New newspaper ads for 1932/33 Lone Eagle resembling an engraved version of 1932/33 Trident

Submitted by William Smith on February 11, 2013 - 8:17pm

Several recent ads have become available showing a Lone Eagle looking very much like the engraved Trident ads of the same period.  One 1932 ad also shows an unengraved Lone Eagle - looking even more similar to the Trident ads of this period.  
Perhaps we can lay out these ads here.  We can also interject any crystal specs we have (or could be on the lookout for), or other documentation to cooaborate or discredit, as the case may be.   We can site watch examples that may be impacted by this discussion.  This keeps the discussion from becoming fragmented as it is now. Currently its taking place in several differnt watch record threads with much of the "evidence" in the 1920's and 1930's decade formum posts. 

The following three records currently ID'ed as "Trident" have been reopened for ID review: 


Posted February 12, 2013 - 9:04am

The earliest mention of the Trident name with no pictures, is in the Manitowoc Herald-Times on October tenth 1932, and the earliest down loadable is from The Redwood Journal, Ukiah, California, dated Tuesday, October 25th. 1932.



Earliest picture ad for the Trident, from the BEE,  Danville Vancouver Friday November the 4th, 1932.


  The earlier ad for the Lone Eagle, the Oakland Tribune, Thursday the first of September, 1932.



The second LE ad is from the Oakland Tribune, Friday November 10th, 1933. (Year edited by admin)



   These date differences make it clear that the Trident did not exist as a watch name before October 10th, at least in the US and for the Bulova, nearly six weeks after the first Lone Eagle advert!


   I think I made my case clear in the Trident  and 1930's decades threads, if anyone wants to read them, and this makes it unimpeachable, in my eyes!

  EDIT:- I am currently looking for more Trident ads, and at least four of the earliest ads have mis-identified the Trident, some showing pics of the Sky King, The President and other models.

One is even depicting an unknown in our DB here:

I have looked at dozens today alone, and thousands in the past, and am yet to see an advert for an engraved Trident.

2nd. EDIT:- I have seen the LAST advert for the Trident, in the San Antonio Light, and it dates to May the 19th, 1933.


That is Six Months before the second Lone Eagle advert!

Convinced yet?


Posted February 13, 2013 - 5:33am

In reply to by bobbee

Bobbee, did you get this date wrong? Friday November 10th, 1932.

1 September, 1932
First LE Ad (Oakland Tribune)

25 October, 1932.
First mention od the Trident

4 November, 1932
First found Trident Ad

19 May, 1933
Last found Trident Ad

10 November, 1933
Last LE Ad (Oakland Tribune)


Is this all correct?

EDIT: Updated the table as silly me put October before September and have updated the years.

Posted February 14, 2013 - 2:34am

In reply to by bobbee

Bobbee. are you able to update you post above which says 1932?

Which is why I was checking. I'll update the table.

Posted February 14, 2013 - 3:01am

In reply to by bobbee

The last advert above proves that if this a LE watch then Bulova had two LE models in the same trimeframe. 1932-1933.

Posted February 12, 2013 - 9:22am


Just remembered the 1934 Radio Time ad in the ad DB.

Is that correctly dated? We have some ads in the DB not correctly dated, this could be another, and yet this one is still only white gold, and no engraving.

All the ads have been found on the world's largest newspaper archive, It will be hard to get better.

William Smith
Posted February 12, 2013 - 8:39pm

August 30, 1932 ad snippet from the San Jose News.  Is the Lone Eagle text referring to an unengraved graphic to it's left?  This ad may be in error?  

Here's a 1933 ad snippet for the Trident.  Click for full ad.

 Here's a Trident snippet from 1934 ad.  This is the ad which Bobbee asked about confirmation on the 1934 date.  Relative date may be inferred from other datable watches in the full ad (click for full ad)

There's also this un-named ad Bobbee found, from December 1933 (below). It notes "six new models to chose from" adjacent to the un-named watch.

