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Agent orange

Dating Vintage Watches

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Lots of people ask about dating watches so I thought it might be a good idea to share our collective information.

I'll start the ball rolling with dating Omegas. Essentially all Omegas are dated by their movement number, obviously you'll need access the movement to find this. Once that's done here's a list of movement numbers with corresponding years, I hope this is legible.

Omegamovementnumberdates.png

Although this is a good system and extremely useful it's not infallible or 100% accurate. Lots of Omegas are put togethers or frankenwatches especially the more iconic models. For example a vintage SM300 may well have a cal.565 from a much less valuable model like a Geneve. If your movement has a R next to the number it means it's a service replacement movement (thanks to JonW for that snippet of info).

Hope this helps and if anyone want to share dating information from other manufacturers please add to this post.

I've got a scan of a German Tissot dating sheet somewhere, if I can find it I'll translate, type it out and post later.

Cheers,

Gary

P.S. Mods do you think this might be worth pinning? Hopefully it'll grow into a useful resource for many.

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Right Seikos next.

Most Seikos have a 6 digit number on the case back. The first number represents the year and the second the month of manufacture.

Here's my my 6138-8039 by way of an example.

Seiko6138-80396.jpg

So this one dates from September 1976. Obviously you need to have an idea of the decade the watch was produced. If you're uncertain about this there's also a dating calendar on the link below.

http://www.csce.uark.edu/~jgauch/tools/seiko.html

Cheers,

Gary

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Next up Tissot. Found my scan and typed this lot in, so a labour of love.

Tissots are dated by the movement numbers like Omegas, here's a list of numbers with there corresponding year(s).

Tissotproductioncalendar.png

I do suffer from mild dyslexia so I'm not guaranteeing the accuracy of this chart.

Cheers,

Gary

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Next up Bulovas.

In the 1950's Bulova incorporated a letter and number system to date the watches they manufactured, these are stamped on the outside of the case back. The code is very simple, the letter represents the decade L=50, M=60, N=70, P=80, T=90 and the number is the year.

Here's an example from 1968 (M8)

r214b.jpg

Image nicked from the web

Cheers,

Gary

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Rolex

Rolexs are dated by a serial number which is found between the lugs, at the bottom of the case (6 o-clock). The serial number denotes the actual manufacture date. Date of market introduction may vary, expect to add 6 to 18 months.

Here's a list of their oyster model serial numbers and corresponding years.

Rolexproductioncalendar.png

Please don't get all technical on me as I know diddly squat about Rolex :blink:

Cheers,

Gary

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PhilM    7

Also just to add to the Rolex numbers Gary, any case that starts with 44 or 47 is also a service replacment :)

As is the sapphire crystals that have an "S" inside the LEC

BTW Great idea for a thread :thumbsup:

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mel    1,445

Early Timex UK Dundee markings.

Inside the caseback is a code consisting of one letter and one number (stamped in ink - don't wash off)

1959 - 8

1960 - 7

1961 - 6

1962 - 5

1963 - 4

1964 - 3

1965 - 2

1966 - 1

1967 - 9

Don't ask about the logic, nobody seems to know :D The letter is believed to indicate either the month of manufacture, or the production line, again no one seems to know for sure.

From 1967 onwards dating can be done using the numbers on the dial at the six -o'clock marker. Numbers to the left of the marker indicate model of watch, those to the right of the marker are normally the movement number and year of manufacture.

Assume an eight figure number, first four are 2014, this is the catalogue (model) number, and to the right, 2468 indicating a #24 movement, and year of manufacture as 1968. As far as is known, longer than eight figure numbers follow this pattern, but always with the last two indicating year of manufacture.

(I'll stand to be corrected in the last part of that statement if anyone knows better or more - and watches made in other Timex plants worldwide may not follow this set of rules exactly)

Timex sub-brands also using some or all of this system include Kelton, Saga and various unbranded character watches.

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Thanks Phil and Mel :) .

Here's the year and corresponding serial numbers for Tudor.

Year.................... Serial (Earliest)

1959.................... 27xxxx

1960.................... 28xxxx

1961.................... 34xxxx

1962.................... 34xxxx

1963.................... 39xxxx

1964.................... 43xxxx

1965.................... 43xxxx

1966.................... 56xxxx

1967.................... 59xxxx

1968.................... 62xxxx

1969*................... 68xxxx

1970.................... 74xxxx

1971.................... 75xxxx

1972.................... 77xxxx

1973*................... 79xxxx

1974*................... 81xxxx

1975*................... 83xxxx

1976*................... 84xxxx

1977.................... 86xxxx

1978*................... 88xxxx

1979*................... 90xxxx

1980*................... 93xxxx

1981*................... 95xxxx

1982.................... 97xxxx

1983*................... 98xxxx

1984.................... 99xxxx

1985.................... 14xxxx

1986.................... 17xxxx

1987*................... 19xxxx

1988.................... 21xxxx

1989.................... 26xxxx

1990.................... B33xxxx

1991*................... B36xxxx

1992.................... B39xxxx

1993.................... B50xxxx

1994.................... B56xxxx

1995.................... B59xxxx

1996.................... B79xxxx

1997.................... B85xxxx

1998.................... B99xxxx

1999.................... H13xxxx

2000.................... H17xxxx

2001*................... H24xxxx

2002.................... H30xxxx

Remarks :

- (*) is the estimated figures

- MN info not included

- O serial not included

Thanks to Rolexforums member Bagel for the info and my mate Dave for bringing it to my attention :)

Cheers,

Gary

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Thanks for pinning this Phil(?) hopefully it'll prove useful to some :good:

If anyone else has other manufacturer production calendars or means of dating watches please feel free to contribute.

In the meantime I'll do some digging on the interweb and see what I can find.

