Bulova 1959 Military Issue "A-17A"

6/10 votes
Model ID rating explained.
3
Variant: 
A-17A
Manufacture Year: 
1959
Movement Model: 
10BNCH
Movement Jewels: 
17
Case Serial No.: 
39743
Case shape: 
Round
Case Manufacturer: 
Star
Gender: 
Mens
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OldTicker
Posted December 23, 2011 - 5:35pm

I don't know much about the Bulova Military watches, but it sure looks like the movement has a '47 date mark??

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
FifthAvenueRest...
Posted December 23, 2011 - 5:46pm

L0 I thought ?

Everything looks correct for the A-17A.

wmreed76xlh
Posted December 23, 2011 - 7:10pm

It reads  L9.

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
FifthAvenueRest...
Posted December 23, 2011 - 11:20pm

looks minty under the Glass.

Nice one.

mybulova_admin
Posted December 24, 2011 - 12:38am

Club 5000Panel Member

Would L9 be correct this watch Fifth?

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
FifthAvenueRest...
Posted December 24, 2011 - 6:44am

Excellent question admin.

We have documentation showing the Military 3818A as beginning production in 1956, We have none on the A-17A but theory would say production ceased prior to introduction of the 3818A yet use and service of the A-17A's by the U.S.Military continued into the 1960's.

I doubt the Watch was produced in 1959 and the L9 10 BNCH would be a (service) replacement movement. The missing Case screws also point in that direction.

bobbee's picture
bobbee
Posted November 15, 2014 - 5:58am

FifthAvenueRestorations wrote:

Excellent question admin.

We have documentation showing the Military 3818A as beginning production in 1956, We have none on the A-17A but theory would say production ceased prior to introduction of the 3818A yet use and service of the A-17A's by the U.S.Military continued into the 1960's.

I doubt the Watch was produced in 1959 and the L9 10 BNCH would be a (service) replacement movement. The missing Case screws also point in that direction.

 

This statement is incorrect.

The 3818A was produced for general purpose use, the type A17-A was for aircrew only and so the 3818A was produced in conjunction with the Type A17-A, and did not in fact supercede it.

We have proof provided by fifth himself, on page 2 of this 1960 3818A thread, in bright yellow type.

http://www.mybulova.com/watches/1960-military-issue-3818a-2282

 

Here is a snippet:

 

"B-153564, MAY 4, 1964

 

TO BULOVA WATCH COMPANY, INC.:

 

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 20, 1964, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO BENRUS WATCH COMPANY UNDER REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL NO. AMC/A/36-038-64-490/NS), DATED FEBRUARY 7, 1964.

 

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT IT WAS DETERMINED BY REPRESENTATIVES OF THE AIR FORCE, NAVY AND ARMY, THAT SPECIFICATION MIL-W-3818A, DATED MARCH 12, 1956, REQUIRED REVISION TO ACCOMPLISH THE FOLLOWING RESULTS:

 

A. REDUCE THE VARIETY OF GRADES AND TYPES OF WATCHES.

 

B. ASSURE CONSISTENT QUALITY OF ITEMS.

 

C. ELIMINATE TESTING REQUIREMENTS OF ONE YEAR AND

 

SUBSTITUTE IN LIEU THEREOF A GUARANTEE PROVISION.

 

D. INCORPORATE A NEW CASE DESIGN.

 

ACCORDINGLY, THE SPECIFICATION WAS FORMALLY REVISED ON OCTOBER 17, 1962, AND IS IDENTIFIED AS MIL-W-3818B."

From "A" in the above, we can see that the military wish to "reduce the variety of grades and types of watches", this shows that up until this new specification 3818B there were several types of watch being produced, i.e. the Type A17-A's and 3818A's.

There is also the matter of the statement above mentioning "the Military 3818A as beginning production in 1956", but this was also not correct.

Also in the above yellow-typed snippet we see at "C", "Eliminate testing requirements of one year". This shows that testing of each batch of samples sent to the military required a testing time of one year.

This is further backed up by the "yellow letter" quoted from above. We see that the new 3818B spec sheet was revised in October 1962, but the specs were not sent to the companies until December 1962:

"SUBSEQUENT TO THE APPROVAL OF SPECIFICATION MIL-W-3818B, ALL SOURCES ON THE PREVIOUS QUALIFIED PRODUCTS LIST, UNDER SPECIFICATION MIL-W 3818A, WERE INVITED BY LETTER DATED DECEMBER 6, 1962".

Further, we see from this next snippet that the only company that passed testing was Benrus, but not until September 1963 were they notified.

"BENRUS WATCH CO., INC., WAS THE ONLY SOURCE THAT SUCCESSFULLY MET THE REQUIREMENTS FOR APPROVAL. THEREFORE, THAT FIRM WAS FORMALLY NOTIFIED ON SEPTEMBER 16, 1963, THAT THE SAMPLES SUBMITTED WERE APPROVED AND THAT ITS PRODUCT WAS LISTED ON THE QUALIFIED PRODUCTS LIST FOR SPECIFICATION MIL-F-3818B."

We next see that the military did not order these watches from Benrus until February 1964.

"PURCHASE REQUESTS FROM THE MARINE CORPS FOR A TOTAL OF 10,849 WATCHES, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER EXECUTED A DETERMINATION AND FINDINGS DATED FEBRUARY 2, 1964, AUTHORIZING NEGOTIATION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 10 U.S.C. 2304/A) (10) AND ASPR 3.210.2 "

So, from this we see that it took from October 1962, the issue date of milspec 3818B, until February 1964 before any of these new spec watches were actually ordered, so when do you think these watches were actually made/delivered?

We can safely assume a similar amount of time between conception of the specifications of other models/types and their subsequent manufacture by the companies concerned, including Bulova, such as the 3818, the 3818A, and the earlier Type A17, and Type A17-A, all produced in the 1950's-1960's.

 

wmreed76xlh
Posted December 24, 2011 - 9:05am

 you can see it a little better in this one.

just click in thisL9 http://www.flickr.com/photos/72683751@N05/6564087631/

 

 

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
FifthAvenueRest...
Posted December 26, 2011 - 12:04am

If there were a 2.5 I'd give it.

3.0 IMO

William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted November 27, 2012 - 5:19pm

Club 5000Panel Member

3 ticks from me!