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I've got a question: I am a small collector of Accutron watches and I own (7) total. 4 being 218 movements and 3 being 214 movements(2 Spaceviews and 1 RR Approved). All Accutrons but one 218 has been serviced at one time or another in the past year. What I have noticed on my collection is the 214's seem to be alot more, lets say 'finicky' then the 218's do. The 214's are 1962-1965 and the 218's are 1971+. Is it me or do the 218's just seem to be 'more' refined as far as reliability and accuracy or is it possible that its all in the 'expert' adjustment/repairs to them? Just for the record the 3 most accurate and reliable accutrons came from Bulgaria but they are all 218's. Any thoughts? Thanks

254 Posts
I'll agree with you. My 214's aren't as reliable as any of my 218's (at least the ones that are serviced). I suppose it has to do with the crown mechanism and the pawl and index finger's attachment.

First of all, all 218's hack and only some 214's. Non-hacking 214 second hands can be anywhere within the minute.

Also, the 218's fingers attach with a collet and come with both stress relievers and pressure gauges. The 214 attaches directly to the post and doesn't have the gauge.

The clutches are also different. Does the 218 also have a brake to stop the train when setting? I know the 214 doesn't, so in case of a clutch seizing partially, you don't run the movement the wrong way. :scared:

2,912 Posts
Interesting question and probably answered differently depending on your perspective - owner or watchmaker. Akkatron has been building his knowledge and experience working on Accutrons. He is both of the above. An older watchmaker I know prefers to work on 218s rather than 214s. He says it is easier to regulate the 218 caliber because of what Akkatron said above. I believe Bulova thought they were improving on the 214 caliber when they introduced the 218. Perhaps some of that improvement delt with lower production costs and a better bottom line on the 218 movements while other improvements were to the functioning of the movement as well as ease of servicing the movement.

My long-term ownership experience has been with the 218 and 230 movements. Other calibers were only added recently. My friends ownership experience has been with the 214 movement. Both of us have nothing but good things to say about all three calibers. All three continued functioning well after they should have been serviced. The 214s never failed and the other two continued to function but not very well. All four have been serviced during the past year and now are functioning well. Only the 230 needed parts replaced - one new pawl finger and index wheel. None have had coil failures. Interestingly, my wife's 230 now sounds better than it has since new. I suspect the index wheel was never right from new. When it had the first battery replacement, the watchmaker said there was a lot of lint, or something, wrapped around the index wheel. How could that have happened with a new watch?!

3,865 Posts
HMMM, good question. My evidence is pretty much anecdotal.
I'm going to mostly have to, as usual, agree with Oliver and say that both movements are quite good. I bought my first Accutron, a 218, used in 1974. It was a 1970 model and I wore it continuously until it quit in 1992. I finally had it repaired in 2007 and it has been running accurately and faithfully since then.
I didn't get my first 214 until March 2007, a RR approved that appeared to have been badly mistreated, and had it serviced right away and it has been running accurately and faithfully since then.
The fellow to whom I send most of my repair work prefers to work on the 218 mostly because he has a good supply of parts for them.
It seems to me that the 218is generally considered to be better.
Getting a little off subject, it has been my experience that the 224 movement in the Accuquartz is about bulletproof and they can be purchased pretty cheaply and you still get the wonderful Accutron sound.
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