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: 


William Smith
Posted February 21, 2013 - 2:20pm

In reply to by bobbee

We are in the "process".  Some folks just haven't voted yet.  I don't pay much attention to Lisa doing a detailed analysis of Stephen's intent, attidude, and charactor based on three little words :)  Even my magic eight ball can't do that.  I do like how she laid out the ads, timeline on these ads, pending IDs and facts to date.  That part of the blog has affected me- its helped me reach my decission, so in that respect you are right.
I think we are getting close to all folks voting soon.

Posted February 21, 2013 - 3:25am

Bobbee which LE are you referring to that had only one ad, and only one ad?

I guess the reason not all of us are convinced yet is the 'fact' that we already have long time known versions of this model during this period, with all traditional models having multiple adverts and references.

Surly even you Bobbed must admit that there is a chance that the store involved may have taken certain liberties with the name use. Also how do you explain the lack of other adverts from other major outlets that seemed to have not advertised this model as a LE, the Bulova cash cow?

Posted May 18, 2013 - 12:24pm

In reply to by mybulova_admin

As talked about in PM's, maybe the reason Bulova did not advertise heavily with the new Lone Eagle is that Lindbergh's baby had been kidnapped and murdered in March of 1932, and that story and the subsequent capture and trial of one of the kidnappers could possibly have held Bulova back from any official release of a new model as being in bad taste.
It looks like at least one company got the new model and advert pics, and went ahead with adverts, although they waited until later in the year, and released their ads around the time of the competition watch.
Thoughts, anyone?

Posted February 21, 2013 - 8:13am

All research for this new model has been put in the shade with the amount of time I have spent trying to find something to disprove it, but there is nothing.
It is up to others to find any contradictary evidence, I quit.

William Smith
Posted February 21, 2013 - 2:31pm

We have hammered this one :) IMO it's not necessarily up to others to find contradictary evidence, althoug we are all looking for evedence.... and none has been found.  It is up to others to vote before too long.  I went with tentative Lone Eagle, as we have made ID calls for many models this way.  I can always change my ticks to three if/when we find another advertisers ad, or I can change my stance on the entire model ID if something different comes up.  However, if we found a single ad from any third party source indicating it was another model name, I'd question that ad as I have these new ones, and not necessarily change my vote from tentative Lone Eagle based on one or two contridictiory ads from the same advertiser.  I like the idea of two independent third party ads to go with a three tick confirmed vote....or some crystal specs that match third party ads.  We are doing a great job on this one...and the system is working IMO.

Posted February 21, 2013 - 4:32pm

I agree, having another form of identification would help , as with any conflicting model. I too like the idea of having multiple supplier adverts or an official Bulova advert is positive proof confirmation.

Posted February 22, 2013 - 12:49pm

In reply to by mybulova_admin

Bakersfield Californian, September 1st, 1932 ad.

  This makes a total of four ads, three of them different, three different dates over two different years from two different locations, and in   two different papers.

I am really, really trying.

William Smith
Posted February 22, 2013 - 4:27pm

Good job! A different advertiser, diff part of the country, and diff newspaper!  That certainly backs up the other three ads!  Trying....your doing it, not just trying!

Posted February 22, 2013 - 5:07pm

Alright... in light of the autonomous new ad... I'm good.  Two seperate company ads pushes me over the edge.  I'm in agreement.  LE5... which would make the 34-35.. the LE6.. and the LE"A" of 1940 the LE7...

Great job Bob!  You kept after it and nailed it.

William Smith
Posted February 22, 2013 - 7:10pm

I got a little confused on this one.  

"This makes a total of four ads, three of them different, three different dates over two different years from two different locations, and in   two different papers".

...but it's the same company doing the advertising....just a different store location in CA.  All four ads are from Genser Lee in California......  

Posted February 22, 2013 - 10:30pm

Confused? Why?
EDIT:- I see now what you are saying, did you think I was mis-leading you?

Posted February 23, 2013 - 1:14am

In reply to by bobbee

dude.... relax with the sensitivity.... geeze.. its like noone can disagree with you or we're attacking you... is all good man... we're buddies here. Stop being a sally.

Posted February 23, 2013 - 5:05am

In reply to by plainsmen

What's a sally?
All I did was ask a question, not throw a screaming hissy fit.

William Smith
Posted February 22, 2013 - 10:51pm

No  no no.... You knew it was from the same palce and the icon shoulda tipped me off.  I just read too fast and thought it was from another advertiser.... You woulda let us know if it was from a different company...I just didn't pay attention....

Posted February 23, 2013 - 3:25am

1 + 1 = 1 :-)


I'd suggest that the company had a single marketing section that handled multiple newpaper outlets.

