Month's Goal: $300, Received: $235.00 - (78%) Contribute Now
Donate whatever you can or Join the 15,000 other NAWCC members for only $72 (plus $10 for hard copy publications). Check it out here.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 40
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Newark, OH USA
    Posts
    65

    Default Mido serial number project

    Hello, all!

    I posted this in another forum as well, hoping for some information...

    Does anyone know of any lists of serial numbers vs. date for Mido watches? I have not been able to find such information, so I have started a little research project. The reason for this is that with Mido, the age of the watch is often difficult to judge since some case and dial styles lasted for decades, especially watches in the 1935 to 1955 time frame.

    I have been collecting Mido case serial number information by surfing the net and eBay and it's pretty clear that the cases (not movements) were serialized and these appear to be synchronized with the chronology of the watch movements and styles. This even appears to pre-date the Taubert-made waterproof cases.

    Right now, it looks like I can tie some serial numbers to definite milestones in Mido production. For example, it looks like serial numbers around 1,500,000 would date to approximately 1954, the year in which the "Powerwind" full-swing rotors were introduced. This has been estimated by finding the lowest serial number of a Powerwind model (so far 1,528,098). I have also found that serial number 893,803 dates to 1946 or earlier since I found this watch for sale with its original, dated sales receipt.

    If you have any case serial number data (usually on the inside of the case back) you would like to share, I'd love to have it. As I collect this data, I plan on posting a case serial number vs. date chart as best I can.

    Also, does anyone know the sigificance of the letters R and M seen on some dials? I have seen these letters on watches that are probably in the 1935 to 1945 range. One watch has a dial that is not labeled "Mido" at all and instead is labeled "Perpetuum" and "ZentRa" along with the R and M letters. This watch has German lettering indicating waterproof, etc. instead of the more normal English, but it's clearly made by Mido. ("Zentra" auf Deutsch ist "Central" auf Englisch und ist eine aktuelle Uhrenmarke in Deutschland.) Could the R and M letters signify some German approval marks?


    Thanks,
    Brian

  2. #2
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    11,441
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Mido serial number project (RE: Hayesbd)

    When I saw your Mido thread, I had an "AHA" moment, recalling back to the day about 20 years ago when I attended an estate sale where I purchased a Mido watch. It came with its original presentation case, outer shell, and warranty. I still have everything. I retrieved the box and removed the warranty to find it had not been filled out at the time of the sale! The warranty is printed Mido Multifort Superautomatic Powerwind. I estimate it was likely purchased circa 1951. It has the serial number 1631666 inside the case back, and the movement is caliber 817 which is AS 1081 as pictured in Roland Ranfft's movement archive here.

    http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-...2uswk&Mido_817

    There are two repair numbers inside the case back, neither of which has a date.

    Best of luck in your project.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Newark, OH USA
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Mido serial number project (RE: doug sinclair)

    Doug,

    Thanks for the reply. It's interesting that your watch has the 817 movement which I thought was only a bumper wind. Is there a suffix, like 817P (although I have not heard of any 816/817 series with full rotor)? Based on Mido's history and corroborated by Google book searches of Life Magazine, the Powerwind series debuted in 1954 and would have had a full, 360 degree winding rotor as in the 917P, or similar movement. Your serial number would suggest something newer than 1954 if my deductions are correct.

    Thanks again,
    Brian

  4. #4
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    11,441
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Mido serial number project (RE: Hayesbd)

    Brian,

    As I said in my post it IS an 817 with the "bumper" automatic. This warranty indicates "Powerwind" which might indicate that it should actually have been matched with a later "full-rotor" type? I suppose it could be, if this one was still in stock later when the full-wind type appeared in the store, and the wrong warranty was issued. I have just re-read the warranty, and it is no help in identifying just what the "Powerwind" means. It refers to the simple form of automatic wind that has only 7 parts. That's all! But the movement in this one is just like the one shown in the link in my earlier post.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Newark, OH USA
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Mido serial number project (RE: doug sinclair)

    Doug,

    Interesting...

    Is there any chance you have a photo to post? If not, can you describe the case style and dial markings?

    Thanks again,
    Brian

  6. #6
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    11,441
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Mido serial number project (RE: Hayesbd)

    I'll send a picture or two, later. But for the meantime, have you checked the NAWCC BULLETIN index re: Mido watches?

    http://www.nawcc.org/BulletinIndex/s...n=3&SortType=1

    I was astonished at how many listings there are for Mido watches over the years. As an NAWCC member, you may or may not have the particular issues of the Bulletin, but if you haven't, you can access them on line. But I suspect you know that.

