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The recent thread by SAM2 where he mentioned a double-stamped pillar plate got me interested to look at some of mine, as I knew I had a couple of them too. So I grabbed my box of old pillar plates and started looking through them. Then I got interested to see what years I had, and ended up compiling this list. I thought it might be something we could all add to, so how about posting up your own stats, and we can add to my numbers here. Could be interesting to see what we can infer from all of this, once we get a good set of numbers. We are only looking at the year stamp, extra stamps, movement color, and Swiss or USA made. So here we go, this is what I have:

Year USA Swiss

M0 2 0
M1 8 0
M2 3 0
M3 8 0
M4 6 1
M5 4 1
M6 9 2
M7 16 3
M8 7 1
M9 3 0
N0 8 0
N1 5 1
N2 1 0
N3 1 0
N4 5 0
N5 0 0
N6 0 0
N7 1 0
Unstamped: 3 1
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Total 101 movements (including 15 complete watches)

The most common movements I have are the year M7, both in American and Swiss made. The years N5 and N6 have no entries, but that doesn't mean none were made, just that I don't have any. I was surprised to see that the earliest Swiss 214 was an M4, I hadn't thought they started so early. Also, I was very surprised to see the earliest 214H being an M1, I didn't think they made them until much later.

And some other info from the list above:

Double Stamped: 7 (M1/M3, M3/M9, M4/M5, M4/M6, M4/M6, M6/M6, M6/N0) The 6 year spread on the M3/M9 movement and the 5 year spread on the M6/N0 movement was unexpected as I had the idea the difference was only a couple of years max.

Earliest American: M0
Latest American: N7
Earliest Swiss: M4
Latest Swiss: N1
Earliest Gold Plated: M8 (USA)
Latest Nickel Plated: N0 (USA)
Earliest 214H: M1 (USA)

There are many pillar plates that are stamped with figures in addition to the date code. As yet, no one seems to know what they mean, though it's probably fair to assume it is something to do with grading or QC. So far, I see only American movements with these extra stamps, no Swiss ones.

In this group of movements, I see 10 different symbols, these are: "*", "X", "S", "." "+ in a circle", "Delta", "V", "4 dots in a square", "II" and "N". The most common is the "*", which occurs 14 times. Some movements are stamped with double marks or a combination of two different ones. The earliest movements in this list with extra stamps are three M1 plates that have an "*". The latest are some N4's with either "Delta" or (.)

So, what do you see in your collection? Anything else unusual or in addition to what I see here?

Regards, Rob
 

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Thanks Rob. I will have a look on mine this evening. Could you please add a "0" for all date codes where only one production land is listed? I can not see neither a number e.g. 5 at N4 belongs to USA or Swiss.
 

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100th Anniversary Exception

Made in 1975, the Swiss made 100th Anniversary Model in stainless steel case #7581 had no date stamps on the case back, inside or out. Examples with a pedigree are few but would have a Swiss style serial number [3-xxxxxx] and a gilded 2141 Swiss movement with no date stamp.
Not long ago, one turned up on eBay without a serial number and with an N8 date stamped movement. The Swiss N8 movement looked genuine enough but then I remembered reading that the last 214's were made in 1977.
Colour me confused but not stupid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Daniel, we are getting some good numbers here. Do any of your movements have extra stamps other than the date codes?
 

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Yes they have, but I only have the extra marks from the single pillar plates not the complete watches. I don't want to open them all to look for the stamps. I will give feedback this evening. By the way, my Swiss gold plated 2141 is unstamped, so could be a N5? The other unstamped is a very early one, see this post:

http://www.watchtalkforums.info/forums/thread138602.html
 

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Additional stampings:

* (2x USA, 1x Swiss)
B (2x Swiss)
J (1x Swiss)
Glasses Goggles Eye Sunglasses Vision care (1x USA)

Six out of thirteen plates have no additional markings.
 

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Here are 'some' of mine. I took them from pics I had taken previously. I am not going to teardown the other watches at this time. This is about 1/2 my collection. Will edit when I take casebacks off in the future.

