Bulova 1938 Corrigan

Submitted by plainsmen on December 11, 2010 - 2:53pm
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Additional Information

Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan

The Corrigan or "Doug Corrigan" .  It falls into the footsteps of the Lindbergh aviator Lone Eagle as a commemoration of a daredevil flyer, Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan.

Douglas Corrigan's hero was Charles Lindbergh.  After applying for permission for a trans-Atlantic flight several times and being denied, Corrigan (of Irish descent) took from from July 17,  1938 from Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York with a flight plan filed to return to his home in California.  He later landed at Baldonnel Airport, in Dublin, after a 28-hour, 13-minute flight.

After recieving severe backlash from U.S. flight officials, Corrigan claimed he accidentally flew the wrong way, and stuck with his story.  Thereafter being dubbed "Wrong Way" Corrigan.

 Please see full information on Mr. Corrigan here:  The Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan Story

This 1937-1938 Corrigan is double stamped with the Arrow and the Crescent indicating being made possibly between years or using a 1937 movement in a 1938 watch. 

I'm going to deduct that this is actually a 1938 model becuase of the double stamp shows the 1938 hand stamped in.  

It is quite possible that this watch had a different name before 1938 as I've seen one from 1935, obviously before Mr. Corrigan's feat.

This watch is a 17 Jewel,  and it's 10AE movement runs great. 

It shows a little wear through on the case only in the back in two places.  This particular watch has "Isaac" engraved stylishly on the back case.  The minute hand on the watch is bent slightly causing it to hit the hour hand, I will need to get it fixed.  In fact after looking at the ad, I'm not positive that these hands are correct for the Corrigan and will do a little more research on them.

All in all I believe it hard to beat the Corrigan as the best example of pure "Art Deco"  in the Bulova line.  Check out those sweet lines....

This watch can be found in our 1939 Bulova ad here:

1938 Bulova Corrigan
Bulova watch
Bulova watch
Bulova Watch
Bulova Watch
Bulova Watch
Posted December 13, 2010 - 11:51am

 Nice watch Plains........with regards to the hands, in the advert you have pictured they appear black (blued steel), even the sub second hand, could this just be because its not in colour maybe? They certainly look like the 'Modern; style rather than yours which are look like a diamond/cathedral hibrid.  Also worth noting that in the advert the sub second hand has a small counter balance on the back unlike yours.  In fact the whole sub second dial looks different, yours has marks ever 5 seconds, the advert just has a number 60 and 30. So either yours is a re-dial or Bulova changed design at some point

One thing I am intrigued with though is why yours has these hands, they certainly look right for this period of watch rather than the modern style, thats just my opinion though.

Posted December 14, 2010 - 7:33pm

In reply to by GVP

Yeah I don't know.... here's another example of a guy posting his watch... he has it as a 1935 Corrigan but I don't know if that's correct or not... This one has subsecond marks every 5 secs and no 30/60 symbols as well.  Wonder if it's not the older model?

Posted December 14, 2010 - 8:32pm

In reply to by plainsmen

Correct hands, 1939 (-41?) manufacture? And perhaps your ('38 10AE)  movement may also be correct?? But the hands are probaby not? We just sold my '41 Corrigan on eBay, in one day...


:-)  Scott

Posted December 14, 2010 - 5:00am


The second hand on the Watch in the Ad is termed 'Modern' style, matching its Hour and Minute  hands design. The seconds hand showing on the example is termed 'Index' style. Referring to HANDS 101 in the General information section: http://www.mybulova.com/vintage_bulova_hands which is 'handy' piece of info IMO. The Hour and Minute hands showing on the example could possibly be Bulovas 'Fuseaux' style (can't be sure 100%}, which when teamed with the Index style seconds hand is perfectly feasable, if not a rare combination ?

What's catching My eye is the strap mount. The ad shows a configuration whereas the band is attatched to the watch via a double mount (swivel?). The springbar used on the example looks very much like the secondary attatchment point for the band in the ad, if so a rare find. Plains, I'd look into how the Corrigan example in the ad mounts to the band. Details, details...

Nice watch,  if 1938 is the original Year of production for this model an added value.

Posted December 14, 2010 - 8:26pm

In reply to by FifthAvenueRes…

A few may have been made in late 1938 with the movement in Jerin's watch? (Vs. the 17J, 10AX...) But the Cathedral hands are probably NOT original???

Another thing to add (if I haven't overlooked it?) would be copies of the various hand styles and matching movements, etc. so people could discern if their movement and hands are likely original? Or at least, paired correctly!


:-)  Scott

Stephen Ollman
Posted December 14, 2010 - 9:36pm

Is it not a common train of thought that a vintage Bulova watches movement isn't a good reference to a model, after all we all know that movements were swapped over and re-used or re-issued depending on available stocks by both Bulova themselves and jewellers.

A few things are certain in my mind:

  1. The His and Her Excellency series of watches all had 21 jewelled movements
  2. The Bulova 23 series all has 23....dah! :-)
  3. Certain series we know of were produced and released in batches and contain the same movements.

Whilst it would be nice to think that a movement will always relate to a particular model, other than a few exceptions (and I'm talking 20s, 30s, 40s era) it won't always be the case.


Stephen Ollman
Posted December 14, 2010 - 9:38pm

Also I don't belive these hands on Plains version are even Bulova standard hands. I've not seen this style before on any other Bulova watch series.

Did anyone else notice the triple date code....the first time I've seen this.

Arrow - 1937, Cresent Moon - 1938, Shield - 1939.


Posted December 17, 2010 - 1:07pm

In reply to by Stephen Ollman

 Very good point, I am not sure I have ever seen them on a Bulova. They look more like the Waltham style hands of the deco period.