Coolidge to Stanley Harris Bulova

Kevin Scott

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I bought this empty case in a large lot over 25 years ago from a watch dealer who worked the Baltimore Washington DC area that bought watches, watchmaker estates, and jewelry stores.

At the time did not know who Stanley Harris was. Did some research on the net a couple years ago and found out Coolidge and his wife where big baseball fans, and Stanley Harris who was known as the boy wonder managed and played for the Washington Senators. But did not find any news accounts about this day and a presentation at the white house.

My theory is that this watch that I have was never given to Stanley Harris. Maybe the engraver made a mistake, maybe the white house changed the date of the presentation, or who knows.
The movement was then used for parts at some time.

Theory is based on the engraved lines through the engraving, can't confirm date, and the watch has an inscription on the inside "from his friends", which does not make sense with the inscription on the back. Maybe the engraver used the inside back for practice. Also the case shows no wear,or signs of use. The case is gold filled.

Seems Coolidge did give Harris a watch, but it has not turned up, and it is not known what model he was given.

What do you think?
 

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everydaycats

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Cool. Nice case and lots of history. Isn't there a TV show that looks into questions about historical objects? Shoot them an email...
 

Kevin Scott

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In answer to "everydaycats", I think you mean the show on PBS, the History Detectives. I like the show, but I suspect the watch community would know more than what the the History Detectives can dig up.
 

everydaycats

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In answer to "everydaycats", I think you mean the show on PBS, the History Detectives. I like the show, but I suspect the watch community would know more than what the the History Detectives can dig up.
"History Detectives" Yep, that's the show. The reason I mention the show is because the watch has much more significance than a normal vintage watch. The history drifts into American History, history of the presidents and possibly baseball history. To me there's much more than watch history.
 

gatorcpa

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I did a very quick search on the history of the Washington Senators. They were best known for being a losing franchise from their beginning in 1901 until their move to Minnesota after the 1960 season.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Washington_Senators_(1901-60)

However, they won the 1924 World Series. Washington is very much a "company" town, that company being the US government. The White House, of course, is company headquarters. I suspect that there was some kind of ceremony to commemorate the achievment. I was able to find a schedule, and May 4, 1925 was an off day for the team.

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/teamstats/schedule.php?y=1925&t=WS1

I would suggest you contact the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.

http://abner.baseballhalloffame.org/search

They should have some idea what exactly happened on that date and might have a picture or two.

Hope this helps,
gatorcpa
 
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bobbee53

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This looks like it might be the original watch presented to 'Bucky' in 1925.
I have done a little research on this watch, and what I found says not, but this case looks more like the Bulova Senator model, than it does the President model of the time.

Here is some stuff I wrote on myBulova:

http://www.mybulova.com/forums/original-presentation-watch
As
you can see, the watch you have does not match the one in the ad, but this is the first ad I could find, and may only be a "make do" picture, as this is an older Bulova model first seen in 1922. Your watch looks genuine to me!
Here is more I wrote about the President watch on Watchophilia
http://watchophilia-forums.32196.x6.nabble.com/1926-President-ad-tp466.html;cid=1415001640835-23

In the above is a link to an early newspaper report that mentions the watch being presented to Harris in May 1924 at the White House.
In the same link is a clipping that talks of a watch exactly the same as the one presented to Harris being given away to the best local ball player, with a picture of the watch .
I hope you do not mind, but I have posted this watch on the myBulova site, in the linked thread. I will link to this thread also.
Cheers, Bob.

Please disregard the jumbled writing below, for some reason I cannot delete or adjust it with my tablet.







In the Watchophilia link is a picture of an article from 1926, where the winner of
Here is an early advert.
 
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bobbee53

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Could you perhaps open the case and show pics of the inside case back and the movement?
The inner back will have a 7-digit serial number that will give a date for the case, the movement will have a datemark too.
Thanks, Bob.


Edit- here is a photo of Coolidge presenting the watch to Harris, May 4th, 1925.
It looks better for you, as if your watch is genuine it will be worth many thousands.


IMG_20141103_090350.jpg
 
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Kevin Scott

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Here are pictures of the inside case back, and the movement I installed to the empty case. Interesting that it just says "filled" versus gold filled, or a year rating. It is a high quality of gold filled. Looks like 14k.

Why does the inside have the engraving " From His Friends" ?? Does not make sense with the outside engraving.

The movement with it now does not help with any research, since like I said in the first post, the case was empty when I got it. I matched up a movement for it from my parts drawer. It is slightly possible that this movement also came in the large lot I bought with this case, and I reunited the original movement to the case. Or somehow by luck this was the original movement, but I think this is highly unlikely. I vaguely remember looking for the movement in the lot I bought, even though I had no idea who Stanley Bucky Harris was. But did not find it.

No problem linking or sharing this thread. Would increase chances of finding out what really happened back then.
 

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bobbee53

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Thank you Kevin.
I think, if this is genuine, that the message inside would be meant to be a more personal one, as I think that Harris was friendly with Coolidge, he did attend Harris's wedding too.
The inside sentiment only adds to the watch's veracity to me.
The plating is in green gold, and is 14K.
Your watch looks a little like the Senator, but is actually the Bulova "Executive" model, not many of these around!

http://www.mybulova.com/watches/1925-executive-1160

The serial number on the case dates it to 1924, totally in keeping with the date of the engraving.
The movement dates to 1927, so either not the original, as you already said, but may have been a replacement, as the dial is correct for this model.
 
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Robert Stokes

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Another member just sent me a link to your thread about your Bucky Harris watch. I have attached a may 4th, 1925 article from the Washington Star fully documenting your watch.

Do you still have the watch? What great provenance it has!

I collect vintage personalized wristwatches; I have begun to document them on my Time Capsule website, www.TimeCapsule-Watch.com


Thanks!

Bob Stokes

1925 Bucky Harris Watch Article.jpg
 
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Robert Stokes

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Cort --

Yes, it's unusual to find a document confirming a watch's provenance. If you have a chance, go to my Time Capsule website (www.TimeCapsule-Watch.com) and check out my story about New Mexico football coach Bill Gentry's Universal Geneve watch -- and the 1985 article that documents how much he valued this watch (given to him by his 1963 State Champions team).

Thanks!

Bob

gentry - watch dial and back.jpg gentry -- watch article 1985.jpg
 

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