Bulova 1930 Sky King

Submitted by William Smith on December 27, 2009 - 11:49am
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Date Code
Movement Jewels
Movement Serial No.
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Case Manufacturer
Additional Information

Inside case back:
Bulova Quality
Pat. Jan. 11, 1927
Sold in 2010

{DB updated 2012-02-10 from Sky King to Frandenbully to reflect incorrect jewel count and dial inconsistencies w/ ads.  1932 ad of Sky King w/ minute track toneau in six sided bezel not applicable in 1930}

Bulova watch
1930 Bulova watch
Posted August 2, 2011 - 8:47am

3 Stars

Wayne Hanley
Posted August 3, 2011 - 12:55pm

The subject watch case matches the case in the ad. However, the dial surely didn't come from the factory with a dial with minute track and seconds chapter that does not match the six-sided shape of the watch. Check against the ad. Definetly a tonneau dial, that turns a nice looking watch into a Frankenbully.

William Smith
Posted January 3, 2012 - 12:59am

In reply to by Wayne Hanley

I  am wondering about the tonneau shape minute track in six sided case being misrepresented in ads.  Guess it depends on the ad.  Some of the ads are pretty poor resolution, but it looks to me like there are a few of these ads showing what looks more like tonneau minute track vs six sided tracks like our high res sky king ad.

one of four Bulova ads in a 1932 Catalogue.  L & C Meyers Co, Wholesale Jewelers, Fifth Avenue. NY

William Smith
Posted August 13, 2011 - 12:58pm

Yea Wayne I noticed this after posting this watch to mybulova several years ago and just never updated.   I traded or sold it to someone a couple years back and noted your comment to the buyer.  He was going to wear it for special occasions, and he didn't seem to care that it was a Frankenbully....

Posted September 4, 2011 - 11:56am

I see the Dial descrepency now and the Movement is 15J not 17J as advertised.

William Smith
Posted February 10, 2012 - 2:59pm

In reply to by FifthAvenueRes…

changed in DB to Frankenbully based on incorrect jewel count, dial minute track discrepancy w/ 1930 ads. Question is now do we have a two star Frankenbully?

Posted February 10, 2012 - 4:17pm


This possibly is one of stupidest Model identification chages I've ever witnessed.

William Smith
Posted February 10, 2012 - 4:30pm

I thought there was agreement that a toneau shapped minute track in a six sided bezel was not from the "factory" ,  at least until the 1932 ad showing otherwise - if that 1932 ad track is not artists rendering issue.   It was about two years btwn these two ads.   The 15 jewel mvnt when all ads show 17 (I hope i'm remembering correctly),  So dial may be incorrect or later (2yrs?) jewel count inconsistent w/ ads- seemed like a Sky King case w/ incorrect mvnt  and probable dial change or redial.  Did I miss something?

William Smith
Posted February 10, 2012 - 5:13pm

In reply to by William Smith

Nova has one similar in DB, and she said she didn't have any problem with track/bezel shape on her two or three star, but there was discussion.  This is a good way to find out, as Lisa had said "she was not following that discussion (track/bezel discrepancy). 

I reviewed "what is a frankenbully" forum post recently submitted/updated by admin at:


and last qualifier, albeit noted by * for exceptions, was my reason for changing to newly added model name Franky

Posted February 10, 2012 - 7:36pm

Will I would still rate this as a SkyKing. The non-original movement isn't that big a deal and the primary concern should be the case, hands and dial, which are all good. The movement is period. and if we start putting known watches into the Frankenbully category based on this we'd do mor damage than good.

If I have stated this combo in my post I will amend.

You have my 3 stars for the Sky King.