WWT Shows CLICK TO: Join and Support Internet Horology Club 185™ IHC185™ Forums

• Check Out Our... •
• TWO Book Offer! •
New Topic
Reply to Post
I hope this is what I think it is... "Click" to Login or Register 
I do a lot of research on Bulova watches, and the snippet from a book written in 1947 by General Kenney I came across was during a totally unrelated search (I am bobbee on myBulova).
After reading the paragraph, I remembered a watch posted on myBulova over a year ago, and had another look.
If this watch is what I think it could be, it is quite the rarity. One of one hundred, in fact.

Posts: 77 | Location: Ilkeston in England | Registered: March 22, 2013
IHC Member 1541
Picture of Lorne Wasylishen
That is pretty cool, are any of the others known?
Posts: 2093 | Location: British Columbia in Canada | Registered: March 02, 2011
I'm hoping they start to come out of the woodwork, or sock drawers!
This is the only known example so far, the owner is ecstatic about this news, as he agrees (of course!) that it could be one of the hundred, as do I.
There is now a link to the actual book where the article is located, and can be read in full.
I've also added a few more thoughts and suppositions regarding the watch and it's possible authenticity since I first posted this.

I'm doing quite well in my research so far, as I discovered ads for a previously unknown 1932/33 Bulova Lone Eagle model last year, which led to some quite heated debating over on myBulova, which can be read about here: http://www.mybulova.com/forums...rsion-193233-trident
and I also contributed to the first photograph of Commander Dave Scotts' Bulova Chronograph that he wore on the surface of the moon being shown publicly, by finding info on the photographs' owner, who got permission from Commander Scott to allow myBulova to post the photo.See this link for more info on that.

What's the phrase in baseball? "batting three for three"? Smile
Posts: 77 | Location: Ilkeston in England | Registered: March 22, 2013
Anything is possible and it is a nice watch, but parts of the story seem a bit of a stretch. I am sure the part about Kenney having dinner with Bulova is true and that Bulova sent him 100 watches the next morning to give to his men, but the engraving part is not mentioned at all in Kenney's description of the conversation. Also, since the general was having dinner with Bulova, I do not see how Bulova could have gone home late that night and in a few hours in the dead of night recall some of his factory workers to come in and prepare 100 watches with that engraving to be delivered in just few hours time in the morning. Also, the engraving does not follow the conversation. There is no mention in Kenney's story that Bulova said anything about engraving the 100 watches - that part seems to be conjecture by the writer to try to tie that particular watch to the story. And perhaps more importantly the wording seems off since it is very clear in the reported conversation that the watches were to be awarded to crew chiefs in the U.S. Army Air Force, 5th Air Force while the wording simply says Armed Forces. The AAF and 5th Air Force were fiercely proud of their special distinction as the air service and not the ordinary infantry or navy or such. To have just "Armed Forces" instead of 5th Air Force or even just Army Air Force does not sound right since Bulova was giving the watches because of how impressed he was with the 5th Air Force's deeds. There should be some clear provenance or other proof that this particular engraving was on these 100 watches. Either something in Bulova's records or at least one recipient of one of the 100 watches still having his watch (or his heir having it).
Posts: 873 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
Jim, I have written in my post that it is just a "maybe", and it would be a simple thing for the owner of a factory to get the engraving done in a few hours. He could have telephoned instructions from where he was dining that evening,calling in whoever he needed to get it done immediately. Have you ever seen how long it takes to engrave something by a skilled engraver? I have, and they are very quick indeed.
Arde Bulova could have done it quite easily, he was a very powerful and influential man.
The General may have just written down about the parts that impressed him, and he gave a full long paragraph over to the incident, so must have been very impressed by Bulova.
Arde Bulova if it is all true, could not really be expected to know who exactly these watches would be given too, and the engraving simply covers a broad spectrum of the Armed Forces, the best thing to do under the "circumstances". I also think the General would be hard pressed to give 100 watches to just Ground crew Chiefs in the 5th. Air Force alone, and probably gave them out using his own discretion.
I think Bulova was more trying to impress than being impressed.
Here is something else Arde Bulova did.

A snippet from the Jewish Criterion newspaper, dated November 13, 1936:
"President Roosevelt felt as happy about the present he got just before his re-election as about the election itself . . . The gift was Andrew Jackson's watch-chain, sent to FDR by Arde Bulova, America's watch king.".
Again, trying to impress.
Bulova lost most of their records in the seventies in two lorry loads that were sent to the rubbish tip, instead of their new offices.

Here is a Norman J. Gerlach, the only N.J. Gerlach to serve in the Navy during WW2.
The ship he served on, where he was posted to, and when he died.
I have no personal axe to grind, I am merely a researcher for myBulova and Watchophilia.
And yes, maybe I do have a fertile imagination!

Norman J. Gerlach is buried in the Veterans Cemetery, Rhode Island.
Posts: 77 | Location: Ilkeston in England | Registered: March 22, 2013
Hmm, Providence RI, where Bulova had their headquarters, and just down the road from their Sag Harbour factory.
Still, it was a nice presentation watch from the company, and a good story!
Posts: 77 | Location: Ilkeston in England | Registered: March 22, 2013
Life Achievement
Military Expert
Picture of Greg Crockett
There may be several possible stories to explain these watches. Gift to an Employee? Watches for young men from the home town? Any one of these possibilities would increase the value. I would be happy to have one in my little collection.
Posts: 2003 | Location: East Lansing, Michigan USA | Registered: November 24, 2002
  Powered by Social Strata  

©2002-2023 Internet Horology Club 185™ - Lindell V. Riddle President - All Rights Reserved Worldwide

Internet Horology Club 185™ is the "Family-Friendly" place for Watch and Clock Collectors