Cheers,

Gary

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JoT    120

Great idea for a thread :yes:

Not an exact science but Glycine Airman watches can be dated approximately by their movements:

1953 to 1960 (Airman 1)Felsa 692 (the "Bidynator" movement) 23 jewels

1960 to 1967 (Airman 1 and Airman 1 Special) A.Schild 1701, 25 jewels and 17 jewels in the Airman Special

1967 to 1971 (Airman 1 and SST) A.Schild 1903, 25 jewels

1971 to 1974 (Airman 1 and SST) A.Schild 2063, 25 jewels

1974 to 1978 (Airman 1 and SST) A.Schild 2163, 25 jewels

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jasonm    473

Great job, thanks Gary.

This needs pinning to the top of the forum.

I think it is :D

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JonW    1

Great thread Gary (and others). :)

Edited to start a list of those you cant date...

Aquastar

Eterna

... hmm...

Edited by JonW

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mach 0.0013137    11,822

A rough guide to dating Services watches by the dial logo...

"Services"- mid 1920s to late 1930s.

Services- late 1930s to late 1950s

SERVICES (above an S inside a shield)- late 1950s until the company ceased selling watches sometime in the late 1970s/early 80`s.

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mach 0.0013137    11,822

Rich (rhaythorne) has used the information above to create this graphic (which he`s allowed me to use)...

services-dates.jpg

As you can see it gives a much better indication of the different logo styles Services used over the years, well done Rich & thanks :thumbsup:

Thankfully he corrected this mistake of mine... SERVICES (above an S inside a shield) :ph34r:

Edited by mach 0.0013137

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buncher    0

Lots of people ask about dating watches so I thought it might be a good idea to share our collective information.

I'll start the ball rolling with dating Omegas. Essentially all Omegas are dated by their movement number, obviously you'll need access the movement to find this. Once that's done here's a list of movement numbers with corresponding years, I hope this is legible.

Omegamovementnumberdates.png

Although this is a good system and extremely useful it's not infallible or 100% accurate. Lots of Omegas are put togethers or frankenwatches especially the more iconic models. For example a vintage SM300 may well have a cal.565 from a much less valuable model like a Geneve. If your movement has a R next to the number it means it's a service replacement movement (thanks to JonW for that snippet of info).

Hope this helps and if anyone want to share dating information from other manufacturers please add to this post.

I've got a scan of a German Tissot dating sheet somewhere, if I can find it I'll translate, type it out and post later.

Cheers,

Gary

P.S. Mods do you think this might be worth pinning? Hopefully it'll grow into a useful resource for many.

ever heard of a "dreadnought" watch dated 1921 in 9ct gold?

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I'm currently trying to find out more about vintage Longines and stumbled across this.

http://www.vintagewatchresources.com/year_identifier.php

I don't own a Longines (got something incoming though :wink:) so can't vouch for its accuracy.

Cheers,

Gary

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sam.    2

Rolex

Rolexs are dated by a serial number which is found between the lugs, at the bottom of the case (6 o-clock). The serial number denotes the actual manufacture date. Date of market introduction may vary, expect to add 6 to 18 months.

Here's a list of their oyster model serial numbers and corresponding years.

Rolexproductioncalendar.png

Please don't get all technical on me as I know diddly squat about Rolex :blink:

Cheers,

Gary

Hi Gary,i hope you dont mind,but i just wanted to add something to your great thread.My Rolex was made in 1957, with a serial number of 234*** ,that is also a 1942-1943 serial number,as your list correctly says,there is a link here i just found to another chart that explains more about this,rather than trying to explain it(which i would probably mess up)

Good luck with your research,this is a thread that we can all contribute to,and learn from! :thumbsup: :cheers:

My link

Edited by sam.

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Just stumbled across these.

BREITLING SERIAL NUMBERS

Red=chronographs

Black=non chronographs

1944

563659-568959

298262 - 313351

1945

568971-636507

313352 - 354254

1946

636508-692266

354255 - 406688

1947

703562-717737

406689 - 417234

1948

717784-728688

417235 - 448093

1949

728724-740210

448094 - 467655

1950

740405-769843

467656 - 498512

1951

769844-808456

498513 - 592542

1952

808457-817915

592543 - 646974

1953

817916-832126

646975 - 660248

1954

832127-844123

660249 - 690037

1955

844124-868778

690038 - 740339

1956

868779-889562

740340 - 861841

1957

889563-898029

861842 - 881067

1958

898830-910504

881068 - 890396

1959

910505-922163

890397 - 903387

1960

922164-933063

903388 - 917613

1961

933064-947803

917614 - 971814

1962

947804-963553

971815 - 995108

1963

963554-975997

995109 - 996458

1964

975998-1002734

996459 - 998198

1965

1002735-1060398

998199 - 1000198

1966

1060399-1122809

1000199 - 1002543

1967

1122810-1204581

1002544 - 1002743

1968

1204582-1262904

1002744 - 1002943

1969

1262905-1337825

1970

1337826-1356899

1002944 - 1003103

1971

1356900-1382203

1003104 - 1003153

1972

1382204-1406566

1003154 - 1003213

1973

1406567-1426969

1974

1426970-1433372

1975

1433373-1439417

1003214 - 1003713

1976

1439418-1442922

1003714 - 1004083

1977

1442923-1448464

1004084 - 1004183

1978

1448465-1448473

Cheers,

Gary

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sam.    2

Thanks Sam :good:

As I said I know nothing about Rolex so I'll hopefully learn from those who are far more knowledgeable.

Cheers,

Gary

Rolex have used the same numbers twice.

"I'll hopefully learn from those who are far more knowledgeable."

Hopefully so will i! :thumbsup: :cheers:

Edited by sam.

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