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I recently acquired a watch that the Major League Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn was given for the 1976 World Series. It says Movado on the face, but it was made by Zenith, and it has the Rolls Royce of tuning fork movements in it (a ESA 9162.13). It is still keeping time perfectly 32 years later. See the written details and the photo of this baseball watch at:
Movado World Series Watch of Bowie Kuhn

Like another watch I own with sports significance, I am wondering: 1) how a watch like this is viewed by collectors; and 2) whether in watch collecting the identification that this watch was owned by a famous sports figure makes a significant difference in overall appeal? Also, if this was a Zenith (which I am sure about) why did they print Movado on the watch and not Zenith. Thanks for your insights into this tuning fork classic and the notion of ownership by a public figure who was well known for many years.

John F. Murray

Posts: 48 | Location: Palm Beach, Florida in the USA | Registered: April 28, 2008
IHC Vice President
Pitfalls Moderator
IHC Life Member
Picture of Edward L. Parsons, Jr.
Welcome to IHC185 John, an impressive-looking collection you have there. It's always nice when you also have the other effects that go with the watch.

Personal effects of historical or celebrity personages is a whole branch of collecting in itself and IMHO that's where the greatest interest would reside for items such as this.

I don't know about the watch, but I remember Bowie Kuhn as Commissioner of Baseball, and how his dealings with the big issues of his day definitively shaped the present era of professional baseball.

Best Regards,

Posts: 6696 | Location: Southwestern Pennsylvania, USA | Registered: April 19, 2004
thanks Ed. Yes, this one has a place as the watch of a famous baseball man ... but my surprise was to learn that it was also made of the finest tuning fork movement of its day ... the same one used in Omega and others. I think the auction house was more interested in sports items and did not really understand that this one was also high quality and I think I also have a photo of him wearing it. Smile

John F. Murray
Posts: 48 | Location: Palm Beach, Florida in the USA | Registered: April 28, 2008
Picture of Gene Furry
Welcome John! I can't comment with any degree of accuracy as to the collector value, but it certainly is a nice collection. I hope you are a baseball fan like myself because that's the really nice aspect of these pieces.

I can speak to the movement. It is recognized as being the Rolls Royce of the tuning forks. The ESA 9162/9164, (the 9164 being a day/date version), was manufactured under license from Bulova. However, and it's generally accepted, Bulova was unwilling to disclose the technology involved in manufacturing the actual index wheel. They insisted on supplying the wheels themselves. The Accutron tuning forks are 360 HZ movements, but the ESA's are 300 HZ. Accutron index wheels have 320 teeth, and the ESA has 300.

It's a very nice movement of more "modular" design than the Accutrons. I just serviced/repaired one recently in an Omega, and it was holding an extremely accurate rate when delivered.

Posts: 54 | Location: Southeastern Texas in the USA | Registered: March 18, 2008
IHC President
Life Member
Picture of Lindell V. Riddle

Welcome Aboard John!

Being both a Baseball and Accutron fan the watch you found really got my attention. I have a similar Omega version you'll see below this post. Thanks to Gene's expertise we now know more about them.


Omega Constellation Chronometer from my collection...

Posts: 10553 | Location: Northeastern Ohio in the USA | Registered: November 19, 2002
IHC Life Member
Picture of Donald Trumble
I too am a fan of the pastime and the timekeeper. Smile Provenance connecting a watch to a famous personality adds different amounts for different people, but it always adds! Having "World Series 1976" on the dial is a cool thing.

The fact that a Movado and an Omega have the same movement is also very interesting.

Posts: 504 | Location: Pennsylvania in the USA | Registered: April 02, 2005
Thanks Gene, Lindell, and Donald! I set my Movado about 4 weeks ago and just looked at it and it had not lost a second ... with that tuning fork movement from the mid 70s ... pretty amazing. I find the historical part of it even more fascinating ... to get a US president's watch and have a photo of him wearing it ... I would think would be the trophy of the collection some day if I could ever afford it or pull it off :-) ... maybe I'll discover oil in my backyard ... but not holding my breath ... will stick to watches of famous sports figures for now!!

John F. Murray
Posts: 48 | Location: Palm Beach, Florida in the USA | Registered: April 28, 2008
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