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Match the symbol for pre watches. If there is no alpha-numeric code on the backcase of the watch, it probably dates back further than You will need to check the inside movement of the watch for a pictorial date symbol to identify the manufacture date.
When in doubt, you should cross-check the date symbol with the watch style to determine which era the watch likely fell into. The date symbols are as follows: asterisk same as circle same astriangle same assquare same ascrescent moon same as rounded shield same as horned circle same as rectangular shield rounded capital T same as capital X same as circle same astriangle same assquare same asright-pointing arrow crescent moon same as rounded shield same as horned circle same as asterisk same as rounded capital T same as capital X same as circle same astriangle same assquare same as47 48 J9.
Translate the code for post watches. For Bulova watches created in or later, the manufacturer switched to a two-digit alpha-numeric code system.
These codes are usually found on the backcase, but some can be found on the inside movement near the set-screw. The second digit of the code corresponds to the specific year.
The decade codes are as follows: s: L s: M s: N s: P s: T s: A The second digit of the code matches the ending digit of the year in which the watch was manufactured. When "0" is used, the end of the year was a "0",and so on. When "1" is used, the end date of the year was a "1",and so on.
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This pattern continues for digits "0" through "9. A Bulova watch marked with "T8" was manufactured in Method 2. Understand when and how to use appearance for dating.
There are some circumstances that make this a beneficial practice to know, however. An understanding of watch styles can also help you narrow down a date for pre Bulova watches.
Some of the date symbols used for these watches were shared with watches of other decades. For instance, the asterisk marked watches manufactured in both and Knowing the difference between a s style watch and a s style watch can help you determine which date or an asterisk-marked Bulova was made in. Note that dating a watch by style will only tell you the decade the watch likely came from, not the exact year.
Identify key s elements. Most Bulova watches from the s feature a "deco" style common to other fashions and decorations of the decade. Look at the style of the watch face.
Dating vintage bulova watches
The sides and front of the metal will usually be decorated with engraved patterns. Look for markings of s style.
Watches of the s were smoother and more elegant than those of the previous decade. Watch faces no longer had much engraving on them, and when engravings were used, they were minimal.
Determining the Date of a Bulova Watch
Square watch faces came into fashion during the s. Rounded faces were still common, especially early in the era, but rectangular faces were more prevalent in the later part of the decade.
Vintage Bulova Ads; Vintage Bulova Catalogs; Watch Links; Dating my bulova. Search traveltimefrom.com: Any-Bulova Movement. Forum topic. Page. Vintage Ad. Watch. How to add images to traveltimefrom.com forums & comments. Submitted by Bryan Meisberger on April 14, - pm. Trying to date this bulova. You can do an search for a similar Bulova watch at auction and compare prices, you can also do a google search on your watches value. I myself find that vintage watches, if working get a collector vlaue of nearly what the watch originally sold for.
Watches in general had a more straightforward, "masculine" appearance during this decade. Date a watch made in the s. Watches made in the s were very similar to those made in the late s, but the designs were even more rigid. Rectangular watch faces were common, while founded faces were fairly rare. Watch faces were small, but the designs were bold and blocky. The hour markers were quite simple, though. Know which style elements were common to the s.
Watches manufactured during the s were more decorative than in the previous two decades. Many watches took on what would have been a "futuristic" appearance.
Bold, fancy watch faces were back in style. The numbers and hour markers became elaborate again, and the metal surrounding the watch face was often curved or angled in a decorative, rather than straightforward, manner. Rectangular faces were still common, but rounded faces came back into style again. Note s style elements. During the s, watches were bolder and took on an appearance inspired by the modern art era.
The metal surrounding the face was usually quite thin and simple.
The hands of the watch were usually wider, yet they also came to a sharper, more defined point. Consider key markings from the s.
Those designs were used on many watches produced over a number of years, and the applicable patent date in no way indicates when any particular watch was produced. Below are images showing the two patent dates that often cause confusion. Watches manufactured prior to are difficult to date with certainty. For example, movements made prior to do not bear the standard movement date code found on watches dated through Additionally, the case serial numbers on those early watches tend to begin with "1" or "2" and appear to bear no correlation to the date the watch was made.
Therefore, determining the date of one of these early models is difficult and often impossible to accomplish with absolute certainty.Bulova Automatic Men's Wrist Watch
There are, however, several clues that can be of assistance in at least narrowing down the date. One such clue is the case signature. Very early Bulova models do not have "Bulova" stamped on the case. Rather they bear one of the "American Standard" case signatures.
The case signature begins to include the Bulova name around For a detailed analysis, and examples, of Bulova case signatures through the years, Bulova Case Signatures. Additionally, a very early movement is likely to bear a different Bulova signature than the signature seen in later models. Specifically, very early movements read "Bulova W. This change quite likely coincides with the April re-incorporation of the J.
VINTAGE 's Lady Bulova Accutron watches and bands for restoration parts. $ BULOVA ACCUTRON Quartz Vintage Antique Watch 's. $ Rare Vintage Bulova Accutron Yellow Gold Electroplated Tunning Folk Watch. $ Got one to . Antique or vintage Bulova watches are affordable timepieces for the beginning collector. Prices range from about $ for s and s tank-style, or rectangular, watches to more than the $1, for electronic s Accutrons. · Bulova watches made between and are marked with a date code symbol. These symbols are typically located on the inside movement of the watch, so you or a professional jeweler will need to open the watch to locate the code. Bulova watches made between and are marked with a two-digit alpha-numeric date code%(79).
That is, any watch movement with the signature "Bulova W. Moreover, that change corresponds nicely with the introduction of movement date codes. So, we may further extrapolate that any watch without a movement date code, with "Bulova W. Narrowing down the date beyond that with certainty may not be possible based on current information. 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 Of further assistance in determining the date of these watches may be the movement caliber, if one is printed on the movement.
Consultation with online movement lists may provide at least ballpark information regarding the date of the watch. For one such movement list visit Bulova Movements.
However, it is important to note that all such movement lists are based on observations of examples rather than any official Bulova documentation. So, the lists may be incomplete and even inaccurate to the extent that they contain information on movements that are not on-hand and available for examination and verification. Dating a watch this way requires opening the case and noting every detail of the movement and case and then comparing those details to the list below to see where the watch best fits in the timeline.
Another fact to consider is the still relatively small data set for this time period. 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 beforethere 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.
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