Admin points out the Alden in the 1934 watch example thread: "the Bulova Alden (gold version) - looks to be the same model but from 1935"

Bulova Alden

And there's a Decmeber 1936 Newspaper ad Bobbee found showing the Aldon below. Click for full ad graphic.  Bobbee notes this could be a mis-spelling of Alden.

As look for crystal specs, there's a 1956 Trident ad here, so while it's 24 years newer, if we use crystal catalogs from the 1950's, we may want to rule out info on this later/different Trident model.
Geoff's 1933 Yelow gold engraved model gives crystal deminsions: 

Crystal Details: 

 21.75 X 21.75

Posted February 12, 2013 - 9:48pm

Will, we should stick to the relevant year, which is late 1932/1933.
It will just be confusing other wise, dont you think?

William Smith
Posted February 12, 2013 - 10:01pm

just wanted to warn folks of checking more recent crystal catalogs - finding a "trident" and thinking it may apply to the relavent years.

Posted February 13, 2013 - 5:39am

Wills adverts show the use of the Trident name and model being used into 1934. So our start and end dates are: 25 October 1932 and sometime in 1934 respectively  (if date of advert is correct).

This trimeframe places the engraved version in the middle of this period so anyting is still possible.

I think looking through the Crystal specs for the Trident would be a good idea for those with the catalogs and knowledge.

Posted February 13, 2013 - 9:46am

In reply to by mybulova_admin

This time frame actually places the engraved LE version PRIOR to the Trident plain cased white gold version, Stephen, not in the middle of this period, but 54 days earlier.

Posted February 13, 2013 - 5:42am

We know that the 'nationally famous' watch was called the "Trident"

The question therefore is, was the engraved version called the Lone Eagle?

At the moment we have 2 adverts that say is was, but note that both adverts are from the same jeweler. It would be good to get another independent jeweler advert to confirm or not.

Geoff Baker
Posted February 13, 2013 - 5:58am

Here's my 2c. I've seen three (four?) ads showing a 1932 engraved watch that I USED to think was a Trident (even though we NEVER had an ad showing a Trident with engraving). Those ads ID the above mentioned watches as LE's. While I realize that IDing a new LE model is a big deal, I also see clearly that it's time to do so. We readily accept an ID of Apollo based on the ad above, we should do the same with the LE.

I will write no more on this subject - I vote to change the three Tridents to Lone Eagles

ALSO, I am compelled to point out the President in one of the ads above. In the past we have concerned ourselves that straight across number lines don't belong in curved bezel cases, a theory that ad clearly refutes. I have that watch, on that bracelet, with that dial, and at least one panel member has not given it three ticks.

William Smith
Posted February 13, 2013 - 12:34pm

In reply to by Geoff Baker

Geoff- I think there are only two ads showing the tentative LE w/ engraving.  I may have made it appear there was a third, by cropping a snippet of the watch and rotating that snippet. This was in the decases thread, and not in this thread. I thought I'd noted it was from one of those two ads, and I usualy make the graphic clickable- either to the original/full ad on site, or to the actualy newspaper PDF/search site, if that site is not a pay-to-search engine.  

Posted February 13, 2013 - 6:00am

Adverts showng the existance of the well known 1931/32/33 Lone Eagle. 1934 saw the introduction of the well known stepped case version.

Bulova Lone Eagle 1932, 1932, 1933

It doesn't make sense for Bulova to have 2 different LE models at the same time.

Posted February 13, 2013 - 7:35am

We have seen adverts that advertise the Lone Eagle mark two at the same as the mark three, that has never been remarked upon.

Why, if they exist, are there no adverts for engraved and yellow/white gold Tridents? There has been, in the last couple of days, extensive searches for these and none found.


Posted February 14, 2013 - 12:41am

In reply to by bobbee


Bobbee can you show me the ads for the LE III and LE IV that overlap.

Again we have adverts for the series III ranging from 1932 through to 1933 (possible 1934 if you interpret the advert to say that you can buy these watches at last years prices). Then we see the stepped series IV model.