Posted May 18, 2013 - 1:21pm

In reading through this would appear to be an advertising blunder on behalf of Genser Lee.



Posted April 22, 2014 - 2:41am

In reply to by mybulova_admin

I mentioned in a post from February 15th. 2013 on the previous page of this thread, and posted a similar ad to the above, that the fact that Gensler Lee advertised the two different variants around about the same time proves that they  knew the difference in the two models.

Not only that, but the above ad is from a different store than the ones that the new LE ads were being sold from.

Gensler Lee owned 16 stores across the US, and they would advertise the stock they had, not neccesarily what Bulova had just released, and not neccesarily what other stores from the same franchise was selling.

Posted May 18, 2013 - 2:53pm

It is good to have input from any member in this matter, no matter how uninformed or incredulous, but I find your throwaway remark ignorant,lacking in any depth or insight and shows just how much you actually have read of this thread, and what you think of other peoples hard work in these matters only adds to your lack of credibility. This is not a personal attack but a reaction to such a shocking, shallow and asinine post.

The fact remains that there are no ads for an engraved or yellow gold Trident, which the ads above predate.

Four seperate ads spanning 15 months, from the same jeweler who has advertised both this mark four and the mark three LE's in the same time frame, which means they knew the difference between them.

All adverts from this company have been used to ID many watches on this site, and have proved to be extremely accurate and  authentic in their watch depictions.

When you have any proof to refute this Lone Eagle IV's authenticity please post it.

Posted May 20, 2013 - 7:28am

In reply to by bobbee

Four wrongs don't make a right. The jury is still out on this one. Some people have been doing this long enough to know when things just don't add up. For many of us this is one such matter, but like I said the jury is still out.

Not wanting to open this can of worms again until someone has something concrete to add to this discussion, however everyone is still entitled to voice 'their' opinion on this matter without being slandered or having their post labelled as 'shocking, shallow or asinine'.

Whilst some members may react negatively to the advert it is only against the advert they are reacting to and not the person making the claim that this is an 'official' Lone Eagle release or the hard work involved in finding this advert, which for its part for better or worse is still part of the advertising history of Bulova watches.

Lets focus our efforts in either correctly proving or dis-proving the statement made by this retailer that this watch is a Lone Eagle.


Posted May 20, 2013 - 11:30am

"Four wrongs don't make a right". Bold statement, now prove it.

EDIT:- And I stand by my opinion in that post.

Posted July 2, 2013 - 9:06am

Another Lone Eagle model that we didn't know existed....or.....

Bulova Lone Eagle - Incorrect identification.

Posted July 6, 2013 - 7:59am


The ad above is a good one as the Watch depicted as a 'LONE EAGLE' certainly looks like what has previously been identified as the 'TEMPLAN'.

ad Dated 1929.

"look before You leap", erronious, quite often mis-leading advertisements are out there particularly in the vintage Newspapers.

The "fact" is the facts are not always what they appear to be



Posted April 24, 2014 - 2:35am

Has anyone noticed that the ads that depict wrong ID's almost always come from non-Bulova or ex-Bulova authorised distributors?

Notice the prices are low, because the jewelry shops are holding a closing-down sale?


This is because the adverts from Bulova, the official Mat ads, will have the correct price on them, and so the jeweler had to make up their own ads, and thus the mistakes were made!


Bulova steadfastly refused to allow their ADs to reduce prices, and even took jewelers who broke this contractual price fixing to court.

This was to make sure all their ADs were selling from the same level, and no-one could gain the "upper hand" by selling at a reduced price.

I have seen many such "erroneous, quite often misleading" ads as the above Victor jewelry Co. ad in my searches, and that is the one thing that they had in common when the watch picture did not match the name.

The differences with these "cut price watch" ads and the Gensler Lee new LE ads can clearly be seen. Reduced price, meaning "everything must go", and they were sloppy in their depictions in the rush to get rid of stock.

The Gensler Lee 1932 ads in particular have the prices incorporated into the actual watch depictions themselves, proving that the prices are correct.

The TRIDENT sold for only $24.75 nationwide, and the Lone Eagle for $37.50, the price in three of the four ads!


Here is a quote from another thread, where a member claims the wrong watch picture has been used next to the descriptive text, and my refutations of this claim.



"And lets just look at that L.E. descriptive text. "A new model, bearing Bulova's greatest name! Engraved whit gold or natural gold filled Bulova quality case. Raised gold numerals, gold hands. Novel Hollywood link bracelet. Guaranteed, accurate 15 jewel Bulova movement."

The above quote from the ad below (September 1st. 1932 ad) certainly seems to be describing the watch in the ad accurately.

Now, lets look at the description of the 1931 Lone Eagle, which some think is the model being described, and would be the only one until the 1934 variant was released. The quotation below is taken from a 1931 L.E. ad in the DB.

