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  1. How many times have I been asked that question ? In all honesty , I don't know . From Rolex to Timex , I like them all . I guess it's kinda like being a parent ,...you don't have a favorite child . I wake up every day and try to figure out what it's going to be . I usually will wear about 4 watches a day so I can check to see if they are operating properly , or if they may need maintenance . If it's a work day the answer is easy . I only have about 20 [nice] beaters to chose from . For casual every day wear , there are a few I might wear more than others . I guess I have acquired an attachment to some of the watches I have repaired that gave me more of a challenge ,...some more than others . So I will share those for starters..... First off is a Seiko 6139 chronograph I bought in parts and pieces . I paid $58 for it if memory serves me correctly . I had to figure how to put the puzzle together , then how to get it to run , and finally , how to make adjustments and tweak it so it worked as it was intended to run . Next is a Bulova Accutron Deep Sea diver with a tuning fork movement . I bought it at the swap meet for $140 not running . When I got it home and checked out the movement it was rusty and the parts were stuck together starting at the crown , stem , and gear for the rotating inner bezel . The movement was ruined and I had to gather a few movements to make one good operating movement . With the cost of buying the watch and parts I ended up spending around $200 . This was my first experience with Tuning Fork watches . The rest of the watches had their own little roadblocks to get around , which the greatest obstacle was finding sometimes obsolete parts . The Citizen Americas Cup watch is a good example of that . I now have 4 of them with 2 working . The other 3 watches in this group shot is a retro Seiko automatic , A vintage Croton Buccaneer that for some reason , even though it has a smaller watch case , I like it . And last in this group is a Germinal Voltaire , which with it's offset pinion , ended up being a small challenge figuring out how to dismantle it . I broke some parts on this watch and a donor and had to ask for help on this forum . Then tracking down the parts was fun . Now that I know where to get the parts I am working on my 2nd Germinal Voltaire as I write this . So Now , let me ask You ,...What is your favorite watch ?
  2. Have you looked inside the case back? I know these sometimes get changed, but I have a gold plated Accutron in my "To Do" pile and it is marked with the plating thickness inside the case back
  3. Ok in my effort to try and determine the case construction of this N6 Bulova Accutron, I came across something interesting. I was looking at a couple of Seiko 5 Sportsmatics that I have and noticed something. In the pictures, from left to right is a Seiko labeled "EGP" (left), Seiko labeled "SGP" (middle), unmarked Accutron (right). Now I can tell a difference between the "EGP" and "SGP" Seiko cases. I don't know if you can see from the pics or not. In the "SGP" near where the lugs meet the case, there are small blackened areas that seem to me to be "base metal" beneath a gold plate. This is not the same as the "EGP" which does not have these spots. Now, I assume for Seiko, "EGP" stands for electro-gold plate while "SGP" stands for Seiko gold plate or solid-gold plate. The Accutron has these same blackened areas at the lug ends as the "SGP". These areas almost look as if there is a base metal covered by a gold plating. As I said the "EGP" does not have them. Can anyone confirm? Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. Accutrons are not for the faint of heart. My father gave me his Bulova which he received as a wedding gift from his parents and it also wasn't working. I popped in a new battery and it came to life except that the hour and minute hands don't move. From what I understand, rusty cannon pinions are common which result in a watch that appears to run, the hour and minute hands just won't move. I've looked under the microscope and there are two jeweled pawls that contact a wheel with the tiniest teeth you will ever see (it really is the most amazing mechanical watch), well long story short, I've had it in my desk now for about six months and still don't have the courage to attempt a service. I do have a PDF of the 218 service manual if you need it though. It's readily available on the internet although I cannot recall the site I located it from. Also have about fifty Accutron crystals too. Let me know if you need one and I'll drop one in the post for you.
  5. When you put in the battery , [Negative side up ] , and it runs , all is good . If nothing happens , tap it at 9 or 3 o'clock as Geo suggests . It may run , or just the second hand will move , or it may just start to hum ,....all good signs that the coils are good . If it just humms or just the second hand moves it will require a service . It should probably be serviced any way , but not a job for the feint-hearted ....There is a place advertised on ebay that does flat rate service on Accutrons ....Star findings I believe . Here is the link for the Accutron page which is a plethora of Accutronism ..... http://members.iinet.net.au/~fotoplot/acc.htm Here is where you would test the coils with a volt / ohm meter .... Good luck......
  6. I just picked up this Accutron last weekend at an estate sale. This is my first and have a question. It is not running and I'm assuming the battery needs replaced of which I have ordered. It is a 218 movement. Am I OK to just install the battery and see if it works or should I completely service it before installing the battery? Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. There is someone that service Accutron watches? They also service Omega.f300 . Can't remember it right now but will google. Other then that you have Electric watches in UK . He is fast and has good prices. Worth considering even if the price is hi to ship there?
