The Time Guy: Vintage Watch Repair


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Accepting Repair Work

After a 15-year break, I'm now accepting repair work again!

I do everything from routine cleaning and oiling (full disassembly and inspection, multi-stage ultrasonic cleaning, reassembly and correct oiling using appropriate modern synthetic oils, timing and adjustment as necessary) of automatic and manual-wind wrist and pocket watches to manufacture of unavailable parts for chronographs or repeaters.

I specialize in Accutron tuning fork watches and I have a large stock of parts and many years of experience working on them.

Please contact me and tell me how I can help you. If you are a collector I've previously worked for, I'd especially like to hear from you.

Rewound Accutron 214 cell coils15 March 2018, 0:15 UTC

These are various experimental rewound coils. Some are for 3-wire circuit coils and some are for 2-wire. The two numbers are the number of turns on the sense coil (smaller number) and the drive coil (larger number).

The 214 movement has everything removed except two coil screws and two tuning fork screws. The circuit coil is original except it's tapped for measuring the operating characteristics of the circuit (the transistor's Vbe and Vce) with an oscilloscope.

It's not too much trouble to hook up a coil for testing.

Servicing a beautiful Accutron 21412 March 2018, 3:39 UTC

This one's in such beautiful shape I had to take a picture. This looks like one of the pictures in Bulova's advertisements showing how simple and how few parts the Accutron has. If you're familiar with mechanical watches, especially the automatics that were popular at the time, it really does look simple.

(Click for full size)

This is all the parts but the power cell, dial, hands, and case. The index wheel at the lower right, which has 300 delicate tiny teeth, must never be allowed to touch anything except the cleaning fluids in the ultrasonic, so its pinion is stuck in a little ball of Rodico (watchmaker's putty) for the picture.

This watch had one screw that was wrong, and so in this image there is one screw missing, and one that's there is in the wrong place (near the wrong part). Can you spot it? The first person to email me the correct answer will win ... my admiration and very best wishes! If you want a prize instead, let me know what you want it to be and maybe I'll send it to you. You never know...

Rewound 2-wire Accutron coil24 February 2018, 19:55 UTC

This is the coil in the video below, finished.


Animation of a rewinding operation24 February 2018, 17:06 UTC


Second rewound coil, better result14 February 2018, 0:09 UTC

This second try has 2000 and 4900 turns, and it gives a reasonable 4.5uA unloaded. I'm going to try 2000/6000, hoping for a higher resistance than normal on the drive coil, in turn hoping that causes lower amplitude and lower current draw.

If so, that will work better with modern silver oxide cells, which have a higher voltage than the mercury cells these watches were designed for, 1.55 vs 1.35 volts. This isn't usually a problem but does plague some particular 214s.

It would be nice if I could fix that too, while I'm at it!

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