It will NOT tell you the actual date the watch was acquired...
many watches spent years in warehouses before being sold... If there are some letters incoroporated in the serial number (common with Hamilton and Elgin) your watch was probably made AFTER the last date on the chart.
Some companies (as with the Gruen Watch Company), even lost rocords to fire or other natural disaster. I am sure they had no idea that their timepieces would someday be collected.
Kevin, the list that the link leads to only applies to Longines watches.
Wittnauer brand watches were made for them by various companies, so the Longines serial numbers wouldn't apply.
Dials were larger while the cases were made to be less of a focal point...
looking straight at a watch from the 60's, you will many times notice that not too much of the case is visible.
I am slowly adding serial number tables to this site. With the exception of BULOVA, the numbers on the inside and outside of the CASE ITSELF are ONLY for identification purposes - they mean nothing.
Serial number records are available for many of the old pocket watch companies like AM Waltham, Elgin, South Bend etc. The number you need is the serial number stamped on the MOVEMENT (i.e the inner workings).
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The dial and crystal go right to the edge and the lugs are smaller.
In the early 1800's Swiss watchmaking was truly a cottage-industry.
Both companies went to a different serial number system and the date of manufacture is not determinable by these letter & number serials.