Repair: Bulova Accutron DayDate 218 / 1976

It’s like London busses – only that it’s Accutrons! This #3 out of the 5 Bulova Accutrons Constantine has sent me for repair.

This is a smaller job – it’s just that the winding pin has come loose, and it won’t fit back in. On the 218, you have to be very careful when unscrewing the locking-piece screw to take the winding pin out – a bit too far, and you won’t get it back in. So I will have to dismantle the bottom plate to get to the pull-out piece.

No serial number and no year indicator on the back, which I think means that the back has been replaced at one point.

If you click on the photo above and zoom in, you can see “N6” stamped into the wheel bridge under the pull-out piece screw. So the movement dates from 1976.

The dial and hands aren’t in great shape. It looks like mold damage to me, and there is little I can do. If you try to get the mold off, you will also remove parts of the dial…

Having taken the day wheel off, the date wheel assembly is next.

Slowly working my way to the pull-out piece.

Now that I have access, I can move everything back into place and fit the winding stem.

Now it’s back in reverse order. The day wheel pawl and spring are very tiny, and I spend 20 minutes on all fours after it’s pinged off – only to find it’s still on the bench 😉

Having put the case and bracelet through the ultrasonic cleaner, I case the movement again. The mold stains on the dial are here to stay I’m afraid.

Still one of the more beautiful Accutrons – I like the round case and the dial.

I’ll leave it humming for a day, and will then do the final adjustment.



5 thoughts on “Repair: Bulova Accutron DayDate 218 / 1976

  1. I have a Bulova Accutron, and it is a day date version similar to the above watch. It was presentation watch given to my brother-in-law (now deceased) with an International Harvester tractor on the face. The watch shows normal wear and tear, I pulled the crown out and it moves the hands easily. The back is screw on and I would require a tool to remove it to replace the battery. The serial number the case in the back is 5-163057. It also has “pro 30”, under that is “line” and under that is “1976”. My brother-in-law died some 30 years ago tragically. So the watch has not had anything done to it for a long time. Is it worth replacing the battery and to see if it operates?

  2. I have a Bulova Accutron, 1976 approx purchase date but I was told the drive coil, or something had gone and could not be replaced- is that so? Are spares still available?
    On watch back is 1-975070

  3. The Bulova Accutron was the world’s first electronic watch.The first Accutron was manufactured in 1960 and was the watch chosen by some of the ‘Original Seven’ NASA astronauts to accompany man on his first journeys into space.The “Bulova
    Accutron” has a frequency of 360 oscillations per second.The best advice for choosing an Accutron watch for your collection is to choose a reputable dealer who can advise you accurately regarding the condition of the watch and its value. Be aware that many unscrupulous sellers have been known to remove dials from more common 214 models to create more costly Space views.

  4. I assumed the dial could not be improved without a major overhaul of it and I’m not surprised to learn that the mold is there to stay. I like the dial and case, too, and even with the dial spotting I thought the watch was worth fixing because of the attractive dial and case.

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