Bulova 1939 President

Submitted by Ameroo50 on September 22, 2011 - 5:55am
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Date Code
48 (A8)
Movement Jewels
Movement Serial No.
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Crystal details
25mm x 15mm
Additional Information

My grandfather passed away last month and left this watch to me.  I believe he told me he was given the watch prior to WWII.  From the research I've done on this site I believe it may be  a President from around 1940.  Any thoughts?

Update 23 Sept 2011: I'm now thinking it is a 1939 case with a 1948 movement?

Case measurement: 45mm x 20mm

President 1939
Bulova watch
Bulova watch
Bulova Watch
Bulova Watch
Bulova Watch
Posted September 22, 2011 - 6:13am

Late 1930's 'PRESIDENT' if there's 21 Jewels inside.


Stephen Ollman
Posted September 22, 2011 - 8:24am

Most of these were 10K Gold Filled. So this is a really lovely example and proof that they were also released as solid 14K gold.

Agree with President

Posted September 22, 2011 - 10:42am

Sweet!! You get 3 stars from me.

Posted September 22, 2011 - 3:07pm

Were you able to open the back and look for the special date symbol on the movement?


Posted September 23, 2011 - 1:45am

 I took the movement out and photographed it as you can see above as the 5th image.  I am guessing that it is a 1948 by the looks of it.  Am I correct?  Any other infomation you can add from what you can see in the photo of the movement would be most appreciated.  Thanks for your posts so far!

Posted September 23, 2011 - 6:34am

The 21 Jewel 7AP Movement (first seen in 1936-37) is dated 1948 - the latest 7AP on record here at the site to date is 1944. 

This Case design is pre 1940.

I've just noticed in the first image the Watch case is stamped Bulova with what looks like a Bell or a 'Keystone' next to it.

What are the markings inside the Caseback?

Posted September 23, 2011 - 9:06am

From looking at the chart posted by TdH the mark next to "Bulova" on the case back most closely resembles the symbol indicating 1939 to me.  At first I thought it was an inverted triangle, but on closer inspection the two sides of what I thought was a triangle are bowed like a bell or a shield.  

Incidentally I found this watch on eBay, which appears to be very close to the watch I have (with the exception of the black watch face and the movement):  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mens-1939-Bulova-14K-SOLID-GOLD-Engraved-PRESID…

Upon inspection of the inside of the Caseback I was unable to find anything that resembled a manufacturer's stamp or mark.  What is there is a number of hand inscribed numbers and letters, which appear to me to have been made at different times by different people.  (Maybe made by people performing services or repairs on the watch?)  The handwriting appears to be different, inscribed with a different amount of force and in different sizes.  Even under a magnifying glass the numbers were very difficult to make out and even more of a challenge to photograph as you can see from the attached photo.  I've attempted to transcribe what I can make out below, but I'm not confident that what I've come up with is 100% correct.







8162 ?/? 87118


Posted September 23, 2011 - 9:21am

What a difference a Day makes, where's Ticker when He's needed ?

The only scenerio I can come up with is the Watch was originally a late 1930's Pres which was upgraded post 1948 with a new Soild Gold Case and Movement (?)

14 K Case looks like a Keystone.

Posted September 23, 2011 - 9:22am

 I've updated the information on the watch such as case serial number, measurements, etc.

The Case measures 45mm x 20mm and the Crystal 25mm x 15mm.  Slightly longer (7mm) than the similar watch I found on eBay.

Posted September 23, 2011 - 10:27am

Fifth, Sorry, I Have to disagree with that notion. I just went through all of my gold Bulova's and though 8 of them are marked inside, they are all post 1941. The other 4 pre 1941 are only marked and serialised on the outside of the caseback and this watch bears the proper markings for pre 1941even if Keystone was the manufacturer .  I believe the case , dial and hands are legit. There's one  service scribe that  indicates a dial ( refinish or replaced in 1976 ) and I'm certain the movement was replaced because this style watch was no longer in production.

It is also possible that the Barrel bridge was swapped out with the one dated 1948. I wouldn't want to even guess why as it serves no function unless it got rusted to the barrel arbor and mainspring barrel and then those items would have been replaced as well.

I still think this is a 1939-40 President in 14K gold. Just my 2 cents worth.