A Beginners Mistake or A Rare Find

Vintage Bulova Watch Discussion Forum
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Quiet 1
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 6:31 am

A Beginners Mistake or A Rare Find

#1 Post by Quiet 1 » Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:22 am

Hello everyone. I'm brand new to watches and to this forum so please be gentle.

I recently purchased a "mis-matched" early WWII ORG DEPT Bulova in very nice "original" condition. It's military issue number is preceded by the letters OF which would indicate a 15 or 17 jewel movement. However, the 10AK movement, though dated 1942, is a 21 jewel.

I have a theory and would appreciate some feedback from the experts as to it's feasibility.

The case's U.S. Ordnance issue number is very low indicating it’s a very early watch, certainly a 1942 manufacture date, the same year as the movement.

The U.S. entered the war in December 1941. Beginning in 1942 domestic production of most "vital-to-the-war-effort" manufactured goods was placed under the War Department. Companies scrambled to convert their production lines to military specified contract products and ship them out as fast as possible. They utilized whatever parts they already had in their “pipelines”, inventories and parts bins to assemble and ship as quickly as possible their desperately needed products. (Examples of this are common with Colt’s 1911A! pistol and Smith & Wesson’s Victory revolvers.)

So my theory, based on the low 1942 case number and the 1942 movement, is that this watch was “mis-matched” at the factory and the movement and case have been together from the beginning. Am I rationalizing or does it sound reasonable??? I kinda, sorta think I know the answer. :(

Thank you in advance for any responses.

Posts: 21
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 5:18 am

Re: A Beginners Mistake or A Rare Find

#2 Post by jp71624 » Sun Sep 04, 2016 4:33 pm

Supposedly these ORD requirements in the attached photo are from 1940, or that is when the set codes were supposedly determined. I've also read that if a pre-1940 military watch came in for service (government service, that is) that it should be retroactively marked.

If these statements are true, I'd imagine you've either had another movement swapped in, or else a replacement case/case back.

But as always, it's hard to know "what actually happened".
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