These codes and the manner in which they should be interpreted is the subject of this article.
Many observers of Bulova watches are confused by the sometimes seen patent dates stamped on the inside of some Bulova watch cases, and they misinterpret such dates as the time of manufacture.
I have recently begun to develop a theory regarding certain "markers' that may help us identify the date--at least with a reasonable degree of certainty--of these very early watches.
Dating a watch this way requires opening the case and noting every detail of the movement and case and then comparing those details to the list below to see where the watch best fits in the timeline.
Below are examples of the two movement signatures seen in early Bulova watches, with the example on the right becoming the standard signature after April 1923.
Of further assistance in determining the date of these watches may be the movement caliber, if one is printed on the movement.
For a detailed analysis, and examples, of Bulova case signatures through the years, Bulova Case Signatures.
Additionally, a very early movement is likely to bear a different Bulova signature than the signature seen in later models. Co.", rather than "Bulova Watch Co.", as seen on slightly later models.Co." on the movement, and with an "American Standard" only case signature, pre-dates April 1923.Narrowing down the date beyond that with certainty may not be possible based on current information.For anyone interested in reviewing the data upon which, in part, these observations were based, visit Watch Data 1917 - 1925.Early advertisements also support these conclusions and can be found at 1918 - 1929.For example, movements made prior to 1924 do not bear the standard movement date code found on watches dated 1924 through 1949.