Diamond dial c 1939.

Submitted by cszwed on March 26, 2010 - 12:28pm

From the complete guide to watches by Cooksey Shugart I have identified my Bulova watch as a Diamond dial c 1939. It has a platnium case and diamonds on the face. It is being cleaned and rebuilt now. Has anyone have any information on this watch?

Picture of the watch here

Stephen Ollman
Posted March 26, 2010 - 9:16pm

cszwed, is the watch movement and case stamped Bulova? Can you add a picture of both as a comment? Are you able to scan and post a picture of the listing in the Cooksey Shugart catalog? 

Stephen Ollman
Posted March 27, 2010 - 6:43pm

In reply to by cszwed

Have you been able to get the back off to see if the movement is stamped Bulova Watch Co? There should also be a date symbol of a small shield (possibly near the movement serial number).

I wonder what RNS stands for? 

Stephen Ollman
Posted April 2, 2010 - 12:43am

Did you manage to get the back off the watch and see if the movement and inside case is marked Bulova?

Posted April 3, 2010 - 7:58am

Yes the movement is clearly marked with the Bulova name. The watch is being restored by an expert watch guy. He has verified the watch as an original and confirmed the the date. I was never in any doubt as the watch belonged to my father and I have had the watch in my family my whole life. (DOB 1950)

Posted October 25, 2010 - 6:26pm

More to the story. My father wore his 1939 Bulova watch into the heart of Germany during the war. When he was discharged he tried to get his watch repaired but the Boluva sent him this letter. He survived the war but as a veteran he was denied a repair because Bulova didn't like the custom option. Here is their letter from 1946. Pretty snooty I should think.

Posted October 26, 2010 - 5:53pm

In reply to by cszwed

Awe... Now THIS is precisely what I was referring too... A "jeweller upgraded" version, sporting a Bulova movement... Sometimes they mere added three + jewels... Other times they went "ALL OUT!"

Very nice "custom," BTW... I have also seen these as Hamiltons, as well... (Also see my ebay store... and search "diamond dial" checking the box to search the listing text, also...)


Best :-)  William

Posted October 26, 2010 - 10:51am

I found this letter in my father's scrap book. For some reason he wanted to save this. I have already had the watch restored and I wrote to Bulova. I asked them to right a wrong committed back in 1946. I only suggested some token. I wasn't asking for money. I just wanted them to acknowledge their error. The watch movement is clearly marked as Bulova. What difference does it make if the watch was placed in a platinum case and a diamond dial was also added. It was still a Bulova.  So far Bulova has not emailed me back. I would be embarrassed too if I was them.

I know that it was 65 years ago, but they were wrong. I still love the watch and that won't change. But my opinion of the company has.

Posted October 26, 2010 - 5:55pm

This is actually a common practice. If you even change the band or crystal on say a ROLEX... no "authorized repair" watchmaker, etc. will even touch it, for fear of loosing their franchise...


:-)  William

Wayne Hanley
Posted October 30, 2010 - 3:21pm

Here is a similar watch with a Bulova Name. Looks 1st class, finest kind!

Posted September 28, 2011 - 4:55pm

Posted September 29, 2011 - 9:13am

Fabulous piece no doubt and of great sentimental value, irreplaceable, but from a collectors standpoint the Bulova letter says it all.

Posted September 29, 2011 - 11:23am

The case is  platnium and the face is also not original. This was in fact a one off. There are other examples of this case and face used in other watches. The movement is 100% Bulova. Oh, and the watch band is not original.

Posted September 29, 2011 - 4:42pm

My two cents worth, This was a custom job done by jewellers back in the day. Looks alot like a late 20's Rolex Prince and I believe these were built for those who had some money but wouldn't pay the Rolex price. Not to belittle or insult the integrity of the watch it is not genuine Bulova. The watchmaker who built the simply used a Bulova movement. It's not a one off either, it's in Cooksey's guide so others do exist.

Another thing, Cooksey's is a guide, not a bible and there are many errors in the guide. This site may not give you pricing but the data will be accurate. As Fifth mentioned, the letter says it all.

Posted September 29, 2011 - 5:14pm


Agreed on Cooksey's, more than one error in the 'guide'.

There was / is an identical Watch to this for sale at our other favorite site so I agree there is more than one, unless this one is it.

Posted September 29, 2011 - 5:23pm

Ok. I think I will keep the Platinum case and diamond face. The watch has been this way since 1939. It also went through the war (WWII).  I have other watches (pocket) and it was a standard practice to sell the movements and then customize the dial and choose the case.  The movement can be verified as Bulova and has the markings of the year manufactured. The value to me is sentimental. Now if it were like my Patek Phillipe then I would agree but it stands as is. It is a Bulova.

Posted September 29, 2011 - 6:11pm

Definately, keep the watch as original to your family. This is an heirloom watch that should stay as it is. This is still a piece of Bulova history but more importantly, your family history! I wouldn't change anything, it's a killer looking watch and it needs to be kept just the way it is.

Regards Shawn

Posted November 3, 2011 - 9:10pm

Something I forgot to mention is the case says 10%irid. Plat. This means it is an alloy of very high purity. The most widely used platinum alloys are either 90% platinum with 10% iridium.

Just thought I would post this!

I love my 1939 watch!