WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I this is another watch I found in my grandfathers watch collection, and I was wondering if someone might be able to tell me about the watch. It appears to be a Bulova Accutron, and maybe the Toyota Sales Society marking makes it special?
Words on the back: Bulova, N6, Gold Electroplate Bezel, Water Resistant, J318294, 10 KT. Rolled Gold Plate Back
Words inside back plate: 6-6, G3076, Use only genuine accutron cell marked 218, install with engraved side down in well
Photo Nov 27, 2 45 40 PM.jpg Photo Nov 27, 2 46 42 PM.jpg Photo Nov 27, 2 47 15 PM.jpg Photo Nov 27, 2 47 17 PM.jpg Photo Nov 27, 2 48 33 PM.jpg Photo Nov 27, 2 48 28 PM.jpg Photo Nov 27, 3 05 06 PM.jpg Photo Nov 27, 3 05 45 PM.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,315 Posts
Well, it's an Accutron 219, which came out in the mid 70's to replace the 218. Note how they did away with one of the fork assemblies. They also implemented a true circuit cut off, so when you pull out the crown, it actually turns the watch off (unlike the 218's which simply disengaged the pawl). This allows them to be "stored" without draining the battery. By this point, the quartz revolution was in full swing, and the Accutron was a dated beast, so their main goal was the ability to produce the watch more "cheaply" in an attempt to stay competitive. The biggest problem you'll have with this is finding replacement parts, since these aren't nearly as common as the 218's. If it works, you're golden.

As for it being "special" because of the "Toyota" markings, I'd have to say no. If anything, it lowers the value, unless you happen to find a particularly avid collector of Toyota marked presentation watches. Not sure how plentiful they'll be though. Oddly enough, I have a 219 myself, and it was also a presentation watch (to my uncle for 20 years of service).

The thread I started about my uncle's watch is here: https://www.watchuseek.com/f11/its-raining-accutrons-546269.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Well, Accutrons are nice but this kind is a bit tragic. The movement represents a cheapening of the brand and it isn't very desirable, and the dial makes it worse. It isn't very desirable to collectors.

But no matter, this is your grandfather's watch and that's always worth something no matter the watch. I recommend removing the battery until you can have it serviced, do not let it run without servicing or the movement could be ruined.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
This watch will be worth more to you than a collector. It is going to be pretty rare and one would think rarity would lead to a higher price but in general collectors as already has been noted aren't interested in watches marked like this. Engravings on the back of a watch lowers it's value also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,169 Posts
These 219s are not common and I like them as collectibles. I'd like to eventually get most of the various flavors of Accutrons. It is surprising how many there were. I do have enough that some that used to work are now breaking (I give them to friends or family to wear so some actually get used).

We have discussed caseback engravings a good deal over the years and some don't like them and some, like me, find them intriguing. A prominently marked dial like this does decrease collectibility however unless you are a Toyota salesperson! :-d
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
626 Posts
Beware: the battery in that one appears to be installed upside down. Accutron movements (unlike virtually every other electric movement including the ESA tuning fork watches) need the + side installed facing down. Installing it the wrong way can damage the movement, especially the very difficult to replace coil assembly.

FYI: the N6 indicates a 1976 model.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Beware: the battery in that one appears to be installed upside down.
Yikes good catch. Also it looks like the retaining screw for the battery contact is missing, it's sitting there loose. That could be a good thing, maybe the battery hasn't made good contact and the coil is still OK. In any case that battery needs to be removed.

Edit: I also notice that the crown is pulled out. As AbslomRob pointed out, that disengages the power circuit. More good news, the movement might be OK. However the crown only looks out in that one photo of the movement, I hope it was out before the battery was put in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The battery was in for years with the movement in, I took the battery out and ordered a new one so I can see if it's still working or not. Thanks for pointing it out guys but it might be too late, hopefully not though.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
626 Posts
The battery was in for years with the movement in, I took the battery out and ordered a new one so I can see if it's still working or not. Thanks for pointing it out guys but it might be too late, hopefully not though.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I wouldn't drop a new battery in an Accutron that hasn't been running for a long time and almost certainly hasn't been serviced recently. If it's not already damaged, you have a good chance of damaging it as soon as you pop the battery in. The momentary voltage spike from the new battery may sever the extremely thin coil wires in a poorly maintained movement (actually, this can happen even in a good movement, but far less likely.) In addition, the index wheel has virtually microscopic teeth on it. In a properly serviced movement, the index wheel is under very little stress, but a poorly maintained movement may exert too much force, damaging the teeth.

