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1958 His Excellency 10k RGP vs 14k gold cases

Hey all,


I've been on the forum for a long time, but rarely post. I collect and restore Bulovas; I've got dozens of models around and about. After my third '58 His Excellency acquisition I noticed what may be a clear identifier between the 10k RGP and 14k gold models.

Here are model's 'E' and 'D', respectively, with their 10k RGP cases:

Now, here is the 'F' model (although in the ads there is a reference and at least one photo of it being "two-toned", which is not altogether accurate on some I've seen, mine included):

As you can see, no "10k RGP" or "10k Rolled Gold Plated" is mentioned anywhere on the back of this case. Interestingly, nothing at all is inscribed on the inside of the case, either. But, due to process of elimation and the obvious comparison in 1958 models, I'm thinking that this **MAY** be a fairly reliable indicator of a 14k gold case unless someone can come up with further variations to, again, muddy the waters.



Geoff Baker
Club 5000Panel Member
Posted May 9, 2017 - 5:33am

Hi Jared -I'm not sure I follow your line of reasoning, are you proposing that the third watch is 14 k solid? 

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Panel Member
Posted May 17, 2017 - 9:28pm

There may be a tiny stamp or engraving on the side somewhere, or near a lug. Solid gold had to be stamped by law. 

Mindless's picture
Posted May 24, 2017 - 8:54pm

Just going by what I've learned seeing other case manufacturers, the "Bulova Quality" represents the type of finish. ie. Filled, Plated, or whatever and what karat if any.  Some case manufacturers use/used the same marketing idea. I think Gruen did with some of their stuff and I know Star did. Especially in their wristwatch cases. There's some others as well but I can't think of them right off the top of my head.  It's real hard to find any info that tells you what the various names mean.


Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Panel Member
Posted May 24, 2017 - 11:59pm

Plated was normally stamped as such, sometimes 'Plaque Or' or a mark indicating the plate thickness in microns. Gold filled was usually indicated '14K GF' or whatever the karat was, and solid gold was simply karat ie. 14K, 18K, etc. Rolled Gold Plate, or 'RGP' was also used, as the process was slightly different, and in some cases not as heavy as Fill. 

In most countries these stamps are required by law and have been since the early 20th century. In the US, for example, they banned the use of a warranty as implied by '25 Years Guaranteed' which was to give an indication of the thickness of the gold fill. However, this was deemed vague and misleading at some point and the process was dropped, and 'Gold Filled' or 'GF' was used instead. 

Another one you will see is '14K Vermeil' which is gold plate on top of Sterling Silver. Cartier and others used this quite a bit. 

Stainless Steel had a variety of names and was originally more expensive than gold. "stayBrite" and other names were used, as well as the French 'Acier Inoxyable'. 

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Panel Member
Posted May 25, 2017 - 12:00am

I should add that the use of the word 'Metal' simply denotes any base metal, and was stamped on other case parts, sometimes case backs.