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About date codes

When Swatch watches are produced Swatch stamps the back of the watch with a so called date code. These codes can be decoded to find out when a certain Swatch was produced. Below you can find the decoding rules. As usual, if you find a format that is not listed, do let us know! Remember, many specials and most all prototypes and dummies don't have a country code.

There are more clues on your Swatch. Many dials have a tiny copyright print around the edges with a year. This year is the year the watch was designed. Normally production of a Swatch is a year after design. But not always!

Date code formats

The Month and Year format

This is the format that Swatch used at the very start. It exists of three characters:

C82


  • C is the Month. Months are numbered from 1 (January) to 9 (September) and A (October) to C (December).
  • 82 is the Year.
  • The example means December 1982. That's an early Swatch from the 1982 USA test market (lasting until March 1983).


The factory, Year and Week format

This format is common too. It exists of four characters:

P421


  • P represents the name of the factory where the watch was produced, S for Sion and P for Popularis.
  • 4 is the Year.
  • 21 is the Week (numbered from 1 through 52).
  • The example means Week 21, 1994. It was produced in the Popularis factory.


The Year, Week, Day and factory format

This is a very common format. It exists of six characters:

9021-S


  • 9 is the Year.
  • 02 is the Week (numbered from 1 through 52).
  • 12 is the Day (numbered from 1 through 7, starting on Monday).
  • S represents the name of the factory where the watch was produced, S for Sion and P for Popularis.
  • The example means Week 2, 1999. It was produced in the Sion factory.

And yes, there is no difference between 1989 and 1999!


The short Year, Week, Day and factory format

This is the same format, just without the dash. It exists of five characters:

9021S


  • 9 is the Year.
  • 02 is the Week (numbered from 1 through 52).
  • 12 is the Day (numbered from 1 through 7, starting on Monday).
  • S represents the name of the factory where the watch was produced, S for Sion and P for Popularis.
  • The example means Week 2, 1999. It was produced in the Sion factory.

And yes, there is no difference between 1989 and 1999!


The Year and Week format

This format was hardly used. It exists of three characters:

317


  • 3 is the Year.
  • 17 is the Week (numbered from 1 through 52).
  • The example means Week 17, 1993.


The current format

This is the format we see today. It exists of 4 characters:

1U48


  • 1 is the Day (numbered from 1 through 7, starting on Monday).
  • U is the Year (S=2014, T=2015, U-2016, V=2017).
  • 48 is the Week (numbered from 1 through 52).
  • The example means Monday of Week 48, 2016.