Bulova 1972 Ambassador

7/10 votes
Model ID rating explained.
Manufacture Year: 
Movement Model: 
Movement Jewels: 
Case Serial No.: 
1- 389002
Case shape: 
Case Manufacturer: 
Crystal Details: 
Flat Top Acrylic
Additional Information: 

Not much doubt this is an Ambassador; the question is, how do we catagorize it? Medallion case back with serial number starting with "1 - " as well as clamshell say it's an International model. Every 30 jewel Ambassador in the database has a variation of this unique back as well as a similar s/n.and we have no ads for this configuration (30 jewel).

My thoughts are that 30 Jewel Ambassadors were all produced in Europe for the Non-US market.; hence, no ads in US publications. Face on this one is marked Swiss, and the 30 jewel movements for US watches were all US "in house" produced , and the top of the line. Face marking suggests movement was produced in Switzerland.

Case back is dated N2, which matches box style (which I have never seen in green or marked as this one is.) Watch is an open through the crystal and I'm not confident enough to open it up.

My thoughts are that similar Ambassadors with a 30 jewel movement and European style serial number should be called out as either "Ambassador - International (variant)" or "International - Ambassador (variant)". It seems they should get their own sub-catagory and be grouped together until we determine if they had European advertised variant letters.

"International Line" vs. "International LTD" also comes into play. Ad referenced is way off by date (1965 vs. 1972) but at least helps confirm the premise for my theory.

Panel thoughts?

Not For Sale
1972 Bulova watch
1972 Bulova watch
1972 Bulova watch
1972 Bulova watch
1972 Bulova watch
Bulova Watch advert
Posted May 26, 2018 - 10:02pm

Club 5000Panel Member

I'm happy to keep things simple and just ID this within the Ambassador series.

Here is a 1972 advert showing the same 'B' variant, although interestingly this one has a date window.

1972 Bulova Ambassador

neetstuf-4-u's picture
Posted May 26, 2018 - 10:16pm

Panel Member

I looked at that ad; face and hands are different as well as jewel count plus no luminous dots. There also appears to be a difference in lug shape, so this appears to me to be a completely different animal. I think the ad you show is "S" rather than "B". I don't think it's a "B", the initial ad was referenced for the "International" Ambassador aspect.

Geoff Baker
Posted May 27, 2018 - 10:01am

Club 5000Panel Member

Remarkable find say I. I wonder where you got this one Bob? I remain convinced (with out any credible proof I add) that watches with this style case back are not made in the USA. Like "Scotch" having to be distilled in Scotland I think Swiss law required that a watch bearing the "Swiss" mark had to have been produced in Switzerland. This is the first clam shell of this variety I've ever seen and I think it adds to my theory. It makes sense that if Bulova were to import watches "Now available in America for the first time" that it would be the highest caliber, ie. 30 jewel. Finally, I note "waterproof" on the case back. That should not have been allowed in the USA post 1968.

I think the ID has to be "Ambassador", I think 'Bulova International" is the name of the European, or maybe the Swiss division of Bulova.

1972 Bulova Ambassaor

PS - will you please add a couple photos of the clam shell to this forum?

neetstuf-4-u's picture
Posted May 27, 2018 - 1:56pm

Panel Member

Thanks Geoff, I thought so....eBay find (no one was watching) from a US seller. Good observation on the "waterproof". That detail got by me, you are correct. For the US market; post 1968 or 69, it would be marked "water resistant".

I'm on the same page as you regarding Swiss origin/production. The box pretty much clinches it and for me is the missing puzzle piece for the 30 jewel Ambassadors. High grade watches with no advertising in the US because they weren't available here?

My initial comment about perhaps breaking these out with a variant catagory was meant to maybe give the 30J Ambassadors a "place to live" because they really are unique to the line and up to this point have been a bit of a mystery.

There are currently 75 Ambassadors lumped into the no variant catagory, amongst them are 5 - 30 jewel models dated from 1965 to 1972, and there are 4 distinct designs not counting subject watch which makes 5 distinct out of 6. All 5 current (like subject watch) have the "1- xxxx" European style serial numbers with "Swiss" on face and 3 of those have the medallion caseback.

My point being possibly they should all be organized to aid in research, not to assign them a name without documentation. Perhaps a variant catagory under "Ambassador" like something as simple as "30" or "Swiss" instead of a letter? That way they would be together instead of lost in the "herd".

Just a thought.

Will add photos to the box thread as requested.

Posted May 27, 2018 - 12:49pm

Panel Member

I agree with Ambassador. Are the N2 and serial number stamped on the outside of the caseback? It's not clearly showing in the photo, and I would have guessed stamped on inside.

neetstuf-4-u's picture
Posted May 27, 2018 - 1:05pm

Panel Member

N2 and serial number are on the outside directly under the medallion. It appears the back may have been buffed in the past, as stamping is light and was almost impossible to photograph.

                                      1- 389002



Posted May 27, 2018 - 1:44pm

Panel Member

Yes, possibly buffed or even worn down from daily wear over the years.

I imagine this watch would have the micro-rotor movement inside, very nice.

Kathy L.'s picture
Kathy L.
Posted May 27, 2018 - 9:31pm

Panel Member

1972 Bulova Ambassador

Posted May 28, 2018 - 7:40am

Panel Member

Agree with 1972 Bulova Ambassador, we have 30 jwls micro-rotor Ambassadors in DB