Bulova 1945 Military Issue

10/10 votes
Model ID rating explained.
Manufacture Year: 
Movement Symbol: 
Movement Model: 
10 AK
Movement Jewels: 
Case Serial No.: 
Case shape: 
Additional Information: 


Stainless Steel Case measures 39mm lug to lug x 32mm wide non inclusive of the Crown while using Calipers.

White Dial shows Military standard Arabic numerals and Black printed tracks. Hour and Minute Hands are Military radium and a radium 10AK Military Seconds Hand appears on a sub Dial fully obscuring the 6.

Anti-magnetic dust shield and Gasket between Caseback and Movement.

10 sided Stainless Steel Caseback screws on and is stamped as shown.

 * although the Movement is Dated to 1944 this style of Military Case did not appear until 1945-'46.

as found - glass in poor condition.


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Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted May 6, 2013 - 3:02pm

Panel Member

If I may interject, the difference between a 10 1/2 ''' and an 11 1/2''' case opening that holds the movt is 2.25mm roughly. (1.125mm on either side) The dials from one would not fit the other and ditto for the cases and movts. I have worked on Military era watches, but I am not an expert on who issued what or when. I see many that are untampered with, and I do agree you can tell when a watch has been worked on, as the patina and various marks will attest. I think the subject watch may very well be legit, and I'll take Rob's word for his expertise in this area, he has seen far more of them than I have. 

Of course Military watches were worked on and repaired, either at the time or later, so it is not surprising to find a mismatched case and movt, either. I'm not seeing any reason here that this watch wouldn't be considered original. It is post 1945, and post TM 9-1975. Am I missing something?

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted May 6, 2013 - 3:18pm


You are not missing a thing. 

bobbee's picture
Posted May 6, 2013 - 3:39pm

Did  you check the DB for case sizes Rob? They are the same for the A-17A and  3818A as the subject case yet it holds a 10 AK, and they were not released until the 1950's/60/'s.

TM 9-1575 gives the correct case type for this model, was released in April 1945, which is the claimed date of this watch.

Below is the case type for the date, and without any spec docs other than the above, it's just guessing.


bobbee's picture
Posted May 6, 2013 - 4:20pm

Genuinely done with it now, it does get too heavy.

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted May 6, 2013 - 4:33pm

Panel Member

External case sizes may have nothing to do with what went in it, that was my point. The movt opening difference is very small. I don't have any military Bulovas at the moment, but I have quite a few normal civvy watches, and there is a considerable number of them that take two different sized movts, for when a movt evolved from 10 1/2 to 11 1/2. I especially see this in Bulovas. 

bobbee's picture
Posted March 31, 2014 - 6:45am


    Cannot possibly be 1945.


  This link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordnance_Corps_(United_States_Army)

Has this statement which I will copy and paste here:  

"Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War Era

The Ordnance Department was renamed the Ordnance Corps in the Army Organization Act, 28 June 1950. In both Korea and Vietnam, the Ordnance Corps provided materiel supply and maintenance, characteristic of its tradition of "service to the line, on the line, on time," and was active in the development of rockets, guided missiles and satellites.[18]"


So, as can be seen, the ORDNANCE DEPT. was renamed the ORDNANCE CORPS. in 1950 and any military items marked "ORD CORPS." will date post-28th. June 1950.

It has also been noted on a military specialist site that some ORD CORPS watches are recased WW2 "ORD DEPT" watches, as the original cases corroded readily.

All military issue watches have a fully stamped case back, as can be seen in the watch DB under"military issue" except for two models, the "ORD CORPS" and the "1917-H". The 1917-H is thought to be on a par with the ORD CORPS, and was used concurrently with it to re-case older watches.


Those that are not fully stamped but partially engraved,and it is common to see these with partially engraved backs and several examples made by Bulova can be seen in this thread, are thought to be the newer cases, probably after the original case was badly damaged/corroded, and the old case number would be engraved on a partially stamped case made for this purpose, as seen on the semi-sterile example below.



Fully stamped cases would be newly made cases, and are thought to be new issued watches.

Below are a couple of fully stamped ORD CORPS case backs.


Those that are fully engraved, like the subject watch, are viewed with some suspicion by some experts, as it is thought that the case should at least bear some stamped marks, as above, that are made during the manufacturing proccess. Sterile (unmarked) case backs are commonly seen, and can often be bought on auction sites very cheaply.


bobbee's picture
Posted May 22, 2014 - 3:12am


     "All military issued watches have a fully stamped case back, as can be seen in the watch DB under "military issue" except for two models, the "ORD CORPS" and the "1917-H"."


After it was brought to my attention, and subsequently a more diligent search of the internet, I am making a correction to the above statement; the 1917-H is actually stamped on the caseback if genuine, which means the ORD CORPS is the only Bulova military issue watch to have any engraving on it's case back.

  Edit-The 1917-H is also thought by some to be naval issue.