Please do not get me wrong. I am not saying that "it is NOT" a LE and I simply saying that it does not make sense to have two LE models at the same time AND (the 'and' is important) that we are taking the word of a single ad source.

I'll happily agree if we can produce another ad source to confirm....but for me it just does not add up and sometimes I simply will not believe all that I read especially when we have evidence to the contrary.

The LE model was a very sellable branded name and it would never surprise me to see a jeweler hoping to cash in on that popularity.

Please don't take this as me being precious about the LE series. I've spent countless hours over many years studying these and hoping to learn the true story....if this is yet another chapter in the LE story I will most certainly embrace it and include it in the "Lone Eagle Story" article.

Posted February 14, 2013 - 4:33am

In reply to by mybulova_admin

Admin, don't you mean the Mark 2 and Mark 3?

I have already posted an ad that shows the LE3 and LE4 overlap.

I have also found Academy Award ads that are from 1956, 1958 and 1960, long after Bulova would have stopped production, this also proves that sellers sold stock they had, not just what was being made in that time frame.

The Mark 2 ad from the Pampa Daily News of November fifth 1933 is in the decades ads, but I will put it here too.

It shows that advertisers/jewellers were selling what they had in stock, not just what Bulova had released, so it is not only feasible but probable that there was an LE 3 and LE4 being advertised at the same time.

P.S., I cannot update the date of the second LE ad from 1932 to 1933, post will not let me.

EDIT:- Stephen, I did not mean you personally when I made the "precious" remark, I think we all think very highly of this range, but putting it into context I was talking of Bulova's branding for a hike in prices and putting out as many "versions" as possible, very cynical I know, but very honest I'm sure you will agree, after all, they are in business to make money.


Posted February 14, 2013 - 4:52pm

In reply to by bobbee

No I was referring to Series III and IV which cover the period of 1932 to 1934/35.

The Series II ad is interesting as to its listed publication date...very late indeed.

Bobbee do you have any of these adverts in full so we can see the publication dates associated with them?

Posted February 15, 2013 - 4:22pm

In reply to by mybulova_admin

Stephen, I don't have any crossover ads for the MK3 MK4 LE's, and never said I did, except for the above post where I put the wrong ones in, I meant the MK2 MK3 crossover, but your request for the above predates my last post, which I can't edit for some reason.

William Smith
Posted February 13, 2013 - 2:11pm

I agree, there have been no ads for the yellow/white Trident w/ engraving found to date.  But on the other hand, there still has been only two ads found for this watch as an Lone Eagle- and they are from the same advertiser (and newspaper).  You noted there were several conflicting Trident ads found to date (a part of your comment posted below):
 "EDIT:- I am currently looking for more Trident ads, and at least four of the earliest ads have mis-identified the Trident, some showing pics of the Sky King, The President and other models."
(end quote)

If four ads can misidentify the Trident (or any other questionable model series ads that we have seen ), then its not a stretch to apply that possibility to these two LE engraved ads.  They could be misidentifying the engraved watch as a LE.

The price in the two engraved LE ads is higher than the known trident ad prices to date, both before and after it was named the Trident in the "contest watch" ads/text graphics you made above.   I'm not sure of the price in the four ads Bobbee noted were misidentifying the Trident.

As the numerous Bulova Model Price lists of the 1950's/60's suggest, a watch can be both sold and advertised after it's production has ceased.  I've noted this on several models which show up in the Price Lists, and for which there are some second party ads dated after last known watch example, but no actual watch examples dating post production.  The model price lists suggest there were extra in stock after production ceased- both at Bulova, and on the shelves of Bulova retailers, and this is why they are included in the Bulova Model Price lists after last known production date of the actual watch.

Posted February 14, 2013 - 4:22am

In reply to by William Smith

 I find the Gensler-Lee adverts more trustworthy than many other advertisers of the day, if you look in the ads of that time in the wiki link, some are downright ridiculous, and I have not posted any of those, nor would I ever.

If you look at any Gensler-Lee adverts, they are always accurate in their depiction of any watches they show, and I see no reason to change that opinion.


