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 Post subject: 1936 Unknown Bulova
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:56 pm 
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Location: Victoria, British Columbia
Can anyone help identify this one? The date code on the 6AE movement indicates 1936 (square) but the mybulova.com dbase for that movement says it was made in 1937. Anyway, there are no markings on the inside back of case (e.g. "Bulova New York") and the outside back has only the serial number (6112541) and not other markings.

The black dial is pretty nice.

Any thoughts on an ID for this one?


Attachments:
1936 Bulova.JPG
1936 Bulova.JPG [ 65.17 KiB | Viewed 252 times ]
1936 Bulova2.JPG
1936 Bulova2.JPG [ 70.65 KiB | Viewed 252 times ]
1936 Bulova3.JPG
1936 Bulova3.JPG [ 68.35 KiB | Viewed 252 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: 1936 Unknown Bulova
PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:28 pm 
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Have you tried searching the database @

http://www.mybulova.com/search/

??

There is another Bulova specialty site @

http://www.watchophilia.com/

These should help you narrow down the identification, at the least.


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 Post subject: Re: 1936 Unknown Bulova
PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 4:22 pm 
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Ninja01 wrote:
Have you tried searching the database @

http://www.mybulova.com/search/

??

There is another Bulova specialty site @

http://www.watchophilia.com/

These should help you narrow down the identification, at the least.


Thanks, have looked at the dbases on those sites. I think the difference is that this is a swiss variant and not made for the US market so isn't in the dbases. The 6AE movement for instance isn't marked US but Swiss.

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 Post subject: Re: 1936 Unknown Bulova
PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:42 pm 
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Bulova imported most all of their movements and had a import mark "BXW" along with the Swiss stamp.

Look at your movement and you'll probably see the "BXW" stamp.

BTW, Bulova had their own manufacturing facility in Switzerland. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Bulova moveents - Swiss vs. US content
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:00 pm 
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watchdoc wrote:
Bulova imported most all of their movements ...


Well, I don't know the actual breakdown in terms of numbers, but from other sources I've seen that Bulova actually did manufacture many movements in the US. One thread in this site indicates that:

http://vintagewatchforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=555&p=3155&hilit=10BH#p3155

"Bulova is most often considered an American company that imported movements from Switzerland and only cased and timed them here (US) ... Actually Bulova manufactured more different movements in the US than any other company except Elgin."

and I quoted it in one of my posts in this Bulova section:

http://vintagewatchforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=4179&p=29997&hilit=Swiss#p29997

I have seen (in books and other sites online) the suggestion that Bulova was just - or mainly - an assembler relying on imported movements (even if from their fully owned Swiss factory), but other data found online - such as in the vintagebulova.com site - suggests this is a great misconception about the company. That data does indicate Bulova was much more, that it did design/develop, manufacture, and adjust/regulate it's own proprietary movements [I'm speaking about the fully mechanical ones, I don't know much about later electronic & quartz era product] that should be considered "American" in the full sense.


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 Post subject: Re: 1936 Unknown Bulova
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:49 pm 
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I think we should agree to disagree. I've got over 650 Bulova watches, both Men's and Womens, and very few (if any) don't have the Bulova "Import code" on them, and I've been collecting this particular company for over 40 years.

I also didn't fall for the "Lone Eagle" 5000 myth, which has been disproved as a pipe dream. I also never said Bulova didn't produce some movements in the US, but it's been my observation that the majority came from their factory in Switzerland.

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 Post subject: Re: Bulova movements
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:44 pm 
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watchdoc wrote:
I think we should agree to disagree. ...

I also didn't fall for the "Lone Eagle" 5000 myth... I also never said Bulova didn't produce some movements in the US, but it's been my observation that the majority came from their factory in Switzerland.


Any "disagreement" is not really between you & me, it is between you and the member of this forum who said:
"Bulova is most often considered an American company that imported movements from Switzerland and only cased and timed them here (US) ... Actually Bulova manufactured more different movements in the US than any other company except Elgin."
...
and owners of other sites who indicate Bulova should be considered a serious manufacturer rather than "just" an assembler of watches.

I'm not even considering the "Lone Eagle" into my statements.

Unfortunately, I've never seen historical production data which breaks down their movement output into categories of "in house" vs. "supplied by others"... and further breaks down "in house" into "US domestic production" vs. "Swiss subsidiary production". Thus I won't take any stand on where the majority of production came from and whether is should be considered "Bulova produced" or "purchased from others" ... BUT:

I will say that statements like "Bulova manufactured more different movements in the US than any other company except Elgin" do lead me to believe that Bulovas US-based movement design/production abilities & efforts were more than trivial. The vintage ads describing the Woodside, NY production facillity also show us a rather "non-trivial" production capability (see the scans at the www.vintagebulova.com site if they are still around).

