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Dial Markings

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Hello everyone!  I hope this message finds you all healthy and well!  So I was having a look at some watches I recently acquired, both Bulova’s with date codes of M6 (1966).  The 2 I was comparing were a Surf King and an Accutron.  So both watches have luminous hands and dials, but I noticed the Surf King had “T” markings indicating tritium but the Accutron does not have any markings indicating lime material. Now with both watches being from 1966 I would assume the Accutron is tritium as well.  I doing some more research, I find the Accutron is made in the USA and the Surf King has “SWISS” between the T’s.  So I’m just curious, would the US and Swiss have different requirements as to the markings of their dials?  Any thoughts would be appreciated!


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Hi there. Different countries had and still do different regulations,mostly related to tax purposes. Luminosity Explained

Letters SWISS
Luminous material Radium
used until 1960

Letters T SWISS - T < 25
luminous material Tritium
used from 1960 until 1998
radioactive, radioactivity less than 925 MBq (25 mCi)

Letters T SWISS T
luminous material Tritium
used from 1960 until 1998
radioactive, radioactivity less than 277 MBq (7,5 mCi)

luminous material Superluminova
used from 2000
not radioactive

Then you have the Swiss made markings legislation to protect the integrity of Swiss watch companies 


Hope this helps 

Edited by Graziano
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7 hours ago, Stevelp said:

Hi graziano, I appreciate the reply!  That’s great information!  Thanks for sharing that! So I wonder, would US made Bulova and Swiss made Bulova, even though the same name have different regulations in the respective countries?  

Most of all the 23 jewel Bulova watches were made in the USA. 17 jeweled watches were Swiss. When the 30 jewel jobs came along they were Swiss and US. That said,The rub comes in when you order parts for the US movements,most of the parts are from Switzerland.

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