    In an article by Bruce Shawkey in Bulletin issue 333, page 524, he mentions the Multifort Superautomatic. He says the name was introduced in 1935, and it described a watch that had a "bumper" automatic.So Superautomatic doesn't necessarily describe a full rotor, modern automatic. He describes these early Midos as having an automatic winding system that made use of "sixteen parts". The warranty with mine describes an automatic wind with only SEVEN parts. Go figure!
    Last edited by doug sinclair; 02-17-2011 at 09:10 PM.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Boulder, CO Foothills
    Posts
    2,067

    Default Re: Mido serial number project (RE: Hayesbd)

    Know nothing about this one 1240182 except it has lead gasket and cork stem seal, and Incabloc. Gold on top of s.s. Runs like new. Disappointed to know it is Schild movement. Box newer than watch?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails documents 376a.jpg   documents 381a.jpg   IMG_7144a.jpg  
    Last edited by artbissell; 02-17-2011 at 09:38 PM.

  8. #8
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    11,441
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Mido serial number project (RE: artbissell)

    Here is a picture of the watch, the case, the box, and the warranty. Not a great picture, but you get the idea.

    Art,

    The listing from Roland Ranfft says that AS built this caliber specifically for Mido.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails P1010278.jpg  

  9. #9

    Default Re: Mido serial number project (RE: doug sinclair)

    i have two mido watches 3x adj 17j 903052 has small 24hr red numbers inside the standard dial multifort bumper wind. next one 3x adj 17j 554928 standard dial somewhat of hex case multifort bumper wind but you can not manually wind this watch.have no idea of year made.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Newark, OH USA
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Mido serial number project (RE: doug sinclair)

    Quote Originally Posted by doug sinclair View Post
    I'll send a picture or two, later. But for the meantime, have you checked the NAWCC BULLETIN index re: Mido watches?

    http://www.nawcc.org/BulletinIndex/s...n=3&SortType=1

    I was astonished at how many listings there are for Mido watches over the years. As an NAWCC member, you may or may not have the particular issues of the Bulletin, but if you haven't, you can access them on line. But I suspect you know that.

    In an article by Bruce Shawkey in Bulletin issue 333, page 524, he mentions the Multifort Superautomatic. He says the name was introduced in 1935, and it described a watch that had a "bumper" automatic.So Superautomatic doesn't necessarily describe a full rotor, modern automatic. He describes these early Midos as having an automatic winding system that made use of "sixteen parts". The warranty with mine describes an automatic wind with only SEVEN parts. Go figure!
    Doug,

    Yes, I have been through all the Bulletins with Mido references. I've also done a lot more searching for Mido history. Here are a few definite date milestones that I think can be relied upon:

    1934 - Multifort developed; water resistant, anti-magnetic, and shock resistant; Mido were among the first to use Incabloc jewel settings. Manual winding movements were offered up to the early 1950s, I think, but were less common than automatics (at least in the US).

    1935 - Multifort automatic watches introduced; these were bumper movements and the dials usually labeled "Super-automatic", although some early ones may have been labeled only "automatic". Most of these seem to have the 816 or 817 movements, but early ones exist that are not marked or are marked "Mod. 1938", "Mod. 1939", and "Mod. 1941". It's awfully tempting to infer that these model numbers refer to the year that these movements were introduced, but I am not sure.

    1954 - Powerwind was introduced. This improvement was to change to full 360-degree winding rotor instead of the bumper movement and this is where the part count reduction came in. I believe the first of these were the 916P and 917P calibers. Watch dials were now labeled with both Superautomatic (ususally no dash) as well as Powerwind.

    Since your watch has the 817 movement and no "Powerwind" on the dial, I am tempted to think that the movement/dial/hands were swapped at some servicing interval. The box, papers, and case serial number all fit within the post-1954 date clues that I have found so far.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Brian

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Boulder, CO Foothills
    Posts
    2,067

    Default Re: Mido serial number project (RE: Hayesbd)

    Can I say the 1240182 is about 1940? it is marked with Brit Harwood autowind patent. I thought it must be among first to use Incabloc. Was that also about 1940?

