Bulova 1937 American Clipper

Submitted by GVP on April 7, 2011 - 3:39pm
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
Movement Date Code
Movement Jewels
Movement Serial No.
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Bulova watch
Bulova watch
William Smith
Posted August 27, 2012 - 5:21am

The only ad I can find for the American Clipper "B" is for an unengraved case.   Subject watch w/ engraving; 1937 unengraved B ad below:

The American Clipper "F" is engraved.  Where did the B designation come from?  To be consistent, I'm thinking one tick for unconfirmed...but I'm not changing my two ticks quite yet...

Posted August 27, 2012 - 7:29am

Lets assume for one moment that an owner didn't like the metal band or it broke, or times changed....I think at this stage the only gold engraved version with white dial is the "F".

American Clipper "F" would get my tentative vote.

Posted August 27, 2012 - 9:58am

Tentative for "F".

William Smith
Posted August 27, 2012 - 2:15pm

Agreed "F" from me.  If the engraved version case/dial combo isn't represented in the ads as possibly being another variant if it's on a different mount (like leather) does the current mount make a difference in ID'ing?  I thought the way we were handling the variant designations was to confirm regardless of mount if we only show it on one mount in the ads.  If this same case/dial were seen in ads as a different variant, then we could not determine variant w/o regards to mount, but I don't think it can be anything else. It took quite a bit of "persuasion" to get me to give in on not matching the ads, but it made sense in instances where mount doesn't change model/variant.  Am I missing something here?
I'm totally cool with two ticks since it's not on the mount, but am trying to be consistent.
I would have given three ticks for "F", but am now researching further.

William Smith
Posted August 27, 2012 - 3:04pm

In reply to by William Smith

Edit to above: I remember now.  We ID as American Clipper "F" or generic American Clipper vs. leaving as unknown.   Since there is some uncertainty, a tentative "F" is far better than unknown, and arguably better than generic American Clipper. 
Two ticks from me for AC "F"....if record is changed to "F".  One tick unconfirmed as it stands now ("B").

Posted August 27, 2012 - 4:13pm

I have posed this question before and no one seemed to have an answer so I'll try it again. Is it possible to have an upgrade from Bulova to an engraved model with out it changing the name of the watch orrrr did Bulova possibly offer the engraving option with out listing it in the ads since it would be up to the selling jeweler to offer it. (more Money for him and Bulova with out the additional expense of advertising)

William Smith
Posted August 27, 2012 - 4:37pm

JP  Many of the watches came engraved, unengraved, diff gold color/content, dial color/configuration etc... We have ads for some of these choices, but for many we don't.  In many or most instances, a different characteristic was indicated by a different variant letter designation, but not always.  In most instances, the differences were noted by the unique Bulova model number.  I say most, because we see some "unique" Bulova watch model numbers which remain the same, but the "choice" was indicated by a "W" or "Y" following the unique model number.  For those with unique model numbers but different choices using the "W" or "Y"  the model names appear to be the same if the Bulova model numbers are the same. 
So to answer your question: IMO -sometimes. 
I don't know if I'd call it an upgrade.  Sometimes the price did go up, but other times an engraved vs unengraved price was the same.  The model name usually didn't change, but a variant letter was often assigned.  Often, not always.  Bulova was inconsistent with all this.  There are trends and patterns seen, but invariably there are exceptions to the pattens.  If you printed out the Bulova model lists distributed a while back and just look through at model series or groups of model names/variants, you'll get a feel for the patterns and see the exceptions.  The trick I'm finding is to look for the "exceptions" to help figure out the patterns, not the other way around....