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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I note that many microbrand and mass market, low cost watches don’t have serial numbers, although some appearing as limited editions may have an edition number, e.g. number 201 out of a batch of 500. Does having a serial number mark a watch out as being anything special compared to its competition and would you then pay more for a serial numbered watch? As you move up the price range I expect a watch to have a serial number, especially if the retail price is several grand, but it seems that for under a grand you don’t get one, unless we are talking a big brand name like Seiko or Citizen.

A serial number implies a watch was checked out and not just slapped together by automated machinery, but is this always the case? I am talking engraved or stamped numbers and not something just printed on or stuck on the back of the case.
 

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It certainly helps in a lot of ways.

Authentication when matching receipts, warranty cards etc.

Aging, when being able to look up production records etc.
 

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If you are insuring a high value watch (say, a few thousand dollars plus) you will be expected to provide a serial number. Same with filing a police report for theft - and it can help in reclaiming stolen property.

For luxury watches, many watch brands and official watchmakers refuse to service watches without serial numbers too, as in 99% of the cases it means the watch was stolen and the serial numbers polished off.

Of course, I don't think anyone will refuse to service an affordable microbrand that has no serial number.
 

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Never thought of having a serial number as marking a watch as special, but I guess compared to watches without serial numbers, it does seem more special.

Haha, my understanding is, affordable mechanical Seikos are not adjusted, and they all have serial numbers, I think, so in that case, the watches were not "checked out". Also, cue the chorus of complaints about misalignments.
 

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Foils counterfeit watches. For example, over the past couple of years, Hamilton has begun putting serial numbers on ALL their watch case backs as one method in the identification of genuine Hamiltons in moving forward. Believe it or not, there is one country in the far east that is very adept in making "military-style" counterfeit watches of several brands — and not just Hamiltons.
 

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Isn’t Rolex watch production completely automated? They have serial numbers... same thing with many Omegas... The thing with micro brands is that many don’t survive, so initially there may not even be a point in instituting a serial number system. Another thing to think about is quantity produced. Keeping track of all the watches produced is much easier with a serial number system.
 

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The presence of a SerNo does not determine whether or not a watch undergoes testing during production. A non-serialized watch can certainly be subjected to production verification testing as part of routine QC. However, lack of a SerNo means that production test results cannot be traced to that single watch. Granted, I expect most production QC testing is simply pass/fail, so all the SerNo really gives you is traceability to when a test was conducted, assuming that data is recorded.
 

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I mean, if the brand doesn't have serials, then it is what it is. But I would never buy a watch that should have a serial but doesn't since it's likely to have been stolen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sorry, I should have indicated that this was about new watches from the factory, not second-hand watches which may have had a serial number, but was subsequently removed for dubious reasons. Once most watches had serial numbers, but this was from before the appearance of quartz and digital watches and definitely prior to the avalanche of watches from China.
 

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Yeeeaaahhhhh...skeptical on that. Theoretically, maybe, but as many guns that get stolen and never recovered, I can't imagine the police being more motivated to find a watch.
guns also have serial numbers. And those to be used for something illegal, have their serial numbers filed off.

in our country, they make homemade guns. Called "paltik". And no serial numbers.
 

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Foils counterfeit watches. For example, over the past couple of years, Hamilton has begun putting serial numbers on ALL their watch case backs as one method in the identification of genuine Hamiltons in moving forward. Believe it or not, there is one country in the far east that is very adept in making "military-style" counterfeit watches of several brands - and not just Hamiltons.
Most fake Rolex's come with fake serial numbers, so?
 
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