Bulova 1930 Dewey

Submitted by tshanno on December 22, 2019 - 1:05pm
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Date Code
Movement Jewels
Movement Serial No.
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Case Manufacturer
Crystal Details
16mm (narrowest) X 19.8mm (widest) X 23.6mm
Additional Information

Tentatively a 1930 Dewey.  Very tentatively (see below).

The case is two tone yellow gold on white.  Bulova Quality hallmark. Movement is a 1930 13AF, 15 J.

I wasn't going to post this because the dial with the rectangular shaped minute & seconds chapter outlines doesn't follow the frame of the case. I was positive it was a redial.  

Then I came across this 1930 Lone Eagle in the database along with the discussion.  If I understood it right, Bulova was experimenting with the 13AF movement at this time and it resulted in quite a few watches like this one.  

FWIW, the rectangular outlines and numbers don't really look bad.  It almost looks less busy like this.

Anyway, now I'm intensely curious.  What do you think?

1930 Bulova watch
1930 Bulova watch
1930 Bulova watch
1930 Bulova watch
Bulova Watch advert
Geoff Baker
Posted December 22, 2019 - 9:40pm

This one is a bit tricky Tom. The case certainly appears to be Dewey, it's hard to tell from your photo but is appear to be white gold with a yellow stripe either side of the dial. The dial is not correct for the case. The minute track should mimic the curve of the dial opening. It seems unusual that the movement would be 13 AF as both models we have in the dB are 10 ligne, like Jarslav's. I would say this dial (and likely the movement as well is from a different watch. Is it possible to see a photo of the movement out of the watch (and the holder it's in?

I'm suggesting a Dewey ID noting the dial replacement - 1930 Bulova Dewey.

Posted December 23, 2019 - 9:02am

In reply to by Geoff Baker

The watch is, indeed, yellow gold stripe on white.  

I can supply the photo of the movement outside the case back but not immediately.  I'm traveling for the holidays and I don't have the watch with me.  I'll have to post it next week.  I usually take such a photo as a matter of course but evidently I didn't do it here. 

So I take it you don't put much stock in Wayne Hanley's theory in the description of the 1930 Lone Eagle that I cited above?  I have to say that I'm definitely warming to it, personally.  

I think to convert this from a watch which took a round 10AN to a tonneau 13AF would have required major surgery.  It was an awfully smooth job if Bulova didn't do it, themselves.  Just looking at it, its a very weird fit with an extraordinary amount of space between the movement and the frame of the case.  That's a really long channel for the stem.

According to Wayne there were at least 3 other watches like this in the database where a 13AF movement was subed in for a 10AN, including his Lone Eagle.  That includes JimDon's 1930 Lone Eagle.  Notice that both also have the wierd fit with a big distance between the movement and the frame.  And, of course, the numbers don't follow the frame in theirs either.

I'm just a novice here and I certainly am inclined to defer to the experts.  But I question whether this is a redial anymore than those Lone Eagles were.

Geoff Baker
Posted December 23, 2019 - 11:30pm

The truth is we'll never know Tom but I for one firmly believe they are not original dials to the case. When I think of the the thousands of these watches produced and that I have a couple outliers I am not persuaded in the least. All that having been said, I have no more knowledge of what happened in 1930 than Wayne (long gone from myBulova i'm sorry to say) or anyone else. I really want to see how this fellow was put together when you return home from the holidays. Cheers!

Posted December 27, 2019 - 1:34pm

Based on the case, I'll agree to 

1930 Bulova Dewey, noting (per ads) dial  discrepancy,  non-standard hands for model and the possibility of a  movement swap. A lot can happen to a watch over 90 years and multiple owners repairing / rejuvenating it.

Awaiting photos of movement and frame outside of casing.

Posted December 28, 2019 - 1:20am

From my experience whilst the 13AF and 10AN are both a different shape the movement holder was what converted the shape to fit into a tonneau case. I have in the past been able to play with putting both a 13AF (with holder) and 10AN (with holder) in the same case.

I would tend to agree that the movement + holder + dial and hands are most likely from another watch.

Regardless of this however, as the Dewey is a match for the case we can ID it as such, noting the possible period replacement parts.

Kathy L.
Posted December 28, 2019 - 10:46am

I am happy to go with a case ID on this one.

1930 Bulova Dewey (tentative with possible dial/movement replacement)

Posted December 29, 2019 - 12:14pm

Hi, guys.

Finally back home.  Here are the photos of the movement that Geoff requested.  Please let me know if you need more.  I'll be interested in your interpretation.  Thanks.

Geoff Baker
Posted December 29, 2019 - 10:53pm

Well Tom (welcome home) I think the these photos really throw a wrench into the gears. Compare the innards of your watch to this one from Jaroslav, I just don't see how they can be the same model. Right now I'm kinda off the Dewey band wagon I think.

Posted December 30, 2019 - 3:17am

In reply to by Geoff Baker

Hmmm...  You don't think its a Dewey case with a re-designed back to accomodate a 13AF movement?

Posted January 1, 2020 - 8:15pm

In reply to by tshanno

I've never seen a movement holder like yours and suspect it's a custom job done by a jeweler to accomodate the movement/dial swap into the Dewey case.