Bulova 1942 Warrior

Submitted by neetstuf-4-u on March 4, 2020 - 6:53pm
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Picked this up a while ago and have been trying to figure it out for a while. Yellow gold with engraved lug tops. Case marked "Bulova New York" on the inside. Movement and case dated 1942. 

My first thought was Aviator. We have 2 Aviator ads in the Db dated 1945 and 1946 for this case with engraved lugs. After digging, I found one Canadian ad from 1944 naming watch as Warrior, using the same graphics as the 1945 ad with an ID of Aviator.

In the Db, we have similar with numbered seconds tracks or different number font ID'd as Aviator "B". All date to the 45/46 ads or later. There is also one identical to this


with unnumbered seconds track. This one


has links to off site ads dated 1940 and 1941 identifying as Aviator. However, these ads are grainy/dark and it is difficult to tell if lugs are engraved or not in the ads

Aviator "B" or Warrior?


Posted March 4, 2020 - 7:05pm

warrior ad

Posted March 4, 2020 - 7:20pm

I am on the fence.   Here is another ad from 1945 showing a Bulova Warrior.  It also looks like the same image but it does look like engraving on the lugs.  

Daily News (New York, New York) · 4 May 1945, Fri

1945 Warrior

Posted March 4, 2020 - 8:21pm

Well Jim, that ad certainly confuses it. Now, per ads in the Db and beyond , we have the first documented verified 15J Aviators as unengraved in rose gold. We have an ad dated 1945 calling it Aviator, One ad from MN as Aviator(first  calling out engraving) dated 1946


an ad from Canada dated 1944 and one from NY dated 1945 calling it Warrior. I wonder if it's possible the 1940 and 41 ads off site are of the unengraved Aviator, it's hard to tell. Perhaps 1945 was a transition and the engraved Warrior was rolled over into the Aviator name, adding the engraved case to the name? Circa 1942 to Early 1945 Warrior, late 1945 to 46 and beyond - Aviator (46 called out as engraved Aviator in ads as opposed to previous unengraved?)

The NY Warrior ad seems to confirm a US model name as opposed to a Canadian name for a US watch. By available ads, it looks to me like the engraved Warrior became the Aviator "B" in late 1945 with subtle dial changes.

Just thinking out loud.

My vote is 1942 Warrior

Excellent ad find, Jim!

Geoff Baker
Posted March 4, 2020 - 10:12pm

I say it's Aviator, Advert calls out engraving. Until I see a clearer advert for Warrior, I don't see or read that it's engraved.

1942 Bulova Aviator

Posted March 11, 2020 - 1:55pm

This is a tough one.  I tend to believe this is a 1942 Bulova Warrior based on the 1945 ads. The 1946 ad calling it an Aviator confirms "Engraved" case but is a later ad.  I tend to think the name changed on the engraved version in 1946 from Warrior to Aviator.  

Geoff Baker
Posted March 11, 2020 - 9:43pm

I'm pushing as Warrior but would be tentative to that ID. We debated this style several years back and, as I recall did not come to a conclusion then either.

Posted March 12, 2020 - 6:40am

I'm finding a number of 1948 Adverts for the Aviator "B", so also am of the thought that the earlier 1942 was the Warrior

Posted March 12, 2020 - 7:46am

In reply to by mybulova_admin

My thoughts as well. Original Aviator was unengraved rose gold. Based on available ads, at some point in 1945, Rose gold unengraved Aviator  became Aviator"A" and Warrior (engraved yellow) became Aviator "B", hence the 1946 ad calling out "engraved Aviator" ( a "new" Aviator model).

Per examples in the Db, 1945 dated Aviator "B" and later shows face with "7" having hook at bottom. Warrior has straight leg "7". It appears that the first engraved Aviator ads (45/46) recycled the graphics for the Warrior, showing straight leg "7".

Take note of hand placement in ads. Aviator "B" ads use same graphics except the minute hand appears slightly longer and thicker to partially cover the bottom of the "7" . Pretty clever.