Another watch from Contstantine’s batch – and another Bulova Accutron. This one is the latest incarnation, which has the 219 movement. Some improvements were made on the 218, and the 219 only has one coil instead of two, and the pawl and index fingers are a lot easier to access to set their position. I would call this movement a definitive improvement over the 218.
First, I thought the watch only needed a new battery and crystal, and I went ahead and replaced the two – only to find out that the hour and minute hands weren’t moving.This is a common complaint with all Accutron watches. If water condensates on the crystal, it tends to seep through the dial hole onto the cannon pinion, which then rusts and looses its friction. The result is that the second hand still moves, but the hour and minute hands stand still.
As the movement itself is working nicely and is clean, I will not take it apart. There is always a risk damaging the very fragile coil, and I don’t want to take a risk here.
It was well worth replacing the crystal!
The 219 movement is easy to recognize – it only has one coil. This one was made in 1976 as it has “N6” stamped on the back. They must have changed from 218 to 219 in 1976, as I just fixed another N6 Accutron with the 218 movement!
Having taken the movement out of the case, I remove the hands and dial, and work my way through the bottom plate to get to the cannon pinion.
And here it is. Another improvement over the 218 movement is that you can now remove the cannon pinion without removing the 4th wheel bridge – you can see how the bridge is formed to allow the removal.
I clean the bottom plate with a tiny bit of kitchen towel that I lightly soak in watch part rinse, and hold it with a pair of tweezers and dab the surface.
I slightly squeeze the two spokes of the cannon pinion wheel with a pair of tweezers to make the friction clutch a little bit tighter.
I put the bottom plate back together. Before putting the dial on and casing the movement, I lightly push the minute hand onto the cannon pinion and let the watch run for a couple of minutes. The hand moves, and I’m happy!
Now I can put the dial and hands on, and I’m ready for casing.
If you click on this photo to enlarge it, you can see the index wheel and the pawl and index finger. This is so much easier to access than on the 218, which makes adjusting the fingers under the microscope so much better!
Cased and happily humming – that’s how I like an Accutron!