Seeking Best Resources to Learn about Watches Built in 1958
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Thread: Seeking Best Resources to Learn about Watches Built in 1958

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  1. #1
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    Seeking Best Resources to Learn about Watches Built in 1958

    I have a small collection and want to develop my knowledge of vintage watches. My goal is to build my collection. I am considering men's watches built in 1958. Please help me locate resources focused on watches built that year. In particular, who were the notable makers, what designs, how can I locate these watches, etc.? Thank you for your assistance.

  2. #2
    Member bsshog40's Avatar
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    Re: Seeking Best Resources to Learn about Watches Built in 1958

    I think that if you want to learn more about vintage watches that you need to maybe expand the timespan that you have chosen or pick a brand from that era and collect those. If you want to know brands from 1958 only, then your best bet is to google that year and/or ebay search that era. I think you are limiting yourself from a lot of other nice vintage watches from other time periods. Jmo
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    Re: Seeking Best Resources to Learn about Watches Built in 1958

    Well, you can sort the results in the Omega Vintage Database chronologically, so you'll get the watches introduced in that year. But "introduced" doesn't mean "made". So even if, shall we say, a Constellation of any sort would have been introduced in 1958, you might as well not be able to find this particular model made in 1958, but, for instance, only specimens made in 1959 or 1960.
    Then, you have serial number lists for different brands, so just write down the ranges of serials for 1958, and then... happy hunting.
    The easiest one to find will be any Bulova, I think. At least the simplest to remember (L8 code= 1958).
    Notable makers? Oh, there are- or were- a lot of them, and I guess, that if you want to stick to watches with any resource helpful in dating available, then I would recommend these:
    1. Longines
    2. Omega*
    3. Zenith
    4. Eterna
    5. Tissot
    6. Bulova
    7. Universal Geneve
    8. Rolex*



    *You might want to do a lot of research before buying any of these two. Omega and Rolex fakes, frankens and redials are a plague of the vintage watch market.


    If you are looking- for instance- for a birth year watch, then my advice: get one or two. Building a collection around only one year of manufacture is... Well, unusual, but might not be a bad idea after all.
    I happen to own two watches from 1950, and two from 1948, but these were more accidental finds than looking for a watch made in this or that year. As to the year of manufacture, if there are no resources that I can access before buying the watch (and that's only if there are no such resources at all for a particular brand), then first- I buy, then I try to find out the exact year.

    Anyway, good luck!
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    Re: Seeking Best Resources to Learn about Watches Built in 1958

    I thought for a while to collect watches from every year, but lacks many watches from different year yet. Maybe a stupid idea?


    Eterna launched some movement in 1958, watches from this year can identified by serial number. I`m not sure, but possible Eterna Kontiki was launched in 1958?


    Jaeger lecoultre Geophysic chronometer was created in 1958. Geophysic chronometer watch | Jaeger-LeCoultre Manufacture

    I think Hamilton Thinline 2 was produced this year. Hamiltons catalog from 1958 : Vintage Watch Forums • View topic - Hamilton Catalog 1958

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    Re: Seeking Best Resources to Learn about Watches Built in 1958

    It sounds like you have been to the Hamilton Resource guide at the Hamilton Forum. They do have a listing of what models were produced in what years. If you go get that list for 1958 and and the ones for previous few years, without too much cross reference, you should be able to get the list of Hamiltons that were specifically introduced in 1958....assuming their list is accurate. Easier than looking through the Hamilton catalogues to try and separate model years. I was able to determine how many years of production some of my Hamilton's were made pretty easily.

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    Re: Seeking Best Resources to Learn about Watches Built in 1958

    Bulova used a date stamp on their cases and movements. In the late 1940s, it was changed to a letter for the decade, and a single digit for the year. If you go for Bulova, you'll want a watch stamped 'L8'. Sometimes the movements are from a previous year, so if you're a stickler, look for one stamped 'L8' on both case and movement.

    A lot of men's watches of the 1950s were fairly small, especially by current standards - what am I saying? ALL Men's watches of the 1950s are small by current standards! Some are downright TINY! BUT, Bulova made a line of larger diameter, but relatively thin watches called 'His Excellency' that are very attractive. Here's one. I later put a new crystal on it, which made it really nice.



    If you're okay with something that is from ABOUT 1958, Hamilton introduced the Electric in 1957. In 1959, the Model 500 movement was replaced by the 500A, so any watch with a 500 will be from 1957-early 1959. Fantastic watches, but there are a scant handful of people who can service them anymore, and there are essentially no NOS parts left. So, a significant investment, but a watch at the forefront of technology at the time. Here's one:



    Another technological achievement, also with its own issues, would be Elgin's Durabalance watches. A free-sprung balance for inexpensive mass production, with a very innovative way of regulating rate, using moment of inertia of the balance rather than free length of the hairspring. And the spiral arms were flexible, allowing them to absorb shocks, which negated the need for shock absorbing balance jewels - at least Elgins said so! Introduced in 1958. And Elgin made some very neat, futuristic watches with them, like these:

    Last edited by GeneJockey; December 13th, 2015 at 18:33.
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    Re: Seeking Best Resources to Learn about Watches Built in 1958

    ...and Zenith launched the S.58 model that year.

    Hartmut Richter
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