Bulova 1931 -Unknown

Model ID rating explained.
Manufacture Year: 
Movement Symbol: 
Square Shield
Movement Model: 
Movement Jewels: 
Movement Serial No.: 
Case Serial No.: 
Case shape: 
Case Manufacturer: 
Crystal Details: 
WC 2C252 220
Additional Information: 

Case measures 31mm x 26.5mm non inclusive of the Crown using Calipers.

Radium Dial with raised Gilt Bulova signature.

A dustshield and retaining ring appears over the Movement.

Hinged Caseback is stamped as shown.

as found.

Not For Sale
Bulova watch
1931 Bulova watch
1931 Bulova watch
1931 Bulova watch
FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted August 19, 2012 - 9:53am


Not really - 1931 seems to be a time of change. If You note the Case designs of the 1920's were evolving into the sleeker styles of the 1930's.

In this time it's possible Bulova were using up what inventory of 'old style' Dials they had - pure speculation.

The Movement block of this Watch fits the bezel perfectly.

The 'wear marks' around the perimeter of the Dial itself, although not blatent match the bezel opening 100% with no signs of this Dial being in any other Case.

...and there's the second 'UNKNOWN' belonging to Mr Baker with an identical Dial

I have no reason to doubt its authenticity in this instance.


Geoff Baker
Posted August 19, 2012 - 5:27am

Club 5000Panel Member


William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted August 19, 2012 - 3:17pm

Club 5000Panel Member

unknown for me

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted August 19, 2012 - 3:18pm

Panel Member

The early thirties were indeed a time of change, both economically in global terms and also in the Swiss movement industry. In the mid 20's Swiss ebauche manufacturers were in debt to the tune of 200 million francs in total. In late 1926, the regions largest ebauche manufacturers, A.Schild, FHF, and A. Michel, amalgamated to form ESA, Ebauches SA. This followed crisis years, with supply vastly outsripping demand and showing export of surplus components to foreign countries, like the US. A holding company was formed to steward the three companies finances with prices set, eliminating competition. The three companies remained autonomous, and did not interfere with each other's internal policies or running. In 1927, 9 more ebauche manufactures joined the cartel, and this was followed in 1931 by another 30. The original three had originally agreed to not manufacture any ebauches whatsoever for 5 years, and this drove the prices up, allowing them to survive the market crash in 1929.

In 1932, seven more companies entered, including Eterna, itself now split into watchmaking (Eterna) and ebauches (ETA) They did struggle throughout the thirties, mainly because they had given the individual companies some power to remain distinct, and thus the huge cartel did not always change when it was necessary to do so. 

My reason for mentioning this rather dry history is that I believe that major watch manufacturers like Bulova, had sudden opportunities (and restrictions) to take advantage of changing ebauche production, first with lowered prices, and later with restricted supply. The point being, we will never know how many decisions Bulova made based on behind the scenes activity that may have necessitated using old stock, including movts, cases, and dials. We have seen how many models seem to merely change name, while others seem to be a slight variation in dial or case. 

William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted August 21, 2012 - 3:08pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Rob thanks for taking the time to add this comment.  I really like this info, and it's great your willing to add it. 

Posted January 26, 2013 - 5:25pm

Good stuff Rev. Thanks much. How is the opening going?