Bulova 1928 Athlete

Member for

13 years 3 months
Submitted by Wayne Hanley on November 21, 2010 - 1:53pm
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Date Code
Cresent Moon
Movement Jewels
Movement Serial No.
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Case color
Crystal details
21.0mm x 21.0mm
Watch Description

Case Material: 14K Rolled Gold Plate

Case Dimensions: 32.9mm Lug-Lug 26.5mm Wide

No Ad for this watch-Bottom picture is Stephen Ollman's Athlete



Bulova watch
1928 Bulova watch
1928 Bulova watch
1928 Bulova watch

Member for

12 years 7 months
Posted February 15, 2011 - 12:55pm

Is that a Chrome or Nickel plate??

Member for

13 years 3 months
Wayne Hanley
Posted February 16, 2011 - 1:14pm


14K Rolled Gold Plate (RGP). All of the 1924 to 1930 Bulova watches were 10K or 14K RGP. Some were gold fill. Bulova used nickel for base metal. on the RGP & fill cases. The exception would be solid gold.. In 1925 Bulova made a sterling silver cased 39713, with an exploding dial. I have never seen the real watch, only the ad picture.


Member for

13 years 7 months
William Smith
Posted August 13, 2015 - 3:26pm

In reply to by Wayne Hanley

We have found this "all RGP" not to be true for those years. Many Rolled Gold Plate were advertised and produced simutaneously with some fill versions, and the ads are suggesting that these RGP models were priced very slightly under the fill models (by a couple dollars).  We are also seeing date patterns in case signature changes which may help us with manufacturer year when other info is not available. 

Member for

12 years
Posted July 24, 2012 - 7:22am

Am I right in thinking the case serial number dates this to 1933?

Member for

13 years 7 months
William Smith
Posted September 23, 2012 - 3:23am

In reply to by bobbee

I would think so Bobbee, but in this instance???

Member for

12 years
Posted September 23, 2012 - 3:57am

Hello, that 39713 looks familiar, same as the 39714, but gold filled. AND has "Bulova" on the dial.

Will, maybe the first "3" in the SN is a mis-struck "8", as is so often seen, like Mark's 1921 "156" with the mis-struck  "1" that looks like a "4".

Member for

12 years 11 months
Posted September 23, 2012 - 6:38am

Mis struck 8 would be My call -

Member for

13 years 7 months
William Smith
Posted September 23, 2012 - 3:08pm

Do we know (is there an ad on site) suggesting when the Athlete model was first advertised for sale? I don't believe there currently is.   Even though there could have been earlier ads which we don't have, or it could have been marketed/sold earlier and not advertised, when do we first see this model appearing in our "records"?  If we believe the Athlete first appeared in 1928, this would also suggest the first digit of case serial number (now entered as a 3) is a mis-struck 8.
This ID could have originally been based on the name given this model in the Cooksey et. al. price guide.  It appears as such in the 2011 guide on page 716.

Member for

14 years
Posted September 23, 2012 - 4:47pm

I would very much agree that it is in fact an 8.

Member for

11 years 8 months
Posted December 9, 2012 - 11:47pm

Would some one care to share with me where the pic is that shows the SN. I can't see anything.