The idea that the early Bulova wrist watches belonged to the Lady/Hudson Maxim lines is not a new one, it has been discussed on this and other sites for quite some time.
Until recently, this has stayed in the "ideas" department, as there was little proof to back it up.
With the finding of actual Lady/Hudson Maxim adverts dating from mid-1921 right up until 1924, we have a basis for some debate and some of the ads even back up the above "idea".
After finding the below clip in an advert from the "Amarillo Daily News" of 14/12/1922, we have an image of a Bulova "150", and this has the words "Lady Maxim" on the dial.
"Not much in the way of proof" you might think, but other recent finds have turned up, and along with these we have older finds that correlate to give us some idea of what Bulova was doing regarding the naming and designating of these early Bulova watches.
The first of the Bulova watches we can find in adverts with any real identity are the "Rubaiyats" several of which have been found in adverts from September 1919, until early 1921.
These consisted of only four style found so far, in round and octagonal, and engraved or unengraved.
In May of 1921, we see for the first time an advert for the "Hudson Maxim" watches, and the "Ladys Hudson Maxim" (these are probably the first of the Lady Maxims, yet to be named as such).
These ladies watches are poorly reproduced in this ad, but still recognizable models of which we have examples in the watch and ads databases.
These early adverts give us a clue to the development of the Bulova watches, and the models.
Above we see the first advert for the Maxim line, and below we see another early September 1921 advert that shows an octagonal engraved LM.
Another with an engraved octagonal LM, this one from December 1921.
Now see this October 1921 ad, where it says "round or octagon case"? This suggests these are the only shapes available at this time.
Also so far, we have found only engraved models in these two shapes definitely identified as the Lady Maxim.
November of 1921, we see new shapes appearing for the first time in the adverts, a lozenge and a hexagon alongside the usual round and octagon. No examples have been found in either of these new shapes definitely ID'd as LM's as yet.
Now we move into March of 1922, with yet another new shape, the cushion LM.
June 1st.1922, the Tonneau.
This shows us that from May until November of 1921, the Lady Maxim line appears to be "using up" existing remnants of the old "Rubaiyat" line of round and octagon watches, after which we start to see a couple of other shapes alongside these older ones. In early 1922 we see a couple of new shapes appear, and these are familiar to us as "numbered" Bulova models from the Saturday Evening Post and other publications.
Now we come to September of 1922, and this is the first ever viewing of the naked dancing lady logo we all know and love.
Although the painting was first mentioned in the September issue of the Jeweler's Circular, it was not until the October 4th. issue that we see the actual photos of the watercolour painting "TIME".
Commisioned by Bulova for the princely sum of $3,000, the famous artist Clarence Coles Phillips painted this beautiful and now famous picture. Below is a link to more information, and examples of his work.
Here is the Jewelers' Circular September article and October photograph.
Here is the first S.E.Post advert with an actual copy of the painting from October 28th. 1922:
By the way, as more evidence, compare the legend in the top left of the above advert, and compare it to many of the LM adverts like the one below that the dancing lady is standing on.
It is the same one, "The Most Beautiful Watch In The World".
Compelling, isn't it?
I have gone into the history of this logo for a good reason; because it is also seen in this Lady Maxim advert in November 11 of 1922!
The model seen in this ad is also known as a "numbered" model too in the regular Bulova ads.
Concerning the "regular" Bulova ads, we see that these ads seem to conform to a regular image, and would appear to be all produced by Bulova, as we have seen in other forums in extensive debates.
Now, we also see at this time as mentioned already many adverts that do not say in so many words that the watches are Lady/Hudson Maxim watches, but several mention at the bottom "Makers of the famous Lady/Hudson Maxim and Rubaiyat watches".
We also have many more Lady/Hudson Maxim adverts, both here on myBulova, and at Watchophilia.
Some of these adverts are remarkably alike, and indeed some use the exact same image/advert, with only the words "Lady Maxim" swapped for "Bulova", and the company "spiel" being slightly different as in these two examples below. We can also see that the surround for the advert is identical, showing that these are in fact mat images from Bulova.
Notice how the bottom ad has the word "Bulova" inserted between the words "17 jewel" and "movement" beneath each model?
See how the dancing lady logo is standing on a banner containing the legend "LADY MAXIM, 'most beautiful watch in the world" in the top LM advert, yet in the second "numbered" ad she is standing on a banner with the words; "BULOVA WATCHES, 'as serviceable as they are beautiful"?
December 13th, 1922 LM ad.
Above, December 7th. 1922 ad.
See the similarities and slight differences? The LM ad was also posted in the newspapers after the bottom one!
The prices are the same too.
This is because these watches are one and the same. Lady Maxims.
Bulova may have been "dipping a toe" in the wrist watch world, by not using the company name in their earlier ads, so as to be able to stop advertising these new watches if their popularity waned, and people went back to the old standby pocket and chatelaine watches. The company would not have come under fire in the press for making these wrist and wristlet watches, because don't forget, the wearers of these had been constantly ridiculed in public, and in the papers. Cartoons, poems, articles and even the law had been against the wearing of wrist watches, one high court judge even going so far as to ask to see lawyers' and jury members' service records, as he believed only members of the military should wear them!
Upon the realisation that wrist watches were indeed "The Future", Bulova starts to use it's own name in advertising, even going so far as to put the revelatory message in several early ads "makers of the famous HUDSON/LADY MAXIM and RUBAIYAT watches", just to let the public at large know that Bulova were actually the manufacturers.
We see this transitional period in the above October 4th. Jeweler's Circular article, as Bulova used the new Coles Phillips painting in "the big national advertising campaign that Bulova has scheduled for this Fall and Winter". From this period, we start to see the numbered models, as popularity rises and Bulovas sales escalate.
More ads that show similarities.
Now do you see where I am going?
All these Lady Maxim ads show that the exact same watches are being sold as numbered models, but are in fact exactly the same cases and designs, advertised at the same time as each other in magazines and newspapers, until at least 1924 for the LM ads, and the same for the "numbered" watch ads, after which we start to see these same watches being individually named late December 1924, although at least one advertiser used the "numbered" ads up until as late as 1926.
October 1924 Numbered advert.
Three December 1924 adverts with the same watches having individual names now.
From this we can see that at least until they were individually named, the two lines are in fact not two but one, the Lady Maxim.
To differentiate from each model, they have simply been given individual numbers, just as some time in the 1930's the watch models with names were given "variant" numbers and letters for the different designs within each model range.
From these later variant numbers and letters we can see that Bulova simply continued as they had started, using this as a way to differentiate between variants in different model lines, only in later years the model lines alone became vast.
From this we can possibly extrapolate that the early numbered men's watches would also come under the Maxim name, the Hudson Maxim. This is not definite of course, but the evidence is quite overwhelming in the instance of the Lady Maxims, but as we have no collaborating Hudson Maxim wrist watch adverts, only a few "trench" style watch examples with the Hudson Maxim name on the dial, this is simply a theory.
Please add your comments either for or against, as this is still a fledgling theory after all, and I need all the help I can get!