Bulova 1931 Round the World

Submitted by Geoff Baker on January 25, 2013 - 8:45pm
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Date Code
Square Shield
Movement Jewels
Movement Serial No.
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Case Manufacturer
Crystal Details
Additional Information

Wonderfully restored 1931 Bulova 'Round the World'. Jan 11, 1927 Bulova Quality case unmarked for content found in lovely condition. Movement bears both Omega and Square Shield indicating a factory repurposed 1930 power plant. Period Speid-Fold bracelet makes it the complete package. (Speid-Fold? hmm, is it possible that was a precursor to Speidel?)

Added 1/25/2013

Name update from Fleetwood to Round the World 2/7/2013

Photos of presentation case added 12/11/2019 

Geoffrey Baker 1931 Bulova Round the World 1 25 2013
1931 Bulova watch
1931 Bulova watch
1931 Bulova watch
1931 Bulova watch
Bulova Watch advert
William Smith
Posted January 27, 2013 - 6:55pm

In reply to by mybulova_admin

Stephen  I think both the Fleetwood and Ambassador ads above are from 1929.  Is that right?

Posted January 27, 2013 - 6:54am

This ad shows the exact same engraving and jewel count, and as such even with the colour difference, is the closest to the subject I think.

Posted January 27, 2013 - 8:02am


Jewel count trumps the Case color(s)...for now.

Posted January 27, 2013 - 5:41pm

In reply to by FifthAvenueRes…

I disagree, the jewel count should not trump where the cases are uniquely different as is the case here. Movements can and are swapped, replaced. I'm not saying that is neccessarily the cast here, but a movement is not the trump card on a model ID.

If I put a 21J movement in a corner-cut Lone Eagle its still a Lone Eagle. If the are two identical case models where the movments gave then different names. I agree, but this is not the case here.The case is the determinig factor here and the only two-tone case we have evidence for is for the Fleetwood.

Yes it is possible that there is a third model that we are missing that is two-toned, 15J and has the double engraving, but adverts of this time were not always 100% acurate.

Tentative Fleetwood is my final call.

William Smith
Posted January 27, 2013 - 3:40pm

We have some period ads showing the 15 jewel Ambassador with two rows of engraving and no unengraved margin outside these double-rows of engraving.
AND we have a 1929 ad showing the Ambassador without these double-engraving rows, looking more like the Fleetwood (short of jewel count).  This 1929 ad also shows an unengraved margin outside what looks like a single row of engravings.  I think this is the Ambassador snippet Admin uses on the far left of his three comparison above?   
So with ads showing both types of engravings, it may be a matter of year?

William Smith
Posted January 27, 2013 - 7:16pm

I'll line up the fleetwood adn ambassador ads by year.
Without addressing the two-tone issue:
I believe we are seeing one Fleetwood case (single engraving/unengraved margin) for all years for which we have fleetwood ads. 

And we are seeing two different engraving patterns for the Ambassador in 1929: first that one similar to the fleetwood, then the engraving pattern seen in the two subject watches. 

I'm thinking the fleetwood/ambassador cases are the same for part of 1929, and then the Ambassador (ads) indicate the pattern changed from that of the fleetwood to the unique double-engraved/no unengraved margin style from that 1929 transition date onward- which would include up to the date of the 1931 subject watches.

Doesn't address two-tone, but helps with the case patterns.  Then we can discuss/assume the merits of an artist's rendering problem.  I think there are three ads showing Ambassador w/ engraving of subject watch, so it would be a repeated "artists rendering" issue...which is unlikely IMO. 
This one is fun.

Geoff Baker
Posted January 30, 2013 - 7:00am

I'm going to keep it simple - Fleetwood.

Posted February 1, 2013 - 10:31pm

In reply to by Geoff Baker

Thank you Geoff. Two-tone is the only aspect here we should be focusing on. Hey it's a tentative ID which can be changed if and when evidence is found and presented to the contorary.

Posted February 7, 2013 - 4:07am

The "ROUND THE WORLD" watch, ads courtesy of Lisa.

What a find!