Bulova 1943 Military Issue

Submitted by Wayne Hanley on September 10, 2011 - 5:51pm
Manufacture Year
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Movement Date Code
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Movement Serial No.
Case Serial No.
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Watch Description


The Type A-11 was not so much a specific watch model but a production standard used by a number of watch companies (Elgin, Bulova and Waltham), with numerous case and minor dial/hands variations (there were even silver-cased watches, as nickel was considered a metal more critical for the war effort!), though some design aspects were largely universal: Black dial; white hands; a hand-wound hacking movement with center second hand, hour numbers from 1 to 12; a second scale with smaller minute/second numbers in increments of 10 on the outside edge of the dial; and same-type minute and hour hands.

This Bulova version of the A-11: this was the watch that was issued by the British as the Mark VIII, with an A. Schild SA Cal. 1238 movement (10.5'''), which while basically a Swiss movement was actually built in the US by Bulova as the cal. 10AKCSH, which also resulted in the lack of "Swiss Made" on the dial. The name can be parsed so: cal. 10AK, CS = center sweep, H=hack.

Part of this Description was extracted from "Watches That Helped Win The War" article by Ken & Crusader Edited 9/11/2011

Bulova watch
1943 Bulova watch
1943 Bulova watch
1943 Bulova watch
1943 Bulova watch
Posted September 10, 2011 - 11:16pm

I am going to guess that that case back is a replacement as it has no sn, my non ord marked back has a sn on it, and it is likely that all factory with the watch case backs did. A replacement from an outside source or even from Bulova would not likely be numbered. Now this is just my thoughts on it, no proof or evidence but makes sense to me. Are you going to replate the case? I am considering it on mine.

Wayne Hanley
Posted September 11, 2011 - 4:56am

Apparently there were unstamped watches issued for use before TM 9-1575. I plan to leave the blank back case as is. Negative on the plating also, the brass is smooth with not much pitting.  

Posted September 11, 2011 - 6:07am

"Apparently there were unstamped watches issued for use before TM 9-1575."


Where do We find this information?

According to the information above identification marks would be added at time of service to Military Watches manufactured prior to 12 November 1940 - which indicates all issued Watches manufactured post Nov 12, 1940 will be stamped accordingly.

Wayne Hanley
Posted September 11, 2011 - 12:39pm


Yes they were supposed to be stamped. What would you like to do about all the watches that exist without stamps? I cannot find the stamping requirements & will delete the info from the description until I run into the source document.

Posted September 11, 2011 - 3:38pm

These were made and issued for several years without a stamped back and as they were a disposable item, ie not turned back in, I am sure many were pilfered for personal use and reported as lost or just never turned in and thus never stamped.

William Smith
Posted March 27, 2012 - 1:25am

sure were a wide variety of stampings on these various military case backs.  Good arguments for all examples.  I gotta dig out and re-read my military timepieces handout that was associated w/ the 2001 NAWCC military watch collection/special exhibit.  I knows I gots it somewheres....

William Smith
Posted November 27, 2012 - 5:12pm

Again, I gott go read up.  The source document indicating all post 1940 watches were stamped when issued would help me assign ticks when published as a Military Issue".  Two ticks for now....as the "Issue" is the issue.

Posted November 27, 2012 - 5:43pm

With Jerin's ad, which I did not know existed, these could be either Re-issued or un-issued, no real way of telling, although there are others without ORD markings that have numbers stamped on the case back, but this one appears to be bare.

William Smith
Posted November 27, 2012 - 6:13pm

I saw examples both with and without "case SN's" stamped on the back (w/o ORD markings).  Those with "numbers" perhaps original to the case, those without possibly replacement case backs?  May not address Issued, vs Non-Issued though. Jerin's ad helps muddy the waters at first, but then things clear up as I re-read it too. Great ad!!  Great off-site resources for this stuff....just takes time to read up- then I gotta also understand what I'm reading- which is turning out to be more challanging than the simple "reading" part.