Non-Matching Movement Years in 214 Accutrons - Page 2
 
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Thread: Non-Matching Movement Years in 214 Accutrons

  1. #11
    WTF Full Member Samantha's Avatar


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    When I was at the Service Center, Accutron movments were swapped all the time. Overhauled movements would come from the factory in New York and would would be used in the watches that came in for servicing. Then those movements would be sent back to the factory in New York for refurbishing. If it was something simple or a warranty repair, movements wouldn't be switched out.
    Samantha

  2. #12
    WTF Veteran Time2Fish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samantha View Post
    When I was at the Service Center, Accutron movments were swapped all the time. Overhauled movements would come from the factory in New York and would would be used in the watches that came in for servicing. Then those movements would be sent back to the factory in New York for refurbishing. If it was something simple or a warranty repair, movements wouldn't be switched out.
    Samantha
    Thanks Samantha. With the number of mismatching movements I see, I figured something like that had to be happening.

  3. #13
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    Samantha; at what point would the wholesale movement swap take place? It sounds like there was a steady supply of movements to be had.


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  4. #14
    WTF Veteran uscjake87's Avatar


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    I guess that solves the double stamped pillar plate mystery. Sounds like a factory refurb based on what samantha said.
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  5. #15
    WTF Veteran Time2Fish's Avatar
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    An interesting note. I am a member of a facebook group that discusses Accutrons. One of the members posted the following statement which confirms my belief that the movements were swapped out at the Accutron dealerships and thus many movements with years not matching the case numbers. "At the end of my watchmaking school course in Houston, I took Harold Neil’s “advanced course” which included Accutrons. I graduated in ‘78 and joined my parents jewelry store in the thriving metropolis of Sweeny TX. We sold Bulova’s and of course Accutrons. We had an account with Bulova and at the time when a 214 came in for service, we had a serviced movement from Bulova we put in the case and sent that one back for Bulova to service. So I didn’t service that many 214’s".

    This might not have been the case with ALL Accutron dealerships but my guess is that it was the case with many.
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  6. #16
    WTF Veteran Rob B's Avatar


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    Quote Originally Posted by uscjake87 View Post
    I guess that solves the double stamped pillar plate mystery. Sounds like a factory refurb based on what samantha said.
    I doubt if Bulova re-stamped the pillar plate just because of a service. We know they used paint spots of different colors. If they re-stamped for every service, then why do we never see 3 or more re-stamps on pillar plates?

    I still think that double stamped plates are as a result of using previously finished left-over pillar plates for a later production run. That's why you will never see 3 re-stamps on a plate, they can only go through the production line once.

    Even if Bulova and some jewelers did movement swapping during service, I still think that in the bigger picture, that would only account for a relatively small number of watches, considering the millions of Accutrons made. There were a lot of repairers back in the day and I think a large percentage actually did repairs to the watches, not swap movements. Bulova had a very substantial spare parts business going supplying them, and we still see lots of NOS parts from estate sales even today.

    I see hundreds of watches every year for service, mismatches of movements/cases by more than 1 year are not commonly seen by me at least.

    Rob
    Last edited by Rob B; 09-04-2020 at 09:31 PM.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    I doubt if Bulova re-stamped the pillar plate just because of a service. We know they used paint spots of different colors. If they re-stamped for every service, then why do we never see 3 or more re-stamps on pillar plates?

    I still think that double stamped plates are as a result of using previously finished left-over pillar plates for a later production run. That's why you will never see 3 re-stamps on a plate, they can only go through the production line once.

    Even if Bulova and some jewelers did movement swapping during service, I still think that in the bigger picture, that would only account for a relatively small number of watches, considering the millions of Accutrons made. There were a lot of repairers back in the day and I think a large percentage actually did repairs to the watches, not swap movements. Bulova had a very substantial spare parts business going supplying them, and we still see lots of NOS parts from estate sales even today.

    I see hundreds of watches every year for service, mismatches of movements/cases by more than 1 year are not commonly seen by me at least.

    Rob
    Rob,
    Would you say that a new Accutron, fresh from the factory wouldn’t need to be serviced unless something went terribly wrong? We’ve seen one owner watches sit idle for decades and restart with a proper battery with little problem. While we all know a 60 year old watch would need a service, could it really be as simple as they didn’t need service for quite some time?


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  8. #18
    WTF Veteran Rob B's Avatar


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    One owner watches that sat in a drawer for most of its life unused are pretty rare to find. Most Accutrons that I see that have sat in sock drawers for decades have been there because something went wrong with them and the owner didn't bother to get them repaired. Perhaps the watch may have been and heirloom piece. While it is true that a new Accutron could run for 10 or 20 years without any trouble and not need to be serviced during that time, there are many reasons that a watch is going to need some attention, especially one that is used as a daily watch and subject to the sort of things that can happen during use. We as collectors and enthusiasts probably take a lot more care of our watches than the average watch user, for whom the watch was a tool for daily use and maybe not much more than that. So it is likely that even early in Accutron history, there would have been a steady supply of watches needing repair, with that number increasing as time went by. There ended up being a lot of them in circulation by the 70's.

    Rob

  9. #19
    WTF Full Member Samantha's Avatar


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    Movement swaps took place on warranty work usually if a lot of repair work was involved, from things like damage or a leaked battery. It always took place on post warranty work. We were one of several service centers and between all the watchmakers servicing the various Accutron models, we'd ship out probably 100 or more serviced Accutrons a day. We never double-stamped pillar plates - the only marking we'd put in a watch was a stamp on the inside of the case back so we would know when we serviced it and if it was warranty or post warranty work. Overall, we saw a lot of watches, men's and ladies, Acccutrons, Bulovas, Caravelles, mechanical, electric, digital, and quartz.
    Samantha
    Last edited by Samantha; 09-17-2020 at 09:18 PM.
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