Bulova 1944 Military Issue

2/10 votes
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Not For Sale
Bulova watch
1944 Bulova watch
1944 Bulova watch
1944 Bulova watch
1944 Bulova watch
Posted May 16, 2014 - 11:35am

Hey bobbee how's she look? I gotta get a different strap , I have a Guss military strap but it looks so nice with with leather

bobbee's picture
Posted May 16, 2014 - 1:34pm

The Guss is great for Military purism, but that croc is my favourite colour, it looks good on the watch, and is more suited to wear with jeans and workshirt, or even your best Gaultier suit.

You did some great sympatico work on the hands so wear it with pride, someone once did seventy years ago.


Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted May 16, 2014 - 7:06pm

Panel Member

Absolutely fabulous.

A keeper, if ever there was one, and a special history too. Great job on the hands, she looks great.

Now, I'm gonna put on my serious face.

This is for anyone thinking of re-luming old Radium hands.

The half life of Radium is 1601 years. The Zinc Sulfide degrades and the glow fades to nothing. What is left is a non-glowing lume that is just as hot as the day they put it on, for all intents and purposes. The metal in the hands and the dial will remain radioactive. Flaking the lume off will contaminate the tools, bench, mat, and anything it comes in contact with. If you accidentally ingest the Radium, it can get nasty. The body sees Radium as Calcium, and imports it into bones, where it stays til you die. My Grandfather had Radium poisoning from the Second World War. As a watchmaker, they employed him to repair the instruments on the shot-up planes. This would include re-luming the dials and hands, and some other markings on the panels.

Now, the hazards of Radium were well known by this time, but war is war, and everybody got on with it. The upshot is that my Grandfather had a terrible case of Radium poisoning, and his bones ached like a toothache for the rest of his life. 

Radium was used on watch dials and hands into the early 1960's and on clocks until 1978. Comparatively speaking, there is a much larger quantity of Radium paint on clock dials, and the emssions are actually surprising. Most often you will find this on bedroom electric clocks, and clock radios. I used chunks of the paint from my Mother's clock to do cloud chamber demonstrations in Physics class. 

I no longer do any kind of Radium resto or work on flaking Radium dials. My exposure, as you might imagine, would be much higher given the volume of watches.

Anyway, as long as you don't eat the stuff and are reasonably careful, the risks are small, but keep in mind the nature of the toxicity.


Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted May 16, 2014 - 7:07pm

Panel Member

I should also add that the alpha radiation exits through the crystal, and is blocked to the rear by the dial and movt. Wearing a Radium watch is low risk.

bobbee's picture
Posted May 17, 2014 - 7:58am


 The Man.



The ship.


This is not the exact ship, but a similar type.



bobbee's picture
Posted May 17, 2014 - 6:15am






                     Norman J. Gerlach is interred in the Veterans Cemetery, Rhode Island.


 Another we owe so much to.

William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted July 3, 2014 - 6:40pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Great sluthing on the obit and other info.  Great watch too.  Too bad it's unknown, but it still is cool and historic.

Posted July 3, 2014 - 8:23pm

Yea it's a favorite of mine, my grandfather was in ww2 he got a Purple Heart , 88th infantry .

bobbee's picture
Posted May 17, 2014 - 8:05am

So, maybe he was given it by the Company, as he was from Providence RI, and possibly worked for the company.

Posted May 17, 2014 - 12:04pm

Wow great work finding that !