Caseback for 1943 Military issue

Submitted by shooter144 on August 17, 2011 - 11:10am

Trying to find a properly marked caseback for my 1943 Military Issue found here

Any one have one?

Posted August 17, 2011 - 4:16pm


This is a good a time as any to discuss: What leads You to believe the Caseback is incorrect?
Posted August 17, 2011 - 4:22pm

I think that Shooter is looking for one that has the military markings on it. 


Posted August 17, 2011 - 4:30pm

Since all of the un issued were supposed to be destroyed, all survivors should have the mil spec and ord marked caseback, as that is what the specs called for.

Wayne Hanley
Posted August 17, 2011 - 4:34pm


There were three basic varieties of these A-11s, the AK, the AKCS with the sweep second hand, and the AKCSH with the sweep second hand and hacking movement. Your A-11 appears to be the AK as stated on the movement & verified by the sub-seconds dial. If I were you I would be happy with caseback that you have. That is what came with the watch and most probable exactly as it was issued. It's a piece of history that should be left as is. It could well be one of the first ones shipped off-the-shelf to the troops from Bulova before the contract specifications & markings were finalized.




Posted August 17, 2011 - 6:32pm

Shooters' Watch is not a Type A-11 it is an ORD DEPT Watch. There is a distinct difference in design, movement used and to which branch of Military Service they were issued during WWII.

'Type A-11' Caseback

Type A-11 Dial


'ORD DEPT' Caseback



I would however tend to agree with the assumption that it may have been produced before any contract requirements were placed by the U.S. Govt or it may never have been physically issued to U.S. troops, Bulova did furnish these Watches to other Countries.

Either way I would leave it as it is also.

* All WWII issued Watches were ordered to be destroyed.

Posted August 24, 2011 - 10:07am

In reply to by shooter144

Stamped 'U.S.1917-H' and 'ORD CORPS U.S.A.' - both Post WWII (1945+) Case design.

Wayne Hanley
Posted August 18, 2011 - 12:44am

According to military watch expert members of IHC185 you are not correct in your terminology.

The second comments block is very interesting! Here is an excerpt: "I have a few of these watches.They are usually good runners,and parts are pretty easy to get.
I even have one in a silver case.
There were three different movements in the watches.The basic caliber is 10AK,which has a small second hand.
Another is the 10AKCS that has a sweep second hand.
The third is the 10AKCSH that has a sweep second hand with a hack device.
There were 15 jewel and 16 jewel movements.The 16 jewel movements are the sweep second watches.
The 10AK movements were the school watch at the Joseph Bulova School of Watchmaking.Needless to say I am very familiar with them."

All A-11 contracts were written by the ORD department contracting folks. They ordered the watches for all Armed Forces.

What is the source of your asterisk item above "*All WWII issued Watches were ordered to be destroyed."


Posted August 18, 2011 - 9:41am


Certainly not the 'Internet Horology Club'. lol

It's common knowledge amongst Military Watch enthusiasts that Uncle Sam ordered the destruction of all issued Watches at the end of WWII - the theory being the mass influx of these timepieces back into the United States would have been devastating to the Watch manufacturing industry.

For Your future reference there are several online sources of quality information on Military timepieces, MWR being one.

For further specific information on the Bulova Type A-11 please refer to the WWII War Departments' technical manual TM 9 1575 (Thank You Shooter!) or master document AN 05-35A-9.

interestingly enough I have yet to see a Bulova 10 AKCS, could someone please point one out?

Posted August 18, 2011 - 11:05am

Wayne I have the TM 9 1575 ORD manual from 6April 1945 in pdf if you would like it, just send me a msg with an e-mail addy, very good info and repair directions for all issue watches from all companies contracted at that time.

I am sure some of the watches were sent without the ORD case back, but I think it is more likely that since these were a consumable, ie not turned back in once issued, that the case back was replaced at some point after the war by the soldier. I would like to have an ORD back as well as the back that is on it to cover both possibilities.

Fifth do you have the AN 05-35-9 in pdf? Does it specify if the case is plated or parkerized? I cant tell on mine...

Posted August 18, 2011 - 1:54pm


not in a .pdf, sorry.


ALL WWII era Service issue Wristwatches came in a Chrome Nickel plated 32mm Case. (some of the early models, particularly the Bulovas' were Chrome Nickel plated base metal Silver).

ALL WWII era Service issue Wristwatches had screw on hexagonal Stainless Steel Casebacks.

these were War Department contractual requirements.



According to My research the Parkerized Case did not begin to appear until the 1946 + Case design / Korean War era issue pieces.


You quoted the IHC 'expert' as stating:

"All A-11 contracts were written by the ORD department contracting folks"

Those 'folks' would have been the WAR DEPARTMENT.

Wayne Hanley
Posted August 18, 2011 - 1:56pm

Thanks for all the information. I guess just the 10AKCS were the only ones destroyed by order of. 

Incidently, I have a great respect for the the management, members and information provided at IHC185.  I am a member and have learned alot about collecting wrist & pocket watches prior to the development of this site. Any site that promotes watch collecting is ok in my book.