"This Mens' Watch is named in honour of Colonel Lindbergh, celebrated Aviator. Fine white permanent finish case, with flexible bracelet to match. 15 jewel guaranteed Bulova movement. Choice of Radium dial or raised gold numerals."

That describes a WHITE plated watch, with a choice of dial types. This 1931/32 variant IS ONLY found in white gold.

The new model comes in two different case colours, but only one dial type.

The old model came in one case colour (white), but had two dial types."


The whole of these two ads, the names, prices, and watch pictures came as a whole in the mats supplied from Bulova, and then were used by the newspaper to print the whole thing. The company only added their names at the bottom or/and top, if you look at any Bulova generated advert used by jewelers the differences can be seen.

The facts are that Bulova supplied ADs with adverts, and here is the proof.

Jewelers were provided with advertising order cards From Bulovas' Sales Promotion Dept., like this one from 1923. It shows that even this early in their history, Bulova had many ads for use in newspapers by their ADs.

1923 National Advertising Campaign Bulova card


This snippet from the 1930 after dinner speech by HH Taub about advertising shows Bulova supplied the ads, and he says "the advertising being done for him in the newspapers and magazines". A very interesting and telling statement.



Here are some photos of actual unused Bulova Mats from the 1940s, used in advertising by jewelers.

Pictures and Mats owned and supplied by my good friend Alan Brown.



The Mats show how the ads were made, and you can see how in the original Mats the pictures are the right way round.  these Mats had molten lead poured over them, which left a "slug" that showed everything reversed. The jewelers name was made using a different pre-made slug and added to it in the area left in the original Mat, seen above. 

Then the Printers used these lead "slugs" to print the actual ads. These Mats were single use, and not many have been seen as can be expected.

Here is an actual lead "slug" that has had the image reversed. Next to it is an actual advert using this same slug, dating to 1963. See how the jeweler simply adds their name at the bottom?

So, we know now that Bulova supplied the Mats and "did the advertising for them", at least between 1923 and 1963.

A company as large as Gensler Lee would never risk Bulovas ire, and possibly lose their contract to supply Bulova watches, by making erroneous adverts.

Gensler Lee never made obvious, badly stuck together "cut-price" ads.

Their ads were supplied by BULOVA, and the facts speak for themselves.




Posted June 22, 2014 - 10:21am

 More "grist for the mill".

Bulova could have an excellent reason for releasing a new Lone Eagle model in 1932.

The 5th. anniversary of Lindbergh's epic flight, and so too Bulova's Lone Eagle watch.

The finding of the Lindbergh's son's body on 12th. May 1932 would have brought an abrupt halt to any release of an "Anniversary model" by just nine days, as this would simply have been commercial suicide.

Bulova then could have called a Board meeting about what to do about all these new watches, and came up with the "Contest Watch", first read of in newspapers in June of 1932.

The argument that "the adverts are not Bulova generated" hold no water, as the Trident or Contest watch adverts are all third-party adverts too, although the September 1st. LE ads are definitely Bulova generated, from mats supplied by Bulova.

Bulova already knew of the value of re-badging a potential "bomber", was not the Lone Eagle once a bad selling watch known as the Conqueror?

Just my opinion, but a well thought out one! :-)

William Smith
Posted June 22, 2014 - 6:04pm

Bobbee I think that's what we all agreed on for these ads and this watch. Most of the descussion otherwise is from almost a year or more age.  Nice summary of where we ended up with this discussion though.  And would have been suicide for Bulova in light of events.   I like that senario!!!

Posted June 23, 2014 - 1:33am

I did not know what was agreed on, as I was not privy to those panel discussions.

Looking at the only other comments than mine on this page, it looks like nobody agreed positively  at all, there have been a couple of posts earlier this year saying it is a mistake.

Of course, they must have or the watch Identifications wouldn't have been changed to LE's!


Posted October 22, 2014 - 9:38am



                                             Advert Number Five.

                                San Jose News, September 1st. 1932.



Posted April 5, 2020 - 3:05am

I just happen to be wearing this watch today and was motivated into revisiting the model name discussion we had previously.

After years of searching I have finally found an alternate advert showing this watch as a different model.

Welcome the 1933 Bulova 'Bernard'. Note the black lines along the sides which I believe to be showing the side engravings. 

It's not confirmed but at least now we have another name to search. It's also the first time we have come across this name. Not sure were the 'famous' bit comes from.

It's also worth noting that this print is very different from both the many 'Contest' and 'Trident' adverts we see.

The advert is dated December 17, 1933 and appearing in the Evening Star on Page B-6.

1933 Bulova Bernard watch

Ok another advert found confirming the side engraving.

1933 Bulova Bernard watch