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  1. This is an interesting thread. I am trying to setup a methodology solely for Accutrons. Since the manual says to use ultrasonic, I have to deviate from my L&R Master cleaning system that I use for mechanical watches. And I just rebuilt another one for my remote location where I will be doing this work...oh well. The last few days I have been working on two "learner" accutrons. My method is to use the L&R Fine (which is all that I have) in a mason jar and then in my ultrasonic (small jewelry type). I run two short cycles, then do a pre rinse in L&R rinse and then a final rinse in same. Then I take the parts out and set them under an incandescent lamp (60 watt) to dry. I also puff off the parts to accelerate evaporation. I treat the pawl and index fingers separately by dunking them in one-dip. My glass cup is too small for the tuning fork, so I just squirt one-dip with a syringe. A kludge for now. I also dip the index wheel in one-dip. This seems to work. I have ordered some petri dishes that are larger and will allow the tuning fork to immerse fully. I know that some suggest putting all of this in the ultrasonic, but I am not ready for that yet. In a perfect world, I would have jars that accommodated my L&R basket. That way, I could put the parts in that and on the last step, I could use my L&R Master to do the drying. I am looking for the appropriate jar. Am I overthinking all of this. Perhaps. But, I have about 50 of these to repair, so it is worth the effort to design a really nice process. On a side note, the two watches I have worked on had crappy black residue and one had the seep second stuck with the black crap. I think it is the molybdenum disulfide that Accutron recommends...dries up resulting in bad things. I will not use the recommended oil, but will instead use MolyKote for those places. I see no reason why not. I am gonna order some L&R 566 and associated rinse for the long haul, but I used what I had this first round.
  2. I'm finding this thread really interesting but I don't have a clue what anyone is talking about. I could Google it but I haven't worked on an Accutron and probably would have to do so to fully understand.
  3. I bought these to work on Accutrons because the are non magnetic. I have many tweezers which I inherited and most are Dumont. I have two #3s I use daily--a sharp pair and a dull pair. Sharp ones for delicate work and the dull pair to muscle things around (bending, shoving, etc.). I love them both...very delicate feel that suits me. I bought a new pair of Dumont 3C last year and was disappointed with the feel. Harder to squeeze...I was too accustomed to my old Dumonts. I bought a cheap pair of Ti tweezers earlier this year. They are not sharp, have hard feel and just not all that useful. So, I was skeptical when I purchased the Dumont 5Ti. Figured they would disappoint. Well, they did not. After one full day of use working on an Accutron, I am very happy with them. Delicate touch, sharp, and light. I would be happier if they were heavier, but they are Titanium, duh. So I highly recommend the Dumont 5Ti tweezers.
  4. @HectorLooi, I asked @ManSkirtBrewabout his Accutron cleaning method and am curious about yours. He uses ultrasonic and L&R clean/rinse
  5. ----------- Further observations: The Accutron 218 movement holder (I inherited) is far better than a conventional movement holder. It clamps on to the movement very secure. Second, I do not know how anyone could work on one of these without a microscope. I have the Bulova microscope but I am using my stereo for this work. Using a battery installed on the test set. Yes, I read this but forgot it. I will revisit this issue today. The couple that I have looked at also corroborate this.
  6. I will do jobs for friends, neighbours, colleagues etc. on the understanding that "I'll have a look at it, but if I decide against it, I'll hand it back in a day or two, no charge. If anything needs replacing, then even if I can get the parts, they could be very expensive. If I encounter anything I don't feel ready to tackle, I'll put things back as they were, no harm done." That broaches the subject of cost, and you can start to have a conversation about the amount of time and effort actually involved. Most people don't have the faintest idea. Regarding liability, I don't tackle anything I'm not confident about (e.g. recently rejected the chance to work on an Accutron), and I try to be extra careful with other people's property, so no problem so far. If I know I couldn't afford to replace it if I broke it, then I won't touch it. For reimbursement, I usually work for upmarket alcohol; whisky, Belgian beer, wine, not cash. Something personal, with a bit of prestige, a treat I might not get for myself. Decent people will do the decent thing, if they understand the value of what you are doing for them. A neighbour gave me one of his pocket watches after I'd serviced part of his collection, which was a lovely surprise. If you don't feel sufficiently valued, just reject the next approach. In the end you have to weigh up what it is worth to you in terms of practice, experience, goodwill etc. A newish Rolex might be worth less to you than a Poljot chronograph and carry considerably more risk. If you don't feel comfortable reject it, explain why, and don't be shy about telling them what a professional job is likely cost and how long it will take. We are hobbyists in the end, amateurs, and we don't pay taxes, have liability insurance or guarantee our work. In my opinion, you can't charge, not even "mates rates". If you're anything like me, you have far more jobs lined up than time available, so why take on anything you wouldn't want to do for your own pleasure and satisfaction?
