Bulova 1943 Military Issue

Submitted by Wayne Hanley on August 17, 2011 - 5:56pm
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Date Code
Movement Jewels
Movement Serial No.
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Case color
Crystal details
26.0mm Diameter
Watch Description

Case material is silver colored metal that is not chrome and has resisted the the elements much better than the normal chrome plated ovr base metal cases of typical Type A-11 cases. The case measures 30mm or 1 1/8 inch diameter w/o crown, 36.0mm lug-lug, 16.0mm between lugs. The stainless steel case back is stamped:


SPEC.NO. 94-27834

SER.NO. AF43-34290


ORD.NO. W535AC-33934


21/11/2011 Edited case material to reflect new support data indicating numerous instances of silver cased military issued Type A-11 WWII era hack watches.

This Type A-11 watch meets all of the requirements of military specification no. 94-27834 dated 1941, Watch Navigation, Type A-11 (Hack).

There are no military specified plating requirements in mil-spec 94-27834. Pate finish was left to the manufacturer. Big bad Bulova move. I don't wonder why so many Bulova chrome plated WWII era Type A-11 & ORD watch movements are re-cased. The auction market is flooded with re-cased watches & sold as Pilot watches.

Bulova watch
1943 Bulova watch
1943 Bulova watch
1943 Bulova watch
1943 Bulova watch
Posted August 18, 2011 - 3:48pm

Silver bonds directly to brass much better than chrome..thats why today, nickel is plated first then chrome. I would think the plate process for the ORD watches was straight to chrome as they were a consumable item ( a sad way to think about these great time pieces ) and not expected to last for a great deal of time and nickel was in short supply during the war years.


Aparently by ORD specs they were all nickel chromium plate, but not sure if that means nickel then chrome or a nickel-chromium alloyed plate as that does exist as well. More research neaded lol

Wayne Hanley
Posted September 5, 2011 - 4:35am

Shooter this is a Type A-11 not an ORD watch, but I savy they use the same case. Interesting about the ORD specs though. Do you have access to the spec? I would like to see the wording on the plating requirements. Are you talking just Bulova ORD watches or all other manufacturer's as well? The Bulova's seem to be the only ORD watches that appear to be badly pitted or worn down to the brass. Except for the silver alloy depicted above.

Research of TM 9-1574 does not indicate that all WWII era watches were required to be 32mm case diameter. Paragraph 4 indicates that watch movements have the size requirement. Quote "To determine the size of a watch, measure the dial side of the (pillar) plate."

Each U.S. watch manufacturer, except Bulova used the Lancashire gage. Bulova used Ligne for movement measurement. Each manufacturer in the lead in paragraph for the Section of the TM stated the size. e.g.

Section V, Hamilton Wrist Watch, 6/0 Size, 17 Jewel, Model 787A                                           Section VI, Elgin Wrist Watch, 8/0 Size 7 or 15 Jewel                                                             Section VII, Waltham Wrist Watch, 6/0 Size, 9-Jewel, Model 10609 And 17-Jewel Model 10617 Section VIII, Bulova Wrist Watch, Model 10AK, 10 1/2 Ligne Size, 15-Jewel, Water Proof Case

The fact that my A-11 case diameter is 30mm is not a detrimental factor as is currently the attitude of some panel members. The back of the case states the movement as 10AKSCH and complies with the movement size as manufactured by Bulova. And if it fits you must aquit or something like that.

I hope this dispells some of the war stories floating around the site.




Posted September 5, 2011 - 6:53am


The Case dimensions are incorrect for WWII Bulova Military:

40mm x 32mm Military Standard vs Your 36mm x 30mm.

The lugs do not look correct:

There should be no groove on the face where the lug meets the Case.

The stem barrel is quite large on the WWII issue Case, I'm not seeing this detail on Yours.

Your Case is Chrome plated base metal and the Caseback is Stainless Steel, not Silver alloy as You have stated.

The odd thing is from the back the Case looks correct.


Wayne Hanley
Posted September 5, 2011 - 3:00pm

Where are you getting 40mm x 32mm Military Standard from?  I just gave you the facts on sizeing above, for each of the U.S military watch manufacturers, right from the TM. Everything else is your opinion. Seems like you have appointed yourself the on-site Military Horological Hall Monitor.

I give you facts from the TM and you refute with war stories & personal opinion that you cannot back-up with facts.  How can you tell what metal the watch is made of, just looking at a picture?

Happy Labor Day


Wayne Hanley
Posted September 12, 2011 - 1:59am

Thanks to Jay for posting this specification page indicating case size requirements for WWII watches. This spec indicates my Type A-11 watch above to be 1/16 of an inch over the minimum case size. I request panel members take another look at this watch. All of the above detrimental comments about the size and metal composition have been proven wrong with facts.

Posted September 12, 2011 - 2:12pm

Hmmm...could be an odball early or late or a used what they had when supplies were short but still correct issue case !!! I like it, it looks fantastic...I believe I may have mine heavy nickel plate and leave it at that for my own use. With a min and max size peramiter it is entirely likely that some were at odds with the accepted and most used size case, a war was going on so anything is possible in terms of substituted 'higher grade' materials. And a phone call to the ORD department from Bulova would likely be all that was needed for temp change of materials due to a shortage. None the less its a very nice looking case !!

Wayne Hanley
Posted September 12, 2011 - 4:00pm


Oddball my a_ _. It is within the size limits of the above spec requirements. As described

"Case 30mm or 1 1/8 inch diameter w/o crown." That is certainly within the limits 1 1/16 minimum & 1 5/16 maximum in that spec above. It states that right above where it states Figure 1 at the bottom of the page.

I have found 3 other people that have silver A-11 watches.


Posted September 12, 2011 - 4:08pm

Easy Wayne, I am on your side here. Oddball was only meant as not what we usually see the most often.

Posted September 12, 2011 - 4:36pm

The Case looks like it's a Waltham .

Image courtesy of hackset.net.