These two parts are the most fragile, failure-prone parts of a tuning fork movement, and are becoming increasingly hard to replace (no new ones have been made in around 40 years.)

To top it off, these movements were designed for 1.35v mercury cells, not 1.5v silver oxide cells. They can be adjusted to run properly (usually) on 1.5v by an experienced Accutron tech, but the fact that the battery was in upside down doesn't give me a lot of confidence that this movement was ever phased properly for that kind of battery. Using the wrong voltage on a watch that hasn't been phased to deal with it can (drumroll) damage the movement.

If the watch is important to you, find a place that repairs Accutrons and send it in. They'll almost certainly be able to get it running nicely, even if they have to replace parts. Whether it runs right now isn't that relevant - it needs servicing either way. If you don't want it, I'd just sell it on eBay "as is" - you might get like $80 for it…
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I wouldn't drop a new battery in an Accutron that hasn't been running for a long time and almost certainly hasn't been serviced recently. If it's not already damaged, you have a good chance of damaging it as soon as you pop the battery in. The momentary voltage spike from the new battery may sever the extremely thin coil wires in a poorly maintained movement (actually, this can happen even in a good movement, but far less likely.) In addition, the index wheel has virtually microscopic teeth on it. In a properly serviced movement, the index wheel is under very little stress, but a poorly maintained movement may exert too much force, damaging the teeth.

These two parts are the most fragile, failure-prone parts of a tuning fork movement, and are becoming increasingly hard to replace (no new ones have been made in around 40 years.)

To top it off, these movements were designed for 1.35v mercury cells, not 1.5v silver oxide cells. They can be adjusted to run properly (usually) on 1.5v by an experienced Accutron tech, but the fact that the battery was in upside down doesn't give me a lot of confidence that this movement was ever phased properly for that kind of battery. Using the wrong voltage on a watch that hasn't been phased to deal with it can (drumroll) damage the movement.

If the watch is important to you, find a place that repairs Accutrons and send it in. They'll almost certainly be able to get it running nicely, even if they have to replace parts. Whether it runs right now isn't that relevant - it needs servicing either way. If you don't want it, I'd just sell it on eBay "as is" - you might get like $80 for it…
So, in your professional opinion, what do you think a service should cost me? I don't know anything about watches and want to make sure I pay a fair price. And what could that potentially raise the value to? Although it does have a strong sentimental value, I have other watches of his with a greater dollar value as well as sentimental value that I'd probably restore first depending on the cost and after service value. Thanks so much for your help everyone!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
626 Posts
So, in your professional opinion, what do you think a service should cost me? I don't know anything about watches and want to make sure I pay a fair price. And what could that potentially raise the value to? Although it does have a strong sentimental value, I have other watches of his with a greater dollar value as well as sentimental value that I'd probably restore first depending on the cost and after service value. Thanks so much for your help everyone!
If you're lucky and it just needs cleaning, oiling, and adjustment you could probably get it done for under $200. I think the guy I sent an f300 (Omega tuning fork) most recently charges $170 for a basic service. If you end up needing new parts, it could get significantly more expensive. I didn't have a lot of luck finding a price list for individual parts from anyone, but I doubt you could get a new coil assembly for under $100 (and it might actually be hard to find one at all for a 219, as they are not very common.). Index wheels would probably run you $60-$100 (It's probably interchangeable with the 218 series, but I'm not sure.) For instance, my f300 needed a new day/date wheel, which cost me about $70 on top of the service cost.

There are tons of other things that could be broken, but those two are by far the most common (fortunately, this model doesn't have a date wheel, as those are also problematic, usually the result of past user error.)

Unfortunately as far as final value is concerned, Accutrons are not at all cost-effective to service unless you make friends with a watchmaker. A typical Accutron 218 (most common) with dial and case in very good condition, a movement in perfect mechanical condition, freshly serviced, and keeping time to factory specs (2 seconds a day) only goes for about $200 (although specific models like the Spaceview go for significantly more). Your less elegantly constructed 219 movement would lower that price slightly, and the very prominent Toyota markings on the front would probably lower it more.

If I were in your position, depending on how strongly I felt about it, I would either sell it as-is, or just keep it around as a non-functional keepsake. If it were your grandfather's only watch, I'd say pay whatever it costs to get it running again, but as you said, there are other watches that are probably more worth your time and money. If you want a working Accutron, you could buy a nicer one on eBay for less than it would cost you to get this one fixed up.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top