Accutron (218) Service
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  1. #1
    Member odd_and_vintage_fan's Avatar
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    Question Accutron (218) Service

    Hello all,

    Any recommendations on where to get an Accutron with the 218 tuning fork movement serviced? I'm in Eastern Pennsylvania, USA. I've checked with the local shops and it's not really their thing.

    Narrowing it down between Budget Accutron Service at accutrons.com and MyBob.net

    Any experience or other recommendations would be helpful. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Re: Accutron (218) Service

    Quote Originally Posted by odd_and_vintage_fan View Post
    Hello all,

    Any recommendations on where to get an Accutron with the 218 tuning fork movement serviced? I'm in Eastern Pennsylvania, USA. I've checked with the local shops and it's not really their thing.

    Narrowing it down between Budget Accutron Service at accutrons.com and MyBob.net

    Any experience or other recommendations would be helpful. Thanks in advance!
    I am lucky that where I live (Ca) my jeweler's a third gen with a dad and grandad that are still living and know how to work on my Accutrons. Those above will be as good as any I think. The problem is that Accutron certified watchmakers are simply dying off or retired. I dont own any 214s because they are a bit more fussy with batteries (they really need downvolted Accu-Cells) and are not quite as reliable (most think) as the 218s and 219s and even the 224 Accu-Quartzs. Before you spend any money on getting one fixed, maybe check out finding the same movement in a working Accutron, it might be a lot cheaper. Sorry about your 218, they actually are a pretty robust movement and last a long time.
    Last edited by Bodyblue; February 18th, 2015 at 00:00.
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  3. #3
    Member Addictedtowatches's Avatar
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    Re: Accutron (218) Service

    Quote Originally Posted by odd_and_vintage_fan View Post
    Hello all,

    Any recommendations on where to get an Accutron with the 218 tuning fork movement serviced? I'm in Eastern Pennsylvania, USA. I've checked with the local shops and it's not really their thing.

    Narrowing it down between Budget Accutron Service at accutrons.com and MyBob.net

    Any experience or other recommendations would be helpful. Thanks in advance!
    Nevermind Accutrons, there are only a handful of people that will service any watches in Northeastern PA. You might have more luck south toward Philly. Where in PA are you?

    Ive been looking around for a while and the sites you mentioned plus a few more are the best options I came up with. Good luck and let me know if you find someone local!
    Bodyblue likes this.
    --Charlie

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  5. #4
    Member odd_and_vintage_fan's Avatar
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    Re: Accutron (218) Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodyblue View Post
    I am lucky that where I live (Ca) my jeweler's a third gen with a dad and grandad that are still living and know how to work on my Accutrons. Those above will be as good as any I think. The problem is that Accutron certified watchmakers are simply dying off or retired. I dont own any 214s because they are a bit more fussy with batteries (they really need downvolted Accu-Cells) and are not quite as reliable (most think) as the 218s and 219s and even the 224 Accu-Quartzs. Before you spend any money on getting one fixed, maybe check out finding the same movement in a working Accutron, it might be a lot cheaper. Sorry about your 218, they actually are a pretty robust movement and last a long time.
    I've thought about the approach of buying cheap and hoping, as that was what got me this watch in the first place. It lasted for a few months and gave out. Even though it's worth $40-ish (heavy plated case), a $200 service will last it between 6 and 10 years. For me, it's worth it to get it repaired once and have it last than to be buying a different $40 watch every (optimistically) year.

    What it comes down to is I'd smile every time I looked at it humming away on my wrist, and for me that's worth between $33 to $20 a year until next service.

  6. #5
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    Re: Accutron (218) Service

    Quote Originally Posted by odd_and_vintage_fan View Post
    I've thought about the approach of buying cheap and hoping, as that was what got me this watch in the first place. It lasted for a few months and gave out. Even though it's worth $40-ish (heavy plated case), a $200 service will last it between 6 and 10 years. For me, it's worth it to get it repaired once and have it last than to be buying a different $40 watch every (optimistically) year.

    What it comes down to is I'd smile every time I looked at it humming away on my wrist, and for me that's worth between $33 to $20 a year until next service.
    The only problems I have had with my 218s that I have had for a few years is on my 2182 N4.....the crown broke off of the stem (I get it back this week!!). I happened to buy some watches from an estate sale and bought a 76 Caravelle auto and when I was cleaning it up, I noticed it had an Tuning Fork crown! So I took it to my jeweler and had him but a plain crown on the Caravelle (a sweet old auto) and put the Tuning fork one on my Accutron.

    For me, it depends on the case and face of the watch. A plain jane with no day or date would not be worth it (to me) to spend the money on. My wife has two as well and I dont think I will have them worked on when they die, it just depends on when that happens I guess. As you can see from the second pic of one of my wifes boxes, she loves Bulova Marine Stars (she cant swim LOL) Accutrons and Seikos. The Accutron on the left is a 230 and the one on the right is a 221 (smallest tuning fork movement ever made). I bought both her beauties for under $50 and if they died today, I doubt I would spend $$$$ on getting them fixed. What I would look for was a beater case with a running movement and have it swapped. Anyway tell us what you decide!Name:  IMG_20150218_101021_439.jpg
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    This is my first Accutron, a 2181 N6 next to one of my wifes. I love them both!
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    Last edited by Bodyblue; February 18th, 2015 at 19:21.

