Accutron 214

Bulova Accutron
Bulova began the 17 year manufacture of the tuning fork Accutron with its round 214 movement in 1960, which departed from typical wristwatch design in that there was no setting stem and crown on the side of the watch. Instead, the stem and crown were placed on the back of the case. While used mainly in men’s wristwatches, they also manufactured a number of different desk clocks using the 214 movement. In 1965 they introduced the 218 movement, with a setting stem and crown at the 4 o’clock position, rather than the more traditional wristwatch placement at 3 o’clock. Later iterations of the 218 movement placed the stem and crown at 3 o’clock, as did the 219, 221, 224 and 230.
accutron 218 and 214

In 1972 came the 219, and in 1973 the “Accuquartz” 224. All of these are “full sized” movements, ranging from 28.7 to 29.7 mm in diameter, and were used in men’s watches. The timekeeping in the 224 was actually regulated by a quartz crystal, but it still incorporated a tuning fork as the source of motive power for the gear train. For women’s watches, they introduced the smaller, round, 19.4 mm 230 movement (there was also a 23.5 mm version) in 1970, and the basically rectangular 19.4 by 17.4 mm 2210 in 1973. Both the 221 and the 230 were also used in some men’s watches.

If you need help with fixing your watch, trust a professional.

Times Ticking has been in operation for more than 30 years, since 1982. We have performed watch repair for customers both locally and internationally. If it Ticks! We KNOW it! Our team of watch repair technicians have a combined experience in watchmaking of over 120 years.

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Bulova Accutron Spaceview

Accutron Bulova SpaceviewWhen the Accutron watch was first introduced by Bulova, it was a huge leap in watch technology, using a tuning fork instead of a standard mechanical movement in watches at that time. But it was not selling the was Bulova wanted it to. So to show off the new technology in their watches, they created a display model for stores that had a clear dial so customers could see the unique mechanism in their watches. However, when this display watch was put in stores, customers kept asking if they could purchase the watch in the window and, not wanting to miss out on a sale, the salespeople sold it to them. Bulova was delighted with the unexpected success of this watch and began manufacturing different models of the Accutron with a clear dial. They even sold jewelers a “conversion kit” to turn the Accutron watches that they already had into the dial-less models.

Because of the accuracy of this new tuning fork movement, Accutron timekeeping mechanisms were developed for and became standard for NASA. They became an essential part of Space Missions and helped send the satellite Explorer into orbit. Therefore, Bulova thought that an appropriate name for their new see-through watches should be the Accutron Spaceview.

If you need help with fixing your watch, trust a professional.

Times Ticking has been in operation for more than 30 years, since 1982. We have performed watch repair for customers both locally and internationally. If it Ticks! We KNOW it! Our team of watch repair technicians have a combined experience in watchmaking of over 120 years.

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Vintage Accutron Watches

Bulova Accutron
The Accutron, keeping time with a vibrating resonator, was guaranteed to be accurate to a minute per month, or 2 seconds per day, considerably better than mechanical watches of the time. But Bulova made its last tuning fork movement wristwatches in 1977. That year they also started making quartz watches. Subsequently, all of Bulova’s electronic watches used quartz movements, although they kept selling them under the Accutron label. This can lead to confusion on the part of persons seeking to obtain a “real” Accutron. To avoid paying a tuning fork price for an Accutron with a quartz movement, the date code must be checked, except for 214s, 218s with a 4 o’clock stem and crown, 218 Travelers, 218 Astronaut IIs, and 218 Deep Seas, all of which are easily recognizable. Located on the back of the case, it consists of a letter followed by a number. The letter is the decade (M=1960s, N=1970s) and the number is the specific year within that decade. Therefore, an Accutron with a date code that falls within M0 and N6, inclusive, will have been manufactured with a tuning fork movement. Most with a code of N7 will also, but it is necessary to open the back and view the movement to be absolutely certain. An alternate method of determining if the movement is tuning fork or quartz requires that the movement is running and has a second hand. The second hand of the tuning fork movement will smoothly sweep around the dial, whereas the quartz movement will tick the seconds.
Accutron Bulova
An Accutron with a 224 movement, which should be labeled “Accuquartz” on its dial, is a hybrid movement, with its timekeeping actually regulated by a quartz crystal rather than by the tuning fork itself. Many consider these to be collectible because they were only made for 5 years, resulting in a low total production number and corresponding rarity today. When Bulova ceased tuning fork movement production in 1977, they also stopped making components; however, recently manufactured Accutrons still came in for repair. It did not take long for them to run out of parts, and they started replacing tuning fork movements with quartz movements. More than 4 million tuning fork Accutrons were sold by the time production stopped in 1977.

If you need help with fixing your watch, trust a professional.

Times Ticking has been in operation for more than 30 years, since 1982. We have performed watch repair for customers both locally and internationally. If it Ticks! We KNOW it! Our team of watch repair technicians have a combined experience in watchmaking of over 120 years.

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Bulova Accutron History

1952
Bulova begins developing Accutron, the first breakthrough in timekeeping technology in over 300 years. Accutron, the first fully electronic watch, promises to keep time to within 2 seconds a day.

1960
NASA asks Bulova to incorporate Accutron into its computers for the space program. Bulova timing mechanisms eventually become an integral part of 46 missions of the U.S. Space Program. Also in 1960, Bulova reintroduces its redeveloped Phototimer clock for track and field, improved with updated photographic and electronic technologies. It features an infrared sensing element patterned after those used on heat-seeking missiles. Mounted on the starter’s pistol, the Phototimer senses the flash of the gun and starts a timer clock at the same instant that the runners leave their marks.

Accutron, the first watch to keep time through electronics, is introduced. It is the most spectacular breakthrough in timekeeping since the invention of the wristwatch. This revolutionary timekeeping concept of a watch without springs or escapement is operated by an electronically activated tuning fork. The Accutron watch goes on to become a presidential gift to world leaders and other dignitaries. President Johnson declares it the White House’s official Gift of State.

1962
The Accutron Tuning-fork watch becomes the first wristwatch certified for use by railroad personnel. 1962 is also the year that Bulova introduces its Caravelle line of jeweled watches.

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