Bulova 1948 His Excellency "AA"

11/10 votes
Model ID rating explained.
Manufacture Year: 
Movement Symbol: 
48 (A8)
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Fantastic "His Excellency AA" in the pink gold.  I was VERY happy to snag this watch for a great price.

If you look from 1946-48 you see this was also called the "Princeton", though it sported a different dial by that name.


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1948 Bulova His Excellency "AA"
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William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted January 9, 2012 - 8:01pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Looks like the "stars" display in less than one-star increments.  I see 2 1/3 stars maybe.  Do I need classes, or are there partial stars displayed?  (I have not been paying attention to the stars that much either).  ...and as in other fields of taxonomy...we seem to have "the lumpers" and "the splitters"   In other fields though, the arguments are often driven by future funding as much as the best "truth" of the moment.

You folks are doing a great job figuring out defendable names for these old beatuies w/ limited info!

shooter144's picture
Posted January 10, 2012 - 2:51am

I have to agree with Plains, All of the rose cases I have seen ( such as the Treasurers) of this era have this same (or very similar) dial with silver or white gold nums that are not always shown in the ads, yet we accept the ID so I shall here as well.

Very nice watch bro !!

Posted January 10, 2012 - 8:21am

Panel Member

Jerin, If you have the ad showing this watch as "AA" then your word is good enough for me to agree.

William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted April 2, 2012 - 5:42pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Shawn  I don't think there is an ad showing this watch as "AA", it shows a different case color watch as AA, and then states "also available in white and pink" or something like that.   Some are assuming the AA is for all case gold color choices, and it's just an assumption, not a fact.

I know many folks here have more experience with these watches/ads then I do, so while I take folks at their word for many things-(and may agree), I don't assign ID stars on members words. I'm not saying you did- you just said you agreed.  I have to go to the source to double check for myself-unless I already have done so.  It's not a trust issue, but opinions change over time w/ new ads etc... and mistakes happen. If I don't do this, IMO it's almost like I'm assigning stars for members opinions vs my own researched opinion on a particular watch ID.  I don't want to be a "rubber stamp".  

I know you didn't say you rated this ID based on word, as you probably didn't.  Or even if you did, that's cool and only one vote.  However you have the knowledge built up over time.  I don't have the experience so have to check for myself.  Then I can be wrong after double-checking :)   I'm often wrong when I thought I was right. 

In this case, I think the AA designation is for the exact color in the picture, but we don't have the various ads to demonstrate in this particular instance.

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted April 2, 2012 - 2:55pm

Myth debunked.



Case color will also denote variant, as stated prior.



William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted April 2, 2012 - 3:39pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Gang   There's other ads for other models demonstrating this variant designating case color on this site...I just don't remember which. 

...From what I've seen, this is pretty consistent throughout several "models" and over time.   How else would the Bulova retailer order the different case gold colors w/o a simple way to specify gold color? ...perhaps just model numbers like on hang tags?

...we just don't have the ads (yet)...and it's highly unlikely that all variants were in ads, but they must have been in jewelers catalogs.   ...and we don't know how consistent Bulova was w/ using specific letters for specific designations. 

So the AA designation in subject watch should be for one spicific model combination..not "AA" in white, yellow or pink.

If one looks at table 1 on page 458 of Shawkey's Bulova 23 NAWCC Bulletin article (2000), he lists over 100 23J's with up to three letter designations for various combinations of case design (e.g. president for certain years) band/strap, dial color, etc...   He addresses a subset of case style/model names, band/strap, and says he's not sure what some of the other letter's may designate.

   "...duplicate letters after I probably signify band choice (table 1 footnote)."

...so it's not a big leap of faith to think these letters would include gold color, as the source materials used for this article would most likely demonstrate. 

COMMENT EDIT ADDED:  IMO to cite/discuss this article, we should all have access to the article.

If you are an NAWCC member and would like this article, please PM me.  I can save you some time.

If you are not an NAWCC member, here is the link to where guests can download this aritcle themselves:  http://nawcc.org/images/stories/2010/articles/2010/387/387_455.pdf

Please remember we can cite this article, but to use without proper citation, or reproduce content, we must have "written permission" from NAWCC publications.  (so we can't post any of the pictures w/o this release/permission). There's a link on NAWCC publications page to try and obtain this permission.  I've never tried to do this, I just cite. 



William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted October 13, 2012 - 9:29pm

Club 5000Panel Member

I still think subject HE is the pink gold version of the "AA", and it may have a different variant letter designation. 
The ladies models posted above show this possibility.  Also, we see this several times in the ads, including the 1950 ad snippet below: different gold color usually has different letter variants.

While possibly incomplete, here's the Fall 1955 Model list for His Excellency.  I see only one "AA" variant listed. I believe some other "unknown" variant letter designation is used for "pink and white".