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).
These later watches are invariably made outside the United States, as many Bulova watches were at that time, and so they do not follow the usual marking conventions. So, if you run into one of these, don't be surprised. The methods of dating a Bulova watch discussed above work 99% of the time, but there are always exceptions.
Bulova watches made between 1924 and 1949 are marked with a date code symbol. These symbols are typically located on the inside movement of the watch, so you or a professional jeweler will need to open the watch to locate the code. Bulova watches made between 1950 and 2009 are marked with a two-digit alpha-numeric date code.
You can do an ebay search for a similar Bulova watch at auction and compare prices, you can also do a google search on your watches value. I myself find that vintage watches, if working get a collector vlaue of nearly what the watch originally sold for.
Bulova Watch Identification Guide. Bulova watches can be identified with a reasonable degree of certainty, due to the existence of a body of work gathered by collectors over the years. Bulova watches are not marked with names or identification codes that allow you to simply look at the watch and derive the model and age. ... Dating cases prior ...
For example, a 1930s style case, etc., with a serial number that begins with "1" dates to 1931. Prior to 1926, the use of case serial numbers was inconsistent, with many early model serial numbers beginning with "1" or "2" regardless of the date of manufacture. Dating Bulova watches that appear to pre-date 1926 is far more complicated and ...
In 1924, Bulova started using a system of date "symbols" on their movements. These date symbols can be used to date pre-1950 Bulova watches. Though some Bulova watches have serial numbers on the movements, we do not know of a way to date a Bulova watch using the serial number.
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BULOVA: In the 1950's Bulova incorporated a symbol system to date the watches they manufactured. These numbers are stamped on the back (outside) of the case. If there is no two symbols, it could be that your watch was made before 1948.
To find the serial number on the case of your Bulova watch, simply flip it over and look at the flat back of the case. If there is a serial number, it should be engraved here. Serial numbers do not all contain the same number of digits. Not all Bulova watches will have serial numbers on the case.