Bulova 1938 Banker

Submitted by William Smith on August 5, 2012 - 6:54pm
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Date Code
Cresent Moon
Movement Jewels
Movement Serial No.
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Crystal Details
Additional Information

Case Back: 8794903   B-10K Rolled Gold Plate
Inside Case Back: Bulova Fifth Ave  New York
Movement: 10AB 15 jewel Adj Bulova Watch Co. U.S.A. (crescent moon date symbol 1938)
Dial: raised gold gilt Arabic numerals,  Bulova,  outer black printed minute track, gold hands, sub-second partially obscuring the 6

EDIT  Changed from incorrect typo of 10AB to correct 10AE

Bulova watch
Bulova watch
Bulova watch
Bulova Watch
Bulova Watch
Bulova Watch
Posted August 7, 2012 - 2:50pm

I'd go with tentative Ranger 4 now. It seems to be the closest to the subject watch.

William Smith
Posted August 7, 2012 - 2:59pm

In reply to by bourg01

I agree 1941 ad does seem to be closest to subject watch.  Not tonneau etc.... 
However this would imply Bulova had two distinct watches (Rangers) for sale in 1938: one tonneau unengraved and one non-tonneau engraved.  Would they use the same model name for two different watches.  The ads don't conflict, only the watches listed in database. 

Maybe the 1938 engraved, non-tonneau subject watch was named something other than the Ranger in 1938, and we just don't have an ad for it? ...and it became the Ranger in 1941?   What is the latest date for a non-engraved tonneau Ranger in the watch Database?

Are we back to the Engraved Banker possibility which Mark suggested, and we just don't have an ad for it?

EDIT to above. I forgot about the engraved non-tonneau ad from 1940 which Bobbee posted earlier in the thread, so my question above "...became Ranger in 1941" should read 1940

Posted August 7, 2012 - 3:58pm

The ad states 'Stainless steel back' and shows a Dial with a fully obscured 6 numeral... which the subject watch does not have and the ad is Dated 1941.

The subject more closely resembles the 'BANKER', in 1938.

William Smith
Posted August 7, 2012 - 4:06pm

In reply to by FifthAvenueRes…

Your right Mark both the 1940 and 41 ad (which arn't tonneau) say "stainless back"   details...

What a challange (and a mess)!

Posted August 7, 2012 - 4:11pm

Unknown for now, not Banker.

Posted August 7, 2012 - 4:26pm


In 1938 the 'RANGER' was altogether different, a Tonneau Case with Tonneau glass,  as shown in the ads previously posted.

The subject matches the 1938 'BANKER', with the addition of engraving to the bezel and as posted earlier in the thread several models from the era follow suit. -  Engraved and non engraved varieties.

An excellent suggestion was to post the Crystal specs for the subject, those can be compared with the known 'BANKER's in the database.

William Smith
Posted August 7, 2012 - 11:24pm

I gotta get out the actual watch for crystal specs....it's in one of my many boxes of watches....I'll look for it.
Here's a couple side by sides Fifth did of the subject unknown and two bankers in the watch DB

Posted August 7, 2012 - 11:43pm

In reply to by William Smith

I don't know if it's a difference of scale or an optical illusion caused by the engraving but the lugs on Will's unknown appear slightly longer than both Bankers. Also, the horizontal part of the case between the lugs looks thinner than the Bankers.

Posted August 8, 2012 - 12:00am




It's the Ranger.... it may have a replacement back from a banker.... but it's the Ranger.  I love how we get one guy making some rediculous conjecture up about with absolutely no proof and of course it's supposed to immedately have some merit.  I say fail.

I've found and studied more ads than most on here... never ever heard/seen telltail of a unicorn engraved banker from this few years but as long as we sound convincing when we're making something up out of thin air then yeah.... it must have some truth.

Oh, but don't factor in those other known watches that are the exact same watch as the one posted except for the replacement caseback.  Those don't factor into finding the unicorn.

William Smith
Posted August 8, 2012 - 12:37am

I wouldn't go with the Banker, but I'm not sure about Ranger either.  It could be the other 38/39 Rangers (those like subject watch- not the tonneau Rangers we have ads for) were ID'ed as close as could be at the time with the ads we had when the ID was made.

we don't see this Ranger in ads until 1940 (without considering the odds of case backs replaced on three watches now (Plains, subject, and a third one).  And we do see many ads for a tonneau Ranger through 1939. 

So while we don't have ads indicating this is an "unseen Banker", we do have ads indicating the Ranger in 1938/39 was a tonneau watch.  We don't have a 38/39 ad for this watch as a Ranger.

So with Ranger or Banker, we don't have ads for this watch.  We do, have conflicting ads for this watch being a 1938 Ranger. 

It's ok if we have some ID's in the past that may change in light of new ads and info. 

The ads suggest unknown to me.  The ID's previously made are/were derived from the ads.  I trust the ads vs the watches ID'ed from the ads.

Challenging..... :)