Request for information on the Westfield/Bulova Deco-era piece

Discussion in 'Wrist Watches' started by Squite, Sep 14, 2012.

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  1. Squite

    Squite Registered User

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    #1 Squite, Sep 14, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
    Hi all!

    This is my first foray into the world of antique wrist watches (I'm a pocket watch guy). I just received this Deco-era Westfield. All I know about it is that it's likely made by Bulova, who I think started in 1911, and they registered the Westfield name in 1917. I'm guessing the date to be around 1925-1935. It's housed in a 10K RGP case, SN 7640241, which I think would mean it's from either 1927 or 1937, but I'm not sure. I've also read that the lack of a SN on the movement would post-date the movement after 1932, and that the lack of a code on inside of the the case would pre-date 1950, so 1937 looks like it may be a pretty good guess, however, after looking a a few dozen advertisements from that era, I've also found that the case engraving more closely resembles the style of the late-20s than it does the late-30s.

    I've read on the board that Bulova used the Westfield name for lesser-quality movements. As you can see by the photo this one's an unadjusted (assumed due to the lack of an adjustment designation on the movement) 17-jewel 10 AW. The balance is bimetallic, but it's not split. It's been running spot-on accurate for the past 30+ hours on its initial wind.

    I've checked the movement and trademark databases on mybulova, watchophilia, Mikrolisk, and elsewhere, and I haven't found anything referring to the 10 AW or to Westfield (except for the mention of a 1917 trademark registry on Mikrolisk). I've also noticed that the codes don't correspond with any kind of congruency whatsoever (for example, 10 ATs were made in the 30s, 10 AUs were made in 1950, and 10 AXs were made in the 40s) Is the 'W' of the 'AW' for Westfield, maybe?

    I know it seems like a lot of work for a seemingly unimportant movement, but any information anyone can give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for your help!
     

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  2. Squite

    Squite Registered User

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    Well, it's been a few days, anyone have anything for me? I'll bump it just this once...
     
  3. Squite

    Squite Registered User

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    Just a quick update, the arrow on on the movement near the crown is, I believe, a date code marker.

    At first I thought it may just be an arrow showing the location of a screw of special import, like maybe the one that holds the winding stem assembly, but after reviewing some other Bulova movements I think it might be actually be that date indicator mark, as they are not arrows on other movements, but are clearly marked in the same location as my arrow mark.

    The arrow on my watch isn't an exact match of the one on the chart, but curiously, the arrow mark does indicate a date of 1937, which matches a possible date based on the first digit of the case's serial number. So taking both indicators into account, it's the likely conclusion.
     
  4. RL

    RL Registered User
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    Looks like it points to the stem removal screw to me.
     
  5. Squite

    Squite Registered User

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    #5 Squite, Sep 20, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
    That's what I thought until I examined other Bulova movements. The examples I've seen from this period are pretty clearly marked with symbols other than arrows in exactly the same place as my arrow. That is why I doubt the arrow indicates a stem screw.
     
  6. wsmith

    wsmith Registered User

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    I don't think westfield movements use the same date code symbols as Bulova watch company movements. I'm not sure if the first digit of case serial number correlation to year of production holds true for Westfield cases either.
     
  7. Squite

    Squite Registered User

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    #7 Squite, Sep 27, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
    Well, that's why I posted this in the first place, but nobody seems to know much of anything about them, so...

    The only thing I've ever seen about them this on any other boards states they are not cheap knockoffs by Bulova, but actually use genuine Bulova movements, equal in quality to comparable movements marked Bulova. They just marketed them in cheaper cases (cased in the US) under the Westfield name to avoid the duties on the cases.

    That is why I figured they'd be marked the same way on the movement. That, and the fact nobody has come forward with anything concrete that says otherwise...
     
  8. Don Dahlberg

    Don Dahlberg Registered User
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    This watch just screams mid 1930s. I could not find this watch in a 1936 Myers & Co catalog, but I found many other brands with very similar style cases.

    You may also find this useful http://www.mybulova.com/node/4255

    Don
     
  9. Squite

    Squite Registered User

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    Thanks Don. All the info in that thread confirms what's already been assumed based on info from other sources. I'm still feeling good about the 1937 estimate, and about the fact that it's Bulova-made.

    The one bit from that thread I hadn't previously come across is referring to the movement being marked 'unadjusted', or not being marked for adjustments at all (as in this case), in that it doesn't actually mean 'unadjusted' in the sense that we think of it, but rather means 'unfinished', which makes sense if they are being cased and finished here in the US to avoid the import duties, allowing them to sell them for cheaper.
     
  10. watchophilia

    watchophilia Registered User

    Jan 14, 2013
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    Hi, Squite. I've been getting lots of questions about Westfields lately, so last week I added a brief article about them on my site (http://www.watchophilia.com/general-information/westfield/). The article is very much a work in progress, which will, hopefully, get fleshed out over the coming months as on-going research turns up more interesting facts. The subject is rather new to me, as I have, until quite recently, kept my focus on mainstream Bulovas.

    In that online article, I posted a vintage advertisement from 1937. It shows your watch quite clearly as the "Clayton". The date of that ad jives nicely with the arrow symbol on your movement as well as the first digit of the case serial number. My research indicates that Bulova used the same date codes on the Westfields as on the regular Bulovas. Your watch is a very nice example of that.

    As for Westfield movements, they do not appear to be the same ones used in mainstream Bulovas, which is why they do not appear in my movement list. I am giving some thought to starting a list of the Westfield movements.

    Hope that helps!
     
  11. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    The arrow I believe equates to date manufacture 1937
    PS - GLAD you bought a lovely wristwatch
    Regards
     
  12. Squite

    Squite Registered User

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    #12 Squite, Jan 15, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
    Lisa!

    Thanks so much...my hunch was right after all...I'll check out that article and let you know what I think ;)

    Neat article. That's definitely the one in the ad, except mine has a NOS lizard grain band. Looks like it was marketed as a ladies' watch. Too bad for my wife...I wear it with the blue lizard band with jeans :D

    Adam,

    Thanks for the confirmation on the date as well.

    I finally came across a decent little wristwatch! Won it it with a token bid, actually. Just high enough to be dangerous, I guess :D
     
  13. watchophilia

    watchophilia Registered User

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    Squite - the Clayton was definitely a man's watch. If you look back at the advertisement, you will see that the ladies' watches and men's watches are in different vertical rows, with the ladies' to the left and the men's to the right. The ladies' watches of the time were much smaller than your Clayton. Those fancy metal bracelets were the style of the time for men, believe it or not. A leather strap is a more masculine choice by today's standards.
     
  14. Squite

    Squite Registered User

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    Lisa,

    Thanks for the update. The fancy bracelet definitely led me astray!
     

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