Bulova 1929 Senator

Submitted by Spartcom5 on October 14, 2020 - 9:10pm
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Jewels
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Case Manufacturer
Additional Information

I recently purchased this watch as I have been watching it for sometime. I believe it closely resembles that of a 1926 Executive, hand carved, 14k solid gold. However, a couple things throw me off. One being that the inside case back has a date of 1927 and the movement is a 15 jewel. The ad for the 1926 Executive says it should have a 17 jewel movement. The hands aren't original, the dial looks pretty good, may be a relume. The case overall is beautiful! I love the hand carved look of it! But I need help making sense of it all. I hope you al l can help! Unfortunately the seller's photos don't show the movement date code. 

Posted October 14, 2020 - 9:15pm

Here's the ad in question.

 Ad for 1926 Executive

Posted October 14, 2020 - 9:34pm

I should note that the back is curved.


Posted October 15, 2020 - 12:12am

Just a couple more photos in case it helps.

One more

Another photo

Posted October 15, 2020 - 11:11am

Nice watch!, thanks for sharing. Serial number on inside of case starts with a 9, so date is 1929. The 1927 date is a patent date for the dust cover assembly over the movement. Once you have it "in hand", the movement date code will help ID it. It certainly looks to be an Executive, with the possibility of a movement replacement (17 vs 15).

In the late 1920's there were several square Bulovas with very similar faces, it's also possible this is an Executive casing with the movement and face from another model; or it could  just be a matter of movement replacement.

I will say it's an unknown until you can provide movement info.

EDIT: 10/16/20 - train of thought revised - see below.

Posted October 15, 2020 - 4:05pm

Thanks! Looking at different models I now think it looks more like a Senator. Did they make solid 14k Senators in 1929?

Posted October 16, 2020 - 4:24am

Intriguing watch. The overall case design and style is a match for the early Senator, but I've not yet seen an advert for a sold gold version. That doesn't mean one does not exist or there is no such thing. The Executive is also a possibility, but the advert shoes a slighlight different case design, despite the option of a sold gold case.

I do make note that from about 1926/27 onwards we see less and less watches advertised in sold gold. Perhaps Bulova figured that if a buyer was interested in the advertised gold filled version and went to a jeweller to buy one, the jeweller could try and upsell a sold gold version without the need to advertise. Perhaps this was common practice during this period.

Posted October 16, 2020 - 8:30am

I considered that as well, Stephen.  Here's where it got confusing: none of the Senators pre-1928 we have previously ID'd appear to match cited ads (diagonal 45 degree vs. 90 degree corner transitions from crystal). Subject watch is an engraving match, but also appears to closely match Executive..All the Senators pre-1929 ID'ed in the Db (gold plated) show the engraving with diagonal lines at crystal corners with one; more leaf-like engraving on case verticals from 1928 (ID'ed apparently per ad comparison noted below).

Agreed that the ads we have for Executive pre-1929 appear to show a narrow smooth beveled area at vertical case edges. Another example here

There is one Senator ad comparison  ID'd here with both ads dated as 1926 Showing Senator with the option of solid gold, citing 2 ads with identical text but different illustrations. Full ad here showing  Senator solid gold with 17 jewels or plated with 15 jewels That would seem to indicate one of the ads is a misprint,

After much deeper digging and headache inducing clicking back and forth between multiple screens, I will agree this is  a 14K gold Senator with the possibility of a movement swap. It is also entirely possible that by 1929 this model was 15 jewels exclusively. In 1930 or roundabouts the Senator case style changed and watch is advertised as 15 jewel.  Awaiting confirmation of date code.

1929 Bulova Senator

I tend to believe the more floral sided Senator ad illustration is a misprint and different watch entirely (possibly a Wimbleton Ladies); making the ID'ed 1928 Senator potentially mis-identified. If we are to trust these early Senator ads matching subject watch and giving the solid gold option with 90 degree corners, it's also possible that those watches previously ID'ed as pre-1929 Senators with 45 degree corners are also potential  mis-identified as well......That is a discussion for another day.




Posted October 16, 2020 - 5:13pm

Thanks guys! When I get the watch I will look for the date code. Where should it be on this movement? And I also agree it is definitely a Senator model watch from 1929. Hopefully the movement will confirm and not mix things up.

Geoff Baker
Posted October 17, 2020 - 9:33pm

Senator and Executive are, I think essentially the same watch and are differentiated mostly by year. For 1929, this is a Senator

Posted October 19, 2020 - 2:56am

Ok based on this advert alone I'm all in for a 1929 Bulova Senator, noting incorrect hands.

1929 Bulova Senator Solid Gold