  8. Let's try a Bulova Accutron Space View 214 movement dated M1 , which converts to 1961...
  9. Concerning Vic's comments: I have powder coated things like microscope stands and bases for camera copy stands but never anything small. I may try that. Strange that you mentioned the Accutron. When I was young I really got interested in watches when the Accutron first came out. I read all the articles I saw about it. I never bought one, though, as they were out of my price range then. Later on I did get one of the first affordable quartz watches, a Timex. I was working in Switzerland in 1975 and I wore it there. Nobody had a quartz watch then. I just bought an IWC Pilot's watch mark 18, mainly for its looks. I've read a bit about these and was concerned that they cheapened the movement of these watches. But mine is accurate to within a second a day so I am amazed and happy. (Have I been lucky or is that how they are?)
  10. Hello Robert, Welcome to the forum from another tinkerer. I also enjoyed making the watch o scope amplifier and it worked with help from Stefan. I then had a birthday coming up and received a timegrapher rendering the work a bit redundant. I also made a variable power supply to use with my Accutrons courtesy of the Accutron Site. I would like to point out that my knowledge is very basic but I enjoyed making the units from the circuit diagrams. The help I received from Stefan was typical of help I have received since joining this forum where you are made welcome and given a helping hand if it is needed and at some stage I am sure you will be able to reciprocate. Cheers, Vic
  11. As above--Any device around that can read the 360Hz of Accutron and 300Hz of ESA types recommended? Or shall I look for a frequency-counter with high resolution...
  12. Ive made up a variable PSU just for the job, from 0 to 2.5V. It uses a precision voltage regulator and a multi-turn pot, a 30uA Ammeter and a LED Voltmeter. It is supplied by a 7.2V battery of two 18650 rechargeable cells. Ive not tested how long it would supply a movement considering the batts supply the LED voltmeter as well, but I expect a couple of weeks would be possible on a single charge. Most of the parts I had hanging round. The voltmeter on it is for monitoring the supply sent to the movement, so apart from checking cells--its somewhat better than an Accutron tester, as its continuously variable supply from 0 to 2.5V, great for finding the Lowest Phase voltage at which a movement will run that I find Much more accurate for phasing than any other. I do have an Accuton 700 test-set Somewhere, but havent seen it for a while, I must search it out, , the ammeter would be better than the cheapo thing I used in my tester! Thanks to the web, Ive a few manuals on the Accutrons...
  13. I had something similar with an Accutron. You could see it speed up and slow about every second, and in total, run fast . I thought the Index wheel was shot, but on removal I found a fibre bundled up around the pinion end of the arbour. A good clean and eviction of the fibre cured the problem. It wouldn't surprise me if you found the same thing on your escape pinion.
  14. Recently I got an early 214 from 1963 that had a faulty coil. The coils on these are in two parts, a cell-coil and component coil, joined by three fine insulated single-core wires. The Cell coil had gone O/C due to water/battery leak rotting out the fine wires where they attach to the soldered binding-posts--Mainly because Bulova hadn't covered a small section of the wire with any protective varnish. A replacement cell-coil was bought from the guy in Bulgaria and the old one replaced on the coil assay. Fitting to the movement, it didn't run. It would go for about 5-10 seconds after plucking the fork, but the hum would slowly die away. I assumed the resistor and capacitor were messing round --so replaced these in the component coil side. Still the same. I checked the transistor--but it looked good in testing--I replaced it anyway, using a silicon device tacked in to test, altering the bias by changing the resistor from 3.9 meg to 2.2 meg, to accomodate the different bias requirements between a Silicon and the old Germanium device it was replacing and tried again. Exactly the same! I monitored the current using my home-made PSU, it would initially pin the meter and that would die away to 5uA, but the movement still not running and no hum either. Plucking the fork, it would run for 5-10 seconds, then the hum would die away, and no appreciable difference in current draw. The clue was the constant current it was drawing after the initial pulse. It was perfectly clear when I dragged the Scope out and checked. The coil set was oscillating at 200 odd KHz! When the fork was plucked, the 360Hz was modulating the 200KHz. I guess a Long-wave radio could have picked it up if it was close by! Fortunately,--Bulova had also run into this problem as well and on some coils added an extra capacitor to the component-coil to damp out the radio-frequency oscillations. A 0.01uF (1 Nanofarad, 1000pF) cap was installed at the point the wires from the cell-coil attach to the component-coil. Its placed between the leads of the drive coil (Red wire) and the feedback coil (Green wire). Doing likewise with an 0805 1nF SMD cap cured the issue completely and the movement runs normally, even self-starting--with lots of wires and components hanging out of it! I just now need to rebuild it all properly and neatly into the component-coil recess--Which should be fun!. I'm guessing that the inductance of certain Cell-coils must be just right to cause this oscillation so they added the extra cap on those causing troubles.
  15. Ooh Nice! A Bulova Tuning Fork Accutron! I don't see the square ones that often. JC
  16. An Accutron tuning-fork Always has the positive terminal (main case of battery) Downwards in the movement--giving the impression its wrong way round, they certainly Wont run with the batt reversed--In fact a reversed batt can do damage to the 0.22uF Tantalum cap in the circuit, if its left in the wrong way for some time, a PITA to change on a 218x calibre- In fact, Most things are a PITA with a 218!... Only the Accutron Spaceview that Citizen re-issued and made 1000 of as an Anniversary watch in 2010 has the batt in conventional orientation--with the pos uppermost......
