Interpreting a service marking
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  1. #1
    Member mkws's Avatar
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    Interpreting a service marking

    Hello there,
    So, recently I've found what appears to be a service marking on my Turler-branded Roamer. The case back was completely clean on the inside, no service markings at all. As if no one has ever serviced it. Just recently, I have been killing time by looking at the watch just like that, and something caught my attention- something which I observed after I bought the watch, but forgot to mention, since the broken balance staff pivot and replacing the second hand were issues far more important than that.
    I have found a service marking in probably the last place it should ever be in- under the lug at 11 o'clock. The marking is quite simple- VI/48/8.
    Now, the good question is- how to interpret it. 8th of June, 1948? 6th of August, 1948? The watch looks like it's from the 1940s, and it probably is. In the beginning, I couldn't rule out very early 1950s, but this seems to help in dating it. Pre-1948 alright, if my interpretation is correct.
    Just assuming that it was a scheduled maintenance, and not a necessary intervention, how long after the purchase could this have happened? 4, 5 years?
    Because if that's the case, then I'm close to dating the watch to 1943-1944.

    I didn't really pay any attention to interpreting service markings before. So, my main question is: how to interpret them? Is it "month/year/day" (which isn't a really usual way to write a date...) , "month/year/repair type"? Might be a silly question- but I'd just like to know.

    The fact, that the only place where there actually is any wear to the chrome plating is under the crown, indicates that it hasn't been used much, and no other service marks than the aforementioned "VI/48/8" seem to prove that it hasn't. Well, the other explanation is, that whoever serviced the watch in the past didn't have a habit of leaving any markings (unlikely), or the first owner didn't care for the watch at all. Sadly, the last option's very plausible- or would be, if the watch would be battered- which it isn't, and apart from the balance staff issue, the movement was really clean and well-preserved when I have bought the watch.
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  2. #2
    Member bsshog40's Avatar
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    Re: Interpreting a service marking

    I haven't seen one service mark that I could ever make heads or tails of. I had a watch serviced earlier this year. There were no other marks in the case. When I got it back, I had to see inside. There was the watchmakers mark. If I didn't know it had just been serviced, I would still not know what his mark meant.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Interpreting a service marking

    My experience is primarily with pocket watches, occasionally I find dates but usually just codes, combinations of letters and numbers. Service codes are impossible to crack without the watchmaker's service log.
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  5. #4
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    Re: Interpreting a service marking

    It seems that every watchmaker had his own code, usually made up by him. Sometimes they're simple like initials and a date (which I think yours might be) and sometimes they're more complex.
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  6. #5
    Member Emre's Avatar
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    Re: Interpreting a service marking

    Interesting way of marking.If the watchmaker was a book nerd also the roman numerals would indicate month as it's tradition.
    At the other hand,recommended service intervals in older wristwatch manuals are pretty short like 18,000 hours appr. 2 years ( ref 3 hands with date ).Of course if the wearer cares or not thats another thing.
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  7. #6
    Member mkws's Avatar
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    Re: Interpreting a service marking

    Thanks a lot for your answers, guys! I have hoped that the service mark might help dating the watch. Especially that the "48" could possibly stand for a year in the decade the watch was made in, I had to ask what do you guys think. If we assume that the original owner actually cared about the watch, then... 1945-1946. I haven't got a better theory than this one.
    I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it.
    Edgar Allan Poe

    If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
    George Orwell

    (...)but that's what mankind is like: they only prize what they no longer possess.
    Erich Maria Remarque

    For any inquiries regarding vintage Doxa watches, please read the highlighted text in my vintage Doxa thread. Sorry, but I will not respond to PMs on the matter.

  8. #7
    Member Shum's Avatar
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    Re: Interpreting a service marking

    I talked to a retired watchmaker and he said that in the past they used to mark every watch when it was sold with the customers unique code so the watch could be traced back to the original owner.

  9. #8
    Member mkws's Avatar
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    Re: Interpreting a service marking

    Interesting- never heard of that before. Do you think Turler might still have records from that period? Another well-known Zurich jewellery store, Galli, did keep records. I just don't know whether the people at Turler would bother replying to an e-mail. Do you think that I should try to contact them?
    I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it.
    Edgar Allan Poe

    If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
    George Orwell

    (...)but that's what mankind is like: they only prize what they no longer possess.
    Erich Maria Remarque

    For any inquiries regarding vintage Doxa watches, please read the highlighted text in my vintage Doxa thread. Sorry, but I will not respond to PMs on the matter.

  10. #9
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: Interpreting a service marking

    If you do not "try" you will never know!
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  11. #10
    Member mkws's Avatar
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    Re: Interpreting a service marking

    That's an encouragement good enough for me
    I'll send them an e-mail today.
    Thanks.
    Mirius and HOROLOGIST007 like this.
    I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it.
    Edgar Allan Poe

    If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
    George Orwell

    (...)but that's what mankind is like: they only prize what they no longer possess.
    Erich Maria Remarque

    For any inquiries regarding vintage Doxa watches, please read the highlighted text in my vintage Doxa thread. Sorry, but I will not respond to PMs on the matter.

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