Bulova 1954 His Highness

Submitted by Geoff Baker on June 18, 2013 - 9:15pm
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NOS (New Old Stock )1954 Bulova model 38179-Y. I think it's the missing link! If this watch watch was 1949 it would be an Excellency. If it was 1950 or '51 it would be an Academy Award. But here it is - WITH THE HANG TAG - and no name on it, just the model number 38179-Y (Yellow). Watch is presented in it's original clam shell transitional AA display case, with it's original band and raised quad crystal. Original Bulova guarantee booklet and polishing cloth complete this amazing package. Why didn't our friends on 5th Ave give this beauty a name - What can the mystery be?? What will we name this watch?

Added 6/18/2013

Photos Updated 4/9/2022

Geoffrey Baker 1954 Bulova 38179-Y watch 1 4 9 2022
Geoffrey Baker 1954 Bulova 38179-Y watch 2 4 9 2022
Geoffrey Baker 1954 Bulova 38179-Y watch 3 4 9 2022
Geoffrey Baker 1954 Bulova 38179-Y watch 4 4 9 2022
Geoffrey Baker 1954 Bulova 38179-Y watch 5 4 9 2022
Geoffrey Baker 1954 Bulova 38179-Y watch  4 9 2022
Geoff Baker
Posted June 18, 2013 - 9:17pm

I do believe that this should be entered into the db as only model 38179-Y.

Geoffrey Baker 1954 Bulova 38179-Y watch 7 4 9 2022

Here also is a photo of the of the closed clam shell.

Geoff Baker
Posted June 18, 2013 - 9:20pm

Here is the comparison between the AA case and this 'transitional' case - note the similarities both inside and out.

Geoffrey Baker 1954 Bulova 38179-Y watch 8 4 9 2022

Geoffrey Baker 1954 Bulova 38179-Y watch 9 4 9 2022

Posted June 18, 2013 - 9:27pm


dial and jewel count make me think President or Exellency.

We need to look up the number and see if it has a name there. Wil has the lists pretty complete for a number of years and may have one for this year. 

Model 38179-Y 

Posted June 19, 2013 - 6:48am


You state You think the Watch is the 'missing link'. In what way? At this time I believe We have firmly established that Bulova, as result of a lawsuit 'agreement', would and did not advertise their award winning 'ACADAMY AWARD' series of Watches as such post 1952. Several Watches in the database confirm this action at this time. 1952 'ACADAMY AWARD' vs 1953 'PARK LANE' immediately comes to mind. Model 38179-Y, as with all other Bulova Watches of era, would have a Model Name.

1954 'UNKNOWN'

Geoff Baker
Posted June 20, 2013 - 1:37pm

In reply to by FifthAvenueRes…

Mark - Until I received this watch I would have agreed that all Bulovas at this time would have had names. My point is that Bulova didn't PUT that name on the hang tag, which normally they did - every other hang tag I've seen in this period HAD a name on it, why didn't his one?

This watch appears in the db of watches from 1949 thru 1953 with names like Director ( engraved) His Excellency, Director ( unengraved) Tuxedo (engraved) and finally Academy Award ZZ. In the Bulova produced ads it shows up in 1949 and 1950 as His Excellency and in 1952 as Academy Award.

In 1954 Bulova  produced ads (not newspaper ads) there is no record of this watch. The AA deal was over yet they seemed to still seemed to be making these cases. Why wouldn't they just slap the His Excellency name on the tag and sell the left overs? They apparently still had the transitional clam shell boxes as well. Why did they not name it?

BTW - I think we should put it in, at a minimum as 38179-Y

Posted June 24, 2013 - 6:10pm

In reply to by FifthAvenueRes…

"If you read through the AA Lawsuit results, Bulova had to immediately halt production and had to edit advertising of said watch models." But also in accordance to the Suit, Bulova was allowed to sell off their remaining inventory of AA Models, cases, movements etc. So lets estimate they had 150,000 AA Models remaining . So therefore to see them still on the market post 1952 was without question normal. This looks like a custom AA Model to me. Or even a custom made from Bulova Jeweler. Therefore noname on tag. You had that option in the day to change out dials or different gold content  and especially bracelets and bands. Call it an "X" Model. JEV1A

Geoff Baker
Posted April 6, 2022 - 9:37pm

In reply to by JEV1A

The "lawsuit' name change is a myth and has been disproved dozens of time in this forum. There was no lawsuit, the agreement with the Academy ended and was not renewed, end of story.

alien Ant
Posted June 19, 2013 - 8:06am

I see ads up until 1954 advertising academy award watches
and a 1952.ad for the park lane.

All in paper ads

Posted June 19, 2013 - 9:04am

Geoff which is stamped L4, the movement or case?