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mismatch of years

I can understand how, say, a 1944 movement can pop up in a 1945 case: One factory is making the movements to be used as needed in a number of models, another is making new designs of cases to fit standard movements. You might even get a couple of years off. But the watch I'm lookintg at is a 1954 Craftsman carrying not the expected 1954 8AE 21j movement but a (very similar-looking) 1944 8AC movement.

The first solution that springs to mind is that the original movement was damaged, so some jeweler replaced it with a working one from 10 years earlier. But the case and movement are in equally lovely shape. Is it reasonable to think that the factory came across a few unused 10-year-old movements and put them in the appropriate new cases? Or that they were out of the 8AE movements one day and used some old 8AC movements they had on the shelf, knowing that they would fit perfectly in the watch? Have experienced Bulova folks seen this sort of thing occasionally and decided that it wasn't a Frankenwatch after all?

Many thanks. The collective wisdom (and good humor) on this site has provided me a delightful education as I wade into Bulova collecting.


Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Panel Member
Posted February 10, 2019 - 5:31pm

That's a large spread of years. We are only speculating, of course, but I sincerely doubt Bulova or any other reputable company then or now would utilize ten year old movements in a new watch.

Besides the obvious, the movts would be so dried out that they would need to be serviced completely before being used in any watch, and this would be a major stumbling block. 

When a watch movement dries out, it leaves behind lubricant residue, and this must be thoroughly cleaned out and this can only be done by fully disassembling the movt. Oiling a dirty or dried out watch does not work and is not an acceptable service procedure. 

Your theory that a damaged movt has been changed to one that fits well is right on the money. 

Club 5000Panel Member
Posted February 10, 2019 - 9:52pm

With Bulova we have learnt that anything is possible, but I would tend to side with Rob on this one and suggest it's just a replacement movement that fit the bill. 

jeffb's picture
Posted February 10, 2019 - 9:56pm

Well, mismatch or not, it's a handsome thing: **************Active eBay listing removed, not allowed per site rules****************(admin)

I have a very sharp Craftsman in white gold with the charcoal face, and this is just as attractive.

neetstuf-4-u's picture
Panel Member
Posted February 11, 2019 - 12:00pm

Hi Jeff,

I am in agreement with Rob's opinion and your movement swap hypothesis as stated above.  Back when the watch was only a few years old, not much thought was put into what collectors would think or how it would affect value 50 years in the future. You went to the jeweler and said "my watch quit....make it run again".