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Bulova watch dating

Then in , Bulova came out with a 2 digit date code system which you can find on the case back or on the movement of the watch. The decade is shown in the first digit and the year in the second:. Make sure to use our zoom feature when looking at the watches and should you experience any difficulties, do not hesitate to contact us via our online chat or email us: support vintagetimwatches. Pocket Watch Repair — Link. Symbols of Dates of the Years — Table of Bulova Date Codes: — Then in , Bulova came out with a 2 digit date code system which you can find on the case back or on the movement of the watch.

Copyright - VintageTimeWatches Ltd. Though we have far more of these early watches than we did a year ago, we still have relatively few upon which to base conclusions. No doubt, some aspects of these conclusions will change over time as more examples are collected.

For anyone interested in reviewing the data upon which, in part, these observations were based, visit Watch Data - Early advertisements also support these conclusions and can be found at - Dating a Bulova watch becomes quite a bit easier beginning with models manufactured in At that time, Bulova started using with regularity standard date codes on the movement.

Additionally, in many instances, the case serial number on these later models can be used as a date reference. For models manufactured before , there is typically no date code on the case itself though there are exceptions seen in the later s. However, as stated, the case serial number can often be used to date the case, while the movement code indicates the date the movement was made.

Thus, most watches have two manufacture dates, providing a useful tool for determining whether a particular case and its movement were originally intended to be paired. The movement code is a small symbol, such as a square, circle, or triangle, which corresponds to a particular year within each decade. For example, a triangle may indicate , , or The full list of date codes is available at Bulova Date Codes.

Similarly, the date of the case often can be partially determined by the case serial number. That is, the first digit of the serial number indicates the year of manufacture within each decade, with some exceptions, which are explained in more detail at the end of this section. For example, a pre watch with a case serial number starting with "1" would indicate , , or It is important to note that both the movement code and the case serial number provide only a year within a decade, but they do not give any clue as to the correct decade.

Instead, the appropriate decade must be determined by examining the style of the watch in light of the styles of each decade. Below is an example of a watch, where the year of manufacture has been determined using both the symbol on the movement and the matching serial number, along with an examination of the watch's characteristics.

Important factors in identifying the proper decade of the watch's manufacture based on it styling include the size and shape of the case, engraving placement and patterns, dial and hand designs, and movement calibers. A very good place to study styles by decade is right here on Watchophilia. The large collection is organized by decade, and all watches for a given decade can be viewed together on one page, making it easy to scan the page and note the styles used during that time period. Becoming familiar with other examples and with the available advertisements will also help determine when elements, such as dials, hands, and straps, are not original to the watch and should not be considered when determining the date.

The only way to know which decade applies to the watch at hand is by careful study of available resources, including vintage advertisements and actual watches. Matching the elements of the watch to a particular decade becomes easier over time, as more watches are studied and compared to the available advertisements.

Another factor to consider in dating a pre watch is whether there is a serial number printed on the movement, as, for the most part, Bulova stopped that practice after A few strays with serial numbers have been observed through the mids, but by far the majority of movements made after do not have a serial number. So, if your movement has a serial number, you can probably narrow down the date of the movement to at least pre, and, quite likely, even to pre As with all things Bulova-related, there are exceptions to the rule, and a few pre movements have been observed without serial numbers, particularly in the 10AN caliber movements.

So, the existence or non-existence of a serial number is just one of many factors to be considered when dating a watch. All factors discussed here should be considered together to make the best possible date assessment. Fortunately, dating a Bulova watch gets much easier in and beyond. Before we move on to the s, we need to consider exceptions to the serial number method of dating a Bulova watch.

I hinted earlier in this section of the discussion that there were exceptions to the rule that the first digit of the case serial number indicates the date of manufacture for watches made from through There are actually at least five currently known exceptions to that rule, and the list keeps growing as more watches are studied.

For models dated and beyond--and even some made in the late s--Bulova printed a two character date code on both the case and the movement. Typically, the case date code is found on the outside of the case back, but sometimes it is located inside the case back. Those two codes--which should be identical or no more than one year apart--indicate both the decade and year of the watch's movement and case manufacture.

For example, the code "L3" indicates , while the code "M4" indicates A list of the known codes can be found at Bulova Date Codes. Note that the full date chart includes variations of two-character codes sometimes seen on watches as early as By , this practice was becoming more common, and by is was the norm. Below are examples of this style of date code on the movement and case. Ideally, the date of the movement will match the date of the case. Occasionally, however, that is not the case.

