For Lone Eagle fans

Submitted by Bob Bruno on December 18, 2010 - 9:08pm

I saw this the other day while searching for Lone Eagles. In the description the seller said the case had a patten number dated to 1924. So I send him an email asking how could it be 24 when the flight didn't happen untill 27?  He tells me that this is one of the original 5000 watches issued. After the the first issue the cases had a patten date of 1927. What do you think boys?

Still not worth what he's asking.


Posted December 19, 2010 - 1:24am

Interesting... so his 1924 Lone Eagle watch also shows a Triangle date stamp on the movment dating it to 1926...

I suppose they could have used an old case from the Conquerer...   Obviously things arn't always so black and white when it comes to these old watches.

Stephen Ollman
Posted December 19, 2010 - 1:37am

The 1924 date is the patent date on the back case and refers to the 'dust proof shield' invention. All Bulova watch made before about August 1927 used the 1924 patent date, then after used the 1927.

In my opinion the watch in question is one of the original 5000 Lone Eagles as discussed in the Lone Eagle story . I've been in contact with them on a number of occasions to discuss and can confirm its authenticity.

 The later 1927/1928 release of the Corner Cut version has the 1927 patent date on the back case.

Posted December 19, 2010 - 1:39am

In reply to by Stephen Ollman

Ah... yah... that and I have a friend named Steph who is obsessed with these Lone Eagles and can recite the stats on them in his sleep!

Haha.... good to know Stephen... that way when I'm tooling around a rummage sale some time and see one I'll not pass it up. =)

Stephen Ollman
Posted December 19, 2010 - 1:50am

In reply to by plainsmen

Plains :-)

I have spent way to many hours to count researching this series after falling in love with them 5 years ago. To say I was/am obsessed with the Lone Eagle series is an understatement.

They are what made me start this site and continue to fasinate me as I still learn about them.

I'm always happy to help anyown identify one of these beauties.

In fact I'm thinking of starting a 'Lone Eagle 5000 Club' to really make this particular watch something special.

Who else owns what the believe to be an original LE 5000????

Stephen Ollman
Posted December 19, 2010 - 1:45am

As far as the asking price I also own one of the origianls and I'd like to think that they are worth this much. Reality though is a different thing. Still as collectors become more aware and demand goes up, so does the price. I paid $83 for mine 5 years ago. I've cleaned and services it a number of times and painted up the numbers with modern (non radio-active paint)

1927 original Bulova LoneEagle

The hour hand in the Rubylane watch is incorrect though.

Wayne Hanley
Posted December 19, 2010 - 2:26am


What movements are considered authentic for the those 5000 Lone Eagles produced prior to the arrival of the 1927 dated cases? I have a 1925 9AT 17j movement in my Lone Eagle with a 1927 dated case. I don't consider my Lone Eagle authentic at present due to hands, dial & crown.  I fully understand that watches get parts replaced, dials repainted. To make my Lone Eagle series I authentic all I have to do is change to the proper parts.


Stephen Ollman
Posted December 21, 2010 - 4:51pm

Ahh the million dollar question.....what makes a LE and original 5000 LE.

Its the movement and case serial numbers. I've spent the last 5 years gathering a private database on all manner of vintage Bulova watch movements and I have a good understanding of the serial numbers on the original 5000 Lone Eagles.

Unlike most other models it would appear that Bulova ordered a batch of the same movements in 1926 in preparation for the release of the Lone Eagle watch. Whilst in 1926 they didn't yet have a name for the watch they did plan ahead. Ardé Bulova, Joseph’s son offered $1,000 prize money to the first pilot to make the crossing in 1926 and it is my thought that around the same time Bulova placed a large order of movements in order to be released as a commemorative watch (some consider the first commemorative watch ever). What came back for the Swiss factory was 5000 sequentially numbers 10AN movements with a 1926 date stamp. Bulova at some point also manufactured the American made corner-cut enamal 14K Gold Filled cases, also with a serial number range to fit the ordered 5000 movements.

The Original 5000  Lone Eagles that I have come across in the last 5 years have these serial numbers

Date stamp, movement model, mevement serial, case serial and jewel count

26 10AN    225751    XXXXXX   17
26 10AN    226044    6636667    17
26 10AN    226840    6634587    17
26 10AN    226934    6635298    17
26 10AN    226975    6636219    17
26 10AN    227205    XXXXXX   17
26 10AN    227326    6637786    17
26 10AN    227399    6560017    17
26 10AN    227730    6637411    17
26 10AN    228227    6636409    17

The movement will always start with 22XXXX and the case will be either 65XXXXX or 66XXXXX

Anything prior to these are lkely to be a Conqueror and anything post a 1927 later release.

These are my finding which I'm making public now after 5 years of study.

As you can see the movement range is within 5000. My 'Holy Grail' continues to find the start and end of this number range.

Comments and thoughts welcome.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

Posted December 19, 2010 - 5:14am


Hats off, an amazing study.

Your idea for a club or an 'owners society' is brilliant. It would certainly aid in authenticity, preservation, add to model notoriety and value to say the least.