Dating bulova movements
In such cases, other factors and information must be used to determine the date. From 1926 through 1949 (in most cases), the year of the case can be determined from the first digit of the case serial number.The decade must be determined by the style of the case, dial, and hands.As one of the few American watch companies, Bulova took its patriotic duty quite seriously: many of the company’s male employees joined the armed forces, leaving the Bulova factories of that time manned largely by women.The company also devoted 25 percent of its advertising to the promotion of war bonds and stamps, a service for which it was awarded a distinguished service certificate by the Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr.The following tables will help you date your vintage Bulova watch.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).From 1924 through 1949, the year of the movement can be determined from the symbol stamped on the movement.
Many of these had little to do with timekeeping, including altimeters, variometers, telescopes for range-finding on artillery, and time fuses for explosives.
The Accutron was distinguished by its telltale humming instead of ticking, a sound generated by the vibrating tuning fork.
The first Accutron model, called Spaceview 214 and featuring its now-famous open dial showing off the high-tech movement, also deviated from traditional wristwatch design with its lack of setting stem and crown on the side of the watch; these elements were instead placed on the back of the case.
Dating Bulova watches that appear to pre-date 1926 is far more complicated and uncertain.
Starting in 1950 (with a few examples even earlier), the case and movement have a two-digit code that identifies both the decade and year within that decade according to the table below.