A question for the panel

Bob Bruno's picture

How is the panel determining a manufacture date when for example the case is stamped L1 and the movement is stamped L2? From some of the comments I've read it seems to me some are using the case first and some are using the movement first. Now I'm not a panel member but for my own collection I use case first. What say you guys?

OldTicker
Posted April 9, 2013 - 1:30pm

I would use the case date Bob, the movement could have been switched or maybe the production run was right at the year end. Dating it by the movement can be hit and miss, if they quite producing the model or did a name change like Bulova was know to do.

A good example is the 1947 American Girl...the first ad we have is 1950, and then of course is the Spencer/Duo-wind....

DarHin's picture
DarHin
Posted April 9, 2013 - 1:53pm

What OT said.

bobbee's picture
bobbee
Posted April 9, 2013 - 1:56pm

Yowza, OT on da case!

William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted April 9, 2013 - 2:47pm

Club 5000Panel Member

I'm with case date, but would include some exceptions.
I think we had some suggested guidelines or a "rule of thumb" of up to a couple years btwn movement and case date, which worked for some instances.  
A case made/stamped in late 1951 could have been finished off with a movemet in 1952.  If the watch had  a different model name based on which of these two years it's release, which name would we use in this instance?  Could have been a movement swap after the fact, like you say.  

The question for me is: Are we dating the case production date, or the date we believe the watch was finished off and sent to market?  And how do we do that.

 

William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted April 9, 2013 - 3:02pm

Club 5000Panel Member

I reread one of Bob's questions:
Submitted by Bob Bruno on April 9, 2013 - 7:21am

"... it seems to me some are using the case first and some are using the movement first."

which one first?

We have been, in most instances, using which ever of the two dates was the most recent, within up to two years.  We determine if the movement in the watch- regardless of date (up to two years)- could have been original to case, and that same movement jewel count is in agreement with the ads and other info we have for the ad date range.

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
FifthAvenueRest...
Posted April 9, 2013 - 3:21pm

An L1 Case with a Movement Dated L2 would indicate a Manufacture Date of (at least) 1952....unless 'the rules' have changed or the Movement was produced and the assembler then stepped back in time and Cased it in 1951, which would be a stretch.

William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted April 9, 2013 - 3:20pm

Club 5000Panel Member

...and to complicate things, we have instances where wording/style of dial is used to determine which model name we assign, based on year of ads indicating that dial.  If within a couple years of each other, we have been assuming the dial was installed when movement was installed.

It's the exceptions which are challanging.  ...and they are also the examples from which we learn the most- even if this "knowledge" results in a two tick tentative ID, as we can't really be sure.....

bobbee's picture
bobbee
Posted April 9, 2013 - 3:44pm

It's a fine line, and you guys can only do the best you can within guidelines.
Certainly some may be wrong, but without a time machine it can never be known for sure that the movement your vintage watch came with is the original.
That is why you need a guideline.

William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted April 9, 2013 - 4:07pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Our current method- by guidelines- has been working pretty well.  "rules" woudl be nice, but there will always be exceptions. 
While it requires closer scrutiny on our part, our current "within a couple years and as supported by the ads" has allowed us to dermine which date to use in most instances.  

We have some latitude, as panel members, to suggest both a year and a model name during the intital ID'ing process- when the watch comes into the system as "unknow" for panel review.  

When enough members have voiced their suggestions, we publish date and model ID based on majority.  Once it's published, panel members again get to express their own opinions through the number of ticks they assign to the ID, as newly published. 

It's "working", but can always be tuned a little, and discussed for each instance.  For me, it's a combination of the published Model Name, Year of Production, AND assigned ticks which I take into consideration for overall merit of ID strength.  If I gave a watch three ticks as published, but everyone esle gave it two ticks, I consider the ID merit based on everyones contributions- the average ticks- not my opinion based on my ticks. 

For me, it's not a matter of "I know what I'm calling it at my house", but "I know what the panel, by process, has decided is the best ID to date".  

Bob Bruno's picture
Bob Bruno
Posted April 9, 2013 - 4:13pm

Club 5000

Thanks for the comments panel. So I think you all agree using the case date stamp is the way to go,except is some rare instances.

William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted April 9, 2013 - 4:23pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Not quite, not from me anyway. For the date stamp to be the usual way to go,  I think we need to restate what the entire final ID represents.  

Is it the date part of the final ID simply the date the case was manufactured, or does the date represent a combination of factors we believe make up the complete watch, within reason and as supported by ads?  

 

William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted April 9, 2013 - 4:31pm

Club 5000Panel Member

One of the more uncommon exceptions are the movements which have two different consecutive date stamps on them.  The line of reasoning for these different movement date stamps is similar to what we apply to comparing the case date to the movement date.  The watches may have been finished off over time....and once completed, we try to figure out what ID they were sold as at that date.

It's not so easy :)
 

Bob Bruno's picture
Bob Bruno
Posted April 9, 2013 - 4:53pm

Club 5000

Exactly Will ! Thats why I declined to be a panel member. Jezzz I gota headache already. :)

OldTicker
Posted April 9, 2013 - 5:10pm

I am sure common practice for all watch company's was to project sales of a model, order XXXX amount of cases made, XXXX amount of movements, XXXX amount of dials, XXXX amount of bands & crystals and assemble them as orders came in. This way of thinking applies to almost everything made from the 1900's until today.

We know in Bulova's case the bezels were matched to the case serial number, and in some models, different movements were used in the same model requiring a different case back to fit the movement...was that due to running out of movements or cases?

The extra movements that they had left over at the end of the year would have been the least of their problems, the cases are another story.

I doubt that they just scrapped them, if the model was sucessful, they just used up the 1950 cases with '51 movements. If the model was not a success, they might have tested the market with a name or dial change until they used them up. If the name or dial change was a success, they made another "run" with the name change or dial.

We can see this type of thinking was used a lot with pocket watches, (run being the key word here that applied to mainly movements) there is no reason that this practice stopped with wristwatches...it just got a bit more complicated...