Bulova 1951 Tuxedo

Submitted by neetstuf-4-u on June 16, 2020 - 8:49am
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Just picked this one up; case dated 1951, with an apparent movement swap. Movement dated 1946 (square). Case is white gold plate, with gold colored numbers on face and gold hands. It's the apparent victim of a poorly done face cleaning that removed a lot of the seconds and minutes tracks. Runs and keeps time, case is really clean.

There are a couple of these it the Db, one being another in my possession that is also dated 1951.  All have the same face with gold numbers and diamonds at the 12, 3 and 9 in a white gold case. Initial response to these has been that they may be a marriage. I think this is about the 5th one I have seen, some with white face and some with black. Wish I could find an ID.

Last photo is a family shot of subject watch and the other I have.

diamond family
Posted June 16, 2020 - 8:55pm

Everything points to a Bulova Tuxedo except these do not have an engraved case.   Seems to be a close match to this 1950 ad.    I searched again for a Tuxedo ad indicating it was available in an unengraved version but to no avail.

1950 Tuxedo ad.

Posted June 17, 2020 - 6:04pm

I've dug a little deeper and these are my findings. This unengraved case, by Db submissions, seems to have appeared at the same time as the ad verified engraved Tuxedo. These are the examples of the unengraved case currently in the Db (dating 1948 - 51), not counting this one:







The earliest documented (of 8 total) engraved Tuxedo is dated 1948 and the latest is 1950. I'm surmising that the Tuxedo was released in at least 2 or 3 variants, but only the most expensive one was advertised. Diamond dials didn't seem to get as much ad space as those less expensive "trending" popular models like Presidents, Senators and the like. They seem to have been a "niche" product, as opposed to widespread popularity pieces.

This seems to make more sense than 2 diamond dial 17J watches with the same face and case design being released in tandem with different names. The less expensive version (unengraved) lasting longer because of greater sales than the higher priced engraved model.

I personally am tentative this is a Tuxedo, variant unknown. My personal opinion from a documenting standpoint, is these should all be together, rather than scattered in the unknown drawer. They can always be moved if at some point they are proven by ads a different model name.

Posted June 17, 2020 - 6:41pm

In reply to by neetstuf-4-u

In the Database so far, we see:

yellow gold engraved w/white face (confirmed by ads)

yellow gold unengraved w/white face

white gold unengraved w/white face

white gold unengraved w/black face - This one could be a color change re-dial, but is the third I have encountered with a black dial

Geoff Baker
Posted June 17, 2020 - 10:24pm

Sorry Bob, In my analysis, in this case style, if it ain't engraved it ain't a Tuxedo. The only adverts I've seen for Tuxedo are engraved. I grant that some of the watches you referenced might be identifiable but I don't think any are the Tuxedo model

Posted June 19, 2020 - 10:13pm

Bob, did you say the case was gold plate and not solid gold? 

Posted June 19, 2020 - 10:47pm

Despite what looks like it could be engraving or just some reflection or texture by the artist, I'm in for this and all the other matching unknowns, being a Bulova Tuxedo.

This is from December 1949.

1949 Bulova Carol and Tuxedo watches with diamond dials.

Posted June 21, 2020 - 3:50am

With the two adverts show and there are others, they all show the same lines on the top and bottom angles part of the bezel and lugs, of which I'm not 100% convinced are engraved lines as there is no visible pattern. So I am suggesting that they are representative of shading or reflection.

Geoff Baker
Posted June 22, 2020 - 10:12pm

I just can't support a Tuxedo ID on this watch. All Tuxedo watches are engraved on the lugs and case rails, this watch is not. There is not to my knowledge any adverts showing Tuxedo as an unengraved case. I Just don't know what this is.

1951 Unknown