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Bulova 1960 Military Issue "3818A"

5/10 votes
Model ID rating explained.



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Additional Information

Stainless Steel Case measures 39mm lug to lug x 32mm wide non inclusive of the Crown while using Calipers.

Original Black '24 hr' Dial shows Luminous and White printed numerals, tracks and Bulova logo are printed White. Hour and Minute Hands are Luminous filled and the sweep Center Seconds hand is Steel.

Crown is Steel.

Anti-magnetic dust shield between Caseback and Movement.

Caseback screws on and is stamped as shown.


In May of 1961 President John F. Kennedy sent 400 U.S. Green Beret 'special advisors' to South Vietnam to help train South Vietnamese Soldiers in methods of counter insurgency in the fight against Viet Cong guerrilllas:

First introduced in 1956 this Vietnam War era United States Military issue MIL - W - 3818A would be the last Military piece produced by Bulova.

The Bulova 3818A is shown on a N.O.S. era correct Nylon one piece strap.



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Bob Bruno's picture
Bob Bruno
Club 5000
Posted April 30, 2011 - 10:37am

Very cool Mark. Great history behind this watch.

Wayne Hanley's picture
Wayne Hanley
Posted April 30, 2011 - 7:26pm



Bob Bruno's picture
Bob Bruno
Club 5000
Posted April 30, 2011 - 5:44pm

Wayne, I was just referring to the era of the watch. I think the engraving on the back is cool,and the fact that this was Bulova's last military piece. That's cool too!

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted April 30, 2011 - 7:45pm

The write up is History:

When Kennedy ordered the Green Berets to Nam this signaled Americas first involvement with the Vietnam War.


The MIL-W-3818A was the last Military issued Wrist Watch manufactured by Bulova.


Although seeing 2 tours of Duty there no implication that this paticular Watch belonged to President John F. Kennedy or any of the 400 advisors He ordered into Vietnam.


Thanks Bob,

I think these Military issue Watches are cool also and now own a WWII era ORD DEPT watch and A-11, both already in the database and this piece, all authentic and documented.

I'm looking to add an A-17A from the Korean War era to complete the Military issued lineup.

Holding one just makes You think.....


Bob Bruno's picture
Bob Bruno
Club 5000
Posted April 30, 2011 - 7:58pm

Very nice Mark. You know how much the historical  and  nostalgic value of these watches mean to me. They really help keep the past alive.'s picture
Club 5000
Posted April 30, 2011 - 8:58pm

I have a bunch of military issue watches.  Have never been able to part with a single one.  Something about their history and what their owners went through.   I recently did a restoration for a customer whose father was an aviator aboard the photography plane that flew with the Anola Gay in WWII.  The watch was on his wrist that day. 


FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted May 1, 2011 - 7:32am

That gave Me chills.

Thanks for sharing Jay

Posted November 10, 2011 - 6:47pm


Panel Member
Posted November 11, 2011 - 4:56pm

Yes, you can but you will still have to invest time/money to get it running. Restoring it is a whole new ballgame.

Wayne Hanley's picture
Wayne Hanley
Posted November 10, 2011 - 8:25pm

"First introduced in 1956 this Vietnam War era United States Military issue MIL - W - 3818A would be the last Military piece produced by Bulova."

Bulhockey!!! Bulova continued to produce the A-17A under MIL-W-6433A. I was issued an A-17 in 1964 and again upon arrival at Travis AFB in June of 1970. (I don't know the date on that watch, but it looked brand new when I received it) and the backcase is labeled WATCH NAVIG. TYPE A17A. 

Bulova also produced military watches under MIL-W-3818B with 4 different versions of  Type STU-2P as pictured below.  These watches are not Navigation watches, but to the untrained eye they do look like the A-17A commonly known as "Pilot Watches".

Military watches are not all intended to be naivgation watches (Pilot Watches). The subject watch under MIL-W-3818A did not replace or supersede other watches in use such as the A-17A at the time. Watches produced under MIL-W-3818A were not replaced by watches produced under MIL-W-3818B unless so stated in the spec.

The reason that these watches are so popular is that they are all refered to as Pilot Watches and therein lies the problem.  CAUTION: Some parts are interchangeable and the sharks know it!

The same goes for the ORD watch, they look the same as the A11 hack watches designed for aircrew use, but they are also refered to as "Pilot watches".