Bulova 1937 American Clipper "F"

9/10 votes
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Posted July 12, 2012 - 9:36pm

Club 5000Panel Member

It cannot be ID'd as a base level 'American Clipper' as all these are non-engraved. So in doing so we are incorrect straight off the bat.

The best we have at the moment is the 'F' variant without the original braclet. Tentative 'F' for me.

William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted July 13, 2012 - 2:49pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Stephen.  I understand what your saying above.  But, if we are using the generic "American Clipper" category as a model series name for any and all sub-categories ( e.g. Engraved, Non-Engraved, White Dial etc..) then one of these subcategories would include the "American Clipper without any assigned letter variant" (the base level non-engraved you mention in first sentence above). 
This gets a little tricky, as the superset of generic "American Clippers" contains this base level AC which, at first look, has the same name as it's parent set. 

I think of it this way:  Included in generic "American Clipper" is a subset named "American Clipper no variant designation". This differentiates the sub set from the generic parent set without having to change any nomenclature. 

If above is correct, then subject watch would be a Known Confirmed generic "American Clipper". This would be done regardless of any characteristics the subsets have. 

or a Known Tentative American Clipper "F".  This "name" although tentative, gives more information about the subject watch and may be more useful.

So I agree with you "The best we have at the moment is the "F" variant...Tentative".  I just don't agree with the logic you used to get to this decission- your first two sentences above.


vintagebulova.com's picture
Posted July 13, 2012 - 7:21pm

Club 5000

Unless we have another ad that shows the engraved bezel American Clipper with a different band and a different variant I don't see how it can only be a tentative ID.  So if it had the "correct" band it would be an F? Are all watches without the original band unconfirmed or tentative? 



DarHin's picture
Posted July 13, 2012 - 1:17pm

Unknown American Clipper variant or tentative F until ad is found.

Posted July 13, 2012 - 7:57pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Gents thus is my logic. Both the standard AC and the AC F were both sold with the bracelet, therefore the band in this case is not the variant.
The only advert depicting an engraved AC is the F variant.

Whilst I am a believer that the band can and does sometimes make the difference in this case I don't think it does as it's used on a number of variants.

Posted July 13, 2012 - 8:18pm

This is not Rocket Science...forget the mount...plain bezel, White dial, American Clipper...plain bezel, Black dial, American Clipper "C"...engraved bezel, White dial, American Clipper "F", engraved bezel, Black dial, Unknown or Tentative American Clipper

How do we know that Bulova even sold a engraved bezel American Clipper with a leather strap??

Until we do, this watch is a "F"...when and if  a ad comes along that changes the only information we have now, it can be assigned the correct letter designation, until this happens, the "F" designation will let anyone else that may have a engraved bezel AC know that there is a difference in the AC models, and that is as accurate as we can be with the proof (not theory or speculation) that we have at hand now.

bobbee's picture
Posted July 13, 2012 - 8:45pm

OT, you put forward a good case for the F designation, but what about Shawn's ad with the B, white dial, plain case, leather band? We cannot discount this, but as you say, F is the closest we can get with available data.
Still no case number on subject watch, BTW.

Posted July 13, 2012 - 9:18pm

All I am doing bobbee is just using the info at hand, the AC "B" is also just called a AC with out a letter variant in many of the ad's, so if the subject watch had a plain bezel with a White dial, AC, or AC "B" would be confirmed by me.

The "F" model that I have, and posted with the above link and discussion to,  does not have a leather strap or a bracelet band, it has a leather capped slip on bracelet...and as ragged as it is looks,  it could be as old as the watch. Is it original to the watch?? possibly, but who knows.

All we are doing is trying to narrow down the watch model with the info that we have, as correctly as we can with out speculating, So for now, the "F" designation is the most correct ID for this watch.

Posted July 13, 2012 - 8:52pm

Club 5000Panel Member

OT sometimes I think rocket science might just be easier :-)

William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted July 13, 2012 - 9:13pm

Club 5000Panel Member

I agree w/ the last comments of OT and Jay.  My reply to Stephen above was more geared towards the AC w/ no variant fitting in the generic AC superset...

....and for subject watch, I though there was an ad showing the same case on a different mount.  It musta been I was looking at the real blurry version OT placed in the thread and I just "saw" it wrong.

Without an ad indicating otherwise (which I now know we don't have), as OT and Jay have said nicely and succinctly, for now it can't be anything else. 

I'm still trying to work my head around Admin's reasoning for why the band does not determine variant in his sentence:
         "Both the standard AC and the AC F were both sold with the bracelet, therefore the band in
          this case is not the variant."
While I agree in subject watch, the mount doesn't come into play, but the fact that the AC and AC F both have ads on bracelets does not allow us to rule out bracelet, as this comparison is between two different subsets: 1Non-engraved AC and 2. AC F  Only the absence of an ad allows us to dismiss the mount issue.  We can readdress or change if/when a new ad appears. If we try to mark every watch which may possibly have a different mount tentative, this is not the best course IMO.

The mount only comes into play on a few watches/series.