Presently some myBulova.com evaluation panel members interested in Bulova military watches are commenting about the differences/similarities of two mil spec watches. The watch in question listed in Recent Comments as Bulova 1960 Military Issue 3818A http://mybulova.com/watches/1960-military-issue-3818a-2282 .
The comparison watch is the Type A17A Navigation Watch specified by MIL-W-6433A, & having this data stamped on the 10 point back plate. Thus far into the discussion of the similarities of the two different watches, members agree that both watches use the same case, dial & movement type.
However, we don't yet have access to the either MIL-W-3818A or MIL-W-6433A documents. We do have access to MIL-W-3818B, approved 17 October 1962 that is the replacement document for a watch that supercedes/replaces the MIL-W-3818A watch. This B specification calls the subject watch a General Purpose watch. Therefore MIL-W-3818A approved 12 March 1956 is a General Purpose Watch & not a Navigation watch.
All Military watches are not all intended to be naivgation watches (often described at auction as Pilot Watches). The subject watch under MIL-W-3818A did not replace or supersede other watches in use such as the A-17A at the time. The data stamped on the 10-point backplate should be enough to clarify the issue however, the debate continues.
Below is a list of Military specifications applicable to this discussion. The dates shown are the approval dates of the spec, therefore the watch had to be made after that date!
First introduced in 1956 this Vietnam War era United States Military issue MIL - W - 3818A
Bulova continued to concurrently produce the A-17A.
Auctions listing military watches commonly call these watches either Navigation watches or Pilot watches in order to draw the crowd. Or they really don't know what they are selling, Compare this closed auction watch below and let's see what you think about the watch listed below. Is it really a navigation watch as claimed by the seller?
Auction Title: Bulova U.S. Military 24 Hour Pilots Navigation Wristwatch
- Selling this vintage 1950's-1960's Bulova A17A Military Pilots navigation Watch
- Just had it professionally refurbished-Works Great!!
- Runs Well -Wind-Up Watch
- Spec Mil-W-6433A
- Bulova Part no. 10BNCH
- Bulova serial no. AF-59- 7309
- Order no. Da-36-038-ord-20792M
- Stock no. 6645-557-5596
- Band is a Black Khaki like material
- 24 Hr Military Watch
Note: If auction watch text on case back is unreadable. refer to MIL-W-3818A case back above.