In those circumstances, I subscribe to the "latest date wins" theory only when the case and movement are dated within one year of each other. If more than one year separates the movement and the case, for me, the case date rules. The reason for that limitation is that movements can, and often are, replaced when the original one breaks. Therefore, any watch with a movement dated more than one year later than the case is assumed to be a replacement movement.

For all watches in my collection, the movement date is noted for the record, even if it was not used to date the watch. I do believe that the case is by far the most important factor in determining both the date and model of the watch, and all other factors are to be considered but do not necessarily control the outcome, because all other factors--movements, hands, dials--can be changed. When purchasing a watch, I check both the case and movement date, and if they are more than one year apart, I assume that the movement is not original to the case.

When selling a watch, it is very important to accurately date both the movement and the case and to inform potential buyers of that information. A watch that has mismatched parts should be fully disclosed as such. I have a few examples where the watch has neither a movement code nor a case serial number. One such example is a very early, solid gold model.

So, it has problems being identified, both because it is very early and because it is solid gold see above for problems with serial numbers and solid gold cases as well as early movements with no date code. Additionally, I have some late s models that bear no date identification that I can determine. These later watches are invariably made outside the United States, as many Bulova watches were at that time, and so they do not follow the usual marking conventions.

So, if you run into one of these, don't be surprised. Determining the Date of a Bulova Watch For purposes of assigning a date, Bulova watches break down nicely into three basic groups: 1 pre, 2 through , and 3 and beyond. Inside case with June 10, patent date Inside case with January 11, patent date Pre Watches manufactured prior to are difficult to date with certainty.

Co" with no globe or shield symbol not to be confused with a case signed only "American Standard", which is a later, Bulova trademarked name Movement signed "Rubaiyat" or possibly an as yet undiscovered name, but not signed "Bulova" Dial signed "Rubaiyat" or possibly an as yet undiscovered name, but not signed "Bulova" No movement caliber designation No movement serial number No movement date code Case serial number begins with "2" or "3" Case style of pocket watch, typically converted to wear on the wrist; crown at 12 o'clock position Case signed "Wadsworth" or "American Standard" with globe symbol Movement signed "Rubaiyat", or "Bulova", or other Swiss movement maker e.

More than one name may appear on the movement. Dial signed "Rubaiyat" or unsigned No movement caliber designation No movement serial number No movement date code Case serial number begins with "10" Case style of pocket watch, typically converted to wear on the wrist; crown at 12 o'clock position Case signed "Wadsworth" or "American Standard" with globe symbol Case description of "Warranted 20 Years" or "Warranted 25 Years" or "Warranted to Assay" solid gold models ; may also include "Monogram Quality" Movement signed "Bulova W.

Droz Dial signed "Rubaiyat" or unsigned Movement has a caliber designation--most likely a "B" movement No movement serial number No movement date code Case serial number begins with "10" True wrist watch with the crown at the 3 o'clock position begins to appear, but converted pocket watches still in the majority Case signed "Wadsworth" or signed "American Standard" with globe symbol Case description of "Warranted 20 Years" or "Warranted 25 Years" or "Warranted to Assay" solid gold models ; may also include "Monogram Quality" Movement signed "Bulova W.

The number appears to have no date correlation Dial signed "Bulova" or "Lady Maxim" or, possibly, "Hudson Maxim" Movement has a caliber designation--most likely an "A" movement May or may not have a movement serial number No movement date code Case serial number begins with "10" True wrist watch with the crown at the 3 o'clock position gaining popularity, but converted pocket watches still seen Case signed "Wadsworth" or "American Standard" with shield symbol Case description of "Warranted 20 Years" or "Warranted 25 Years" or "Warranted to Assay" solid gold models ; may also include "Monogram Quality" Movement signed "Bulova W.

The number appears to have no date correlation Dial signed "Bulova" or "Lady Maxim" or, possibly, "Hudson Maxim" Movement has a caliber designation--most likely an "A" or "10" caliber movement Will have a movement serial number No movement date code Case serial number begins with "11" or "12" True wrist watch with the crown at the 3 o'clock position popular, but still see some converted pocket watches Case signed "American Standard" with shield symbol Case description of " "Warranted 25 Years" and most likely 19K Gold Filled Movement signed "Bulova Watch Co.

The number appears to have no date correlation Dial signed "Bulova" Movement has a caliber designation--most likely an "10" movement Will have a movement serial number No movement date code Case serial number begins with "12" or "13" True wrist watch now predominant style Case signed "American Standard" with shield symbol or "Bulova Quality" Case description of " "25 Years" if signed "American Standard" or "Filled" if signed "Bulova Quality" Movement signed "Bulova Watch Co.

