Question & Answer

I received a question today from a visitor to the site regarding his Bradley Minnie Mouse watch.  He sent a picture and asked if his watch is rare.  That's always such a difficult question to answer, because it involves what is really a subjective evaluation.  However, I did my best to tell him something about his watch and what he might expect to be the reaction to it.  It was fun to do the research and provide what information I could.  After I answered him, I thought there might be some use to posting such questions on the site, so that others with similar questions may find helpful information.  I also hope these questions lead to more questions and, most importantly, to more answers, not just from me, but from other watch collectors who visit the site.  My feedback page is open.

FAQ: Question & Answer

Hi Lisa, are these rare? (Submitted with picture of Bradley Minnie Mouse watch in gold case)

Thanks the for the question regarding your very nice Bradley Minnie Mouse watch.  Minnie first appeared on a timepiece in 1958, according to Howard S. Brenner, who wrote the book, "Comic Character Clock and Watches." That first Minnie Mouse watch was made by U.S. Time.  After that, she appeared regularly, but not nearly as frequently, of course, as Mickey.  Your watch is made by Bradley, which was a subsidiary of Elgin.  They started making Mickey (and Minnie) watches in 1972 and continued to do so throughout the 1970s, so we know that your watch dates to that period of time, though I was unable to identify a specific year of manufacture.  So, to answer your question, to a certain extent, any older Minnie Mouse watch is a less common commodity.  Does it rise to the level of rarity, I would say not, but there are many factors that go into such a consideration, and, in the end, it's a rather subjective evaluation that can easily change according to who is selling what, when. I would definitely call your watch "collectible", which means it is likely to attract some attention from Disney collectors on auction sites such as eBay.  However, you should also keep in mind that Minnie has never been considered as desirable by collectors as Mickey, and so your watch would not likely fetch the kind of prices you see on those.  I was unable to find a reference to your watch in the well known Mickey collectors' references, which may mean that your watch does not rise to the level of "highly collectible".  However, that certainly does not mean that your watch has no value.  It just makes it harder to be confident about how collectible it may be.  If selling it is your interest, I advise watching the Minnie Mouse watch sales on eBay for a while to get a feel for available inventory and pricing. 


Misha | 05/04/2012

Hi Lisa, Great website. Been a fan since I discovered the other Bulova site. I am computer illiterate, so I don't have any pictures, but I have 1 (one) Bulova watch, 1967(M7) which I believe to be a president. If you look at the 1964 president advert, mine is the stainless steel model (B), with the cross hairs dial (as in k). I know that it is difficult to distinguish between the Date King and the President, as the 64 ads which show them both (H) and (o)show them with the same case. The only way to tell the difference right off is by the dial (that I can tell). That having been said, One thing I have noticed, and I may be wrong, but there seems to be no adverts with a Date King with the cross hairs dial. If this is true, then there are some watches on the other site that are mis-named. It is possible. Also, some watches with the whale (which later indicated waterproof, having the date and crosshairs dial may als be a president. Just some observations I have personally made, and I thought it best to bring them to someone's attention. Info on my watch-1967 on the case back it says-BULOVA M7 stainless steel case, number J653503, shock resistant, anti-magnetic, WATERPROOF. dial is radial brushed (cream colored) with self winding printed above the 6 o'clock position and raised gold lettering BULOVA below the 12 position. No numbers, but raised silver hash marks and luminous dots as well as hands (I think alpha hands, as in (K) in the advert), and of course date in the 3 0'clock position and black printed cross hairs. It appears to have an original speidel expansion band. It was serviced by a watchmaker here in Central NY who graduated from the Bulova school of watchmaking. A wonderful piece, and it its my every day watch. Keep up the good work. Misha



Lisa | 05/04/2012

Misha, thanks for your question. I located the President "K" in the 1964 advertisement, and I note that it has a 30 jewel movement. Does yours? I didn't see that info in your description. There are those who believe that all President models from that time period had 30 jewel movements, and any model with fewer jewels must be something else, like a Date King. However, the advertisements don't entirely support that view, because there's a 1964 ad showing, and describing, a 17 jewel President and a 30 jewel Date King. Some believe that the descriptions for those two watches in that ad were reversed, meaning the President had 30 jewels, and the Date King, 17. If you believe the "ad is wrong" theory, then the answer to which watch you have lies in the jewel count. If you're not quite so willing to dismiss that ad, then the situation is quite a bit more murky, and we need more ads to clear it up. I wouldn't, however, base the model ID just on the style of the dial, i.e., the cross-hairs, because we often see dials interchanged between models, and we don't always have ads that show all those options. On the issue of watches on other Web sites being misnamed, that's entirely possible, just as it's quite possible that I got some of my IDs wrong too. We don't have all the advertisements, and, particularly in regard to the 1960s and 1970s, we really don't have many at all. So, to some extent, we can only make educated guesses, based on what we know now, and hope that additional information will arrive soon to confirm or clarify those assumptions. I welcome feedback regarding my model IDs, and I think most people on other sites would also welcome your input. We're all still learning.


