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Accutron 218


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Hi all,

  It's been a while since I posted anything here but tonight I was working on a watch and I thought there might be some interest in looking at it. The customer said the second hand would move but the hour and minute hands wouldn't. Usually that means the minute wheel assembly has became worn however today that part had became seized onto the center tube. Anyway I took a picture of what is under the dial of a 218 in case there was any interest. Notice the three springs that are laying about. The first time I tried working on one of these I lost every one of those things and maybe some of the other parts as well. I told my wife it was like trying to bait a mouse trap after you had already cocked it. Anyway I have this watch going now and here's what it looked like before.

Charles K

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Edited by CKelly
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Very nice.  I've done a couple of 218 movements as well and found the calendar springs to be difficult to set; if I remember correctly Bulova changed the design slightly between the 2181 and 218D movements as one was much easier to reassemble without the springs pinging away.

They're wonderfully engineered timepieces that keep impeccable time.

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Hi,

   Since RYMoeller mentioned it they did change the both of the spring for the date. I am posting some pictures I took especially today just to show how the date goes back together. I took pictures of two springs. The date jumper spring was later changed so that the little hook was removed and you could install it after the date ring late was in place. The spring could still get away but was much easier. The bigger date spring was changer so that it could be installed onto the main plate instead of the date ring plate. As you can maybe tell in the pictures with this model you place the date jumper spring then try to mount the date ring without either spring moving. Once you get the date ring plate positioned you then have to adjust the date spring so that it is positioned properly. That's what I meant by baiting a cocked mouse trap.

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Hi again,

  You may notice that once the spring for the date jumper is in place the date ring moves. I just let it and center it up after I have the date ring guard in position with one screw loosely in place. This means there is less tension on the spring and it is less likely to run off. My technique anyway.

 

  

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  • 1 month later...

Hi,

  Actually to me the parts don't seem small until you try to position them where they belong. Putting an index wheel into it's jewel setting without touching it's teeth is interesting and takes some patience. I do like the accutrons both to collect and to work on. Sometimes they can be difficult. Just recently had one that refused to run on a 387s battery. No matter how I adjusted the indexing it would be too fast. Finally had to resort to the accucell, which for some reason is getting hard to find.

  

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  • 4 weeks later...

i have one that is running fast and i can't seem to slow it down. 

this is a nice thread. i remember working on a 218 a having the spring ping off to parts unknown. i can't even remember which watch it was!. i have about 30 accutrons in various states of working condition.

the service function i need to get familiar with is phasing.

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I have worked on quite a few 218's and 214's since my grandfather sold them in our jewelry store.  We had the machine that you clipped into the energy cell compartment to reduce the power to the fork for adjusting purposes.  I would clean the index wheel with one dip and then carefully use watchmaker paper just to absorb the excess one dip from the flat of the wheel.   If you needed a new index wheel, they would come in their own little aluminum metal cylinder.   Also, you would have to check the tuning fork for stray bits of metal stuck to the magnets.

Great thread, nice images CKelly.

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Hi,

  I really like the accutrons. I currently have two, a cushion case spaceview and a 14kt tv case 214. As to what to do if they run too fast there's a few things to try which you may already know. Before phasing check to see how many teeth the index finger will hit before pulling away from the index wheel. If I remember correctly it shouldn't be more than 4 or 5. More than that means watch will have to run fast. I also remember reading somewhere that there are some that can't be phased for a modern battery and I have ran across a couple of those and had to resort to using the accucell. 

   It seems like there are a lot of accutron collectors where I live. A guy just brought in four for me to work on last week. One was a spaceview with the second hand dragging on the crystal, one was a 218 with a bad coil and the other two just needed batteries. He also had an elgin electronic that someone had put a 387 battery in upside down. Even if battery had been right side up watch wouldn't work because it needed a 357 which is much thicker. The 387 wouldn't make contact with the hatch cover spring. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I only work on Tuning-Fork types, mainly Accutron....

The differences of the date mech of the 218 series relate to the day/date 2182 and the date only 2181/218D versions. they are fairly different too...

Day-Date  2182 has the trip-spring with the hook that fits into pillar-plate, and abuts against a nipple, then onto date trip-arm, the date detent-spring is fitted After the date bridge is in place by threading it through the hole in the date-bridge, short end to middle of movement.

2181/218D has the date-trip spring thats threaded into/under the date bridge after the bridge is fitted.--Yup, Weird!

If you strip the train on any 218x, during reassembly, leave the fourth wheel bridge off the bottom till the main bridge is fitted on top with all 4 wheels. This means there's only two wheels to locate the jewels, not three, (third locates anyway as its held by hack-lever.) Makes life so much easier and no need to poke around to locate the wheels, you dont want ever to touch the Index wheel with anything metal...

 

Edited by Alastair
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