Bulova 1930 -Unknown

Submitted by tomprobkins on December 27, 2016 - 11:06am
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Just picked up this Beauty. I know there has been much discussion on this particular model. I would like to throw my hat in the ring. The issue is with the Brooklyn Watch Case Company case. Many specualte that because it is in this case it is not a legit Bulova. The BWCCo was in decline in 1928, and was most likely liquidating assets. It had stopped production and would later lease the factory to....Bulova. It stands to reason that since both companies were in Brooklyn there could have been arrangements made to buy out old products, etc. 


There have been quite a few of these hitting the market and I think it is a great example of an early center second hand Bulova. 

1930 Bulova watch
1930 Bulova watch
1930 Bulova watch
1930 Bulova watch
Posted December 27, 2016 - 11:34am

I am certain the second hand in not original :)

Posted December 28, 2016 - 3:42am

I would say that it will be the same watch that we still registered as Unknown

Posted December 27, 2016 - 7:15pm


Posted December 27, 2016 - 8:58pm

I get really excited when I see information from the early years and see some of the pieces come together. I've seen this article before, many years ago, but its interesting to revisit them with a better understanding and appreciation of the early days of Bulova. 

I'm convinced that these are indeed true Bulova watches, but I'm also Intrigued by the history, connection and timing with the Brooklyn Watch Case Company.

What can we say about this model.....

  1. We have examples from 1929 and 1930 (based on the movement only)
  2. The company that produced the case (BWC.Co) closed up shop in Sag Habor in 1928.
  3. We have no known adverts showing this model.

The above linked article writes that Bulova was approached to reopen the factory in 1937 and that they occupied (leased) the second floor of the factory. Does this mean that they were manufacturing their 'American Standard' cases here whilst BWC.Co were manufacturing their cases at the same time throughout the early 1920s? 

What is meant by 'reopen'?....was it to reopen the closed section previously used by BWC.Co, or to reopen the entire factory, which was then a major manufacturing hub during World War II?

If its the latter, but it suggests that Bulova's American Standard Case company also closed during this time.

There is a gap between 1928 when BWC.Co closed and 1937 when repoened by Bulova.

Did Bulova buy out BWC.Co and use some of their case stock to produce a variety of watches? This would certainly explain the marriage of the BWC.Co 'Conqueror' case and 1929/1930 Bulova movements. The center sweep hand also adds to the mystery here I think.

Was this particular case chosen because it was more suitable to accommodate a center sweep hand. Whilst Bulova did produce a few round case models, for the most part Bulova watches of this era were squared in shape.

Anyone have any thoughts or knowledge?

Posted December 27, 2016 - 9:30pm

Another angle I would like to explore is: did bulova aquire the cases at a reduced rate which allowed them to off set the additional cost of the auxillary center second hand and offer the watch at a comprable rate to others in the line up.

Posted December 27, 2016 - 10:34pm

The movement finishing isn't your average run of the mill for a 10AN either. They look purpose finished and built.

Certainly one could say that the purchase of cases stamped 'BWC.Co' would also have been attractive to Bulova.

Reverend Rob
Posted December 28, 2016 - 9:59am

It would be a logical move to acquire stock if offered at a bargain rate, especially when it is basically on your doorstep. 1930 was a year of turmoil  of course, and maybe Bulova was in a better position and was able to buy up the unused case stock. Maybe they even sold off the ones they didn't want? Pure speculation here, I know, but it does make some sense. Just my opinion, of course , but I also think these are true Bulovas, and this makes them just that much more interesting.

Geoff Baker
Posted December 28, 2016 - 7:31am

I still refer to mine as "Intrigued" alas it's still Unknown. thanks for the article Tom.