Break out the magnifying glass and note paper. Compare the serial number to online lists. When comparing your watch to various models, pay the most attention to the shape of the watch's case. Guess not : I think what's interesting and may help in decoding would be the serial number on the card? This will give a good idea of the manufacture date. There won't be any hinges or notches.
This can be found on the back of the case and on the movement. Hour markers became less fancy. Then each part is inspected as the watch is assembled. Together, they cited information from. If you look carefully, usually above or below the serial number, you'll see a little alphanumeric code, like L5, N3, or P6. I would like to post some pictures to get an opinion, but I have had trouble figuring out how. I've hosted the photos on imageshack as I don't understand photobucket.
Usually, serial numbers can be found engraved on the back of the watch case. Presentation watches like those given to employees upon retirement were often gold or gold-filled--but there's a world of difference in value between those two types of watches. The case has no wear marks, and the dial and hands show only slight fading. Note details like the placement of the hands and the sub-seconds. If the difference is only one year, it may simply be that one component was manufactured first and then warehoused until it was needed to assemble the watch. He'd swap things out anyway he could. The digit represents the actual year in that decade.
The beginning of a new decade can present a problem because certain numbers overlap. It was a family company. Use a rubberized jar-lid remover to help unscrew particularly stubborn case backs. You may see several different markings engraved there, all of which have different meanings. Not much help in decoding numbers, but I appreciate the response.
To unscrew a screw-down Waltham pocket watch case back, locate the seam between the case and case back. Until then all movements were round, limiting the designs. This was made possible by the advent of square movements. The serial numbers identify the age of the watch. In fact, it is often forgotten that Bulova produced an A-11 with the 3-piece case. As you might expect, that makes me pretty suspicious about its provenance - what's the likelihood of finding a legit watch from 45 or 46 in such shape. If you opened the back of your watch to locate a serial number, be sure to put it back together right away.
About the Author Rob Wagner is a journalist with over 35 years experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines. Grip the edges of the case back with your fingers and rotate the case back counterclockwise until it's unscrewed from the case. Using this information, you can compare your watch to the models that were made during that time period to identify the model. All of this rambling comes from a guy who's had a Hamilton canteen and sold it, an Elgin canteen and sold it. Three years is probably a good interval between cleanings.
Some serious hobby watchmakers may do it for that, but I cannot imagine a qualified professional doing it for this range. Just a certificate of authenticity. Maybe it's something like a Julian date and serial combo? Thin tank watches became fashionable. Even if there were different options offered for the model, the general shape and lines should be the same. Should you require a more conclusive valuation of your time piece then please do not hesitate to.
Be aware, however, that some symbols were used more than once. The serial number is printed on the card on the 198----- one but not on the serial number beginning with 2----- Perhaps the 198---- one's are the one that were meant to be limited edition run but i think that was less than 5000 pieces of which 1500 would be in the u. Bulova has used a few different systems for dating their watches. You can do some research on the various styles that were used in different years, or you can consider bringing your watch to an expert to be identified. Serial numbers begin in 1852 with 50 and exceeded 35,000,000 in 1957, the last year of manufacture.
This can also be useful in helping you identify how old your watch is, but it is not the model number. If so, the serial number is inside the movement and has a number and symbol. The last four digits represent the model number you are looking for. The code is very simple. The Elgin and Hamilton were dated by serial number, while the Gruen was dated by an inscription on the back.