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Dating watches


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You gaze across the candlelit diner table and say surely and firmly "I want to see you around my wrist.."

Umm.. No. :smiley-faces-85:

What I would really like to see is watch companies starting to put a precise date on the watch.. behind the lugs, behind the case back etc. defining the date of production (at the very least, the year of design/manufacture/factory creation). 

The biggest question I see in here is "when was it made". Surely we can avoid our grandchildren asking the same old questions in 50 years time about our watches. There must be a benefit for makers to start defining a 'when' and perhaps 'where' new watches were made (especially new start up companies).

It would be beneficial.. right?

Edited by SolaVeritate
Edited because it was too sexy :)
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4 hours ago, SolaVeritate said:

You gaze across the candlelit diner table and say surely and firmly "I want to see you around my wrist.."

Umm.. No. :smiley-faces-85:

What I would really like to see is watch companies starting to put a precise date on the watch.. behind the lugs, behind the case back etc. defining the date of production (at the very least, the year of design/manufacture/factory creation). 

The biggest question I see in here is "when was it made". Surely we can avoid our grandchildren asking the same old questions in 50 years time about our watches. There must be a benefit for makers to start defining a 'when' and perhaps 'where' new watches were made (especially new start up companies).

It would be beneficial.. right?

There must be a reason why, in the whole history of horology, this hasn't been done. Some makers hide the information in unfathomable serial numbers, the records of which can be lost, looted or set on fire. Some makers don't even bother to bequeath their names to posterity, while providing all kinds of useless, uninteresting information, like "Diamond tooled" and "Unbreakable mainspring". Perhaps they see a need for some kind of mystery around their products, so the wise men of watch forums can say "that was made in 1950" and no one can prove them wrong. :biggrin:

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5 minutes ago, spinynorman said:

There must be a reason why, in the whole history of horology, this hasn't been done. Some makers hide the information in unfathomable serial numbers, the records of which can be lost, looted or set on fire. Some makers don't even bother to bequeath their names to posterity, while providing all kinds of useless, uninteresting information, like "Diamond tooled" and "Unbreakable mainspring". Perhaps they see a need for some kind of mystery around their products, so the wise men of watch forums can say "that was made in 1950" and no one can prove them wrong. :biggrin:

De-Lux ... Wtf?

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Not a bad shout that. 

Although, it might make some watches tough to sell in the shop window.  
While we all dream about finding forgotten New-Old-Stock stuff in dusty backstreet jewellers, a date on the watch would potentially make "last seasons" pieces tough to sell.
"I want to buy that watch, but I want one from THIS year please".  

Rolex did away with it - it's just a meaningless jumble of numbers and letters now rather than the classic "X, Y, Z" year serial enabling you to pinpoint the year of production.

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Nearly all watches that have become collectors pieces have a way to identify and pin down the watch to a date (even if it is a year) and possibly a place. Take seiko for example, clear ways to identify the watch right down to it's month. To a large extent it is because of this that they became collectable. They can be identified even if they don't have a year stamped on them in the traditional way ie 12/07/83 even if the way to decode this was lost, people could still work it out in years to come.

The makers who didnt do this in the past are harder to collect because where are you supposed to put each of the watches in a collection. Take Camy or Avia for example. It is difficult to trace them and piece together a lineage without knowing and guessing extra outside facts like movement providers world sales etc.

Man, they could even stamp a date on the inside of the watch. Or directly into the movement. Let's end the chaos.

 

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Team Sola, let's date watches.

 

(Although to be fair to Kojack's post, I should imagine it will cause watches in Windows to lose their value quickly when something becomes last years stock, and I doubt manufacturers care too much about collectors on the vintage, or even preowned markets, and why should they, were not their customers).

 

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3 minutes ago, Bricey said:

Team Sola, let's date watches.

 

(Although to be fair to Kojack's post, I should imagine it will cause watches in Windows to lose their value quickly when something becomes last years stock, and I doubt manufacturers care too much about collectors on the vintage, or even preowned markets, and why should they, were not their customers).

 

Yeah I get that putting the actual date on a watch that is easy to understand might cause problems, putting something on the watch that can be decoded solves many problems too. Finding replacement parts for instance. 

The watch company also begins a lineage and one of the best ways to sell an item is to have a clear long track record for quality or design.

Anyway.. it's just annoying they don't do it.

In 50 years people will still be floundering around trying to figure out if that square watch came before the gold one from 22, or was it pre 00's. How old is this watch? Sorry buddy, nobody knows because in 150 years, nobody learned their lesson. Go buy a seiko.

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Do you think movement makers can be forced into dating movements for servicing requirements? A bit like a "best before" date. 

There are hundreds of watch manufacturers but they use the same movements from say a dozen or so movement manufacturers. They could be forced to put a date or a global year symbol on the movements a bit like dating precious metals. 

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They often did.  Most soviet watches had a quarter and year mark on the movement, and even TAG Heuer's running 955 quartz movements had the same.  But it all costs, and if it costs them £0.04 pence per unit the retail price goes up £50.

It would make my life a hell of a lot easier!

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