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Bulova Military Wristwatches MIL-W-3818A & MIL-W-6433A (Type A17A) "Click" to Login or Register 
posted
I have been gathering information on Bulova wristwatches supplied in the late 1950s/early 1960s in accordance with US military specification MIL-W-3818A and MIL-W-6433A. Hopefully the following images and information will be of interest.

Three Variations

As far as I can determine, there were three types of Bulova watches supplied to the US military in accordance with either specification MIL-W-3818A or MIL-W-6433A.





MIL-W-3818A: General Purpose Watch

I do not have a copy of specification MIL-W-3818A. However, I do have a copy of specification MIL-W-3818B dated 17 October 1962 which superseded MIL-W-3818A dated 12 March 1956. Specification MIL-W-3818B was developed for use by the three services (US Army, Navy and Air Force) when a general purpose wristwatch was required to be supplied. Since MIL-W-3818B was a revision of MIL-W-3818A, it is reasonable to assume the Bulova watches produced in accordance with MIL-W-3818A were also intended for general purpose duties.

There are two variants of Bulova MIL-W-3818A watches.





The above variant has a dial with 12 hour markers, outer 60 seconds markers and luminised spade shape hour and minute hands. Based on observation of over fifty Bulova watches, I have identified three different combinations of Stock Number and Contract Number marked on the caseback.

WRIST WATCH
MIL-W-3818A
SER.NO. XXXXX
STOCK NO. 6645-542-0554
BULOVA STOCK NO. 10BNCH
CONT. NO. DA-36-038-ORD-21169M
U.S.


WRIST WATCH
MIL-W-3818A
SER. NO. AXXXXX
STOCK NO. 6645-542-0554
BULOVA STOCK NO. 10 BNCH
CONT. NO. DA36-038-ORD-21501(M)
U.S.


WRIST WATCH
MIL-W-3818A
SER. NO. XXXX
STOCK NO. AF6645-808-1407
BULOVA STOCK NO. 10BNCH
CONT. NO. DA-36-038-ORD-21169M
U.S.

A second variant has a dial with both 12 hour and 24 hour markers (but no 60 second markers) and luminised spade shape hour and minute hands. I have identified two different combinations of Stock Number and Contract Number marked on the caseback for this variant.





WRIST WATCH
MIL-W-3818A
SER. NO. A XXXXX
STOCK NO. 6645-808-1407
BULOVA STOCK NO. 10 BNCH
CONT NO. DA36-038-ORD-21501(M)
U.S.


WRIST WATCH
MIL-W-3818A
SER. NO. XXXXX
STOCK NO. AF6645-808-1407
BULOVA STOCK NO. 10BNCH
CONT. NO. DA-36-038-ORD-21169M
U.S.

MIL-W-6433A: Type A17A: Navigation watch

A third Bulova variant was a watch designed for navigation use --the Type A17A. The Type A17A has a black dial with 12 hour markers; 24 hour inner markers; and 60 second outer markers. The luminised hour and minute hands are straight with a concave point. The centre seconds hand has an orb on the small end and a luminous arrow-head on the longer part. I have identified three different combinations of Stock Number and Contract Number marked on the caseback.


WATCH NAVIG.
TYPE A17A
SPEC. MIL-W-6433A
MFR. BULOVA PART NO. 10BNCH
MFR. BULOVA SERIAL NO. XXXXX
ORDER NO. DA-36-038-ORD-20328
STOCK NO. 6645-526-5063
U.S. PROPERTY


WATCH NAVIG.
TYPE A17A
SPEC. MIL-W-6433A
MFR. BULOVA PART NO. 10BNCH
MFR. BULOVA SERIAL NO. XXXXX
ORDER NO. DA-36-038-ORD-20328
STOCK NO. 8TAA-993000-24
U.S. PROPERTY


WATCH NAVIG.
TYPE A17A
SPEC. MIL-W-6433A
MFR. BULOVA PAT NO. 10BNCH
MFR. BULOVA SER. NO. AF-59-XXXX
ORDER NO. DA-36-038-ORD-20792M
STOCK NO. 6645-557-5596
U.S. PROPERTY





Also note that in the early 1950s Waltham supplied a navigation wristwatch (Type A-17) in accordance with the original specification MIL-W-6433. In addition, Elgin supplied a Type A-17A Navigation Hack watch in the mid-1950s.

