What do the signs on the backs of vintage watches mean?

If you look at the back of the watch, you will see various signatures.

If you look closely at what is engraved on the back of the watch, you will be able to see what material the watch is made of, so I hope you will deepen your understanding of vintage watches here.

What signature is on the back of a vintage watch?

Nowadays, almost 99% of watches are made from stainless steel, but in the past, stainless steel was difficult to obtain and watches were often made with brass plating to keep costs down.

This is something that you probably won't really know unless you're told, so after you've finished reading, take a look at what the watch you own looks like.

Like Japan, Switzerland is a country that makes money through exports, so there has been a tendency to include signs aimed at that country.

It feels similar to when Toyota created the "Lexus" brand for export purposes.

Therefore, in order for people in each country to be able to read it instantly, the back of the watch has an engraving indicating what material it is made of.

First of all, for France.

・Achille Inox (stainless steel)
・Acier inoxydable (Acier inoxydable/stainless steel)

Watches made like this from stainless steel are called "Asine Inox" or " Asine Inoxidable ", and this is engraved on the back of the watch.

If you see this kind of marking, you can know that it was made for the French market.

So, what other signs are there?

・Chrome case

There is something like that.

Simply put, chrome refers to stainless steel plating.

In short, the base is made of brass and is coated with stainless steel plating around it.

However, when it comes to older watches, even if the case itself is made of brass with stainless steel plating, the back cover is often made entirely of stainless steel.

From here on, we will explain how to tell the difference between watches where both the body and back cover are made of stainless steel and watches where only the back cover is made of stainless steel.

First, I will explain the English version.

If the back cover is marked "stainless steel back", it means that only the back cover is made of stainless steel.

On the other hand, if it just says "stainless steel," that means the case itself is also made of stainless steel.

Now, let me explain the French version. The phrase "fond" means bottom or back in English, but you can think of it as the back cover of a watch.

In that case, it becomes a Fondoseal Inox, which means that only the back cover is made of stainless steel.