This 1944 Bulova watch is a true testament to the brand’s durability and craftsmanship. It features a rolled rose gold case that has aged beautifully with a tarnished patina, paired with a 17-jewel manual wind movement.
The movement is stamped with a circle, which was the date stamp for Bulova watches prior to 1950. The use of glyphs and symbols, instead of the later alpha-numeric two-digit code, adds to the vintage charm of this timepiece.
Bulova used a unique system of glyphs to date their watches from 1924 to 1946. These glyphs, which were a combination of symbols and images, were stamped on the movement of the watch and served as a way to identify the year of production. This system was used as a way to quickly and easily identify the age of a Bulova watch without the need for a more detailed and time-consuming examination.
The table above shows the different symbols and images used by Bulova for each year during this period. For example, the symbol for 1935 was a triangle, the symbol for 1933 was an “X”, and so on. The use of these symbols was consistent across all Bulova watches during this period, making it easy to identify the year of production for any Bulova watch from 1924 to 1946. There were duplicates however it is possible to determine the difference by the movement number.
In 1946, Bulova switched to a new system of dating their watches. Instead of using symbols, they began using a two-digit numeric code to date their watches, which was used up until 1949. This system was similar to the one used by other watch brands and was more widely accepted and understood. From 1950 they used the more suitable two-digit alpha-numeric code we are all used to starting with L0 in 1950.
The case of this watch also has a unique aspect, it has three different names depending on the coating and the movement. This particular variant is called an Alderman. If the case was made in yellow gold, it would have been called a Stamford. And if it was rose gold with a 15-jewel movement, it would have been called an Aviator.
The vintage adverts above provide a glimpse into the different variations of this case and movement combinations that were available during the time of their release. These advertisements not only showcase the various aesthetic options of the watch, such as the different coatings and movements but also highlight the unique features and benefits of each variation.
There was clearly no shortage of name suggestions in the Bulova offices in the 40s!
The watch also comes with a matching rose gold ladder bracelet with a micro-adjustment on the clasp, which was a sophisticated feature for the time. This watch is a perfect combination of vintage charm, durability, and sophistication and is a must-have for any collector.
The watch is complete with its original red velvet display box. This one was originally sold in Toronto.