Retracing Bulova History
Retracing Bulova History.
The Bulova Corporation was founded in 1875 by Czech immigrant Joseph Bulova in a small premises on Maiden Lane, New York City.
By 1911, Joseph Bulova had set up manufacturing to build high quality boudoir clocks, table clocks and pocket watches and by the following year (1912) Joseph Bulova was able to establish his first dedicated Watch manufacturing and assembly plant in Bienne, Switzerland, building only quality fully jeweled movements.
'At about the time of the First World War, there were many European watch manufacturers that said that the wearing of a watch on the wrist would never be a popular alternative to the pocket watch. Joseph Bulova, creating a pioneering spirit that was to become the 'culture' of Bulova, started to experiment with compact spring and balance wheel timepieces that could withstand the impacts and shocks of being worn on the wrist. Out of only a handful of manufacturers of the day, Bulova introduced its first line of fully jeweled men's wristwatches in 1919'
So, where are these 'Bulova Watches' Dating from 1911 to 1921 You may ask?
The clues are right before Us.
The first clue was recently discoverd in an ad which appeared in a 1922 Cosmopolitan Magazine.
* Note: the ad reads:
J. Bulova Co. Fifth Avenue at 36th Street. New York
Makers of the famous HUDSON MAXIM and RUBAIYAT Watches.
The image appears to be Copyrighted 1920 or 1921 and there is no mention of Bulova Watch Co in fact to the contary, the ad reads J. Bulova Co.
In 1917 a Patent was issued to the J. Bulova Co.
*Note: there is no notation of when this Patent was applied for or when the Name 'Rubaiyat' was first used by the J. Bulova Co
Enter into the picture this piece:
The Watch shown above is a First World War era (WWI 1914 - 1918) Gent's wrist Watch, correctly Jeweled (7) for Military issue at the time, manufactured in Switzerland, signed on both Case and Movement Rubaiyat W. Co. in the very same fashion, identically even, to early movements signed Bulova W. Co., which appear around 1921. Also please note the Rubaiyat signature on the Movement rolls the same way depicted in the Patent issued to J. Bulova Co.
What does this mean?
It is My contention that this Rubaiyat W Co. signed piece is the early work of Joseph Bulova manufactured while operating as the J. Bulova Co. pre Bulova Watch Company and the reason We do not see any 'Bulova Watches' pre Dating the early 1920's is that they do not exist. They do, only during the Decade of 1911-1921 Mr Joseph Bulova of the J. Bulova Co was manufacturing His famous Watches from the facility in Bienne, Switzerland under the Names of 'Rubaiyat' and 'Maxim' as indicated by the early 1920's ad.
This contention would also help explain early 1920's Watches which are American Standard Cased Bulova signed Movements with Maxim, Rubaiyat or nothing at all printed on their Dials, as J. Bulova Co grew and morphed into Bulova Watch Company, casing and timing Watches downstairs from the newly constructed Bulova observatory on Fifth Avenue, New York.
Many thanks to Mr Stephen Oilman, owner/admin of MyBulova.com for allowing the presentation of this information on site and to fellow MyBulova members who take time to read, evaluate, enjoy or critique.
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