Bulova 1930 Round the World

4/10 votes
Model ID rating explained.
Manufacture Year: 
Movement Model: 
10 AN
Movement Jewels: 
Movement Serial No.: 
Case Serial No.: 
Case shape: 
Case Manufacturer: 
Crystal Details: 
square 20mm x 20mm
Additional Information: 

I'm not sure what this is.  So far, I can't see a date code.  From the case and 15 jewels, I'm thinking maybe a "round the world"?.  I'm not even sure of the year. I'm guessing based on the movement code and comparing it to others in the database.

If'll go back in to look for a symbol on the movement, but I'm not too optimistic.


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1930 Bulova Round The World watch
1930 Bulova watch
1930 Bulova watch
1930 Bulova watch
1930 Bulova watch
Geoff Baker
Posted May 4, 2017 - 5:32am

Club 5000Panel Member

I guess I still see three sides to a square when I look at that date code, making the movement a 1927 replacement. The 1930 case s/n still says Fleetwood to me. Even if Bulova prepared ahead of the flight to rename then Fleetwood to Round the World this would still be a 1930 watch with a 1927 movement.

Fleetwood, final answer.

Posted May 4, 2017 - 10:37pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Geoff, the square shield also has 3 square sides :-)

If it is a square shield then it makes it a 1931 movement. The red lines are what we see in the first movement image, with the white lines what I'm proposing are faintly visible in the new image.

   |       |
   |       |
    \    /

Thus a 1931 15J movement in a 1930 case would make it a 'Round the World'. 

rbaines's picture
Posted May 4, 2017 - 6:59am


If you look, with a magnifing glass,  at the last photo I posted, you'll see the point of a shield at the bottom of the three sides that you can already see.


Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted May 4, 2017 - 11:59pm

Panel Member

Am I missing something here? The Fleetwood has engravings that do not match the subject watch. The Fleetwood is basically the Ambassador with gold accents, correct? 

Posted May 5, 2017 - 9:02am

Club 5000Panel Member

...and I think this is where it becomes a little confusing...

We have adverts that show the Ambassador with both a double top and bottom engraving and a single top and bottom engraving. 

It's quite possible that all three; Ambassador, Fleetwood and Round the World share the exact same case design, regardless if it's a single or double engraved top and bottom. 

The main difference that seperates the Ambassador from the other two is the lack of yellow gold highlights. 

The difference that sets the Fleetwood and Round the World apart is the movement jewel count. 

The Fleetwood has 17 jewels, whilst the Round the World has 15 jewels.

So if we base the ID on these factors:

1) two-tone gold
2) 15 jewels

It has to be a Bulova 'Round the World'.

Posted May 5, 2017 - 4:09pm

minor differences from one year to the next is waaaay too common with Bulova, especially in the 1930s.

Another example is the Sky King case.  The first year of production they had verticle lines engraved  on the top and bottom horizontals of the case, but in subsequent years these were omitted.

There were very energetic discussions over whether or not the following years were actualy a Sky King or something else.


I think that is the same situation here.  Cosmetic changes in the case from one year to the next but with the same model name.

This then comes down to whether we name the model based on the year of the case or the year and jewels of the movement.

Posted May 6, 2017 - 12:02am

Club 5000Panel Member

Ok, I'm back on the fence on this one. If it is indeed a 1927 movement, and based on the serial number it certainly could be, then its technically a non-conforming watch which could be at a stretch ID'd as a Fleetwood.

If we can confirm the date code, that I believe would certainly give us a clearer determination.

Geoff Baker
Posted May 6, 2017 - 6:41am

Club 5000Panel Member

I prepared this photo several days ago to further my belief that the movement might be 1927 but decided to not press the issue as the ID was trending to "Round the World". This is how I view the date code (or at least what I can see of it). The third side I see is the bottom of the square.

I will be tentative if this watch is ID'd as Round the World. My only issue would be my thought that Bulova was not preparing (naming) Round the World watches in late 1930 8-9 months before the flight occurred. If this watch had a name prior to the flight it seems that it would be Fleetwood. I also note to Rev Rob's point that there some differences in the cases of the two models.

rbaines's picture
Posted May 6, 2017 - 2:31pm

I tried once more today to get a better image of the date code.  I tried coming at it from all directions, hoping to get some other lines to show up.  No luck.  So,the only image I got, that resembles a complete code symbol, is the one I submitted on 6/2.  That image looks like a complete shield (at least, to me).  It is easier to see under magnification.

rbaines's picture
Posted May 9, 2017 - 8:01am

Not much activity here.  Since this one is kind of odd, how about applying Achem's razor.  The option requiring the fewest assumptions is probalbly the correct one.  Here are the givens:

1.  The case codes out as 1930

2. The movement code looks like 1927 or 1931.  The movement S/N looks more like 1927 (from reviewing the 15j 10AN examples in the databsase)

3. The movement has 15 jewels.

4. The case appears to be either a a Fleetwood or Round the World.

5. Based on he dating, all of the components were available for assembly  prior to the 1931 introduction of the RTW. 

6.  The Fleetwood had 17 jewels, as advertised.


The case style and date, and the 15j movement, seem to meet the criteria, for RTW, regardless ofthe movement date.  The 15j movement also rules out the Fleetwood.

Is there any evidence that this is something other than an RTW?