Bulova 1938 Chancellor

Submitted by Joojoo on March 17, 2018 - 7:36am
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Date Code
Movement Jewels
Movement Serial No.
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Case Manufacturer
Additional Information

Very possibly a Bulova frankenwatch (see movement).

Case Model: Trident, or Alden, or Chancellor. I think Chancellor. 1938 according to case serial number.

Movement 1937 according to the arrow symbol. Movement should apparently be 10AN, but the bridge (at least) is 10AE. It's 17J.

At the edge of the mainplate under the balance wheel it has the number 41 engraved in a trapezium.

Can't find a movement serial, but I've so far only removed the balance.

Also engraved in the case back:

21461H or possibly 214GIH

F32285 (quite scratchy)

Gold plated, worn off at the corners. In the photo's (sellers photos) it looks a bit like rose gold, but definitely yellow in real life.

Balance pivot broken, in the process of replacing balance staff.

I don't like the tinted crystal much, might replace with clear.


Posted March 17, 2018 - 10:47am

Thought I'd add another image, dial side of movement, took this one myself.

Note the circular paterning on the face, and the FHF? logo at the top. 

Edit: It's an FHF (Font) movement, not sure which one though. Could be original, the watch dial does say 'Swiss'. 

Also, there's no removable endstone on the escape wheel bearing. I think this may not be a 17J 10AE, possibly just has bridges replaced.

Movement dial side

Reverend Rob
Posted March 17, 2018 - 11:41am

Both the 10AN and the 10AE are from the FHF 324 ebauche. As was customary, Bulova either modded the balances or produced them from scratch, usually in the US. In this instance, the 10AE has a different pallet arbor, a slightly different balance, and a slightly different mainspring. Intermixing parts could be problematic, but this is true of almost any of these movts. (Except, of course for the approved interchangable parts) Since the overall size is identical, it would have been common to substitute one for the other during repair, depending on what the issue was. Water incursion was the most common problem that could almost guarantee the destruction of the movt. Swapping the movt would have been common, especially once the watch was well beyond warranty. 

Both the 10AE and the 10AN came with 7, 15, 17, 1nd 21 jewel configuration. 17 jewels is a fully jewelled watch, right to the centre, while 21 jewels usually denotes cap jewels. 


Posted March 17, 2018 - 2:15pm

In reply to by Reverend Rob

Thanks for your response.

There's no information on 17J/10AE Trident/Alden/Chancellor, so I assume your saying that this is most probably a very similar swapped movement from another Bulova that's been used to 'repair' the watch at some point in its history. 

No matter I shall fix it all the same. Just found one of the teeth on the centre wheel broken, so could be more issues in the train. We shall see.

Posted March 17, 2018 - 9:20pm

Visually, I'm inclined to say this is more likely to be a Chancellor, based on shape and face configuration/font style, like this one.


Although it closely resembles this one as well.


It appears that Tridents and Chancellors of this time period were 15 jewel 10AN as opposed to 17 jewel. It also appears that this configuration of the Trident may have been renamed Chancelor in 1937. At this point, I'm leaning towards a 1938 Chancellor with a replaced movement based on what appears to be an original case , hands and face. Still looking but I think this may be a non-conforming.

Geoff Baker
Posted March 20, 2018 - 8:06am

Hi JooJoo, welcome to myBulova. This one is tricky at best. We have these a Trident, Chancellor,  Alden AND Lone Eagle depending on the year. I'm inclined, the movement jewel difference noted to go with a tentative Chancellor ID, based on the year.

1938 Bulova Chancellor (tentative)

Posted March 20, 2018 - 9:28am

Thanks to all who are responding.

I'm excited to hear what a 'non-conforming' would mean.

Do I get thrown out of the club for owning a 'Bitza'? :(

I'm fairly confident myself that the case is a '38 Chancellor. The yellow gold plate was not available as far as I can tell on earlier models (edit: wrong it seems) and I had some early concerns that it had been plated after-market. Also the crown looks more consistent (edit: wrong - I was thinking of one of the images on here which has a cabochon, but it seems that one is the exception)

The movement seems to me to be an early 324 ebauche 17J, I say early because I'm given to understand that the later ebauches wouldn't have had the FHF patterning and logo. The arrow on the bridge would indicate 1937.  It would be interesting to have some idea which Bulova models from 1937ish would have had a 17J 10AE in them.





Reverend Rob
Posted March 20, 2018 - 10:39am

A non-conforming means some aspect of the watch has been altered enough that it is not considered original, or typical of the model in question. The designation is to help point out a discrepancy and not necessarily denigrate any particular watch. Your watch is all Bulova, and the movt swap just needs to be noted.

That said, some movt swaps will never be known because the correct model and jewel count has been used. The 10AN has been used in many Bulova watches, and there are quite a few with the 10AE as well. The 10AN is an older movt, so goes back to the 20's models. 

Some non-con watches have non-Bulova cases or movts.

I'm leaning towards this being a Chancellor, albeit  with an upgraded movt.

Posted March 20, 2018 - 11:41am

In reply to by Reverend Rob

Interesting though that myBulova's own data on the 10AN movement is that it wasn't used after 1937.  So even though a 1938 Chancellor may be supposed to be 15J, it apparently wasn't a 10AN 15J!

Geoff Baker
Posted March 21, 2018 - 6:29am

In reply to by Joojoo

Joojoo - It will not be a surprise to find a 1937 movement in a 1938 case straight from the factory and totally original. Understand that there's only one day separating the two years. A movement stamped in the last week of December could easily have been put into a case stamped the first week of January.

Regarding start / end dates in our movement dB. We  adjust those dates, both start and end as we discover new examples. We do not have any special knowledge of Bulova production, we update as we discover new information.