Q:

How do you identify Bulova watch serial numbers?

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Quick Answer

In order to identify the manufacture date of a Bulova watch, locate the code or symbol on the back of the case or on the movement. Bulova watches used a symbol on watches manufactured between 1924 and 1949 and a two-digit code for watches manufactured from 1950 to 1999.

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Full Answer

Bulova watches that were manufactured between 1924 and 1949 feature a symbol on the watch case that identifies the manufacture date. Symbols include circles, squares and triangles, among others, and some symbols were used to indicate multiple manufacture years. Between 1946 and 1949, the watches may also feature 46, 47, 48 or 49 along with a symbol, signifying the manufacture year.

Bulova watches that were manufactured from 1950 and later feature a two-digit code that signifies the manufacture decade and year. The first digit is a letter and represents the decade, and the second digit is a number and represents the year in the decade. For example, L represents the 1950s, M represents the 1960s, N represents the 1970s, P represents the 1980s and T represents the 1990s.

The second digit is a number between 0 and 9 and represents the date. A watch with an N7 code represents a 1977 manufacture date.

Joseph Bulova began manufacturing and selling watches in 1875 in Lower Manhattan. By 1919, Bulova had introduced a full collection of men's wristwatches. The most accurate way to identify a watch's manufacture date is to consult a professional.

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