12 Classic Watch Designs from 1910’s -80’s
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Radiant Sun Standards for precious metals in Switzerland originated in Geneva in the 15th century, the first recorded regulation concerning the fineness and marking of silver was enacted by Bishop John of Brogny in the year To begin with the standards and marking were controlled by the local Guilds. These assay offices were established by law, superseding the medieval Guild system of regulation.
These hallmarks were used for plate, vessels and candlesticks etc.
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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.
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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. Rather, the date must be “de-coded” using symbols, serial numbers, and two-character codes placed on various parts of the watch. These codes and the manner in which they should be interpreted is the subject of this article.
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.
The date of your Bulova watch case is relatively easy to identify, at least from onwards. Over the years, Bulova used a variety of codes that allow you to date the .
Commuter Travel Approved Railroad Watches: Each railroad either established their own requirements and had its own inspection service, or contracted an inspection service to ensure that all watches in use by specified personnel meet standard requirements. Different railroads accepted different watches. While some railroads listed specific makes and grades as acceptable, others just listed requirements. Not all watches manufactured as meeting railroad standards were approved by all railroads.
A standard watch is one that met the general time service requirements that were in effect at the time that it was built. Watch standards continued to evolve as time progressed and technology improved, however watches which met railroad requirement at the time they entered service typically could continue to be used as long as they remained in first-class condition and continued to meet the 30 second per week requirement.
American made size, jewel, patent regulator, “adjusted” pocket watches in both hunting and open face cases dominated railroad service during the later part of nineteenth century.
Brief History: Bulova Watch Company
This is probably the most common question watch collectors have. Sometimes it is easy to answer, and sometimes it is impossible. There have been a lot of watch manufacturing companies that have come and gone over the years.
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They were the largest watch manufacturer in the United States for over years. The factory opened for business in and Elgin were well known for making the highest quality watches. Along with Waltham they in essence dominated the watch market in the USA. The good news is that because they produced so many, it makes them ideal for collectors. It also makes them still affordable for anyone. For me it is buying a piece of history.
However many shrewd collectors do rather well buying and selling Elgin watches.
History[ edit ] Bulova was founded and incorporated as the J. Bulova Company in by Bohemian immigrant Joseph Bulova b. It was reincorporated under the name Bulova Watch Company in , and became part of the Loews Corporation in  and sold to Citizen at the end of Manufacturing watches at their factory in Biel Switzerland , he began a standardized mass production new to watchmaking. In , Bulova offered the first complete range of watches for men. The iconic visual style of his first popular advertising made its watches popular with the American public.
Sep 29, · Is there a way to date swiss made Bulova pocket watches? I recently aquired a 12 size, “unadjusted 15 jewel Bulova Watch Co Swiss” and the only identification type markings on the movement are “17AE” in a rectangle, and “BXW”.
The last Elgin movement made in America was produced in In between, pinning an individual Elgin down to a specific year and model can be a bit of a chore. Starting around , Elgin used model numbers to identify unique case designs. In the s, the use of model numbers was supplemented by individual model names. The model numbers remained, however, and are the key to finding replacement parts for Elgins of the period.
Identification of a watch is a process, typically done as follows: First, establish that the watch is, in fact an Elgin. Second, attempt to identify the model by matching the case to known examples or to identification resources. If that fails, identify and date the movement to narrow your search and try again to identify the case. We look at each of these issues, below. Is it really an Elgin? The case back can also provide insight into the manufacturer.
The presence of a signed crown will add another piece to the puzzle, however, they were not used for all, or even the majority, of models. Elgin made a very large number of private label watches, that is, Elgins released under different brand names, typically with difference cases.
Bulova Watches – Bulova Automatic Watch Collection
However, after a request from the the archivist of the Incorporation of Goldsmiths, who looks after the historical records of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Assay Offices, the editor of the NAWCC Bulletin has allowed the article to be made publicly available and it can now be downloaded by clicking on this this link: My research has also been incorporated in the latest version of Bradbury’s Book of Hallmarks, you can read about this at Bradbury’s Book of Hallmarks.
I will be publishing some corrections and additions to my NAWCC article that I will make available as a download here. The following sections illustrate some characteristic marks to help you identify the type of marks you might find in a watch case and then link to a page that goes into more details about those marks. Sterling silver import marks British Import Hallmarks After 1 June all gold and silver watches imported into Britain were required to be assayed and hallmarked in a British assay office.
They were stamped with new hallmarks that were intended to show that the item was imported and not of British manufacture.
Bulova Date Codes The following tables will help you date your vintage Bulova watch. Watches dated post have a 2 alpha-numeric date code on the outside backcase, whilst watches dated before usually contain a date code symbol on the inside movement (see below for examples).
Looking for small men’s watches? Sick of oversized, bulky watches that look way too big for your wrists? You’re in the right place! When you wear a watch that’s too big for your wrist, it makes your hands and arms look smaller and weaker than they really are, and let’s face it: The key is to wear watches that fit your build. They should be proportionate to your wrist — not too big, thick or bulky.
Watch Sizes There are several ways to measure the size of a watch, but you want to pay attention to the size of the case. Specifically, the case diameter. Unfortunately, even that is too big for men with small wrists. If you’re not sure whether you have thin wrists, you should measure them. Use tailor tape to measure around the widest point of your wrist — right over the bone.
Anything less than 6.
25 Watches For Small Wrists
Another wrench spanner for you Brits in the toolbox is always welcomed as Gruen collectors need all the help they can get. One was developed by Jack Wood, the other Barry Cooper. Both are top-notch Gruen historians and researchers. Before presenting the tables and techniques, a word about case dating
BULOVA: In the ‘s Bulova incorporated a symbol system to date the watches they manufactured. These numbers are stamped on the back (outside) of the case. These numbers are stamped on the back (outside) of the case.
The information below was gathered and amalgamated from various sources on the Internet. Sadly, I didn’t keep a record of where it all came from, but none of it is my own work. I can at least say thanks to Agent Orange, JoT, “mach 0. I can’t vouch for the accuracy of any of this information, but I’ve found it useful as a first step in estimating dates of manufacture for some of the watches in my collection. Serial numbers may be found on movements, case backs or dials depending on the make, model and age of the watch in question.
It’s not unusual to find movements that are one or two years older than the cases containing them. So, how old is your watch? Bulova used a two character identification system. The first character is a letter defining the decade of manufacture: So “M6”, for example, is Prior to Bulova used a symbol dating system as shown in the following picture.