Bulova 1943 Military Non-Issue

Submitted by BengalsBaby on February 6, 2024 - 12:55am
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Watch Description

Please identify. I believe I have a 1940’s Bulova A-11 Hack model watch.  Issued to a family member.  It has I’m assuming a custom dial, since I can’t find any other with the same.  The engraving on the back plate is gone but evidence can be found on the inside due to transfer. Also the Bulova badging is in a different location on the movement then other A-11’s I’ve seen.  Not sure what the case is made of but it’s definitely not steel due to the patina.

Custom Dial
Back plate missing engraving
Inside backplate showing engraving evidence
Movement.  Note the direct placement of Boluva
Has dust cover
Posted February 6, 2024 - 10:17am

Thanks for letting me post.

Posted February 6, 2024 - 10:52pm

Thank you for posting your watch.  What a unique one.   The A11 had a 10AKCSH movement.  If this is a 10AK it might be a movement replacement.   It does look like I see a + on the dial which would indicate this is a 1943.   The dial does appear to be of the period and was probably customized.   Based on movement, dial customization and missing case back markings, I would classify this as a 1943 Bulova Military Non-Issue.  I honestly would rather have this one that an original A11 as this one as an interesting story to tell.

Posted February 7, 2024 - 5:49am

In reply to by JimDon5822

It looks like it might be a 10AX movement. Look in the area where the center sweep second hand drive wheel is located. Looks like partially hidden 10-X. 

Posted February 7, 2024 - 9:57pm

Thank you for all the information.  I will definitely research all of it.

I tried to upload some more pictures but still figuring out the site.

Posted February 8, 2024 - 12:00am

This is a tricky one, as technically all we have here is a Bulova movement. Everything else could have come from a non-Bulova watch. 

I don't doubt the authenticity of the watch, I love that custom dial. I would just liked to see more Bulova branded elements.

For now though I agree wth Jim to ID as a Military Non-Issue.

I believe I'm seeing an X for 1943 on the movement.

Posted February 8, 2024 - 12:22am

The movement is throwing me off for the placement of Bulova.  Looking at the 10 - 1943 A-11’s on the site only 2 match mine. The non-issue on doesn’t match my movement.

the back originally had the ORD, you can see the transfer on the inside of the back plate and where the 5 digit serial number was hammered in.  Tricky trying to read the smooshed and backwards.

Posted February 8, 2024 - 8:54am

I'm unable to even make a guess on this one.


Geoff Baker
Posted February 8, 2024 - 9:32pm

I'd say that the dial design is a de-stylized version of the emblem of the United States Marine Corps. The "Semper Fidelis" flag is generally eliminated on uniform decorations, and as most of you probably know the phrase is translated into English as "Always Faithful".

I don't think we have enough to classify as an "Issued" watch even knowing it might have had "ORD" stamped into the case back (which could indicate that it was). I'm hesitant to admit it as a Non-Issued watch but given conversation about the lack of Bulova branding on anything but the movement I think I'd rather see it as Non-Issued as opposed to Unknown. I wish the movement could be positively identified and dated.