Bulova 1953 Academy Award

Submitted by Wayne Hanley on March 4, 2011 - 7:28pm
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Jewels
Movement Serial No.
Case Serial No.
Case shape
Case color
Crystal details
21.9mm L 17.7mm W Concave Glass
Watch Description

This watch was originally thought to be a possible Academy Award model. However, there is no proof. There is a color picture of 7 Academy Award models that confused me & most of our members that made the comments below.   Lessons Learned:  One picture is worth a thousand words, one erroneous picture can mislead thousands of people.

Bulova watch
Bulova watch
Bulova watch
Bulova Watch
Posted May 28, 2011 - 5:26pm

Hey Wayne,

Is that actually a "3" on the case back? Or a "0?"

And I still haven't seen the "court order verbage?" Although I now suspect that these "X" dials were marketed (simultaneously) as "Excellency" models, irrespective of the "Academy Award models?" And therefore I doubt that Bulova contracted these cases for use ONLY as "Academy Award" namesakes? 


:-) Scott

P.S. (Months later...)

I just received the 1949 SPIEGEL CATALOG recently... And the case (anyway!) befits the "His Excellency LL," circa 1949... I may take another "stab" at the Alpha IDs for the Excellency - AA series men's soon... as now we have 2- 3 display ad IDs, and I just added the "LL & WW" (49) IDs, so it only makes logical (?) sense, that the same alphas would correspond to the same for bOTH series, since the SAME EXACT cases (orat least bezel openings) were used on several of these releases! (Excellency & AA "SS," etc...) 



Wayne Hanley
Posted March 5, 2011 - 4:51pm


Clearly L3 on case back & movement!  I would like to see a lawyer do some pro bono on this. Good idea.


Posted April 11, 2011 - 8:42am

In reply to by shooter144

LOL.  I totally missed this thread.  Looks like Fifth got what you need.

P.S.  I used to be a lawyer.  Ain't no mo (by choice, in case you were wondering). Need to clear that up before anyone asks me for serious legal advice.  Now I sculpt (with clay) and buy watches.  How's that for a career change?

Posted April 11, 2011 - 11:12am

In reply to by NOVA

Dont think there is such a thing as an ex lawyer....non-practicing perhaps a better term lol...

sculpted clay....have some pics???  [email protected] so as to not plug up the bandwidth here, that is if you dont mind sharing your artwork.

Posted April 11, 2011 - 11:12am

Here's the District Court's ruling, which was affirmed by the Appellate Court (as cited by Fifth above). 


Here’s what I believe to be a reasonable (layperson’s) interpretation of what happened based on the cited court cases: 

  • On February 7, 1946, Champion Play Corporation changed its name to Academy Award Products, Inc. 
  • On April 17 and 18, 1946, Academy Award Products, Inc., filed seventeen applications for registration of the trade-mark "Academy Award". Each application contained the false sworn statement to the effect that the trade-mark was used by the corporation in connection with the goods therein described. One of these applications described watches and clocks and horological instruments. 
  • On March 28, 1950, Academy Award Products, Inc., initiated action against Bulova alleging trademark infringement based on use of the words “Academy Award” in its watch ads. 
  • Bulova counter-sued for damages alleged to have been sustained in consequence of procurement of the trade-mark by false means. The damages consisted of attorneys' fees and disbursements incurred in connection with plaintiff's registration and in defense of the suit. 
  • On December 14, 1951, Academy Award Products’ registration of the trade-mark “Academy Award” was cancelled in a Patent Office proceeding on the grounds that it was procured by a false application. 
  • On October 21, 1952, Bulova agreed to cease and desist from using the words "Academy Award" and "Oscar". This stipulation included a statement that it was the opinion of the Federal Trade Commission that Bulova, by its use of the words and symbol, had "represented directly or by implication that its ‘Academy Award Watches', after examination, testing and comparison with other watches, were awarded the `Oscar' by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for special meritorious achievement as to quality, workmanship, design, time-keeping qualities and other desirable qualities and characteristics; whereas, the aforesaid `Academy Award Watches' have not been examined, tested or compared with other watches nor awarded the `Oscar' by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for any meritorious achievements, but the term `Academy Award' and the word `Oscar' are permitted to be used solely on the basis of the monetary consideration provided for in the aforesaid contract entered into by and between Bulova Watch Company, Inc., and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences."  
  • Academy Award Product’s complaint against Bulova was dismissed with prejudice. However, Bulova’s counterclaim for damages was still open. 
  • On March 8, 1955, the District Court for the Southern District of New York awarded Bulova damages in the amount of $7,913.01. That ruling was later affirmed on appeal.
Posted April 11, 2011 - 1:21pm

Just found this blurb regarding the FTC action against Bulova in the middle of a patent appeal (based on another issue).  It doesn't add much, if anything, to the picture, but thought I'd put it out there anyway.  The full text can be found here:  http://ftp.resource.org/courts.gov/c/F2/223/223.F2d.478.6128.html

". . .  appellee [referring here to Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences] under a legitimate license agreement between itself and the Bulova Watch Company, and for a large sum of money, $145,000, permitted the latter to use appellee's emblem, "Academy Award," and its "Oscar" in the advertisement in the press, on the radio and on television, of Bulova watches. Bulova, having thus acquired certain defined privileges, exceeded the provisions of its contract, and the emblem "Academy Award" was used in a manner that the Federal Trade Commission considered susceptible to the conclusion that Bulova's products had been submitted to a competitive test with the watches of other jewelers and as a result had been given appellee's "Academy Award."

The Federal Trade Commission, with the consent of appellee, thereupon intervened to rectify Bulova's advertising procedure by an order to cease and desist in the use of appellee's "Academy Award" and the statuette "Oscar" that goes with it —

* * * unless, in direct connection with the use of such words, depictions or simulations it is clearly and adequately disclosed that the right to use such words, depictions or simulations is by virtue of a li- censing agreement entered into by and between Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Bulova Watch Company, Inc., and is not representative of any meritorious award made on the basis of comparative tests with other watches. [Italics supplied.]"


Posted April 11, 2011 - 2:45pm

Here is the actual FTC stipulation as published by the FTC.


Posted April 12, 2011 - 8:26pm

So, does no one but me find it interesting that, according to the documentation we have, no one ordered Bulova to stop making/selling watches under the Academy Award name?  They won the lawsuit, which wasn't filed by the actual Academy, and the stipulation with the FTC simply required them to advertise the AA in a certain way.   It appears to me that, legally, they could have kept right on making  and selling AAs.  Whether they chose to do so is a different matter.