  7. Whats the other crown for? I cannot tell by looking at the movement. @JohnR725
  8. I think all of us who have attempted servicing an Accutron are familiar with this phasing diagram. But all that assumes that the amplitude of the tuning fork is such that the index jewel travels a distance of between 1s and 2.5s over the entire useful voltage range of the battery. But what all the literature out there doesn't explain is how to make the index jewel travel between 1s and 2.5s. All they say is that there are some tuning forks out there that cannot be phased properly. There doesn't seem to be any test equipment out there that is capable of measuring the actual travel of the index jewel. I think it is important to be able measure this travel distance before even attempting to do phasing. It's like the amplitude of a conventional watch. If the amplitude is too low or too high, proper regulation cannot be achieved. I was at my mentor's workshop and we were playing around with his digital microscope and noticed that if the frame capture rate is adjusted, it can actually make the index jewel appear to move in slow motion. And the travel distance can be actually seen. If anyone out there is into high speed photography or stroboscopic photography, I hope this information is useful to you to develop a "timegrapher" for tuning fork watches. PS. I am tagging @LittleWatchShop here. If you are planning on developing an Accutron service centre, please read this.
  9. While cleaning up the case, I polished out the crystal, then gave it a wipe with a paper towel. And that's how I learned that despite being on the inside of the crystal, the Accutron logo wipes right off with a little soap and water I should have been more careful, but live and learn. I'm not too heartbroken, as the crystal has some pretty bad cracks and deep scratches, and I was planning to replace it anyway. I have to say, I still love the results of a quick polish on the wheel with red rouge. Here's a before and after of two Accutron crystals. This was all of 5 minutes' work. Cleaned up and back together. Unfortunately, the lugs measure 17,mm, while all the straps I have are 18mm. I have a suspicion this watch was treated roughly and the lugs may be bent, but I'm not brave enough to try bending them back.
  10. Any chance someone has technical information on this Bulova 2453.10 conversion? It replaced the 218 that was originally in a 1965 Accutron. If no one has a technical manual (I checked the internet for it, Cousins, etc. with no luck), does anyone know the seconds hand size? I'm replacing the hands with something closer to the original and was able to measure the hour and minute (1.2 and .7 respectively) but can't get an accurate measurement of the seconds hand. The original seconds on the 218 is .18mm and I think the conversion is smaller, but I'm not sure. Here is a photo of the conversion: Thanks!
  11. I picked up a second edition copy of the electric watch repair manual for $20US yesterday. Anyone working on an Accutron 214 or 218 will want the second edition from 1972.
  12. I just got this non-working Bulova Quartz this week. It houses a Bulova 2426.10 movement. When power was applied, the motor just twitches. My Bulova meter showed that the pcb appears to be functioning. A resistance check of the motor was around 640 ohms. When 1.5V was applied directly across the motor contacts, the rotor only twitches. This is something that another member, @PastorChris, experienced a couple of months earlier. I decided to cut open the motor to investigate. The pivot of the pinion was so brittle that it snapped off the moment I pulled on it. The spot weld of the top cover was so weak that my razor blade cut through it with one tap and went straight into the coils, thus cutting it. The lower cover took a bit of bashing to remove it. I discovered a couple of metal filings across the leaves of the magnet. That was probably shorting out the magnetic field and the cause of the twitching. This is a really brilliant design but probably very expensive to produce. I'll be on the lookout for another similar movement.
  13. I normally just use a little rodico and leave them alone but these are almost covered in oil. What is a safe way to clean? I have a watchermaster ultrasonic for parts and a regular ultrasonic for cases and bands also lighter fluid and onedip.
  14. When I first started being interested in watches, mom passed on her dad's Accutron to me. He died back in 2004 and was a huge part of my life growing up, so this is a treasure to me. So I put it in a drawer and didn't touch it until I felt ready. I bought several other 218 movements to practice on, as well as the Accu-cell 1.35v battery. I've got the Model 700 test kit, the service manual, and watched all of Henry Frystack's videos, so I feel like I'm ready to dive in. Today I thought maybe start with putting a fresh battery in--looks like an old mercury cell is still in there--and see what happens. Then I put it under the microscope and found clouds of gunk on the index wheel and pawls and decided against it. Guess it's time for a cleaning!
  15. I bought the 16mp camera for my AmScope trinocular microscope, and I have to say, it's fantastic. While it is a luxury, I do post a lot of photos, and holding a loupe to my phone is less than ideal, and the ability to get close up video will be fun for the Accutron repairs I've been doing. Additionally, I bought the calibration slide to go with it, and the software lets me measure things to within a fraction of a mm. For example, trying to find the diameter and width of a flat case gasket when I don't have the original. It's just super cool and thought I'd share.
  16. After repairing 2 Accutrons recently, I've developed a facination for them. So far I have a 218, 219 and 224. I have some questions concerning Accutrons. I sometimes see on ebay a suffix like N2, N3, N4.... What does the "N" number signify? Is it a model number? Why is the price range so huge? I see some for below $100 and some for $3000. I know that the 214 was the first model produced. What was the last? I've seen some Accutrons that were not tuning fork movements. Did Bulova continue using the name Accutron for quartz watches? And lastly, do we have any Accutron experts among our distinguished members?
