WATCH TALK FORUMS banner
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Newbie of sorts here, but longtime owner of one 218 Accutron.

To attempt to make a long story short, my upscale jeweler who has kept me in (horribly overpriced) batteries for this watch for years has changed locations, and is now losing their on-site watchmaker. Rather than put this watch (a family heirloom) at the mercy of some teenage kid that doesn't have a clue what he is doing down at Joe's mall watch repair kiosk, I've decided to bite the bullet and start changing the silver oxide cells myself if its only once a year or so; enough already. I have found and purchased the proper case wrench for the 218 back, and have been careful to find a proper 1.5 mm flat screwdriver for moving the cell strap once I get in there. My question is on the type if battery to use once I get the case open. I know that the 218 preferred replacement for the original 1.35v mercury cell is the Energizer 344 silver oxide at 1.55v. I cannot seem to find these brand-name locally (ideas where to purchase?) so I was wondering about the generics. Any thoughts on quality, are these safe to use in a treasured family heirloom? Second, is there's full listing anywhere of 344 generics and their numbers? Harbor Freight Tools sold me a 1.55 silver oxide that they make called the "SR44", is this the same thing? It set me back a whopping 79 cents. Should I try Radio Shack or the Dollar Store? I was hoping to avoid the web to mail order some real Energizer 344s, but suppose I can do that if I have to.

Thanks for any advice,
-John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,865 Posts
No answer here. I have to wonder where you live that the batteries are so hard to find. The nearest TrueValue store to me has them and so does the nearest Walgreen and the nearest CVS. I wouldn't be afraid to use a battery from Radio Shack or from any battery store.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,912 Posts
The 218 uses silver oxide battery #344. Other sizes may fit but are not the proper replacement size. Any name brand will do. I use Renata, a Swiss brand. Be certain to insert the battery with the stepped side up. Accutrons are the reverse of most all other watches in terms of battery insertion. I go on ebay and buy 10 packs at a time because I have numerous watches taking the same battery. Since you only need one, buying local will probably be best.

As for the 214 batteries, you want 387s, the proper silver oxide replacement for the 214 caliber. There has been much written about the increased voltage of silver oxide batteries. My take is that you are perfectly safe using them. I use them in all my 214s and have not had an issue. So do zillions of other folks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No answer here. I have to wonder where you live that the batteries are so hard to find.
Well, apparently it's not that batteries are so hard to find. It's not even that silver oxide watch / eletronics batteries are so hard to find. What has eluded me so far (admittedly just today) is a 344 or 344 equivalent (SR42) of said battery. The Dollar Store has plenty of silver oxides (including the 387) but no 344. Walmart has plenty of silver oxides (and in impressive, multiple locations throughout the store) but no 344. Tomorrow I will try Radio Shack and something that was staring me in the face but I completely forgot about - an outlet called "Batteries Plus" which is almost within walking distance of my office. That is one part of my question.

The second part of my question - does it really matter if I'm using a battery that is not "the" Energizer? I've seen batteries today from Rayovac to Sunbeam to "SR44" by a company called "Thunderbolt Magnum" (?) which was for sale at a very attractive price at the local specialty hardware store. This Accutron is a prized possession. I think I'm probably in the clear, I just don't want to use a generic "cheaper" battery if that is a no-no and have it somehow bleed into the insides of my case and ruin my watch.

That's what I'm seeking opinions around.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
I only use Renata in my Accutrons. They seem to last the longest for me. I never had any luck with Energizers
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
605 Posts
JHCollins - perfect timing for this post. I was going to put up the same thing. Batteries for Accutrons does my head in, and I need to try one for my up/down before it heads off overseas (humming but no hand movement) for a service that may not be needed. I wasn't looking forward to 8 hours of research and confusing/conflicting info from three dozen websites.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,912 Posts
If I can't get Renata 387S batteries with a plastic sleeve "spacer" for my 214's. I use an old sleeve from the 387S with a renata 394 battery.
Exactly! When you remove a battery from your 214, slide off the sleeve and keep it. You can reuse it with the 394. There is nothing magical about the plastic sleeve - it is just a spacer. It is also cheaper to buy the 394 than the 387s. I would still recommend eBay. Even for folks with only one watch, you can order a two-pack and save the second for the next time. These batteries have a shelf life of a few years. Folks used to say you got outdated, or nearly so, batteries from eBay. That has never been my experience over the past several years.

