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Bulova 1949 His Excellency "FF"

6/10 votes
Model ID rating explained.



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Additional Information

My 92 year old father gave me his watch he thinks he bought in 52 or 53. I know he had it in 53 from old photos. The case is Bulova as is the crown. But the face reads Bulova "movement" on it. Also the hands are blued. It runs fine And I'm thinking of having it serviced and given to him for his 93rd bday. I dare not try and open the case myself to look for more markings. Any info on this watch will be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Jim Cook

Not For Sale
1949 Bulova His Excellency watch
1949 Bulova watch
1949 Bulova watch
1949 Bulova watch
neetstuf-4-u's picture
Panel Member
Posted July 2, 2018 - 9:38am

Watch appears to be a re-dialed 1949 His Excellency "DD" based on case configuration and serial number. While dial is a non-Bulova, it's actually a pretty decent match to the dial originally on the watch. 

Probably falls into the non-conforming category, but well done. I love heirloom watches.

Kathy L.'s picture
Kathy L.
Panel Member
Posted July 2, 2018 - 9:36am

I think it is a wonderful idea for you to service it for him.  I agree with neetstuf-4-u that this probably is a non-conforming Bulova case with a non-Bulova dial.  Looks great though and a very nice family heirloom.

Andersok's picture
Panel Member
Posted July 2, 2018 - 11:33am

It looks like a correct case for the His Excellency 'FF", 1948 ad. Perhaps the original dial was replaced at some point in time, instead of refinishing it. Hands may be original, as is the unseen movement. I'd feel more comfortable seeing if the movement is the correct Bulova 21-jewel, but I am leaning towards this being the HE 'FF' with incorrect dial.

neetstuf-4-u's picture
Panel Member
Posted July 2, 2018 - 9:23pm

I believe you are correct Ken, the slight difference in the lugs got past me. I agree the case is likely a HE"FF" with a non-Bulova replacement dial.

James Cook
Posted July 2, 2018 - 6:42pm

I have it scheduled for servicing in September. Then I'll share photos of the movement and we'll perhaps solve the mystery ! Thanks much Jim Cook

Geoff Baker
Club 5000Panel Member
Posted July 3, 2018 - 5:17am

Hi James - in my book heirloom watches are simply the best. That your father is still able to enjoy this one with you is over the top, congratulations.

There were several companies that sold replacement watch cases that included new dials. It allowed folks with a watch that was worn or damaged to put a working movement into a new case. The dial was noted with the word 'movement' most likely to avoid legal challenges from the original manufacturer. These case were available for many popular brands of watch and closely resembled the original watch case. We can tell them apart because the manufacturer name and serial numbers are not present on the case back. SO, it's unusual that we are presented with a completely original and identifiable Bulova watch case with a 'movement' dial. To Ken's point above, perhaps the dial was damaged along the way and this dial was substituted.

We will be curious to know which movement is in this beauty once you have it serviced. For now I suggest that is is a 1949 Bulova His Excellency FF.

Thanks for sharing it.

James Cook
Posted July 3, 2018 - 12:20pm

Maybe this is a good place to ask for recommendations on where is best to send it for expert servicing. Or Maybe that is not allowed on this forum. I do have it scheduled with someone I found on the internet that claims to be a Bulova expert but...I'm open to suggestions from the experts. If this watch was yours who would you send it to for servicing/restoration?
Thanks so much for all of your help.
Jim Cook

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Panel Member
Posted July 14, 2018 - 9:20am

Hey Jim, sorry about the late reply. The NAWCC has watchmakers listed by area. If it was my watch, I would try and find someone local and only send it away as a last resort.

Geoff Baker
Club 5000Panel Member
Posted July 14, 2018 - 8:53am

Panel Members - noting a replacement dial is it safe to ID as His Excellency FF?

Andersok's picture
Panel Member
Posted July 14, 2018 - 10:34am

I would agree with that Geoff. I would also be tentative until we can see the movement that is inside.