When looking for any kind
of papers, especially guarantee papers,
DO NOT expect to find an 'exact match' to the year of your watch. If
you take the
following scenarios into account, you will probably conclude it may
be a lot of wasted time.
Unless a watch was
originally shipped with punched papers, the dealer who sold the
watch would have married the watch with the papers that were
considered appropriate for the time. As an example, if a watch was
manufactured in 1960, but it did not sell until a few years later,
it would be possible that the paperwork for that watch would not be
dated from the year of manufacture and may be closer to the date
of sale. In this example 1963, the papers could be from 1961,
1962 or 1963 in this example!
have seen original owner watches that were sold 10 or more years after
their manufacture and the paperwork that the buyer received
reflected this. I would hazard to say that the 'most correct'
paperwork for sport watch models would be a year or more
AFTER the manufacture date to account for shipping and sale
Sometimes guarantee papers
themselves are stamped with date codes that that are some
years after the printed codes on the back of the papers.
Conversely, when blank papers were left over from prior years, a
dealer could have used them on watches in his current inventory.
Therefore, watches with a manufacture dates that come
after the date codes found on the papers with which they were sold
can also be valid.
Based on these scenarios, it is pretty clear that
matching papers or other ephemera to your watch is not an exact science, especially when it comes to
date codes. I recommend that collectors look for papers
to match their watch within a reasonable range of production. I do not
to find papers that match the exact same year of manufacture as your watch. If
you find any papers appropriate for your reference model, it is really something special
and you should be very happy!
If you have specific questions,
feel free to
Footnote on similar experience with casebacks...
The same dilemmas
described above can exist with the manufacture codes on the inside of
Rolex casebacks. I have seen where a Milguass with a case serial number dating
it to the early 1980s had an original caseback from the 1960s! It seems that casebacks
like papers were
left over from prior years, especially on less popular models.