jhcollins, it is interesting that you can't find any 344 batteries. Bulova made more 218, and its derivatives, than it did 214 caliber Accutrons. Perhaps there was a run on them - LOL. I don't even remember when I last bought watch batteries locally. Besides my Accutrons, I have numerous quartz watches and I have purchased all needed batteries on eBay for years. Do you know someone who could purchase them on ebay for you? As to battery brand, generally it is recommended that you stick with name brands. However, I use the cheapest off-brand alkaline batteries I can find for flashlights and other cheap electronic devices. Some time ago, Consumers Reports said I'd didn't make sense to buy the expensive name brand alkaline batteries because their service life wasn't all that much longer than the cheaper ones and, in a few cases, less service life! I would be a little concerned about using unknown off-brand watch batteries. If the battery leaks, you often don't know about it until it is too late and the delicate and sensitive internal parts of your watch are ruined.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks all for the replies. Radio Shack has a Maxell 344, I may try that. I'm not averse to buying them on eBay (it's certainly cheaper) but just did not want to go that route at first if I did not have to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
I have been using energizer batteries purchased from a reputable source on Ebay-batteries shipped from the USA. Purchase five at a time for about $15. Never had a problem with these batteries. My local watch maker suggested I use energizer and not renata batteries. Told me he has had leakage from some of his installed renatas. By the way they do not make the 387s they are the 394 with the sleeve-the package is marked 387S.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, wait no more. I found an older gentleman (by older I mean that he would have been able to remember Accutrons while they were in production) at a watch kiosk in the mall who was stocked with genuine Energizer 344s. He let me walk away with one for $6, and was a bit perplexed I think that I did not want him to install it into anything. Incredibly, the Radio Shack in the mall had no 344 equivalent. They did have a lot of cell batteries including Retanas. Guess it's good in the end that they didn't have what I was looking for since they seemed to have most of them individually priced at $12 or more.

From here on out I will go online as I know that is cheaper. May pickup a strip of 5 on the bay with some birthday money, but right now I've got a 218 Spaceview whose year is almost up. Watch the current battery last another 3 months or so now that I've finally found a replacement!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,755 Posts
It's quite easy and economical to just order batteries from Ebay. I made the decision to start changing out my own batteries on all my (and my families) watches when my wife handed me a ziploc baggie full of about 8 watches to have batteries replaced years ago. When it's 10 - 18 bucks a pop on batteries that cost SO much less, and takes a couple of minutes of your time, it was a no brainer. I ordered some cheap Chinese watch tools (need to upgrade as the quality is lacking in the steel) off Ebay, and I continue to order whatever batteries I need. I currently have at least 8 - 10 different types in stock as I usually order at least 5 at a time.

I will admit to a rookie mistake of breaking a crystal of one of my wife's costume jewelry watches while having trouble with a particularily difficult pop off caseback. I'm still trying to live that one down. :crying:
 
  • Like
Reactions: jchcollins

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,912 Posts
Many watchmakers don't fully tighten the battery strap hold down screw - if there is one - so it is easier to change out a battery next time. The watch will run fine. I haven't done so on my watches for years. Some Accutron calibers/sub-calibers don't even have a screw. There is a "U-shaped slot on one end of the battery strap that slips in a slot on one strap stud and a C-shaped slot on the other end of the strap that slides into a slot on the other stud. I use a round toothpick pointed end that inserts in the small hole on one end of the strap to swing the strap out of the slot and away from the battery. Same for reinstalling the strap.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,732 Posts
For the most part I get all my 1.55v batteries and any watch batteries for that matter from Amazon. I did by one (modified 387s) 1.35v battery from battery bob. One of my Spaceview watches had been serviced in the US and was told it was phased to the 1.55v 387s but it ran fast (20-25 seconds a day) so I decided to see what happened to it with a 1.35v battery. I was not going to send that watch back for repair. That bad boy keep perfect time now. Don't ask me why.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top