All A-11 contracts were written by one entity for all of the Armed Forces. My error!


Wayne Hanley
Posted August 21, 2011 - 4:02am

Fifth do you have the technical manual for the Bulova A-11 hack watch in any format? Is the TM AN 05-35A-9 the correct manual for the hack watch. I have the Sections from AN 35A-8 Navigation Hack Watch for the Waltham & Elgin that are no help.

I would like to get hold of a copy of the contractural requirements you are quoting above for our technical library. We wouldn't be having these specification/contractural requirements terminology arguments if we had them handy. For these kinds of technical discusions we should all be working from the same page/source data.

The following is a description from TM 9-1575 and don't give much info at all & only covers the 10AK not the 10AKCSH hack watch. 

Section  VII
a.  The  Bulova  wrist  watch,  model  10  AK,  10 1/2  ligne  size,  15-
jewel  movement,  may  be  identified  by  a  black  dial  with  the  manu-
facturer's  name  on  it.  It is  a  waterproof  case,  stem  wound  and  stem
set.  The  case is  of the  screw-back type, sealed  with  a  rubber  washer
and  dust  cover.  The  bezel  is  formed  as  an  integral  part  of  the  case
ring  and  is  equipped  with  an  unbreakable  crystal.  The  movement
is  secured with a  case  ring  and is  not  held in  the  case with screws.

The rest is disassembly & Reassembly.





Posted August 21, 2011 - 2:32pm


Keep in mind the date of the publication, April 1945.

The manual is not contract specific, it's a field Service manual for repair but does show some really great images of actual Watches from the era for reference.

There are White Dialed ORD DEPT (Model 10AK) and versions without the Manufacturers Name printed on the Dial, in fact most early Military Service issue Watches did not have a name printed on the Dial. I have a 1945+ style Model 10AK Dial somewhere and will try to post a pic for comparison with a pre 1945 version as specs did change slightly over time.

It would be safe to say that any ORD DEPT Model 10AK Bulova Watch manufactured after 1944 would have the Bulova name on the Dial, the service manual shows and describes this, anything manufactured prior to and showing the name is anyones guess. IMO

* The manual AN 05-35A-9 deals specifically with the Bulova 'Navigation Watch Type A-11' (HACK) and has a publication Date of January 1945, once again it is a field service manual for repair with really great images for reference, not a copy of Military spec requirements. this 1945 publication shows the 'Type A-11' without the Bulova name on the Dial. I have yet to find a copy in .pdf form.

below is a brief discussion, factual or not (?) on Type A-11 spec changes posted at MWR…

The old Military pieces are a lot of fun to collect Gentlemen as their history speaks volumes,  problem being as with all wristwatches is knowing and finding the truly authentic ones.

There are 2 WWII Bulova models:

The 'ORD DEPT' (Model 10AK) - issued to non-combat support Troops.


The 'Navigation Watch Type A-11' (hack) - combat personnel issue.

Know what to look for.

Wayne Hanley
Posted August 21, 2011 - 2:29pm

I used your link to the MWR site & the discusion on the A-1 specification and A & B updates to the spec. The folks there can't really figure the differences in A-11s by specifications. I suspect having been a military contractor for 20 years after 24 years in the Air Force, that the answer lies in the contract statement of work to each manufacturer. The statement of work overides military specification,and a smart contractor will log all the deviations from the specification, should conflicts arise. That is where the answer lies & are probably in micro-fesh files somewhere. Do you have any knowledge of access to completed contracts?

All I want to be able to prove is that I have a Bulova A-11 silver alloy cased hack, watch with a 10.5 ligne movement & that the case is 30mm diameter as opposed to the A-11 chromed brass base metal case that is 32mm in diameter. It's not in the specifications because both are covered by the same specification. Do I have to go to library of congress to get 3 stars?

Posted August 21, 2011 - 2:32pm

You may be able to query the Library of congress for the FM.....they most certainly would have it, tho maybe not as a .pdf

Posted August 21, 2011 - 2:35pm

The Military Case should be 32mm in Diameter Wayne.

Is the movement block present inside?

Wayne Hanley
Posted August 21, 2011 - 5:39pm

In reply to by FifthAvenueRes…

My shopping list includes a 1 inch socket to get the backplate off. I'll let you know when I get the back off. I tried the trick of opening with the dog's ball & damn near got bit.

Posted August 21, 2011 - 2:36pm

I do have a line on a later case back and crystal ( Korera ish I think) from another gentleman who also has some mi spec and packaged mvmnt parts if any one is interested Ill give you his email in pvt. I believe the case is solid stainless. Msg me if interested, the price is decent and the case looks nearly mint.

Posted August 21, 2011 - 3:04pm


If the glass is authentic Military I want one at least and I need Bulova Military hands, all of them lol.


I have this, I'd assumed it was a Joseph Bulova School of Watchmaking piece (?).

16J 10AKCSH dated 1945 (double stamp?) in a 28 mm Gold Case.

Question Wayne: on Your 30mm Case do the springbar mounting holes run all the way through the lugs?


Wayne Hanley
Posted August 21, 2011 - 5:43pm


Yes they do!