Accutron 214 battery question

Picked up a near mint condition Accutron 214 today but the only battery I have is a 394 without a battery spacer.

I tried it in the watch and it doesn't work. I'm not sure if the module is the issue or if I need a different battery.

I'm hoping there might be an Accutron collector or two here who can give me some advice.

Daca102090
Posted October 18, 2017 - 6:05pm

These took the old mecury batteries so the newer batteries have a higher voltage and most are a little thinner.

I have a 1976 computron and I think the 377 does fir the battery compartment but the higher voltage makes this run fast.

There is a seller on e-bay that sells button batteries for the accutron watches, these have a resistor on them to lower the voltage to the proper 1.25 volts, but they are not cheap and I don't know how long they will last nor quality.

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted October 18, 2017 - 10:53pm

Panel Member

Feedback I get is that even the Accucells only last 4-6 months, but I do have several customers who just use the 350? or 344? I forget which, and the watches have run for years now. The interval seems to be less than 8 or ten months, however. The voltage is wrong, and you can Phase the movt to run correctly on the higher voltage. There was a place in the US that did this, but you might have to google around to find it or one like it. There are several Accutron specific repair sites in the US.

The description of the phasing here:

http://members.iinet.net.au/~fotoplot/accphs.htm

 

Regardless, the batteries will not last a year, and this was a complaint in the old days as well. 

I should also mention that the most critical part, the index wheel, has not been made for decades, and if your wheel is damaged (by touching it) you have limited options. Add to this circuit problems and various other issues unique to Accutrons, and you have a perfect storm for many thousands of non-running Accutrons. 

Henry at the repair centre told me a couple years ago that Bulova was entertaining the idea of re-issuing the Accutron movt, so that it would be a drop-in replacement for the vintage Accutrons as well as new Accutrons, but that has not happened, and may never happen. Personally, I think Bulova could stand to concentrate on quality (Swiss) mechanicals again, but that's just MHO. 

What Does Your ...
Posted October 19, 2017 - 7:23am

Thanks Rob and Daca for your comments.

I contacted Martin Marcus and he said the watch should run without the battery spacer and suggested giving the side of the case a good whack with my knuckles if it still doesn't run but that didn't work. 

The movement looks to be in good condition but what's going on under the plate I have no idea.  I guess this one isn't going to be running without intervention.