Bulova Railroad Approved 214 models - How many types?

Sbmclean's picture


I have recently been researching the railroad Approved 214's, and purchased a 1965 model. I noticed that looking at 65 to 77 year models there are so many types. Blue hands, black hands, 24 hour inset numbers, second hour hand, 10k gold, all stainless bexel.. and etc. Does anyone know how many models or "looks" they put out over the years? personally I am a fan of the simple, clean look of the 1965..( well its a 65 or 75, cant tell if its an N5 or an M5 on the back until i get it next week. I HOPE its an M5 1965 model.)

DarHin's picture
Posted August 17, 2013 - 5:01pm

If the back says "Waterproof" it's '65.

Sbmclean's picture
Posted August 25, 2013 - 9:13am

Really? Excellent! That will save me a long nail biting week of wondering if I got the right year!! Thanks allot!



FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
Posted August 18, 2013 - 8:43am

due to its collectability the 'RR Model' is possibly the most duplicated 'ACCUTRON' out there, next to the Spaceview.


I have difficulty accepting any 'RR Model' in a dress or fancy styled Case as being authentic.

caveat emptor....

Sbmclean's picture
Posted August 18, 2013 - 10:54am

Here for example, two RR Model both from 1965, but so different. One gold plated, one all Stainless, one says Bulova Accutron on the face One says only Accutron, one with red inset 24 hour figures one without, but both are M5. The back of the gold one posted above, the back of the stainless one posted here.


Stainless steel back

Sbmclean's picture
Posted August 18, 2013 - 11:25am

And here.. blue hands on a 68 stainless steel RR model 214. The description calls it "blued steel" hands, also, this one apparently has 17mm lugs not 18mm...


Posted August 21, 2013 - 12:19pm

Blus steeled hands don't look like Bulova hands. Possibly they were the only hands they had to put on the watch.

Sbmclean's picture
Posted August 25, 2013 - 9:12am

Well. My Accutron RR arrived. It's an M5, 1965. He had a few crystal scratches and lines, as seen above, but I purchased a tube of "PolyWatch" on Amazon, and that miracle cream, plus 20 minutes.. made the crystal clear and scratch free, as if it was brand new. I really suggest anyone wanting to polish out scratches on an acrylic crystal like the RR model has use this stuff. Amazing. It came with a battery and running, nice touch from the seller, I replaced the battery with an accucel-1 1.34 volt but the watch did not run. I assume that because its been adjusted for the 1.55 volt replacement cells? I used a volt meter on the battery and it is good..?

So replaced the battery it came with and its fine again. I polished the 10k gold fill bezel and removed scratches, and then polished the back. added new lug springs and a nice brown leather strap.. and.. its a beauty, humming along nicely and so far leeping time to the second with my PC. I notice when you lift the "ring" to set it, the tuning fork kind of freaks out. The second hand keeps sweeping but the  fork goes nutty making "bell" sounds.. is that normal? I will post some clear " home refurbishment"  pics tomorrow. Its a bit smaller than I am used to, but still great.

Questions: How long will one battery last? Also, this tuning fork technology, it just keeps going? How long do these forks vibrate before they give up the ghost?

I got the 65 model because im a 65 model. I figure if it can keep humming along.. so can I ;) as long as I get a fresh battery and a polish every now and then.

Here is some pics of the completed home refurb.



ArchieGoodwin's picture
Posted November 30, 2013 - 1:49pm

Very nice Sbmclean!  I was lucky to pick up my first 214 (previously only had 218 variants) from an antiques fair.  It's a stainless RR approved, that I can't recall what year it is.  It's out getting a little case and crystal attention from my watchguy at the moment, but I have a pic below.  I'll update with the year asap as I have the info around here somewhere.  


Posted January 6, 2014 - 12:00pm

My RR is from 1971 and IIRC I boulght it while still living out there so before 1974.  It's the plain 214 white 24hr dial in a plain SS case.  Just a beater but still the easiest to read watch I own.


Posted January 6, 2014 - 4:38pm

Very nice home restoration. The crystal does look like new. Guess I am going to have to get some of that PolyWatch stuff.

I have an N2 with the red 24 hour inset and black hands and I love mine, it was presented to my father-in-law by the Rock Island Railroad at his retirement party.

Posted October 20, 2014 - 3:36pm

I just inherited this watch and was immediately intrigued. I've been reading around a lot to see what I have and stumbled across this forum. My watch has an N0, so based on what I've read it's a 1970 model 214. Of all the pictures I've come across though, I've not seen any with the exact configuration that I have. It has the 12 hour face, railroad approved, and the fork logo second hand. It works great after having the battery replaced and the crystal restored. Just trying to decide what kind of band to put on it now.

Anyone have any insight as to why mine is slightly different than the others I've seen? Also, suggestions on a new watch band that would complement it nicely?


bobbee's picture
Posted October 20, 2014 - 6:05pm

Black cushion leather band, plain!

Maybe yours has had the second hand replaced, or maybe it is a slight difference to known ones.

Posted April 5, 2015 - 12:35pm

how do you set the red hour hand on dual time zone R/R watch

William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted April 7, 2015 - 3:55pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Perhaps some of these links may help answer your question.

Bulova Accutron 214 Service Manual (1969) Bulova Accutron 218 Service Manual (1969) Bulova Accutron Crystal Catalog

Courtesy of www.ifixtimemachines.com