Trademark info, Bulova, Keystone Watch Case Co., American Standard

Submitted by OldTicker on September 23, 2011 - 11:59pm

Since we have a run on Bulova stamped cases on the outside that look like this,

Here is some info I found on Keystone Watch Case Co. None of their trademarks look like above...

Here are Bulova's trademarks...

American Standard trademarks..

And if you though buying a Warranted 14K US Assay marked case was the way to go, Duber Hampden says NOT!!! ; )

If you come upon any info that will help prove or disprove any of this, please add to it.


Posted September 24, 2011 - 7:35am

Great illustrations Greg! I read a article that discusses the "Hall Mark" issue recently, esp. in reference to the Dueber Hampden issue as stated in their 1904 ad. Apparently that was done in retaliation against another company's ad that disparaged Dueber back in the day!

Apparently there was some "Bickering" going on back then also ;-)

BTW, this verification of entries with the CAPTCHA CRAP SUCKS, Stephan

Posted September 24, 2011 - 9:13am

Sorry Mark, I was "channeling" my grandmother ;-(  The bickering I was referring too was between Dueber and the other mfg. who was using the "assay" stamp, and as you know it wasn't just watches. I was researching a old "match safe" I've owned for years when I stumbled across the dispute? debate between different mfg's. Apparently it wasn't British cases, the reference I saw, was based around a early controversy that centered in San Francisco during the gold rush.

Posted September 24, 2011 - 7:15pm

Hi All, though very informative, most of these hallmarks apply to pocket watches, not wristwatches. The wristwatch we are discussing here postdates all these hallmarks by 20-30 years.

Posted September 24, 2011 - 7:22pm

In reply to by bourg01

Oh look at you with your LOGIC and PROOF!  What does this have to do with a debate with Fifth?!


Posted September 24, 2011 - 10:46pm

In reply to by bourg01

Thanks Shawn,

This is the only info I have at the moment, hopefully info from others will come  out to prove or disprove the so called Keystone mark...and end the speculation.

William Smith
Posted April 14, 2012 - 9:42pm

anything new on that hallmark in the 14k case?
Nova is this the shield symbol that you thought could be associated with american standard?

Posted April 14, 2012 - 10:22pm

I've got a Bracelet from 1949 which is stamped and hallmarked with the  'American Standard' Shield so We know they were still making product around this time.

In what Year does the 'American Standard' inner Caseback stamping disappear from Bulova Watches and in what Year do We first see these Cases? Same time?

William Smith
Posted April 14, 2012 - 10:26pm

I'm at the beach in hawaii. it's a beautiful 80 degree day. my wife and kids are playing in the water and I'm on my cellphone trying to find a picture of the american standard hallmark. I'll try to remember to keep things in balance... while I continue to look for that picture.

William Smith
Posted April 14, 2012 - 10:30pm

I think american standard disappeared from the inside case backs around 1930? I think the subject watch is from the forties?

Posted April 14, 2012 - 10:34pm

We got that....


I think We will find the Date that the American Standard inner Caseback stamping is no longer found inside a Bulova will correlate with the first appearance of these hallmarked Casebacks and these are American Standard Cases.

William Smith
Posted April 14, 2012 - 10:41pm

thanks Fifth. now I can go swimming. the answer to old tickers original question is starting to come together nicely.

Posted April 14, 2012 - 10:45pm


My latest in American Standard is from 1932 - the first of these Cases appear right around the same time. '33 - '34ish.

I recall a lot of 'AMBASSADOR's...

William Smith
Posted June 8, 2012 - 12:30am

I found a band w/ similar hallmarks today....It was on a mid 30's Bully, and obviously not original to the piece. 

Posted June 8, 2012 - 2:15pm

Here's what I've got in my collection for the relevant time frame:

Total watches for 1930 - 1939:  120

50 of those watches are dated 1930 - 1934, the remainder 1935 - 1939, so I've got a pretty good distribution across the decade.

The last time the case signature "Bulova, American Standard" appears in my collection is 1929.  The first time the shield symbol is seen is 1935, so there's a five-year gap between the two.

I have identified 10 different case signature configurations for the 1930s, which break down as follows:

> Inside only signature: "Bulova Quality"

       -   1930 - 1933 - seen 39 times

> Inside only signature:  "Bulova, New York"

        -  1930 only - seen 2 times

> Outside only signature:  "Bulova"

       -  1934 only - seen 9 times

>  Outside only signature:  "Bulova" + shield symbol

       -  1935 - 1936 - seen 9 times

> Outside only signature: "Bulova Quality"

      -  1935 - 1936 - seen 3 times

> Inside signature:  "Bulova, Fifth Ave, New York" AND outside signature: "Bulova" + shield symbol

     -   1936 - 1937 - seen 10 times

>  Inside signature:  "Bulova, Fifth Ave, New York" AND outside signature:  "Bulova Quality"

     -  1936 - seen 1 time

>  Inside signature:  "Bulova, Fifth Ave, New York" AND outside signature "B - "

     -  1936 - 1939 - seen 44 times

>  Inside signature:  "Bulova, New York" AND outside signature:  "Bulova"

     -  1935 and 1939 - seen 2 times

>  Inside signature:  "Bulova, Fifth Ave, New York" AND outside signature:  "Bulova"

     - 1939 - seen 1 time


My conclusions are:

  1. The "American Standard" inside case signature is not immediately followed in time by the appearance of the shield symbol on the back of the case, as there is a five year gap between those (i.e., between 1929 and 1935).  I welcome seeing any watches that alter that time frame.  The vast majority of my early 1930s cases are signed on the inside only with "Bulova Quality" (39 examples from 1930 - 1933).
  2. All elements of the signatures above appear numerous times in various combinations.  There's nothing unsual about any of the language or manner in which it is stamped to make me suspicous of authenticity regarding any of the signature configurations.
  3. The outside signature of "Bulova" + shield symbol" appears numerous times, sometimes along with one of the standard inside signatures.  For me, this is support for its validity, along with the fact that we see it in well known models. 
  4. 83 of the 119 signatures fall into one of two configurations, one up to 1933 and the other primarily after 1936, leaving a gap in between, when most of the 36 examples of 8 less common signatures occur.  It would be interesting to know what was going on during those years to result in so many different case signature configurations.

In general, I think Bulova used far more case signatures than most people realize.  I have cataloged the signatures in my collection from 1921 - 1979.  Currently, I have over 600 watches that have been so cataloged.  You may be surprised by just how many different Bulova case signatures were used through the years.  The results of my research can be viewed here:

William Smith
Posted June 8, 2012 - 12:22pm

Great summary.  I am looking at one of my President/Minute Man's (gotta measure 43mm vs 46mm case length) w/ the outside "B-"

Outside case back:  B-10k Gold Filled

Inside case back: "Bulova Fifth Ave New York"

Case SN 7142555, housing a 6AE 17J USA mvnt w/ square (1936).  It's the engraved case w/ the "white" dial.  I'll take some pictures tonight. 

This seems to be the most common combo, occurring 44 times in your summary btwn 1936-1939.  I have several similar in this timeframe, but I am almost (stress almost) positive I had an outside "B-" from 1934 or 1935, based on case SN.  I should wait to find the watch before now it's only based on my often poor memory.