Bulova Military-Themed Watches of the 1940s


Not to be confused with actual military-issue models, which were commissioned by the United States Government, Bulova's military-themed models were commercial watches that made good use of the popularity of things military, particularly surrounding times of war.  The military-themed models were produced for both men and women and included medical motifs as well as names for military personnel, such as Air Warden and General.  While Bulova made watches with military-derived names throughout its history, this article will focus on the highly-prized models surrounding World War II.


World War II era para-military watch models not only have service-oriented names--a practice that Bulova had long followed--but also often had characteristics typical of true military-issue models, such as a center-sweep seconds hand vs the usual subseconds dial; and, quite often luminous numbers and hands rather than the typical gilt or black.  Some of the models also came on leather straps rather than the gold filled or plated bracelets popular at the time.  The advertising pertaining to these watches also quite clearly announced them as "military" or "service" models, though we know them to not be actual military-issue watches.



The limited number of these models, the short timeframe for production, and their unusual characteristics make these some of the most sought-after models by collectors.  The ads shown below do not likely exhibit all the military-themed models that Bulova produced.  Crystal catalogs reveal other names not represented below--such as Flight Nurse A, Flight Nurse B, Air Nurse, Aviator, Red Cross A, Red Cross B, Trained Nurse, etc.  It is possible that those, and other, models were also produced during World War II as part of this collection.   So, if you have a watch that fits the time period and the description of a Bulova military-themed model, don't assume it isn't one just because it is not shown in one of the ads below.  We don't yet have all the advertisements.


Bulova Military-Themed Models of the 1940s


1943 American Nurse

1940 American Nurse

The difference between the Canadian Nurse (below) and American Nurse may simply be the country of origin



1941 Blackhawk

1941 Blackhawk


1942 Blackhawk in military-themed box



1941 Nighthawk


1944 Nighthawk

1946 Air Warden

1943 Air Warden

1944 Air Warden


1941 Air Warden



1941 Sky Hawk



1942 Medical Officer


1942 Medical Officer

1941 Commando (Canadian)



1941 Interceptor (Canadian)



1942 Watertight


1943 Watertite

1942 Surgeon


1941 Surgeon

1942 Radio City

Like the American and Canadian Nurse models, the difference between the Radio City and Blackout (below) may be country of origin


1944 Radio City

1943 Blackout


1944 Blackout


1942 General


1942 General

1942 Practitioner


1942 Practitioner

1942 Medical Center


1945 Medical Center

1942 Jane Addams


1942 Jane Addams

1942 Canadian Nurse


1946 American Nurse

Canadian or American Nurse with luminous numbers and hands

1942 Miss Air Warden



1945 Miss Air Warden

1942 Nightingale


1945 Nightingale

1941 - Miss War Worker "A" and "B"



1943 Miss War Worker "A" and "B"



1944 Military Miss



1945 Air Cadet



1945 Clara Barton


1947 Clara Barton

1945 Clipper



1943 Clipper


1947 Medico



1949 Chronograph



1949 Chronograph



1942 Unknown



1942 Chronograph



1942 Chronograph



1945 Unknown



1947 Unknown



1943 Unknown