  12. #12
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    11,441
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Mido serial number project (RE: Hayesbd)

    The dial on mine says Mido Multifort Super-Automatic. Its condition is such that I think I can say with utmost confidence that the dial has not been changed. Might it have been re-finished and marked as per the markings on a later model? Again, the condition of the watch is such that I seriously doubt it. It is almost inconceivable that a dial intended for and marked for a more advanced model would fit the Mido 817. Thereby, it is conceivable that the warranty that is with mine was intended for a later model. Interesting discourse.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Newark, OH USA
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Mido serial number project (RE: artbissell)

    Quote Originally Posted by artbissell View Post
    Can I say the 1240182 is about 1940? it is marked with Brit Harwood autowind patent. I thought it must be among first to use Incabloc. Was that also about 1940?
    Art,

    I believe I already have your watch in my database (if this is what you published a while ago in the Bulletin). Incabloc dates to 1934 and Mido may very well have been the first company to use it. It's interesting that you mention the British patent marking as I have been tracking these markings as well. If the patent number is 385509, this is the patent for the decagonal case back, and not for autowind. The Multifort cases were made by Taubert, and originally referred to the British patent, with early cases stating "Brit. Pat" or something similar. Later, the cases switched to also showing the Mido name and the actual patent number. Still later, the case marking switched to "Vacuum" instead. For an interesting treatise on the history of the Mido cases, please see this link for David Boettcher's excellent research on Borgel cases and their developments.

    Unfortunately, I don't have enough confidence to give you a date on serial number 1240182, but it's probably not as early as 1940 - these would be 6-digit numbers for sure. If I had to guess, this would date from around 1950 to 1953.

    Regards,
    Brian
    -> posts merged by system <-
    Quote Originally Posted by doug sinclair View Post
    The dial on mine says Mido Multifort Super-Automatic. Its condition is such that I think I can say with utmost confidence that the dial has not been changed. Might it have been re-finished and marked as per the markings on a later model? Again, the condition of the watch is such that I seriously doubt it. It is almost inconceivable that a dial intended for and marked for a more advanced model would fit the Mido 817. Thereby, it is conceivable that the warranty that is with mine was intended for a later model. Interesting discourse.
    Doug,

    What I meant to suggest was that the entire 817 movement/dial/hands from an older watch may have been placed into the newer case. This could have happened if the owner brought the watch in for service and the original 0916P/0917P movement was damaged beyond repair. Perhaps the watchmaker had an old working 817 he offered for a good price. Both movement types are 11''' size and maybe would fit the same case.

    Anyway, this is all speculation and may never be fully understood.

    Thanks again,
    Brian

  14. #14
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    11,441
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Mido serial number project (RE: Hayesbd)

    Since the warranty and the box both say Powerwind, and since the watch is clearly NOT a Powerwind, one can only conclude that the box is not (or should not have been) the one that should have been sold with the watch. At the same estate sale I bought a Le Coultre automatic with a wind indicator on it (long ago sold), so maybe the guy was a bit of a watch collector who collected bits and pieces, and who "married" this Mido to an incorrect box. But I can say without equivocation that this movement is original to this watch case. Now if only we could explain the apparently much later serial number. The number between the lugs and inside the case back match.

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Newark, OH USA
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Mido serial number project (RE: doug sinclair)

    How does one know definitively that a movement is original to its case? I always have to guess/assume about whether or not all parts are original. Any tips you can pass along would help me in discerning all the pictures I'm wading through as well as better understanding my own collection.

    The serial number on the case being higher than expected might be explained by the possibility that Mido could have continued to offer bumper wind movements for some time after Powerwind movements were introduced. The ads I've perused don't suggest this (as well as Roland Ranfft's Mido caliber listings), but of course they may simply have been touting the "latest and greatest" in those ads, while older models continued to be available. So far, your watch is the only example I've found that indicates this possibility, but after more research time, I hope to be able to have enough data to figure it all out.

    Thanks,
    Brian

Similar Threads

  1. Tiffany serial numbers.
    By pocketcity in forum American Pocket Watches
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 01-21-2012, 02:16 PM
  2. Tremont Serial Number/dates of manufacture/Case Restoration
    By Jerry Bryant in forum American Pocket Watches
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-27-2007, 10:14 PM
  3. Longines models and serial numbers
    By Dr. Jon in forum Wrist Watches
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-18-2007, 01:05 PM
  4. Help with serial number, Waltham.
    By Kevin W. in forum American Pocket Watches
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-11-2006, 08:21 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •