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Bulova 1940 Chronograph

7/10 votes
Model ID rating explained.

Manufacture Year: 


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Additional Information

Hi everyone 

I’m new to this site and I have to say I’m very excited to be here, especially because I would like very much to be able to identify my old Bulova watch. I found this website incredibly helpful and very well done. Thank you for all the information and beautiful images that you have on this website.

I will attach some images with my beautiful old Bulova and hopefully I can get some help.

To me this watch is a one button chronograph model but I may be wrong. I research online  information regarding this model but I cannot find almost anything . That means perhaps that it could be a rare model?

I will very much appreciate if I can get  more details about this particular model. Any information will be very much appreciated.

 Thank you very much.

Not For Sale
1943 Bulova Chronograph watch 1
1943 Bulova Chronograph watch 2
1943 Bulova Chronograph watch 3
1943 Bulova Chronograph watch 4
1943 Bulova Chronograph watch 4
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Posted May 31, 2018 - 11:24am


The watch is not running for the moment. After I wind it up it started running for a few seconds and stop. I m pretty sure it needs a good cleaning and a new mainspring. The weel balance seems to be ok is moving friarly and I already purchased the original mainspring for a 10BK movement and of course I intend to replace it. It seams to me that all the chronograph parts are ok.  I hope after the cleaning oiling process everything to work properly... it should.

Club 5000Panel Member
Posted June 1, 2018 - 11:07pm

Loving this watch. We don't see Bulova stamp the ratchet wheel very often, but I suspect with a complicated chronograph movement there isn't much space to place the Bulova Watch Co USA.

Certainly a rare Bulova watch. I hope you can get it working again as a fully functional timepiece that you can wear with pride. 

Date wise I'd go with 1943.

Geoff Baker
Club 5000Panel Member
Posted June 3, 2018 - 6:54am

With DSBulova's permission I updated the photos. There are a couple things I noticed right away. The red track on the outside of the dial indicates ground speed in Miles Per Hour. What is of note is that there are two tracks, the outer track goes from 600MPH down to 60 MPH, the inner track goes from 55 MPH down to 30 MPH.  I don't recall seeing that on any Bulova watches. The very fact that the chrono function measures ground speed makes me think this watch was used for automobile race timing and not a military purpose. The black inner track appears to be seconds, I assume to aid in timing. The blue track is unknown to me, I'm not sue on that one. The square date date is clear as is the serial number, although it does appear that there has been an attempt to obliterate parts of the s/n.

As stated above, I think it's a 1943 case and 1946 movement.

Posted June 5, 2018 - 5:41am

As you mentioned above about the movement and the case; do you believe the movement was added later  to this case, or perhaps they don’t belong to each other?

Also, it is possible the blue track on the dial to be meant for distance in meters as the ward says “telemeteri” perhaps a watch model build for European market?


Posted June 5, 2018 - 5:48am

This is what I found online as meaning of the ward “telemeteri “ telemetry 


  1. the process of recording and transmitting the readings of an instrument. "measurements will be transferred by radio telemetry to the shore station" It makes me wander Isn’t this perhaps a perfect watch for the navy?  


Geoff Baker
Club 5000Panel Member
Posted June 5, 2018 - 6:33am

It's Telemeter - the "I" is actually the 1 of the scale. See entry from wiki below, if there was a miliary use for this feature I expect it would have been artillery related.

The telemeter chronograph is a feature of a wristwatch which allows the user to approximately measure the distance to an event that can be both seen and heard (e.g. a lightning bolt or a torpedo strike) using the speed of sound. The user starts the chronograph (stopwatch) at the instant the event is seen, and stops timing at the instant the event is heard. The seconds hand will point to the distance measured on a scale, usually around the edge of the face. The scale can be defined in any unit of distance, but miles or kilometers are most practical and commonplace


Posted June 5, 2018 - 7:17am

I think your explanation make more sense than mine; I’m not familiar with chronograph watches at all.

Thank your for all your comments. They’ve  been very useful, especially to me.

Posted June 7, 2018 - 5:53am

I just finished to clean/oiling the movement and everything worked out pretty well. I had a little problem with the balance wheel but I managed to correct it. Everything is working properly; now is time to regulate properly the movement and enjoy it. I don’t know if I’m allowed to post a link here with the watch working; I tough everybody will enjoy it. If that is something that you don’t permit please accept my apologize.

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Reverend Rob
Panel Member
Posted June 7, 2018 - 10:43am

I'd say the watch is very likely to have been a Military offering that didn't get picked up on contract. It is very specialized and would have been expensive to produce. It's doubtful many civilians would have been familiar or even interested in the various functions of the scales. 

What strikes me is that it goes up to 600 mph. That would seem to indicate an aircraft or pilot's usage, and the telemeter would have been useful for timing distance from explosions and the like. 

A Supermarine Spitfire had a top speed of around 360 mph, but could reach dive speeds of 600 mph.

Posted June 7, 2018 - 11:09am

I did not want to have any influence to any body with my story when I first upload my watch on this forum that’s why I decide it to wait a little longer and see all your professionals opinion about this model. It is indeed a very rare watch.

My sister purchased this watch for me (knowing my eternal love for watches), from a lady in a garage sale. She ask her  if she knows anything about the watch. The lady mentioned to my sister that was her father favorite watch and he was a USA military pilot back in 1940’s.She mentioned he was send in a several “secret” missions on Europe.

This is all she sad to my sister about this particular watch.

I don’t know if this watch was in his father wrists when he was send on those secret missions or not.

To bad we lost any contact with this lady...I would enjoyed so much to talk with her more about this watch and her father.

This is all I know about this watch.