Vintage Bulova Serial Numbers and Date Codes

Post Bulova Watches here for identification. Date your Vintage Bulova.

Vintage Bulova Serial Numbers and Date Codes

Postby admin » Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:40 am

Vintage Bulova watches from the 1920's and 1930's can be dated by the first number of their serial number. For example 9XXXXXX would indicate 1929 or 1939. Examination of the date code on the movement will generally help to pin down the decade. Thanks to Mark of Fifth Avenue Restorations for his astute discovery of this and his generosity in sharing it. From the late 1940's on Bulova used a two character date code stamped on the outside of the caseback. The first character indicates the decade and the second the year. The first character decodes as follows: A=late 1940's, L=1950's, M=1960's, N=1970's, P=1980's, T=1990's and A=2000's(yes the A was reused). So a code of L5 indicates 1955 as the year of manufacture. M9 is 1969. In the late 1940's the actual date would sometimes be stamped, such as 47, 48 or 49.

This is a chart of the date codes stampted on Vintage Bulova movements through the 1940s.

bulova_date_codes.jpg (66.43 KiB) Viewed 24699 times

Here are some examples of the Bulova date coding

Movement Dated 1928
bulova-date-code-1928.jpg (51.62 KiB) Viewed 24422 times

Movement Dated 1929(also used in 1939)
bulova-date-code-1929.jpg (51.53 KiB) Viewed 24422 times

Movement dated 1946
bulova-date-code-1946.jpg (59.87 KiB) Viewed 24422 times

Case Dated 1929
bulova-date-code-1929c.jpg (37.11 KiB) Viewed 24418 times

Case Dated 1931
bulova-date-code-1931c.jpg (31.99 KiB) Viewed 24422 times

Case Dated 1952
bulova-date-code-1952m.jpg (34.07 KiB) Viewed 24422 times

Last bumped by admin on Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:40 am.
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