Posted February 13, 2013 - 2:53pm

All the counter-arguments in the world cannot alter this simple fact: the first Lone Eagle ad pre-dates the end of the "$10,000 Contest Watch" competition, when the watch was actually named the Trident, by more than FIVE weeks!

This cannot be explained in any way, shape, or form, other than someone knew there was an engraved, yellow/white gold form of this watch, for which there simply is no other ads, long before the Trident had a name, and it is called the "LONE EAGLE".

I now rest my case for this watch, with this final statement.

It is up to any detractors to provide proof that it is NOT a Lone Eagle, not the other way round.

GOD, this is fun!


William Smith
Posted February 13, 2013 - 3:51pm

yea it is fun. I agree on the dates you mention. I wasn't inferring those engraved watch records are Tridents...that's just been the tentative ID assigned to the three watch records by members, based on similarities of teh watches records and previus ads we had before the new ads -IMO.  I'm tossing out the possiblitiy that the three records are neither Tridents or Lone Eagles.  The first ad sure couldn't be a Trident, as it came out before the Trident watch was even named such- as you point out.  

Posted February 14, 2013 - 2:54am

Its either a LE or an unknown model we have yet to discover with other adverts or crystal specs.

Posted February 14, 2013 - 4:27am

 Concerning mainstream ads, we have no mainstream ads for the Trident or the new LE.

 I have seen no proof to the contrary, despite searching diligently for it myself, as why would I leave myself open to public ridicule?



Posted February 14, 2013 - 4:46pm

Bobbee, I certainly hope that no one is ridiculing you, myself included. It's not about that at all. You have found a very old advert that contradicts what we believe to be well known series. If your find proves accurate then we have you to thank for the discovery, if not then we can simply put it down to a jeweler trying to cash in on the LE branding.

Either way its certainly no reflection on your work and dedication shown here :-)

It's discussions like this that I love and keep us all going hoping to unearth some lost Bully info.

Posted February 14, 2013 - 5:27pm

In reply to by mybulova_admin

I am. I hate the bobbee's... upstart ad hunter.... I AM KING!!! ALL BOW BEFORE THE GREAT AND MIGHTY PLAINS!

You must all refer to me as Mi'Lord henceforth!

Posted February 15, 2013 - 6:08am

Yes, Mi'lord Henceforth!

Posted February 15, 2013 - 6:42am

Think about this. I have supplied admin with the relevant pdf files, the two new never before seen LE ads, the LE mark two ad from 1933, and an ad from July 1932 from the same jeweller in the same paper as the two new LE's, showing the well known mark three LE. This proves the store supplying the adverts, Gensler-Lee, knew the difference between the well known LE, and the new, never before seen model. As well as the above, ponder on this: if you look at the wording in the new LE ad from Sept. 1st. 1932, it says "engraved white gold or natural gold case". If the picture is a mistake, why put in that distinction? The well known model is not advertised like that.

Here is the Gensler-Lee ad with the well known LE from July 15th. 1932, proving they knew the differences between the two models.

Posted February 15, 2013 - 7:36am

All ads reference from the OAKLAND TRIBUNE 1932 for the GENSLER-LEE Jewelry store.

15 July, 1932
Common LE III advertised

1 September, 1932
First new LE Ad

25 October, 1932.
First mention of the Trident as competition winning name

4 November, 1932
First found Trident Ad

19 May, 1933
Last found Trident Ad

10 November, 1933
Last new LE Ad


Posted February 15, 2013 - 8:27am

Another MK.2 LE ad, October 1932, popular mechanics.

Posted February 15, 2013 - 8:38am

WOW, just read an interesting take on this post.

Here's a FACT!

There is no known 'official' Bulova produced advert showing this watch as a Lone Eagle.

Posted February 15, 2013 - 5:04pm

Here is another fact. There is no known official Bulova Trident ad either!!! EDIT:- Stephen, if you remember, you mentioned this "new take" on the Fact above in the 1934 Trident thread, four or five days ago. Like I said, no "official" ads for either watch in the DB.