M1 (2 each) USA Zinc
M2 (1 Each) USA Zinc
M5 (1 Each) USA Zinc
M6 (3 Each) (1 Swiss) (2 USA) All Zinc
M7 (2 Each) USA Zinc
M9 (1 Each) USA Gold

None are double stamped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Looking through my pillar plates again, I see that none of the M1 plates has the Patent Number stamp on it. It seems that after M4, they stopped machining the lifting notches under the coil mounting points. Also, I notice one M3 pillar plate that has no machined recess or drilled holes for the coil lead retaining plate. Similar to the pillar plate in Jackdaniel83's post "What kind of Accutron pillar plate is this?". Except this one does not have the extra machining or hole at the top. See the pic below. Also below is a pic of an 214H from M1. I was surprised to find they were doing them so early.
 

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Looking through my pillar plates again, I see that none of the M1 plates has the Patent Number stamp on it.below. Also below is a pic of an 214H from M1. I was surprised to find they were doing them so early.
The consensus is the patent numbers didn't start appearing on pillar plates till 1963. I am sure there are exceptions when a pillar plate sits around till it is united with a full movement and stamped for a later watch but generally Pre-M3 Pillar plates had no patent wording under the 214. And the M1 & M2 movement stampings are offset to the right instead of centered over the coils. That looks to have started in M3.:thumbup1:

I have (2) M1s. Neither have Patent numbers.
Font Machine Motor vehicle Auto part Bicycle part

I have one M2 that doesn't have a patent number.
Watch Analog watch Bicycle part Gas Rim

I have one M3 Hacked Railroad that does have a patent number. Not a clear pic but it is a M3.
Bicycle part Rim Motor vehicle Gas Auto part
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm thinking that if this group can compile the list of markings on 214 movements into one post, it should become a reference 'sticky'.
Thanks everyone for adding your info to this post. Perhaps JackDaniels83 might like to compile everything so far, as he has done such a good job of making that spreadsheet layout :) .
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Absolutely superb thanks JackDaniels83. I appreciate your work, and no doubt so do we all.

Regards, Rob
 

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The recent thread by SAM2 where he mentioned a double-stamped pillar plate got me interested to look at some of mine, as I knew I had a couple of them too. So I grabbed my box of old pillar plates and started looking through them. Then I got interested to see what years I had, and ended up compiling this list. I thought it might be something we could all add to, so how about posting up your own stats, and we can add to my numbers here. Could be interesting to see what we can infer from all of this, once we get a good set of numbers. We are only looking at the year stamp, extra stamps, movement color, and Swiss or USA made. So here we go, this is what I have:

Year USA Swiss

M0 2 0
M1 8 0
M2 3 0
M3 8 0
M4 6 1
M5 4 1
M6 9 2
M7 16 3
M8 7 1
M9 3 0
N0 8 0
N1 5 1
N2 1 0
N3 1 0
N4 5 0
N5 0 0
N6 0 0
N7 1 0
Unstamped: 3 1
----------------
Total 101 movements (including 15 complete watches)

The most common movements I have are the year M7, both in American and Swiss made. The years N5 and N6 have no entries, but that doesn't mean none were made, just that I don't have any. I was surprised to see that the earliest Swiss 214 was an M4, I hadn't thought they started so early. Also, I was very surprised to see the earliest 214H being an M1, I didn't think they made them until much later.

And some other info from the list above:

Double Stamped: 7 (M1/M3, M3/M9, M4/M5, M4/M6, M4/M6, M6/M6, M6/N0) The 6 year spread on the M3/M9 movement and the 5 year spread on the M6/N0 movement was unexpected as I had the idea the difference was only a couple of years max.

Earliest American: M0
Latest American: N7
Earliest Swiss: M4
Latest Swiss: N1
Earliest Gold Plated: M8 (USA)
Latest Nickel Plated: N0 (USA)
Earliest 214H: M1 (USA)

There are many pillar plates that are stamped with figures in addition to the date code. As yet, no one seems to know what they mean, though it's probably fair to assume it is something to do with grading or QC. So far, I see only American movements with these extra stamps, no Swiss ones.

In this group of movements, I see 10 different symbols, these are: "*", "X", "S", "." "+ in a circle", "Delta", "V", "4 dots in a square", "II" and "N". The most common is the "*", which occurs 14 times. Some movements are stamped with double marks or a combination of two different ones. The earliest movements in this list with extra stamps are three M1 plates that have an "*". The latest are some N4's with either "Delta" or (.)

So, what do you see in your collection? Anything else unusual or in addition to what I see here?

Regards, Rob
The earliest Swiss 214 movement I have is an M2, so they do go back at least that far.
 
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