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Bulova 1946 Craftsman

2/10 votes
Model ID rating explained.

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Additional Information

From 55Mercury on Watchophilia.  Thanks again.

The 7 digit serial number on the back of the case is 6866367. This would indicate the watch was made in 1946. I know it has 1948 engraved on it but it wasn't unusual for these solid gold watches to sit in jewelers show cases a couple of years until someone that could afford them came along. 


Now for the model name. Here is an ad from 1946 showing your watch. 

You have a very rare 1946 Bulova "Tuxedo" model. I have only seen one other of this model. In 1946 a watch costing $225 was an extremely expensive watch. 

Using the CPI 1948 $250 = to 1998 $3500.00.

Not For Sale
1946 Bulova Craftsman
1946 Bulova watch
1946 Bulova watch
William Smith's picture
William Smith
Club 5000Panel Member
Posted August 3, 2015 - 9:01pm

Wasn't this the Craftsman on leather, and the Tuxedo if on the accompanying solid gold bracelet?

I remember the above Tuxedo ad also stats something like $125 on leather, but I think we determined that they simply didn't indicate at that price it was the Craftsman.

Another ​ 1946 ad below helps with differences in price and name.

In many other watch ID's, we agree the bands can come and go, and be replaced over time. We often don't rely too heavily on the mount.  When we have ads showing metal bracelet vs leather, we have ID'ed as presented on metal bracelet or leather...However with Tuxedo, the solid gold bracelet really makes the ID- IMO.

Is this one of those where the band makes the ID?


William Smith's picture
William Smith
Club 5000Panel Member
Posted August 3, 2015 - 9:23pm

The logic behind being able to ID the solid white gold as Tuxedo without the matching solid (white) gold bracelet is we don't have an ad stating the Craftsman was available in white.  

Andersok's picture
Panel Member
Posted August 4, 2015 - 6:12am

Pretty nice service award gift back then; this looks to be yellow gold and without the original band (solid gold bracelet or leather strap) the model name could be either Tuxedo or Craftsman, since the model name is dependent upon the band. Prior thread went with Craftsman A for a yellow version when no original band was present. I'd call this one the same, original band is unknown, and to be a Tuxedo it should have the matching band (or be white gold).

Geoff Baker
Club 5000Panel Member
Posted August 5, 2015 - 7:28am

Hello pweaver1, welcome to myBulova (the 'other' best bulova spot on the web). This is a great looking watch, I wonder if you're somehow related to Charles? This is a tricky ID, Alan (55 merc) knows watches pretty well. You see from above we can go either way on this beauty. Assuming a solid gold bracelet, if original, would most likely not have been replaced, I say this one probably had the leather strap. In that case we'd ID it as Craftsman. Every now ad then we ID differently from Watchophilia but we all agree that this is a very special watch, Congratulations.

1946 Bulova Craftsman


pweaver1's picture
Posted August 5, 2015 - 1:32pm

Thank you for the great feedback.


Charles Frazier was my maternal grandmother's brother.  He was very special in our family as he cares for my mom and grandmother during the depression.


To be honest growing up we never say him wear this watch and his 50th anniversary service watch is somewhere in my moms treasure chest.


The one that stands out that may help is the band is made by Hadley.  Was this a watch band after-manufacturer company?


Club 5000Panel Member
Posted August 5, 2015 - 7:31am

Interesring delemma. With the 14K mesh weave braclet its a Bulova Tuxedo, with the leather band its a Cranftsman (I did see and advert advising that the leathe version for $125 was also labelled as a Tuxedo, but I'm not sure of the accuracy of that advert).

So at the moment I'm at Non-Conforming as the band is really the model validator for this particular watch. I guess that without the harder to find 14K gold mesh band it can never be a Bulova Tuxedo, and it much easier to make a Craftsman, but I'll leave that decision up to the lucky owner of this fine watch.

It's the engraving that I think is super special about this watch. That is some awesome skill right there!

William Smith's picture
William Smith
Club 5000Panel Member
Posted August 5, 2015 - 12:38pm

Admin-If the owner presented it on a leather strap, would you go for the Craftsman ID?
I'm at two ticks tentative for Craftsman, as I voted in most of the other Craftsman/Tuxeudo records.

pweaver1's picture
Posted August 5, 2015 - 1:34pm

Would an ID from the mechanisn clear this dilemma up?  I am soncisering having it services but not replcing anything as I was to keep it all original.

William Smith's picture
William Smith
Club 5000Panel Member
Posted August 5, 2015 - 3:13pm

Not really, as its a matter of the original solid gold band making the distinction of being from a Tuxedo.  It certainly could have started life as a Tuxuedo and lost the band to melt, but we have no way of knowing.  IMO someone who would melt the band would also melt the watch case too, since in this scenario they were after $$$ 
Not as much motivation to send just a watch case to melt if the band on which it was mounted was leather.

William Smith's picture
William Smith
Club 5000Panel Member
Posted August 5, 2015 - 3:25pm

This is also one of the instances where the suvivorship comes into play.  I think that's the tem that's used.
When Bulova produced the Tuxuedo, they may have made quite a few of them, so it is not that "uncommon".  How many do we see (I think they use the term scarcity or some such)?  They are not that scarce.  
Then there is the suvivorship.  It was not uncommon by production numbers, nor is it that scarce to find these days, but since folks were highly motivated to melt the watch and band for $$, the likelyhood of suvivorship goes down, making it more sought after by collectors when a complet watch does surface.

...and I remember reading in more than one watct collectors guides that the term "Rare" referred to a exact model which had 25 or less units produced in total.  They did allow subsetting by production year, in case 20 were made in one year and 25 in another.  

eBay sellers don't like it when I say I remember reading this...