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    Re: Accutron (218) Service

    I have a question about putting a movement into a new case. I cannot always get the stem set right so that the watch runs (218Accutron.) I take it out and it runs ok but not always in the new case. Is there a trick I am missing?

  8. #7
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    Re: Accutron (218) Service

    You can try Mark Sirianni in Kane, PA. I know that he specializes in all types of Bulovas, including Accutrons.

    https://www.watchdoctor.biz/Default.aspx

    I think Kane is in NW PA near Buffalo and Erie. It is a very small town.

    But they have a post office.
    gatorcpa

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    Re: Accutron (218) Service

    Update: Went with Budget Accutron Service. Sent it off yesterday, so now it's the waiting game. It's getting a new crystal and the movement gets a trip to the spa. Here are some before pictures. I'll post some after in about 3 weeks.

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  10. #9
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    Re: Accutron (218) Service

    Quote Originally Posted by odd_and_vintage_fan View Post
    Update: Went with Budget Accutron Service. Sent it off yesterday, so now it's the waiting game. It's getting a new crystal and the movement gets a trip to the spa. Here are some before pictures. I'll post some after in about 3 weeks.

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    I cant wait to hear about the service and how much it was! Thanks!

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    Member DaBaeker's Avatar
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    Re: Accutron (218) Service

    Quote Originally Posted by odd_and_vintage_fan View Post
    Update: Went with Budget Accutron Service. Sent it off yesterday, so now it's the waiting game. It's getting a new crystal and the movement gets a trip to the spa. Here are some before pictures. I'll post some after in about 3 weeks.

    Name:  DSC02680.JPG
Views: 242
Size:  1.04 MB

    Thought you might appreciate the similarities between your and my Accutron. Just this week I had pulled my 218 N0('70) from storage and whatever came over me-I decided to overhaul it myself.
    (note: I am not a watchmaker but have years of experience with vintage and specifically pre-quartz electrics. I can only do a basic service/regulation of movement though and have no skills to disassemble any of the clutch/tuning fork/or gear components) That being said, I was able to regulate it to what now seems like approx +/- 1 sec per day though I am not exactly sure how except for persistence and luck. I was able to repair the back winding stem from slipping by examining it under high-power scope and determining there was oil/crud built up. Again-just dirt, no actual 'break'. The gasket seal was amazingly pliant and supple so I re-used it for better or worse.

    I also cleaned out the battery compartment from buildup. I was having intermittent running and thought this may be one thing causing it. Its fine now so I can only assume. I never have been certain why Boluva used plastic battery reducer rings in these as a standard 389 size seems to be what the movement was drilled out for. But the plastic ring also isolates the battery side walls. Hmmm, on this point. Accutrons are already a bit odd with voltage and they have the battery set [+]positve down unlike most other brands (afaik)

    **I was never a big Accutron fan back before my days on WUS and in fact-I received an Accutron like yours, a '75 from death of relative and I used it like a beater and it held up faithfully for man-years and then the clutch went and it was kaput. Then, (and this is SO painful to admit still..agh!) I received thru another incredible fluke a solid 18k gold case/gold dial/gold bracelet Accutron Astronaut in the mid 90s. And guess what? I did;t like it. Not its style. Did;t appreciate its GMT function. I just thought it was way too much bling and even spot gold wasn't outrageously high at the time. And like an idiot. -or I should say-like a pre-WUS dummy- I took it to a Jewleler and sold it for a pittance of what it would now be worth. And whats worse-had I kept it-I most certainly would be wearing it and liking it very much. But then I was the guy in the 80s who inherited a '60 GMT an almost sold/trade that for a song too -not 'liking' its blue and red thing.
    Now I would pretty much kill for a decent black dialed SS Astronaut for a decent price. I don't have a lot of regret like that but that Astronaut will always remain with me as a lesson in how stupid it can be to sell something without knowing what your selling. It was a reputable Jeweler who I come across years later and 'humorously' mentioned his ripping me off (i guess I'm still 'hot' about this. His attitude was totally: "eh. you win some and lose some" So. he isn't wrong, exactly. but, he definitely saw me coming back then.

    Anyway-that is my 'Accutron story and sorry I have no better advice on serve then the others. In fact-my experience has been the few guys who can do repairs are not very polished in other areas of watch finishing. (sloppy) So-I am on my own for now.

    I think our dials have the exact same index markers and mine is just a no-date and a back-winder. The quality and finish of this watch rivals most of the best mass produced luxury dials. And lately I have grown much more interested i plain no-date 3-handed watches so my buying this one years ago allowed me to get a decent example for less then $50.



    Last edited by DaBaeker; March 12th, 2015 at 23:29.
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