WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just bought this from a seller in Tokyo. According to Ziggy and Shugart, these were prototypes made for the US Army Airforce in WWII. It is obviously an attempt to get chronograph functionality from a standard movement. I know of only three other examples. The movement dates from 1944 according to the owner of another one. No caseback markings. It's small at 32mm, but amazingly easy to read the elapsed time!

Cam

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,273 Posts
What is the setup, cam ... one additional crown for the 12h ring (could serve as a second timezone as well), and one for the 60 minutes? Are both bi-directional?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What is the setup, cam ... one additional crown for the 12h ring (could serve as a second timezone as well), and one for the 60 minutes? Are both bi-directional?
Exactly. There are also detents so each ring moves in precise 1 minute increments. Bi-directional. Very cool setup. You zero the outer ring to the minute hand and the inner ring to the hour hand and you can time an interval for up to 12 hours. Plus, it hacks!

Cam
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,617 Posts
That's a very clever system - a neat and simple solution to timing needs. What a great little watch!|>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,273 Posts
Cam, please let us know when the watch arrives. I am very curious of the inscription on the caseback. :-!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi! I have the watch in hand now. No inscription on the caseback. Inside caseback is properly marked "Bulova" etc. Of the three other examples I know about, one has A-15 military markings, and two (mine included) are sterile. The third example, the one pictured in Shugart's book, doesn't show the caseback, but they call it an A-15.

As for the one with caseback markings, some have expressed doubt as to their authenticity. Until I see a second example with military markings on the back, I have to say the jury is out.

So little is known about these. I will take good quality photos in a week or so and post them.

Cam
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,655 Posts
Hi -

I have been looking for this one for ages!

If you ever run across another one, or want to dispose of this one, let me know!

Gorgeous. Congrats. Ultracool. Grail. Damn...

And you're right, it is an attempt to get long-term elapsed time readings from a standard 3-hand watch.

If you look at the movement, you can see that it is a 16-jewel movement with an extended 3rd wheel with a pinion bridge for the central sweep seconds. Very A-11 in terms of the movement!

What's particularly nice are the hands: very long hour and minute hands, relatively speaking, and there is lume, it appears, on the seconds hand, but only to about half-way. Eminently collectible, serious envy. :)

JohnF
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,273 Posts
Hi! I have the watch in hand now. No inscription on the caseback. Inside caseback is properly marked "Bulova" etc. Of the three other examples I know about, one has A-15 military markings, and two (mine included) are sterile. The third example, the one pictured in Shugart's book, doesn't show the caseback, but they call it an A-15.
Thanks, Cam! The pictures will be much appreciated. :)

Do you have any idea what the text/numbers are on the single piece which has caseback markings?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Here's the photo of the caseback of an example once owned by a west-coast dealer. This is how he posted the photo. I have never seen the complete markings. The watch has a redial. I have no opinion on the authenticity of these markings, but others have questioned them. Until I see a second example of this watch with these markings, I am skeptical but have an open mind. Any thoughts?

Cam

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,273 Posts
Thank you, Cam!

Hmm, I am sceptical, too, I must say.

A simple "Type A-15" is rather modest for milwatches of the era, and the engravings look so crisply done, and the caseback is shinier than the rest of the case ... :think:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,623 Posts
Nice watch never seen one of that type before Bulova must of did a few differnt prototypes I was at a NAWCC mart a few years ago and saw a Bulova military watch I never saw before diffent than yours but had another function on the dial but I did not buy it he wanted to mutch for it.I wish I could remeber more about the one I saw I just new it was differnt than the narmal bulova WW2 watches.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,631 Posts
Very nice. I like that a lot.
I've only seen function like that, in a modern watch, with the Jorg Schauer SportStop...

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,655 Posts
Hi -

The caseback being "shinier" (have to think of Firefly using that word...) may also have to do with the fact that the A-11 case backs were stainless steel, while the rest of the case was chromed base metal. Hence the relative longevity of such case backs.

That said, this one looks to be stamped during the forming process, rather than engraved. Couldn't say for sure without inspecting it, though.

JohnF
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yes, stainless back...photos.

Hi -

The caseback being "shinier" (have to think of Firefly using that word...) may also have to do with the fact that the A-11 case backs were stainless steel, while the rest of the case was chromed base metal. Hence the relative longevity of such case backs.

That said, this one looks to be stamped during the forming process, rather than engraved. Couldn't say for sure without inspecting it, though.

JohnF
Here's a photo of my caseback and inside caseback. Note the random wear marks on what appears to be an originally polished caseback. Compare this to the above example with caseback markings. You can see a pattern of uniform vertical brush marks. It appears that the one with markings was at least refinished on the back. Odd.

Cam

 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top