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The 1940's watch styles were very similar to the styles of the 30's. A few years following the end of WWII america entered a period of prosperity, economic growth, and technical advancements in electronics and science. Many (but not all) watches were affected by the vision of the future. 1960's watches were a little bigger than they had been before.
The Elgin and Hamilton were dated by serial number, while the Gruen was dated by an inscription on the back. In the 1930's there was a style change from highly engraved cases to smoother cleaner lines.
The "New Haven" was dated by looking at the style of the watch. Notice that the watches from the early 1930's still have engraved cases.
The Bulova and Hamilton stepped cases shown here on the left are a perfect example of this.
Men were preferring tank watches, however only round movements were available, therefore the case was stepped to accomodate the movement and make the watch APPEAR to be square. Even though watches were fairly small back then, the designs were bold and more masculine than before. A few words that sum up the 1950's are Futuristic, Automation, and expressive.
The reason: There have been a lot of watch manufacturing companies that have come and gone over the years.