Here is a look at another very charming vintage timepiece, a men’s knotted lugs watch made by Bulova. Bulova is one of those immediately recognizable names in vintage watches, perhaps because they were always quality watches (from the 1920s onward) and perhaps because they had a wonderful marketing program. Indeed, the first documented TV commercial ever aired was for Bulova Watches, and had the catchy slogan:
“American Runs On Bulova Time!”
This particular Bulova watch is the “Ashford”, a fine example of their post World War II offerings. It is a knotted lugs watch from the early 1950s. We particularly like the patina on the dial and the small seconds or sub-seconds dial down by the six position. Yes, this knotted lugs Bulova watch is keeping great vintage time all these sixty or so years later.
Knotted lugs means just what you see, at the four semi-quadrants (we would call them Northeast, Southeast, Southwest and Northwest) there are double rolled circular embellishments, which tie directly to the fancy curved lugs. Sometimes we hear the terms knotty lugs (which sounds a bit daring and risqué!) or the term ship’s wheel lugs, used to described this particular case type. No matter what you call it, it is striking and special and stands out from any other case design. After more than a half century, it still looks fresh and interesting.
Bulova was not the only maker of vintage watches to use the knotted lugs design case. Rolex also used this exact design and size. As did Nastrix, who, like Bulova, imported Swiss made watches and marketed them from New York City.
Occasionally, we actually have heard comments about this specific watch that it is a “woman’s watch” not a men’s watch. Such comments are made by people who have not looked into the history of fine watches and who base their mistaken assumptions on the sizes of watches in the 21st century.
While many a modern woman might enjoy wearing this timeless timepiece, it is without question a man’s watch, made for the gentleman who wanted something a bit out of the ordinary, who would have been first in line to buy one of the first 300 hand-built polo white Harley Earl designed Chevy Corvettes in 1953. This is a standard size man’s watch of the nifty fifties era, with a design that is anything but standard.