I am the owner of the watch featured on Hodinkee. To clear it up, it says M9 on the back. The watch was my grandfather's who was the President and CEO of the Allen Bradley company company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 1967-1970. I was told it was given to him by General Bradley, who was then Chairman. As family stories get embellished over time, I provided this watch to Andrew Hildreth for the review who took it to Bulova and they verified its authenticity. In fact, they wanted it for their collection.
How did the star get scratched? I don't know, but when I received the watch about 15 years ago after he passed away, it had a cheap quartz movement in it and was in rough shape. Someone had replaced the original movement, and I do not know why. It is possible the dial was scratched when the movement was replaced. When Bulova was examining it, they replaced the quartz movement with the proper movement which is shown in the photos in the Hodinkee article.
The initials on the case back, A.W.P., stand for Arloe W. Paul, here's his obituary: https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/sa ... d=26030562
Happy to clear up any other questions on it.