A17 two digit serial number

Submitted by deanclean on February 26, 2021 - 2:18am


     I am interested in this A17a on eBay and the serial number is AF-59-13. I’ve. Ever seen a 2 digit serial number before. Is it just a matter of it being early in production? I just want to be sure it’s authentic. Here is the link to the eBay page. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks for looking. 


Geoff Baker
Posted February 26, 2021 - 9:55pm

Hi deanclean - MilSPEC watches are very difficult to authenticate as there are many dials, cases and movement floating around. It is possible that some of the ones out there have been assembled from spare / surplus parts but by no means should you take that statement of judgment on the watch you're considering, it is very likely all original. We do know that A17A spec watches are mostly late 1950's through mid 1960's and were (are) considered navigation watches. The companies that made these watches (Bulova was one of several) did not use date coding and serial numbers like they used in their public lines so we don't know what the serial numbers mean, if anything. We do our best in helping folks ID their vintage watches but do not consider ourselves experts in the field of MILSPEC watches.

Posted February 26, 2021 - 10:05pm

Thanks for the information Geoff,

     That makes a lot of sense.  With so many watches produced it would be easy to repair watches with other parts.  I certainly dont mind if its put together from other watches.  My main concern was that at least all the parts were authentic which it appears that they are.  The seller has all good reviews and I have been chatting a bit with him.  I wanted to make sure the movement is correct for that model and it looks like it is.  I mainly wanted a good looking Bulova MILSPEC watch and this one seems to fit the bill.  The two digits just kind of threw me off, but it wouldnt make much sense for someone to create a fake case with so many authentic ones around.  Thanks again for taking the time to respond.


Geoff Baker
Posted February 27, 2021 - 9:26pm

In reply to by deanclean

Informed buyers are the best buyers! Enjoy your watch, thanks for being a member.