Bulova 1920 Rubaiyat

Submitted by mybulova_admin on September 14, 2018 - 10:13pm
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Jewels
Movement Serial No.
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Case color
Case Manufacturer
American Standard
Crystal details
Watch Description

Here is a beautiful piece that I'm currently restoring. Part of the movement was very rusted, but is now well on her way to running again.

What I love about this watch is:

  • Those roman numerals
  • 14K solid gold case (approx 6 grams)
  • The very low serial number (lowest number starting with 1xxx we have in the database)
  • The dual stamped movement - Rubaiyat & Marc Favre


Rubaiyat - Bulova watch
1919 Bulova watch
1919 Bulova watch
1919 Bulova watch
1919 Bulova watch
Bulova Watch advert
Posted September 16, 2018 - 10:16pm

It's been suggested that the script is in fact a lower case 'j' and when viewed 180 degrees is also a lower case 'b'.

This would mean the script is the initials j b, otherwise known as Joseph Bulova


Reverend Rob
Posted September 17, 2018 - 8:31pm


When I said no one in the family had a name that starts with 'J', I forgot about Joseph himself!
What I was thinking was maybe he wanted to use a son or daughter or his wife's name...

Either that, or it is a continuation to 'C' from the 'B' series?

Posted September 20, 2018 - 1:05am

An update to the script letter as discussed above.

Thanks to a Mr Steve Wilson who emailed me today to suggest that the script may in fact be from another language, thus explaining the low/high quote marks surrounding the letter.

Upon investigation of this I found that a number of languages did in fact do this, one particular language of insterest  that also did it was the Czech language, of which Joseph Bulova would have spoke and written, originating from Bohemia.

After a bit of more research I came across this wiki page that explains the Czech language, confirming the use of the low/high quote marks, and more importantly I found this on the same wiki page:

An example of the handwritten Czech alphabet.

The handwritten Czech alphabet

With this in mind now compare the lower case letters for both 'j' and 'b' with the movement script.

Bulova Lady Maxim movement signed by Joseph Bulova

Whilst not 100% the same they are written in a way that the same script can represent both a 'j' and 'b'.

Could it be true, that these movements were indeed made by Joseph Bulova himself?

...or....maybe the eye is just seeing what the eye wants to see.


Geoff Baker
Posted September 22, 2018 - 12:53pm

In reply to by mybulova_admin

Imagine the value of a movement that was personalized by the master himself.  In this case however, I might lean more toward the latter theory.

It certainly is fun to speculate!

Reverend Rob
Posted September 22, 2018 - 3:12pm

Seeing this up close, I suspect it is a 'C', the points of the quotes should be down, which would seem to indicate that the 'J' is upside down and the 'C' is right way up. 

Whereas the majority of movement makers utilized calibre numbers, Bulova seems to show early preference for using Alpha and Alpha Numeric calibre names. My guess would be that this was either a series or an individual calibre designated 'C'. Just a guess, though, it might be one of those things we'll never know for sure. 



Posted January 26, 2019 - 7:48pm

I've found a number of adverts showing Gruen watches with the same dial and hands that date to either 1920 or 1921, so I'm going to update this record from 1919 to 1920.

Also an advert from Sept 10, 1920 listing sold gold Bulova Rubaiyats.

1920 Bulova Rubaiyat sold gold watch