Need info on Bulova

I have found these 2 watches hiding in the house and tried to open the backings to get a serial number, but could get them open. they are sealed tight.  I went on to Bulova's facebook page and posted the picture.  They directed me to here, and told me to post it under vintage Bulova's to get more info.  I was looking to find out aprox. year and value of the watches.


Geoff Baker
Posted August 25, 2013 - 6:06am

Club 5000Panel Member

Hi Ghanhams, welcome to myBulova. Bulova began dating their watches as early as 1924. Fortunately, since the late 1940's the date codes on most watches are on the case back. Look for a letter/number and refer to this chart

There are some models that do not have an external code, to date them you would need to have the back removed and get the date code from the inside caseback and / or movement. Bulova serial numbers are non sequential and meaningless in dating a watch.

It is our policy to not give valuation estimates or appraisals, sorry.

Posted August 25, 2013 - 10:19pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Accutron and Beau Brunmell, but again hopefully we can find some further model information including the year of manufacture.

Posted August 27, 2013 - 9:07pm

Thanx for the info,  Ill re-try to get the backs off and see if I can get some set of numbers :)

Posted September 1, 2013 - 5:22pm

OK, I managed (with all my strength) to get the Accutron one open (pictured left).  This is what I got.

On the inside of the back plate - MLB 7280 Swiss


On the back part (gears) of watch - F [2182]      N3 


So is the serial number on the back plate?

The other watch I was unable to get open.

Jim Townsend
Posted September 1, 2013 - 5:55pm

Ok its a accutron 218 1973 Do you know if it runs? I just had one it hummed and the second hand ran and stopped. There is a tiny fiber wheel (Gear) in these that wear  out and is very costly to fix.  I parted it out  as the watch was still good in all other aspects. 250 to 300 dollars to fix was a bit much.

Jim Townsend
Posted September 1, 2013 - 5:54pm

By the way accutrons do not pry off they unscrew.

Posted September 1, 2013 - 6:00pm

Ya I had to unscrew it, .... Im not sure if it is running yet, but will check it out, it is in very good condition, It is my father inlaws watch, he past away a year ago, he has had 100's of watches everywere so I thought I go through them slowly so they dont just get thrown out or taken to just a gold buyer etc....Ill keep you posted and check it later tonight to see if it runs, currently it is not running.

Jim Townsend
Posted September 1, 2013 - 6:04pm

Ok You do know not just any battery will run this watch i hope.  It takes a special battery for these accutrons

Jim Townsend
Posted September 1, 2013 - 6:13pm

Bulova Accutron watches were originally designed to use Mercury batteries of 1.35 volts, since they were the only type manufactured then.  an original 214 all-metal "top hat" cell, before 387 cells with the plastic spacer became available. In most areas of the world, mercury-based batteries are no longer available, due to environmental concerns related to the safe disposal of them.

The Tuning Fork watches manufactured by Esa (e.g the f300 Omega) were designed to run on either mercury or silver oxide batteries without any adjustment, provided the last repairer to work on the watch set up the index mechanism according to factory specifications.

It is strongly recommended that you do not replace batteries yourself, as special tools are required to open the watch case without damaging it. The only exception to this is the Accutron 214 model, which has a small battery hatch on the back.

DO NOT use batteries based on any other cell chemistry than silver oxide or mercury, or severe damage to your watch may occur due to leaking chemicals or gas, which have nowhere to dissipate in a sealed watch except onto all the working parts. This applies especially to Zinc-Air cells, which at first glance may appear to be a good alternative to mercury batteries. To find out more about watch battery construction and chemistry

Jim Townsend
Posted September 1, 2013 - 6:11pm


Model Mercury type Silver Oxide type 214 387 387S, 394**, SR936SW** Accucell 1 218 343 344, 350. SR1136SW Accucell 1 219 343 344, 350, SR1136SW Accucell 1 2210 388 329, SR731SW*** Accucell 2 230 343 344, 350. SR1136SW Accucell 1 224 343 344, SR1136SW Accucell 1