  17. I have a Bulova Accutron that I got in the late 70's. It looks similar to the one below (mine is silver with a gold bezel). I would like to try to remove the back cover and replace the battery. Would anybody know the battery I would need? I've heard these used some type of mercury battery that's no longer used. And, is there a gasket I should try to buy in advance or should I be treating the threads with some type of sealant? And, to remove the back, should I use something like the Harbor Freight Tool shown (it's at https://www.harborfreight.com/watch-case-opener-91550.html). Should I also buy a holder for the watch? I've never done this before and actually am looking forward to it. Not sure if it'll work or not but I figure I should try. Anything else I should check on the watch? Sorry for all the stupid questions but I am a novice.
  18. I have a 2180 that hums and a 2181 that does not. I'm about to start these two projects. Besides lots of photos any advice?
  19. Unfortunately I don't. He was using a Chinese industrial digital microscope. The software was entirely in Chinese. And my Chinese has regressed to nursery school level. I'm am working on that and keeping the technique I've developed to myself for the moment. And as @nickelsilver mentioned in another post, the 218/219 is much easier to phase to a silver oxide battery than the 214. But unfortunately, the Accutron collector community has a preference for the 214, as evident in the prices on eBay.
  20. That is a very interesting idea - do you remember what sort of frame rates the camera was using to achieve aliasing? My question from this is; what do you do if the index finger travel is out of specification? Is there anything to do or are you looking at replacing the fork? In the end, my watch was about 7 seconds out before weight adjustments. Im pretty sure I did not "phase" this thing anywhere near correctly (thanks everyone for the discussion!) so perhaps I lucked out. I did buy a few more accutron projects before realising what I had taken on - I am both more and less confident I know what I am doing going forward now... My next project is to find a case for this movement I found in a lot of other movements. Again thanks everyone for the discussion.
  21. It happens when the watches not say used correctly. We also get some minor discrepancies between the users mail instructions and the instructions there were taught if you took one of their classes. When the electric watches came out Elgin, Hamilton and the Bulova had training classes because electric watch was a newfangled thing that the watchmaker didn't understand. Bulova studied Hamilton's failure at education and enhanced their advertising and training they learned from the mistakes of others. The problem though with Bulova is the tuning fork is so much different than anything else it definitely would be a confusion problem so they would have a training class that you could take for the basic course was two days and then later on they threw in a quartz class so would be a half day so for 2 1/2 days you to take an extremely intense and yes everyone there said it was the most intense class that ever taken. The two day class to learn how to phase 214 watches. So I do remember that we crossed out some items in the book that they don't do and one of them is with one of the index fingers where I think it says half a tool thickness you basically just adjusted so it's off the index wheel's that's all it needs is basically a reference point where lifts off Now maybe another way to look at all of this is a PDF of some light reading. So there is one of the instructors who was teaching the class of oh and the Bulova class unlike others had a written test and a practical test for which a few past you got a certificate. Where a lot of training classes from watch companies you got a certificate that you attended the class but here if you past you had a certificate with a number. Taxi a very impressive certificate consists laminated to piece of wood it looks really impressive So it understand what's going on I have a PDF. 1996-08-web horological times Accutron silver cells phasing.pdf
  22. So I'm looking to get a replacement crystal for my 1971 Spaceview, case # 2531. According to Jules Borel, the replacement is Bulova part # 1271AYS. This is the crystal the watch came to me with: Searching around eBay and other suppliers, I'm finding variations for the same part number. Also, the logo looks green in a lot of the pictures. Is that because it's lume, or are some of them actually green from the factory? I would think that'd blend in with the green plastic behind it. Here are a few of the photos, all sold as 1271AYS. I would think the NOS one in the first picture is the definitive correct one, but it also has the green looking ink, so I figured I'd ask around. I also dug around on myBulova.com in the hopes of finding a catalog with pictures, but no luck. Sadly, it seems that accutron214.com has gone down, but I found the Wayback machine gives us access to a lot of great stuff. The two genuine Spaceview pictures they have show the Accutron tuning fork logo at 12 o'clock instead of 8. This ad from 1972 shows it without the tuning fork at all. Look at those prices, though! That's a lot of money in 2023 dollars. 1970, again without the fork. I know none of this is really important--it's my watch and I can do what I want--I just like knowing the history. Advertising puffery! 1969.
  23. That is an Accutron tuning fork watch. I wouldn't advise a newbie to attempt this. The repair would require a microscope, an Accutron tester, a multimeter, a variable power supply and specialized tools. There are a lot of articles and videos on the web explaining the inner workings of an Accutron. Absorb everything you can and then decide if you are ready for it. If you are looking for a battery watch to dabble with, perhaps a modern quartz watch would be a good starting point. Or an electromechanical watch like a Timex Electric, Hamilton Electric, Dynatron, Cosmotron.
  24. I recently aquired contents of an old watch repair shop that shut down in the late 70s (give or take 10 years) . This clip was with some tools. Can't say I've ever seen this. Maybe a holder for led screen or something. Any help appreciated.
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