Bulova 1938 Physician

Submitted by dhhirsch on February 1, 2013 - 12:06am
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Date Code
Cresent Moon
Movement Jewels
Movement Serial No.
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Case Manufacturer
Additional Information

1938 Physician, with two date codes--Cresent and Square.  I saw the discussion about the 1941 Physician with two date codes, but there didn't seem to be an answer as far as why two...  Also, this has the BXW on the movement, which also was a point of discussion in the thread on the 1941...  I'm assuming 1938, since the first number on the case number is 8?   I just bought this on eBay and it was listed as 1938...  So, why two date codes?  Any meaning to the square date code.  Does it have anything to do with the 7AC movement having started to be made in 1936?

BTW,  I'm pretty much a newbie to wrist watch collecting... I've bought a few men's Bulova's and a couple lady Bulovas for my wife... I'm also buying a couple for my daughters, for Valentines Day (I've snagged one on eBay so far, and hope to get another soon...)

Bulova watch
Bulova watch
Bulova watch
Bulova Watch
Posted February 1, 2013 - 12:20am

Definately a Physican.  I have 3 of these bad boys... so nice looking.  This was a great buy.

As far as the double date stamp... usually one of them are a machine stamp... the other a hand stamp.  If you look closely you can tell the difference as the other one isn't as precise.  What we all concluded and this is just speculation but makes sense when you ponder it a second....  the earlier stamp is when the movement was produced.  The hand stamp is usually a year after and was put in when the movement was paired with it's then new watch case. 

The 8 in this old of a model does in fact indicated the year within the decade.  Good catch!

Sounds like you poor poor sap have caught the Bulova bug like the rest of us... 3 years ago I didn't know anything about watches... now I think I can hold my own about Bulova's with almost anyone in the world... unless you make me start talking about the guts and how they work... haha.


Posted February 1, 2013 - 12:36am

Thanks Plainsmen for the fast reply.   Collecting these watches is definately addicting.  I have a collection of pocket watches, but these are more fun since I can wear them.    I think I've also gotten my wife hooked on them too!

Posted February 1, 2013 - 3:21am

Stunning watch!

So bases on other IDs and crystal specs its a tentative Physican. I'm sure it's 100% but without an advert confirming I only give it a tentative ID.


Posted February 1, 2013 - 3:35am


oakley case.

Geoff Baker
Posted February 1, 2013 - 5:35am

Great watch, 'watched' that auction end last night, seems like a pretty good price too. I'm in with Physician, probably a two tick vote.

William Smith
Posted February 1, 2013 - 5:56am

Nice one!! What I noticed was the Swiss to USA import code showing up twice on the watch. And in that larger/strange font below Bulova sig.  The shape of the crescent moon symbol...it looks more like a half circle.   Maybe a 1936 movement, repurposed in 1938/ with a crescent symbol hand mis-stamped and appearing like half circle.  Maybe that large font BXW was stamped again at this time.  Would match the '38 case date.
Case sure looks like the Oakley...  JP has one here w/ crystal specs. Crystal Details: 27.09mm x 17.64mm

1934 Oakley Ad.  Click for full ad.

dhhirsch- could you measure the crystal? 
Case looks just like this Physician example here , and another one here  AND both these also have the same BXW twice, and what looks like a square and second unclear date code.
I'm good with Physician ID.

Posted February 1, 2013 - 11:08am

In reply to by William Smith

Will, in your links to other physicians above, the ID has been made using crystal measurements alone, the crystal being used fits the Ben Hur, Calhoun and Physician.
I have a Calhoun which takes a GS flexo MT361-45 26.6 X 17.2, and fits perfectly.
Your measurements above differ by half a mil, quite a difference.
I also have a Oakley with a new crystal, same size as the flexo when placed on top of each other.

Posted February 1, 2013 - 10:31am

I thought we solved the BXW issue and decided it was an import code on all swiss made Bulova watches.

Pyhsician from me.

Posted February 1, 2013 - 3:59pm

Agreed, Physican. Nice one too!

William Smith
Posted February 1, 2013 - 7:04pm

Bobbee.. The crystal measurements in linked example were taken by JP.  He even had the crystal out for photographing.  Three Oakley are in the watch database, and they are all dated 1933/34.  The double date code symbols on the movements of three tentative Physicians in the database, along with the double BXW stamps, could possibly indicate Bulova repurposed some old movements and used the same case as Oakley, now calling it the Physician in 1938 (case date of subject watch)???  They didn't have to retool for a new case for Physician this way...if the two cases are that similar- which they appear to be.  They just made more 1934 Oakley cases in 1938, stamped them w/ 1938 case SN, and marketed as Physician. 

Just a thought.  Not a determining factor for my tentative ID of 1938 Physician