to decide is, are we trying to create a reliable database of known Bulova models, or just a fun repository of cool watches that may or may not be legit?  I'm not saying that reliable can't be fun, but I am saying that it takes more than fun to achieve reliable.

OldTicker
Posted April 27, 2011 - 8:04pm

By looking at the "Minute Man" crystal that Fifth produced, you can see that it is a "MT" crystal which in crystal terms means Military Tonneau or the shape of the crystal. The watch in question is Rectangular in shape or "MX", the nice pictures that Noah provided proved that.

So by using the crystal catalogs the "Minute Man" is eliminated right off because of its shape. A second model is listed as a Minute Man "B" in the catalogs but it too is a "MT" number. Crystal specs came into play right away because of the shape. Is it 100% positive? No, it could be the "Barritz" which also takes the same crystal, but for now the ad's we have disprove that, but one could come along that shows a sub-seconds configuration

I too would like to see a 3rd database option entitled "Tentative ID with out Ad Conformation" so that watches like this can be listed in that catagory until it can be confirmed with an ad or other proof. I am guessing that at least half of the watches now ID'd as positive would be there.

Every watch that makes it to the "Positive ID" database should have the ad and write up that proves its existance included in the photo line-up, that would help with a reliable database.

A 4th "Frankenbully" catagory would also be helpful so we will know what not to buy!

A four step program is needed, Unknown, Frankenbully, Tentative, & Positive.

This is something that we should all think about, as everyone can see we add at least 2 new members per day, and that is a good thing because it might mean more and better info to come.

NOVA
Posted April 26, 2011 - 10:46am

I certainly agree, OT, that our watch IDs have, by and large, become nothing more than a crap shoot.  IMO, this is a case in point.