• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Swarovski's Alpha-Numeric Numbering Explained (1 Viewer)

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
I recently posted some information about Swarovski’s use of Alpha-Numeric numbering (i.e. serial numbers with a combination of letters and digits). So to give a fuller context I’ve attached a number of tables (the information in the first two tables was previously posted as the first table here: https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=3777457&postcount=7 ).


ORIGINS
Alpha-Numeric numbering was first used on a limited basis in 1985, and in 1991 it was universally adopted (see the first table).

Swarovski had previously used 6 digit numerical numbering (where the first digit identifies the model and the remaining digits provide a sequential number) on it’s two lines with a large number of models - Traditional binoculars (with 7 different model/numbers sequences) and Metric pattern telescopic sights (also with 7 models/sequences).

The main reason for the adoption of Alpha-Numeric numbering was most probably the 1985 introduction of the Imperial line of telescopic sights (i.e those with a 1” diameter body, primarily intended for the North American market). There needed to be a way to readily distinguish by serial number alone, both between the Metric and Imperial lines and between the models in each line (the same type of problem - distinguishing between the various Traditional models by serial number alone - was the impetus for the introduction of 6 digit numbering in the 1950’s - see the table ‘Trad Leatherette Numbering’ in my previous post.


CONSTRUCTION
Alpha-Numeric numbering contains three components (see the first two tables):
- a product line or model identification (the letter);
- a dating component, and;
- a sequential number (5 digits, as of August 1991).
For the user, the big advantage is the ability to readily date a unit - the date is an integral part of the number.


USE
I’ve attached three tables that show the use of A-N numbering:
- for the Early and Transitional periods (1985 to August 1991), then;
- from August 1991 in alphabetic order, and;
- from August 1991 by product lines.


NUMBER BLOCKS
In October 2011 Swarovski modified A-N numbering with the introduction of 10,000 units number sequences i.e. with the 5 digit sequential number component, the first digit now identifies a product type (see the final table in the next post). So instead of a potential 5 digit 100,000 unit count from 00000 to 99999, there is now a 10,000 unit count such as 40000 to 49999. The advantage is that with the increasing number of models, models from different product lines can have the same Alpha prefix but be readily distinguished by the differing number blocks.


I hope this info proves to be of both interest and use to many.
 

Attachments

  • Alpha-Numeric - Introductions and Use.pdf
    27.4 KB · Views: 176
  • Alpha-Numeric - Key to Components.pdf
    34.4 KB · Views: 139
  • Alpha-Numeric Use - to Aug 1991.pdf
    35.3 KB · Views: 107
  • Alpha-Numeric Use - Current, Alphabetic sort.pdf
    44.1 KB · Views: 168
  • Alpha-Numeric Use - Current, by Product Line.pdf
    47.4 KB · Views: 208
Last edited:

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
(continued - I reached the attachment limit in the previous post)
 

Attachments

  • Alpha-Numeric - Use of 10k Number Blocks.pdf
    34.7 KB · Views: 117
Last edited:

Canip

Well-known member
Thank you very much for this great effort, John - this information IS of great interest and very useful.
Canip
 

Apochromat

ZEISS VICTORY SF 8x42 SWAROVSKI EL 8.5x42 WB NL Pu
Hello,
I purchased a factory new EL 10x32 WB. What does the serial number of F 88 16 46 82 9 mean? When was it made?


Thanks for figuring the meaning of the serial numbers out for me.

Michael
 
Last edited:

ceasar

Well-known member
Hello,
I purchased a factory new EL 10x32 WB. What does the serial number of F 88 16 46 82 9 mean? When was it made?


Thanks for figuring the meaning of the serial numbers out for me.

Michael

To me it would mean that it was made in the 16th week of this year, 2018. Just add 30 to the 1st 2 numbers to get the year of manufacture. The next 2 numbers are the week of the year it was made in.

I know it works back to 2006 when my 7x42 SLC B was made.

Bob
 

Apochromat

ZEISS VICTORY SF 8x42 SWAROVSKI EL 8.5x42 WB NL Pu
Thanks a lot

To me it would mean that it was made in the 16th week of this year, 2018. Just add 30 to the 1st 2 numbers to get the year of manufacture. The next 2 numbers are the week of the year it was made in.

I know it works back to 2006 when my 7x42 SLC B was made.

Bob

Dear Bob thanks a lot :t:
Michael
 

simonineaston

...looking forward to retiring!
feeling a little left out... ;-)

Thanks for the info., which is great to have for reference. I've not long had a pair of older 8x30 Habicht (pics attached) which as you can see, have a six digit serial, as well as no reference on the prism cover, to the nature of the coating, although they are coated, as you can see the blue / purple hue on the eyepiece glass - anyone know anything about Habichts of this sort of age?
Edit: just had a decco at a couple of the good Mr Roberts' other resources, to whit, Trad Leatherette Numbering & Aid to Dating Traditional and I think I'm looking at a pair of Ws, made sometime after '66. I'll quit posting on this thread now as in all fairness, my 8x30s aren't strictly relevant... !
 

Attachments

  • IMG_0930.jpg
    IMG_0930.jpg
    73.8 KB · Views: 41
  • IMG_0931.jpg
    IMG_0931.jpg
    74.3 KB · Views: 40
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top