Re: Re: 1967 PRESIDENT

Will Smith | 05/05/2012

For mis-id'ed watches on mybulova, some records are several years old, and many of the ads were not available at that time. Presently, only the record (watch?) owner can change the main ID name, and there are some issues with the model ID rating (star count) not being reset after ID name change. These few records may retain the "old" rating, which may not accurately reflect the ID name change. Looks like the site admin is on top of these issues, and is going to purge some old records which may be problematic. As Lisa points out, almost any confirmed ID can change as new ads and information become available. We move forward with the best facts at hand, keep an open mind to new info changing or modifying old "facts", and the Bulova knowledge base grows with these changes. Its a work in progress, and we can all learn together. These websites make this group learning process possible!! They are great resources.


Re: Re: 1967 PRESIDENT

Misha | 05/07/2012

Thanks for the reply, I did forget to mention movement. Movement is a 17 jewlel, 11AFAC. One question, though. Was the Date king ever offered in Stainless Steel? I realise that the ad database is limited, but I have observed that 23 the price of the ss President in 1964 was less than the others, which (in my opinion) would reflect Stainless and a 17 jewel count. As to the watches in the RED ads, the 30 jewel Date King is marked 30 jewels on the dial. It is my observation that 23 and 30 jewels were written on the dial, while most 17 and other jewels were not. The only exception that I have personally found to this is the 1962 ad for the surf king,(2nd ad far left watch, and 5th ad, top row far left) which is 17 jewels, according to the print. If carefully observed, it looks like it says 17 jewels on the dial(hard to tell). Perusing through the ad database, it appears that 17 jeweled movements were not written on the dial. As to the cross hairs dial, I do believe you were right in that I have seen other models with this feature(even other brands, which indicates that this was a common feature for that time period). Just some thoughts, and as you said, we are all learning. Very interesting, and thank you for your imput and experience.



Lisa | 05/07/2012

Hi, Misha. In regard to the 1964 "Red" ad, switch the names of the two watches, and you have a 30 jewel, 14K President, and a 17 jewel Date King. That's the basis of the "ad is wrong" theory. (My previous comment should have advised to switch just the names, not the entire description.) That theory gains credibility when you look at the 1964 ad for the President (the white ad that shows only the President models). The main photo in the President ad appears to be an exact match for the watch labeled "Date King H" in the red ad (including the 14k case), and the President ad clearly specifies that those models all have 30 jewels. The slight difference in price between the two ads could be accounted for by the metal vs leather strap, as could the different variant designation ("O" vs "K").

As for whether the Date King came in stainless, I don't know, but it seems likely. Unlike for the President model, we don't have a Date King ad that lists the features available in the line. Instead, we just have a few ads showing individual models, none of which happens to be stainless steel. However, stainless was a popular option then, and it was offered in other lines of the time, including the President, so I would bet there was a stainless Date King as well. I note that some of the watches labeled "Date King" in the myBulova database are stainless steel.


Excellence collection

Bob Butler AKA bobbee | 05/03/2012

Hi Lisa,bobbee here! Congrats on your Hall Of Fame Award! re. the Excellence line, have you googled Bulova Excellence collection and seen the models Goldsmiths have? Also spotted one on Sulit,the Phillipino site. I know just about as much as you regarding this line and it is just marketing in my view, lots of pretty packaging and nice looking watches. One thing I've noticed is some of the models don't have seconds hands, and have very nice straps and bracelets and your 1971 Unknown seems to fit the bill.


Re: Excellence collection

Lisa | 05/04/2012

Hi, Bob. I went to the Goldsmiths site and took a look at the "Excellence Collection" watch they are selling. Thanks for pointing that out to me. The watch is interesting in that it has the whale symbol on the dial, which screams 1970s, but doesn't have the date window, which seems rather 1960ish. Of course, the limited advertisements for both the 1960s and the 1970s make it impossible to be very confident about any conclusions, so let's just consider this "further discussion". The 17 jewel movement and whale on the dial would tempt one into calling it a Clipper or Golden Clipper, however, I'm not sure we've seen one of those without the date window. I wish the watch had the original hang tag telling us the model name. That's what we really need to see here to determine how the "Excellence Collection" models were named. Of course, there's the added caution that, when we see a box with a watch, we don't really know if the box was original to that watch (though I note that, in this instance, both the inner and outer boxes are present). Still, a hang tag and purchase receipt would be reassuring.


1971 Unknown Bulova

Bob Butler | 04/30/2012

Hi, the 1971 Unknown,blue dial tonneau case in gold is possibly from the Bulova Excellence Collection, a little known-about line.


Re: 1971 Unknown Bulova

Lisa | 04/30/2012

Hi, Bob. Thanks for your comment. Do you have any documentation regarding the "Excellence Collection"? If so, I'd love to see it. The only related items I've seen are a couple of outer boxes bearing those words. I have yet to see "Excellence Collection" appear in a vintage advertisement. The boxes to which I refer did not indicate the name of the model inside the box. In other words, the box read "Excellence Collection", but the watch inside the box was a model that did not appear to bear the "Excellence" name. This approach would seem to differ from the earlier "His Excellency" and "Her Excellency" series. The watches in those collections all bore the name "His Excellency" or "Her Excellency", typically with a variant letter, such as "A", or "AA", etc., to distinguish between the different models within the collection. Those series are well documented in the vintage ads. Given the lack of documentation for the later "Excellence Collection", I'm wondering if that verbiage pertained to a specific line of watches or was simply "marketing speak" used only on the boxes. This is an interesting and worthy topic for further research.