Or, as has been pointed out to me, are you referring to the MK 2 ad just above your post?


 Good observation.

William Smith
Posted February 15, 2013 - 6:07pm

The Trident/Contest watch should have really been played up big by Bulova. I bet we just haven't found a Bulova-created ad for the Trident yet. 

The two new engraved LE ads-Seems like we shold be finding Bulvoa-created ads for this watch based on populairty of the model line.  Maybe we still will.  However, if the "two" ads are somehow incorrect, then we don't know what the watch is correctly called to search for other ads.  It's not a mis-IDed Trident IMO. 

For the two new engraved LE ads.... Is this truly two new pieces of information or only one?
I'm thinking sample size and sample independence.
There's several sampling/statistic concepts (assumptions), and I use these related terms and apply them to Bulova ads. For me to consider these two new ads as two new pieces of information (samples), they need to meet certain requirements- are the two samples independent? ...or is it one sample with two sub-samples or examples?

Spatial autocorrelation - things that are in close proximity to each other are (generally) more alike then things that are farther apart.
Temporal autocorrelation- thing that occur closer together in time are (generally) more alike then things that occur farther apart in time.

I think since the two ads are about a year or so apart, they meet my "temporal sample independence" requirement to be two datum. 
But since they are from the same newspaper AND the same advertiser, they don't have what I'm callign spatial independence, if you will. 

I'd certainly be OK with a tentative (two tick) Lone Eable ID for these watches, and I would tentatively say the ads may be correct.  But the watch examples could be unkonwn-if our single sample ads are incorrect.

For the spatial autocorelation as used here- the one jewelry store may have had a table in the back room where they prepare ads to supply to the newspaper.  The first ad could have been sitting on this table (or filing cabinet) and used (or at least influenced) the creation of the second ad.  


Posted February 15, 2013 - 11:32pm

No statements, just an observation. I like how they named the model.

Trident, LE, Crystal comparison

It's a close match in size anyway.

Geoffs was listed as 21.75 X 21.75.


Posted February 16, 2013 - 1:56am

This jewelry store (Gensler-Lee), as Will says above, probably had an area for making up ads. To make up those ads, they needed actual models to know which model they were advertising. Did Bulova send the watch models out in a box with ID, and tags?
Yes they did, we see lots of models of the time for sale on ebay or on this site in their original box, with original name tag INSIDE. (Iam thinking of Geoffs perfect NRA labelled Senator!)

William Smith
Posted February 16, 2013 - 2:00am

The Gensler-Lee ads are great, and some of them sure look like they could be Bulvoa matt ads too. I bet they had a bunch of hard copy ad materials from which to work and put things together, but I don't know how much graphic creation they did themselves.  They could have used mostly graphics supplied by Bulova vs creating their own.... Or both

Posted February 16, 2013 - 2:14am

I would love to see how they set up these ads in-store, does any member know how it was actually done then?

Posted February 20, 2013 - 12:57pm

One more ad, to help you make up your minds!

This one is still from the same supplier and newspaper, but dates to September 15th, 1933.

Check out the name of the step-sided jump-hour watch. Sweet!

William Smith
Posted February 20, 2013 - 5:48pm

That's three ads from Gensler-Lee. "third times a charm". 
I'm good with acknowledging there's a Lone Eagle model as above.  We have probable start date from the first ad- Admin's table sums it up nicely.  Good find Bobbee

Posted February 20, 2013 - 9:19pm

For me, yet another advert from the same store does not add any more weight to this discussion.

They could have released 20 adverts and for me it would still count as one stores opinion that this model was a Lone Eagle.

Here is something to think about...

Out of ALL the adverts Lisa, Bobbee, Will, Plains, I and many others have looked at over the years and especially over the last few weeks is no one else questioning why there is no other company advertising this 'new' model? Just one store and just one publication. No one finds that strange that Bulova's poster boy model, the famous Lone Eagle, wasn't advertised or referenced by any other store or publication during this period.

