The following chart details the Fender serial number schemes used from 1965 to 1976.
You will notice that there is quite a bit of overlap of both numbers and years.
There were periods of time when this was not consistently done, (between 19), and there are certainly other examples of short periods of time, and individual pieces, where the dating was simply omitted.
While this neck dating is useful in roughly determining the age of a guitar, it is certainly not definitive.
The "S", stood for decade of the 1970s, and began CBS' attempt to use serial numbers to identify the year of production for the piece.
The "E", stood for the decade of the 1980s and was, as shown below, introduced in 1979. "V" prefix serial numbered instruments, is to remove the neck, and check the butt end of the heel of the neck for a production date, which may be stamped or written there.On the other hand, Tokai and other MFGs are distributing their guitars with high-technical productivity.The technology of those guitars were evaluated worldwide better quality than original Fender guitars.Fujigen invested several CNC machine to produce the accurate wood body shape without time consume.The guitars Fujigen made were distributing with GRECO Brand as super real series.It seems that Fender USA established the Fender Japan as one of solution/decision to protect their brand name and market.The Fender Japan guitar manufacturing contract was originally going to go to Tokai in 1981/1982 but at the last minute Fender choose Fujigen Gakki instead.If you have what you consider to be a somewhat "odd" serial number, please check the following chart to see if you find your serial number configuration here.This chart contains If you are unable to place the approximate year of manufacture of your instrument using the above charts, there are a few great books available, which have invaluable information on the history of Fender instruments.As you can see by the overlaps of numbers and years, the reference to the actual production date is rather loose. The numbers and decals are produced far in advance, and apparently, some N9 decals, (which were supposed to be used in 1999), were affixed to some instruments in 1990.As a result, you will see some 1990 guitars bearing N9 serial numbers. Fender has recently (in the last 20 years) introduced LOTS of different serial numbers schemes, depending on the country the Fender was made (USA, Mexico, Japan, Korea, etc). The following serial numbers are somewhat outside the more, well known Fender serial number schemes.