Bulova 1941 Nightingale

Submitted by Ozme on August 2, 2015 - 3:58pm
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Jewels
Movement Serial No.
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Case color
Crystal details
15mm dome
Watch Description

This looks to me like a Nightingale. The movement is dated to 1950 (L0), and the case serial starts with a "1". The crystal has a ring of cracks around it. The case seems to be RGP with a stainless steel caseback, but there are no markings indicating this. This was a thrift store purchase.

1941 Bulova Nightingale
1941 Bulova watch
1941 Bulova watch
1941 Bulova watch
1941 Bulova watch
William Smith
Posted August 2, 2015 - 4:55pm

I agree w/ Nightingale ID.  For the date, the first digit of case serial numbers don't corelate to year in the 1950's.  With a case SN starting with 1, I doubt the case is from 1941.  The ad Jabs uses is from 1951.  
What does it say on the outside case back at the bottom (close-up below)?

Intresting there's no hallmarks on the inside case back.

Geoff Baker
Posted August 3, 2015 - 5:58am

Hello Ozme, welcome to myBulova, looks like you're starting a Bulova collection?

I'm pretty sure your watch is a Nightingale but I am not certain it's from 1951. I don't recall seeing a 1950's Bulova that did not have the newer style date code (L1). The advert I posted below is from 1942, I think you watch might be too.

1941 Bulova Nightingale ( with updated movement)


Posted August 3, 2015 - 6:15am

In reply to by Geoff Baker

Thanks! I am. They come with handy dating codes and makes my inner OCD happy :P

The movement itself says L0, and since the case starts with a 1, I assumed that means 1951 instead of 1941. Would it make sense to find a 1950 movement inside a 1941 case?

Posted August 3, 2015 - 7:26am

Agree w/ Geoff

William Smith
Posted August 3, 2015 - 9:47pm

Agree w/ Geoff and Ken.  I don't think the Bulova Quality is around by 1951 either?

Posted August 3, 2015 - 11:33pm

In reply to by William Smith

Hmm. How on earth did a 1950 movement get put into a 1941 case? O.o I'd love it if this were from '41 instead of '51, but it doesn't make sense.

Posted August 4, 2015 - 9:04am

Watchophilia's case signatures page says in the 1950s section:

"Inside:  no signature; Outside:  "Bulova Quality" (seen in four examples dated 1950, 1951, 1953, and 1958)"

(I hope there's no feud between these two sites or something :P)

William Smith
Posted August 4, 2015 - 1:16pm

In reply to by Ozme

Lisa organized that summary nicely, using her actual watch examples for the various signatures.  It does show Bulova Quality this late.  If you look through the various decades in that list, you'll see that her Case Signatures descriptions don't include other possible stamped marks that can be on the cases. We know most of the 1950's onward also have the alphanumeric date code stamped on the cases, along with serial numbers. Lisa did not include these stampings in her definition of "case signatures", nor would it be necessary for her to do so IMO.  

So to Greg's observation- no date code on case- I agree we don't see this too often, but I'm not sure the absence of a date code on case would necessarily mean the case is from pre-1950. I would say "usually so".   If the case is from 1951, this is early in the change in date code stamping (starting in 1950), so maybe some examples were simply not stamped w/ newer date code?

I don't know how we would determine this case is from 1951 without the alphanumeric date code, as first digit of case serial number doesn't correlate w/ date in the 1950's.