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Bulova 1950 Academy Award "Z"

9/10 votes
Model ID rating explained.



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Additional Information

They are always 21j, they are almost always dated to 1950-1951 with little variattion.


Not For Sale
Bulova watch
Bulova watch
Stephen Ollman's picture
Stephen Ollman
Club 5000Panel Member
Posted September 2, 2010 - 5:29pm

Outstanding watch and advert. I just love these dials.

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted April 13, 2011 - 7:22am

Fabulous Watch, although several of the theories in the write-up have been debunked.

Posted April 13, 2011 - 9:18am

 Several? Name em, shame em and i'll delete them. Got the ribbed dial one.

Posted April 13, 2011 - 9:27am

Well, I see at least a couple of potential major issues with the write-up that you may want to consider.  First, did the actual Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences sue Bulova over the use of  "Academy Award" and/or "Oscar"?  I don't think so--at least not that we've found so far.  That was some other company who sued and lost.

Second, did the Academy break it's contract with Bulova?  We haven't seen evidence of that.  I think your writeup implies that the deal was broken as a result of the FTC stipulation.  That does not appear to be the case--rather the stipulation required both parties to make some changes in the way they handled use of the trademarked words.

See this thread for more details than you probably want regarding who did what to whom and why.

Posted April 13, 2011 - 9:53am

 I took most of this direct from case notes a vintage book on the actual case that was found online when this was originally posted back in 2008 and other information found I am desperatly seraching for the case notes again ( found through google when in 2008 there were only about 2 results for Bulova Academy award) now there are hundreds of results to go through. Hoping it is still on there.

Posted April 13, 2011 - 9:52am

 Here is one piece from the LA Times, not saying they have it right though....still searching for the actual lawsuit book though: 

"At one point, the academy decided upon a strategic maneuver to fight the unlawful product glut and still come out ahead financially. In 1949, academy director Margaret Herrick authorized a four-year contract with Bulova watches for the film organization's first commercial license. The manufacturer paid the academy $145,000 (a little more than $1 million in 2007 dollars) to create an exclusive line of Academy Award watches.

Leveraging Oscar
"The academy was a very hand-to-mouth organization at the time," said Davis of the choice to leverage Oscar. "And all that money went to paying off its headquarters, which was then on Melrose. But more importantly, the license with Bulova meant that it would be in Bulova's best interest to fight off infringements with its own legal department, which was significantly larger than the academy's. So they believed that this would finally put an end to all the illegal products out there."

But when the company began running ads touting that its Academy Award watch had a "winning" design, the academy charged it with "perpetrating a fraud" on the public.

Arguing that Oscar's symbolic value had been diminished because people would assume that Bulova had earned an Oscar for "best watch design," the academy aligned with the Federal Trade Commission to break its contract with the company two years early. (Some of those watches now appear on EBay selling for as much as $2,500.)"

Posted April 13, 2011 - 10:02am

Yeah, I saw that verbiage all over the Web when I was researching this the other day.  The problem is that there are few actual researchable facts presented.  It boils down to the FTC action, which, according to the FTC stipulation, did not involve breaking any contracts.

Posted January 20, 2012 - 10:03pm

Academy Award "Z"

JEV1A's picture
Posted March 15, 2013 - 8:35am

My first Note on this Issue to this Board:

Its great to see my "Dial an Oscar" Postcard is in the hands of a true AA Expert!

AMPAS after this Lawsuit decided to protect "Oscar" like never before. Its not all about the Awards per say, its about Oscar himself.. the Statuette! So therefore if you use that symbol forever-ore in your advertising, the Oscar Police will find you. I bet if I went to India I could probably find a 'Oscar Nominated' Cleaners but here in the good ol' USA, No Way Jose. They even sued a small candy maker for putting tiny Oscars on their chocolates. Call it tight ass, or whatever, you can blame Bulova for their crass advertising to sell a watch brand. AMPAS was proud of the relationship and paid well. And the receipients of the watch the Night of The Academy Awards loved their little prize, even though it may not had been the golden Statue. Its a relationship, nobody want to brings up anymore. I find the Story much more provactive than the Watches and for fact its pumping up the prices of these AA's more in Auction now. Yes, they are a nice watch.. the little Golden Curtains and Sandwich Lobby Poster pricetags. But Bulova went too far, just look at that Oscar bigger than life and then their watch parked next to it. The average Joe & Mary in the day would have thought that Bulova won and not Clark Gable! John V. - "Time & Again"