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The first thing to check are serial charts.


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This will enable you to track down the production year of your vintage watch. If you want to know which year your vintage watch was produced? While Omega keeps the serial on the inside of the backcase Certina leaves the serial visible on the out site of the watch back case accompanied with a reference. The two s serves the same pourposes as explained in the Omega chapter above-written.

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How to date watches?

Dating a watch is an inexact science. The movement is the spring-loaded mechanism the runs and regulates the timepiece.

Watches like Elgin, Waltham and Omega kept excellent records, allowing for good dating of their watches. Watchmakers like Gruen, however, destroyed their records, making exact dating impossible.

Use a case blade to pry open the snap-on case back of a pocket or wristwatch. Rotate a screw-down case back counterclockwise with the palm of your hand. Remove the case back of either type from the watch.

Use a jeweler's loupe to inspect the movement for a serial. Serial s can range from six to nine digits and may include a combination of letters and s.

Serial s by year

Elgins, for example, may have a letter in front of a series of s. Omegas have seven or eight digits. The serial s on an Omega pocket watch, for example, start at 1, A Omega wristwatch starts at 15, Record the. Watch enthusiast clubs post the serial s of major watchmakers online. Watchmakers specializing in vintage Vintage watches dating contemporary mechanical watch repair also can obtain most lists. Some watchmakers, such as Bulova, used symbols instead of specific serial s to date their watches.

A crescent moon, for example, identifies a Bulova.

A triangle identifies a model. Examine the exterior case back of a Bulova watch with the loupe for a single letter followed by two s. This deation began in the late s. Very few watchmakers, however, stamped the year of Vintage watches dating on case backs. For most of the 19th and 20th century, watchmakers in their role as repairpersons etched the date of service inside the case back. A year-old watch could have a dozen tiny dates etched inside.

This not only gives you Vintage watches dating service record of the watch, but it provides a clue to its era of manufacture in the first date the watch was serviced. Visually inspect the watch dial, hands, case and case back to narrow the manufacturing date to a decade, if there are no serial s visible on the movement.

Heavy fleur-de-lis engraving and skeleton watch hands denote s vintage. Art Deco styling with sweeping, stepped geometric lines on rectangle cases with Lozenge-style hands characterize s and s timepieces.

Watches from the s feature round dials and dauphine or leaf-style hands. The s often featured dials without s and with stick hands. Rob Wagner is a journalist with over 35 years experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines. His experience ranges from legal affairs reporting to covering the Middle East.

By: Rob Wagner Updated April 12, Share It. Tips: Have a professional watchmaker open your watch for dating purposes. It minimizes the potential for damaging the watch. Warnings: Many older watches may have had their movements replaced or altered, making dating virtually impossible. When purchasing a watch, beware of timepieces cobbled together. A watchmaker can help identify an original, complete watch.

Have a professional watchmaker open your watch for dating purposes.

Many older watches may have had their movements replaced or altered, making dating virtually impossible.