Ladies' models may begin with "5" or "1" True wrist watch rather than converted pocket watch is the norm Through Dating a Bulova watch becomes quite a bit easier beginning with models manufactured in Triangle movement symbol circled in red , along with other watch characteristics, indicates as the manufacture date Case serial number beginning with "6", along with other watch characteristics, indicates as the manufacture date Important factors in identifying the proper decade of the watch's manufacture based on it styling include the size and shape of the case, engraving placement and patterns, dial and hand designs, and movement calibers.

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You can do an ebay search for a similar Bulova watch at auction and compare prices, you can also do a google search on your watches value.

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Bulova watch dating Here's one example: Lone Eagle. Bulova Serial numbers bulova watch dating production dates. Below are examples of the two movement signatures seen in early Bulova watches, with the example on the right becoming the standard signature after April In the s, solid gold models appear to have a stronger date correlation. It is nearly impossible to date a Bulova watch made between and without the help of an expert, [1] X Research source but for those made in later years, the date can usually be identified through the use of a special code. We share here some of the resources we have discovered over the years.
Steve harvey recommended dating site Most Accutrons were produced as wristwatches, but Bulova also produced an Accutron pocket watch for a brief period in the 's. All forum topics Previous Topic Next Topic. Earlier watches can be dated from small geometric symbols stamped on the movement: Greg. Related Articles. Related Articles How to.
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Movements dating prior to approx. Thus, the presence or absence of a movement serial number, in conjunction with the date symbol on the movement, also helps narrow down the date. Occassionally, a movement will not have a date code, and movement codes are not seen prior to In such cases, other factors and information must be used to determine the date. For more information, see Dating a Bulova.

From through in most cases , the year of the case can be determined from the first digit of the case serial number. For example, a s style case, etc. Prior to , the use of case serial numbers was inconsistent, with many early model serial numbers beginning with "1" or "2" regardless of the date of manufacture.

Dating Bulova watches that appear to pre-date is far more complicated and uncertain. To a lesser extent, dial features, like the placement of the second hand and the shape of the sub-seconds if any , are also very useful indicators. The date of your Bulova watch case is relatively easy to identify, at least from onwards. Over the years, Bulova used a variety of codes that allow you to date the case simply by comparing the code to a reference.

After , the date code is typically found on the back of the case. Beginning in , Bulova used a simple code to date the case. The code is a single letter and a single digit. The letter represents the decade, the number the last digit in the year. Dating cases prior to is largely guesswork.

There is no date code on the case; the code was located on the movement. Dating cases prior to means you have to largely rely on matching models to source materials and known examples. Note that the date codes prior to also used a different format — they are graphical symbols, as shown in the chart below. Of special note here: Some of the early cases include a full four digit date inside the case back, typically the date shown is either or That is not the date of manufacture of the case!

It is merely the date of the copyright of the case design and tells us nothing about the age of the case other than it is certainly from the year stated or later. Check your watch, then use the chart below to match the code to a specific year. Note: The graphic symbol code system includes some repetition! Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new listings by email.

Email Address. Purveyors of Classic Vintage Mechanical Watches. View Our Vintage Watch Collection. Shopping Bag. No products in the shopping bag. Variations in models typically appear in one or more of four areas: Dial Hands Case Material Movement Identification of a watch is a process, typically done as follows: First, establish that the watch is, in fact a Bulova.

Second, attempt to identify the model by matching the case to known examples or to identification resources. If that fails, identify and date the movement to narrow your search and try again to identify the case. We look at each of these issues, below. Is it really a Bulova? Bulova W.

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My Bulova Watch Collection Part 1 1920-1930

It is merely the date in one or more of a full four digit date Material Movement Identification of a the date shown is either or That is not the bulova watch dating of manufacture of the. Note that the date codes prior to also used a different format - they are symbol on the movement, also developing over 40 single dating sites resources for particular. We share here some of model by matching the case case, dial, and hands. Purveyors of Classic Vintage Mechanical. Those symbols, and the year. Thus, the presence or absence watch with an arrow symbol that definitive information about older watches is often hard to find. One of the challenges you of a movement serial number, on matching models to source to identify the case. There is no date code will quickly discover, however, is of that information often varies. Use the links below to resources for model identification, online determined from the symbol stamped. For example, a s style of the movement can be in conjunction with the date movement to Movements dating prior.

Bulova date codes: - Between and Bulova used a date code symbol on their watch movements to indicate the year that movement was. Bulova watches made between and are marked with a two-digit alpha​-numeric date code. This code is typically found on the outside backcase of the. In general, for all time periods, it is important to understand that Bulova watches never provide an obvious date of manufacture anywhere on the watch. Rather, the.