We have many adverts from different sources showing all other LE versions, except for this publication. Even if they used another publications, its still the same single store advertising the watch as the LE.

Whilst I'm still on the fence, both my feet are on the 'not a LE' side and for those that want to write a 1000 word blog post about it....I'm entitled to my opinion based on my years of studying this particular model.





William Smith
Posted February 20, 2013 - 10:11pm

It's still a sample size of one, so to speak.  I too wonder why we don't see it from anywhere else, but am willing to say the ad is tentatively correct.  If a watch were ID'ed on these ad, I'd say the watch ID is tentative.   I wouldn't confirm the ads as "true", or a resulting watch ID'ed on the ads, for all the reasons we have discussed. I agree with your points above.  It's like I'm giving the ad set two ticks for tentative.  

I also noticed the new Jump Hour ad naming that watch the "White Prince" is from this advertiser.  The first we ahve seen for this name, and it's near the end of 1933, yet all the examples we ahve in our database are from 1932.

One remote possibility- Genser Lee made these two model names up to sell these two watches they had in inventory post production.  I don't think that's the case, but it's a possibility. 

I agree Stephen, a confirming ad from another source would strentghen the argument "for"....  but I'm also wondering what we do about the four engraved watches which match the ads- as they are pending model ID's in the mean time :) 

Posted February 20, 2013 - 10:28pm

Will, I have voted them as tentative LEs based on the evidence we have at hand. Whilst I take issue with the authenticity of the ads going by our standard practice we must tentatively ID them based on the best info we have at the time.

I'm just waiting on other panel members to cast their vote before promoting to published.

I agree with tentative LE.

William Smith
Posted February 20, 2013 - 10:41pm

On thing that I don't understand, or just refuse to understand, is how anyone can think my opinon on the validity of these ads is somehow insulting or degrading to a person- any person.  The person finding the ads, a person cretiquinhg the ads, a person casting a vote or making a tentative ID based on these ads- anyone.   I think we have discussed merit of some ads found, not the merit of any person's credibility or efforts put forth to date.  We are taling about watches and watch ID's, not people and their efforts.  If the ads are correct or incorrect, Bobbee has still done a great job finding all these ads.  It's not about Bobbee- as I know admin agrees- it's about the ads.  Not the messenger, but the message.

....and making ID calls on these ads are a function of the protocol we follow- even if I think the three ads may turn out to be unsubstianted by a future ad from another advertiser.  I can't say "I hope i'm worng"- its not about me being worng or right- or what my hopes and dreams's about the ads.

Posted February 20, 2013 - 11:02pm

I'm going against the grain on this one and saying not an LE until we get some other definative proof other than the ads from that one store.

With the 1940 LE we had ads from Sears or Montgomery Wards,  I believe it was.. but we also had a crystal marked LE "A" that fit into the watch.  Here we just have the ads from that store.

Believe me... I've been looking and I can't find (yet) another distributor modeling that Trident/LE.  If we find one then it'll put my mind at ease.  As it is... and obviously no offense to Bobbie.. or hurt feels to anyone.. (don't blog about me Lisa),  I can't give it a tentative.

Posted February 21, 2013 - 2:21am

I find it strange that of the many ads used to ID watches over the past three months, many of which have been single, once only, bad resolution newspaper ads, why is it so hard to believe these?
You had no such qualms with the checkerboard dial Academy Award, or the Evening Star, or the Windsor.
The last LE was ID'd on just one non Bulova ad, I provide three and still no go.
I can see that Lisa's blog on Watchophilia has struck deep, and seems to be affecting some peoples decisions, in my opinion.
Never mind, it's only a watch after all.

Posted February 21, 2013 - 3:32am

In reply to by bobbee

Yes some of these adverts have identified previously unknown models, but they are very rarely ID'd as an existing model that overlaps existing 'known' models. 

All this wonderful hard work in unearthing these vintage adverts has certainly helped, BUT not all are accurate. That's not a 'personal' attack on anyone here...its just a fact that jewelers, department stores and magazines did get it wrong on the odd occasion.