Fake or Real A-11 1944 Air Force Bulova Watch?

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chle
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:04 pm

Fake or Real A-11 1944 Air Force Bulova Watch?

#1 Post by chle » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:20 pm

Hi, I went to a militaria show this past weekend in Ohio and I found this 1944 Bulova Watch in a case with other militaria stuff.

It caught my eye instantly, but I wanted to make sure it was real. With permission, I took photos of the back of the watch only since there were serial and part numbers, but looking up the watch, it didn't match with others from the 1944 year and its back layout didn't match the backs of others from the time period either.

The seller is asking for $225 and told me it came from a museum in Illinois, but something about the watch seems heavily fishy.

I've attached some photos but I'll try to type out the layout of the back from here:

A F U.S. ARMY
TYPE A-11
SER. NO. R02001 (or RC2001
PART NO. 90 (or 10) AK AC43 (or A043)
ORDER NO. W54-AF33944
BULOVA WATCH CO
1944

I didn't take photos of the front but it has Bulova printed with a black dial, don't know the color of the hands.

Please let me know if I should consider buying the watch because it looks really nice and I've been looking for a vintage minimalistic watch like this one. If there are other brands you can recommend instead of this one, let me know! I am a first time buyer, so I just don't want to be scammed with a fake Bulova.

Thank you!
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441victor
Posts: 1120
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:56 pm
Location: Orlando, FL

Re: Fake or Real A-11 1944 Air Force Bulova Watch?

#2 Post by 441victor » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:09 pm

Welcome to the forum Chle. A-11 collecting is a minefield to mix metaphors. There are some things wrong with the watch in your pics. The case looks too new to be WWII issued. There is a load of government surplus part out there and I suspect this was made from an essentially NOS case. The engraving looks like it was done by the seller, not the Army. The government stamped A-11 backs have an easy to spot look. Also the information there is incorrect for an A-11. The Part No. indicates the movement is a 10AK and should be a 10AKCSH which is Bulova's "Center Seconds Hacking" movement. All A-11s from Elgin, Waltham, Hamilton and Bulova were hacking watches. The dial and hands need to be correct also like there should be no manufactures name on the dial. Since there are no pics of the movement or face I can't help you further except to say there are more fake A-11's floating around than genuine ones. Do lots of research and get your information from reliable sites like NAWCC or the military forum here. Once you are familiar with real A-11s, when you see something that looks wrong on a watch for sale, walk away. Always doubt any advise given by someone looking to sell an A-11. It's easy to claim a watch belonged to their Grandfather but impossible to disprove. These watches have gotten crazy expensive which just encourages the con men. Joel

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afire
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Re: Fake or Real A-11 1944 Air Force Bulova Watch?

#3 Post by afire » Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:56 am

Even knowing next to nothing about WWII military watches, the quality of the engraving alone would be enough to make me run.
Real men wear small watches.

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