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.
AF43 - 34290
Case shape
Crystal Details
26.0mm Diameter
Additional Information

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
Wayne Hanley
Posted September 13, 2011 - 6:06pm

In reply to by FifthAvenueRes…


The watch you claim to be a Waltham happens to be an Elgin. Generally all A-11 watches look the same, except the Waltham with the Dustproof case, it has the coin edge bezel (not shown). Waltham A-11 watches with the Waterproof cases have a beefier looking lug as shown below.


Posted September 13, 2011 - 6:31pm

Elgin, My bad. I had one and it was slightly smaller in Diameter than the 32mm Bulova Cases.

Posted October 23, 2011 - 11:16pm

The Bulova 3818 has those cuts at the lug -case joint, could this be a 3818 case, A-11 inards and back? Just tryin to figure it out....no idea what size the 3818 case is.

Posted October 23, 2011 - 11:17pm

In reply to by shooter144

Nope, just found one, not the same... as you were, continue on...my apologies.

Wayne Hanley
Posted October 24, 2011 - 3:05am


Do you have one or a picture of the 3818 spec watch? If so please post here please. I believe the 3818 was Korean War Era & may clear up some misconceptions. Thanks

Posted October 24, 2011 - 12:32pm

In reply to by Wayne Hanley

It was a current auction, fifth has one in the data base...the 'cut' actually is a machined step all the way around the bezel, yours doesnt look like it is all the way around, but just at the lugs.

Posted October 24, 2011 - 10:41am

image below shows a known ELGIN A-11 (left) BULOVA A-11 (center) SUBJECT A-11 (right) all 3 Watches are scaled to size.

* note the lugs on the BULOVA A-11 (center) in comparison to the ELGIN A-11 (left). The 40mm x 32mm BULOVA A-11 case has longer lugs and does not show the cut detail as on the ELGIN A-11 case.

However, the subject Watch does appear to have Bulova Dial and Hands.

Wayne Hanley
Posted October 24, 2011 - 6:01pm

You have been pulling more unsubstanchiated comments about this watch out of your ....back pocket. You speak with such authority & then get countered with facts, yet you continue. Why? Is this your attemt at payback for your ORD frankenbully. I'll settle with minus 3 stars for this Bulova watch and enjoy it more every day!

Posted October 24, 2011 - 6:28pm

Oh Boy, here we go again! I will only make 1 comment, Very cool watch Wayne. I just don't know enough about these to say much more.

Personally, If your going to replate a case, I'd prefer to see Rhodium  rather than nickel or chrome. It will have a deeper luster, harder finish and will last forever. It's also anti-allergic for folks with sensitive skin. That's what your Awoner was done with.

Posted October 24, 2011 - 6:40pm

Looking at the lugs they dont look like Bulova case to me, the Bully has a gracefull curve from case body to lugs and this one has an abrubt start to the lugs, or the bezel somewhat overlaps the lugs, where the Bully bezel does not, it is slightly less in dia than the start of the lugs. Looking at the Elgin, they look identicle to me in the pics, but not having them in hand it is vary hard to say for sure. The best bet would be to have them in hand side by side and compare exterior as well as interior (machine marks and style of fitting cuts made for the movement), that would probably be the best way to say for sure. This case is within the specs, but to me, not the correct style of the known Bullova mil spec cases.

These are just my observations, and I am no expert...Bulova could very well have made this case, it seems to be completely within specs, I just have not observed one identical to it. That being said, the bezels are not marked on any of them so we can only observe what we believe to be correct from other watches where the majority of them are identical in shape and design and markings.

It is a very nice looking mil spec watch in any case.