Dating a bulova watch

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. When it comes to identifying the model of a particular Bulova, the bottom line is: The key to identifying models by their case design is to pay attention to the details.


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  • Including Date Codes and Date Symbols!
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  • Bulova Watch Company: History, Date-Codes and Date-Symbols.
  • Determining the Authenticity and Identity of a Bulova Watch?

All watches of a particular model had the same case style though the material may vary, i. Pay close attention to things like the shape of the lugs, or the lines or lack thereof on the case. 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.

Bulova watch dating

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.

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Bulova Watch Identification Guide - Waterstone Watches

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! The company was also very innovative with its advertising and marketing.

Beginning in , Bulova began exploring and developing technologies that would create the first revolutionary change in timekeeping technology in over years: In about at the behest of NASA, Bulova applied the Accutron technology to devices which could be used for precision timing on satellites. Engineers and scientists were unsure if a mechanical timekeeping device would work properly in zero-gravity, so it was desired to have both the reliability and accuracy of the electronic Accutron movement.

More than 4 million Accutron watches were produced until Bulova ceased production in , due to the increased availability and popularity of inexpensive quartz movements from Japanese manufacturers.

Determining the Date of a Bulova Watch

Most Accutrons were produced as wristwatches, but Bulova also produced an Accutron pocket watch for a brief period in the 's. The Accutron was the first wristwatch certified for general use by railroad personnel and was also used aboard Air Force One. Accutron watches are still quite popular with collectors, but parts are getting harder and harder to find especially those pesky Accutron index wheels. While the modern Bulova company still produces watches which are sold under the Accutron brand-name, these watches no longer use the original Accutron tuning-fork movement most are using ETA automatic movements.

Bulova has a long history as an important part of the US Space program. Ultimately, the Omega Speedmaster Professional was chosen, but Accutron movements were used in instrument panel clocks and other timing instruments on the spacecraft itself, and in experiment packages left on the surface of the moon.

1875 - Present

Bulova also flew aboard Skylab, providing special timers which were launched aboard Skylab in To the best of our knowledge, the Bulova brand is currently owned by Citizen who still produces watches under the Bulova name. These watches have no connection other than brand name to the mechanical watches produced by the original Bulova watch company. In , Bulova started using a system of date "symbols" on their movements.


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