  17. did you know that an accutron will run with the battery reversed? i bought one that way. it had been running for months. the quartz watch may not,BUT i don't think reversal of current could damage it.? vinn
  18. Thanks for the links rogart, WOW! 100 bucks for a crystal!!--Unprinted too! (Of the wrong size, 7581 comparatively common anniversary model as opposed to the unknown and squarer 7387--No one on earth, except this guy on Bulova Accutron forum has correct one--Who wont sell it, even after making a whole thread with lots of pictures of it as if he was selling, Strange!) Ive found a fairly local Co that can make one also unprinted for less than 20 bucks, and can probably even make it out of Sapphire too if needed,--I'll check with 'em when I take the case to them, I may as well get a few made, and experiment/find a printer for the logos etc.... Here-- http://www.watchglasscutting.co.uk/web/ Only problem now--How to sort out the Printing on the inside of the glass....
  19. Looking for a good cell-coil for a 214. original is a three-wire coil, but I can re-wire a two-wire cell coil into a three to work in place, if you have one going spare, maybe from a set with a duff component-coil. Thanks.
  20. Hi Alistair, This is a pretty specialized challenge, and you may need specialized help! I would try some of the following... Ask at mybulova.com - a member on there sold me an original glass crystal for a 1920s ladies watch! Contact electric-watches.co.uk - this is clearly their thing There is a uk seller on ebay called grassbox2020 who seems to specialise in accutron repairs Regards, Stuart
  21. there is a guy who sells accutron crystals in the US (one of the guys who bought parts when the accutron repair shops closed down) . i have a round space view and refused to pay $ 200 for an original crystol. good luck with square glass ! i suggest " professional polishing. vinn
  22. I have a square Bulova Accutron that has a pretty badly scratched Glass crystal. Its 29mm across the flats and has rounded corners. The 100 Year Accutron Anniversary issued in 1975 is slightly similar, but has a 30mm square one, which appears to have very slightly bowed sides and are available at around £30. Mine however Isnt one of those, I cant find out much at all about it at all.--its a couple of years earlier and seems to be a very rare one, and a chunkier heavier watch altogether. Only found a couple of references to it on the web. Seeing I boobed and it no longer has its name on the glass, a new crystal could possibly be marked/painted with the name etc... Here it is, The Case Number is 7387 and dates from 1973-- It wouldn't be out of place in that old Si Fi series, Space 1999!
  23. I think for someone that has developed the skills to work a peculiar movements like the Accutron, case refurbishment will be a relaxing and rewarding task. Polished / brushed cased are no problem, for the latter I use 600 grip papers on a buffing stick always applied in a single direction, and then follow with a "magic pad" from Ebay. I have stupendous results with that, on the watches below the turtle had pretty bad dings on the front lug and case edge by the bezel, the Alpinist was in indescrivibile conditions, I still wonder what the owner did to bring the case and bezel to not have more than 5mm between one damage and another. Investment is maybe 30 euro for a generic rotary tool (get one that can rotate slowly), 2.50 per Dialuz bar, same for and hard felt wheel and mandrel. I've heard that in my country "casecrafters" can extract 600 Euro from a Rolex owner.
  24. Well I really appreciate the answers given. TBH, my normal profession isnt in watch-repairs (Electronics) and buffing/polishing I'm sure I could learn, but the cost to set up and the time to gain the knowledge for this single one-off watch-case. The case is two-finish, One is a brushed finish, the other a polished finish It appears this particular square Accutron is rather rare, I can only find 2 pics of its type on the web and one reference to its case-number. (7387) Its not featured in the case-number catalogue either 7386 jumps to 7390. 7386 appearing to be the gold/gold plate version... Another bungle I made was after checking the movement and locating its fault (Cured, mis-adjusted hack-spring but its desparate for a service) I cleaned the Inside of the glass flat crystal--and the 'Bulova Accutron' paint markings on the inside of the glass came off. I only used a light artists brush as there was, and still is a heavy bloom on the inside, but that was enough, name gone.... As the case is two-finish I think it really would need someone who knows what they are doing to do it rather than a bungler like me! The Movement I'm well aquainted with, the case--And now the crystal--I'm not so sure on!
  25. Jdm, you are over simplifying, easy to think that it's easy if you've learnt how to do it, can do it well or even if you haven't had trouble with it before. But I have a fair amount of experience restoring SS myself, I don't consider it overly difficult or complicated, but there's nuances and pitfalls, things you need to know. Some of these things you can only really know through experience. When I was first learning I damaged a fair number of scrap SS items and many people do the same, they end up effecting the symmetry of the piece, smoothing over hard edges, creating 'dents' etc. I would encourage anyone here to learn how, but not on a piece that has importance, I don't want to see someone do something that might cause damage to a piece they value, especially if it's a collectible and potentially valuable piece like a spaceview. A spaceview accutron is not a practice piece. Treating it as such would be reckless.
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