10BNCH Movement

The Bulova wristwatches can be dated by a code marked on the 10BNCH movement. The relevant code range is as follows:

Code = Year
L8 = 1958
L9 = 1959
M0 = 1960
M1 = 1961
M2 = 1962





Based on observation, it appears that the Bulova MIL-W-3818A watch had a 15 jewel 10BNCH movement, while the MIL-W-6433A Type A17A watch had the 17 jewel 10BNCH movement (presumably as required under the respective specifications). I have however, seen a small number of watches which do not fit this rule. It’s a possibility that such examples have had the caseback, dial and/or movement interchanged.

Star Watch Case Company

All three variants of Bulova watches used non-reflective, passivated, stainless steel cases produced by the Star Watch Case Company. The case measures approximately 40mm lug to lug and around 32mm in width (not including the crown). Caseback is Decagonal in shape.





Movement ring and inner cover.



Follow-up…

I suspect there are other combinations of Stock Numbers and Contract Numbers for both the MIL-W-3818A & MIL-W-6433A. If you have a Bulova watch with a different combination of Stock No./Contract No., please post an image.

If anyone as a copy of either of the specifications MIL-W-3818A or MIL-W-6433A, please contact me via email: raf-omega-53 AT hotmail DOT com

Regards

Ken
 
Posts: 57 | Location: Geneva, Switzerland | Registered: April 27, 2010
posted
Update: Nine Variants:

Dial with 12 hour markers, outer 60 seconds markers:

WRIST WATCH
MIL-W-3818A
SER.NO. XXXXX
STOCK NO. 6645-542-0554
BULOVA STOCK NO. 10BNCH
CONT. NO. DA-36-038-ORD-21169M
U.S.


WRIST WATCH
MIL-W-3818A
SER. NO. AXXXXX
STOCK NO. 6645-542-0554
BULOVA STOCK NO. 10 BNCH
CONT. NO. DA36-038-ORD-21501(M)
U.S.

**************************************


Dial with both 12 hour and 24 hour markers (but no 60 second markers)


WRIST WATCH
MIL-W-3818A
SER. NO. A XXXXX
STOCK NO. 6645-808-1407
BULOVA STOCK NO. 10 BNCH
CONT NO. DA36-038-ORD-21501(M)
U.S.


WRIST WATCH
MIL-W-3818A
SER. NO. XXXXX
STOCK NO. AF6645-808-1407
BULOVA STOCK NO. 10BNCH
CONT. NO. DA-36-038-ORD-21169M
U.S.


WRIST WATCH
MIL-W-3818A
SER. NO. XXXX
A F STOCK NO. 6645-808-1407
BULOVA STOCK NO. 10BNCH
CONT. NO. DA-36-038-ORD-20792M
U.S.

******************************************

Type A17A --black dial with 12 hour markers; 24 hour inner markers; and 60 second outer markers

WATCH NAVIG.
TYPE A17A
SPEC. MIL-W-6433A
MFR. BULOVA PART NO. 10BNCH
MFR. BULOVA SERIAL NO. XXXXX
ORDER NO. DA-36-038-ORD-20328
STOCK NO. 6645-526-5063
U.S. PROPERTY


WATCH NAVIG.
TYPE A17A
SPEC. MIL-W-6433A
MFR. BULOVA PART NO. 10BNCH
MFR. BULOVA SERIAL NO. XXXXX
ORDER NO. DA-36-038-ORD-20328
STOCK NO. 8TAA-993000-24
U.S. PROPERTY


WATCH NAVIG.
TYPE A17A
SPEC. MIL-W-6433A
MFR. BULOVA PAT NO. 10BNCH
MFR. BULOVA SER. NO. AF-59-XXXX
ORDER NO. DA-36-038-ORD-20792M
STOCK NO. 6645-557-5596
U.S. PROPERTY


A fourth Type A17A variant remains outstanding…
 
Posts: 57 | Location: Geneva, Switzerland | Registered: April 27, 2010
Picture of Peter Kaszubski
posted
Nice colection and outstanding job on all the
informations
 
Posts: 4461 | Location: Arizona in the USA | Registered: July 23, 2011
posted
how much is a bulova with case markings u.s. 1917-H military watch worth?
 
Posts: 1 | Location: Louisiana in the USA | Registered: February 06, 2013
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