Percentages of Swiss produced vs. US produced movements could have varied greatly over the history of Bulova as a US corporation & in some historical periods US production/design could indeed have been negligible, but I infer (from those sources I mentioned previously) that was not always the case throughout the history of Bulova as an independent US company ... I'm of course disregarding the "modern" Bulova name that is now owned by Citizen of Japan ;)


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 Post subject: Re: 1936 Unknown Bulova
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:06 pm 
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Quote:
Unfortunately, I've never seen historical production data which breaks down their movement output into categories of "in house" vs. "supplied by others"... and further breaks down "in house" into "US domestic production" vs. "Swiss subsidiary production". Thus I won't take any stand on where the majority of production came from and whether is should be considered "Bulova produced" or "purchased from others" ... BUT:


And you never will, seeing as ALL Bulova records were lost or destroyed when the company was sold in the 70's.

Quote:
Any "disagreement" is not really between you & me, it is between you and the member of this forum who said:
"Bulova is most often considered an American company that imported movements from Switzerland and only cased and timed them here (US) ... Actually Bulova manufactured more different movements in the US than any other company except Elgin."
...
and owners of other sites who indicate Bulova should be considered a serious manufacturer rather than "just" an assembler of watches.


Problem with this type of logic is that once you put it out there without absolutely documentation to back it up is sometimes taken as "gospel". Unfortunately, you were the one who saw fit to "cut and paste" something that is pure conjecture.

Now if anyone can magically produce actual records from Bulova Corporate I'll be perfectly happy to revise my opinion and maybe eat a little "crow" but I'm not holding my breath. :lol:

Just as a side note, the movements that carry the "BXW" import code were made in the Bulova Swiss plant and shipped over here to the US for final assembly, so technically they are "American movements" since Bulova was/is a "American company" at least up untill they were sold to a foreign investor.

The "Lone Eagle 5000" reference was used to show one of the mythological stories that has since been shown to be fictitious.

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 Post subject: Re: Bulova manufacturing
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:43 pm 
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@ watchdoc:

1. Bulova records - indeed, absence (or withholding) of company records (depending on the firm) does complicate the hobby when collectors/researchers attempt to analyze past practices of a brand. Makes the hobby a bit more frustrating or interesting depending on your viewpoint ;)

2. RE: "cut and paste" something that is pure conjecture.

Well, the post I used for my 1st statement was
http://vintagewatchforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=555
by 441victor.

He goes on to say, "I have been compiling a list of Bulova movements from photos or examples I have seen that are marked USA."
Sounds like there's some evidence behind his statements & his list. He is basically doing what you were doing in making your assertions (Your prior statement: I've got over 650 Bulova watches, both Men's and Womens, and very few (if any) don't have the Bulova "Import code" on them) ... looking at "real world" examples and then inferring information from those observations.

Then, I pointed out actual Bulova literature scans found at the http://www.vintagebulova.com/ site. Those scans are still around, a couple examples:

Image
Image

So again, your argument is with the people who have presented that data. Their data seems no less valid to me than what you have so far presented as "evidence" and seems to me to be based on more than "conjecture".

If you have contradictory evidence from trusted sources, then I just haven't seen you reveal them.

However, that all being said, I just don't want Bulova to be seen in the same light it was presented in a book from the 1980s, REVOLUTION IN TIME, Clocks and the Making of the Modern World by David S. Landes (a Harvard University professor no less) where he numbers Bulova as just 1 of the "American assemblers" in this following passage from a chapter discussing the problems of Waltham (both technical and financial) when it was transitioning from pocket-watch production to primarily wrist-watch production (his time-frame was primarily the late 1920s thru about early 1940s):

"Yet even the healthy American makers were losing ground, not only to the Swiss watch firms but to those American assemblers (Bulova, Benrus, Gruen, Longines-Wittnauer) who bought their movements in Switzerland and merely cased them in the United States."

How ever he got the impression that Bulova was just an "American assembler", I do believe he was incorrect in his characterization of Bulova - which mars an otherwise quite useful book.


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 Post subject: Re: Bulova manufacturing
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:07 pm 
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Ninja01 wrote:
However, that all being said, I just don't want Bulova to be seen in the same light it was presented in a book from the 1980s, REVOLUTION IN TIME, Clocks and the Making of the Modern World by David S. Landes (a Harvard University professor no less) where he numbers Bulova as just 1 of the "American assemblers" in this following passage from a chapter discussing the problems of Waltham (both technical and financial) when it was transitioning from pocket-watch production to primarily wrist-watch production (his time-frame was primarily the late 1920s thru about early 1940s):

"Yet even the healthy American makers were losing ground, not only to the Swiss watch firms but to those American assemblers (Bulova, Benrus, Gruen, Longines-Wittnauer) who bought their movements in Switzerland and merely cased them in the United States."

He misses the mark on Gruen too. A) They did have American production, albeit admittedly for a short time and not many calibers. B) They were most certainly not simply "buying" movements in Switzerland. Gruen's own Precision Factory (later bought out by Rolex) in Biel ran for over 50 years, and for a good chunk of that time all of their production was consolidated in-house. And, C) they also didn't always case their watches in the United States. Many, mostly high-end models, were made entirely in Switzerland. Most were imported to the United States, but many were retailed in European markets, presumably in cooperation with Alpina/Union Horlogere.

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