Accutron dating

Watches manufactured prior to 1926 are difficult to date with certainty.For example, movements made prior to 1924 do not bear the standard movement date code found on watches dated 1924 through 1949.Those three date ranges are differentiated by the presence or absence of certain case and movement markings as well as the nature of any such markings, as explained below.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.Many observers of Bulova watches are confused by the sometimes seen patent dates stamped on the inside of some Bulova watch cases, and they misinterpret such dates as the time of manufacture.In point of fact, those patent dates apply only to certain aspects of the case design and indicate only when those general designs were patented.Watches dated post 1949 have a 2 alpha-numeric date code on the outside backcase, whilst watches dated before 1950 usually contain a date code symbol on the inside movement (see below for examples).

The following tables will help you date your vintage Bulova watch.From 1924 through 1949, the year of the movement can be determined from the symbol stamped on the movement.Those symbols, and the year(s) to which they correspond, are shown below.The decade must be determined by the style of the case, dial, and hands. 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.For example, a 1930s style watch with an arrow symbol on the movement dates the movement to 1937. Occassionally, a movement will not have a date code, and movement codes are not seen prior to 1924.

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