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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, I did it! Not a complete watch but a movement from a VERY LIMITED production 1971 Bulova Accuquartz with the Beta-21 movement. Not even guaranteed to work. Its the closest I will ever come to having one of these watches and will be a prize among my small collection of Bulova Accuquartz watches.

The total number of Beta-21 movements produced and shared among maybe 16-20 different watch companies is estimated to perhaps be as high as 11,000. Bulova bought these movement for use in their first version of an Accuquartz watch that was produced only as a 1971 model and, supposedly, only in a massive solid gold case as seen below. These rarely show up and I have only seen them in this one case style but the dial on the one I purchased appears round rather than squared and has the "Date" complication in a different location so who knows! I have seen a few of these movements over the past couple years on The Bay. By 1972 Bulova was producing their own quartz tuning fork movement known as the 224x caliber. Here is a pic of a complete 1971 Bulova Accuquartz watch with the Beta-21.


Notice the placement of the crown.


Here are the seller's pics of the movement I just purchased.


Like the Bulova produced tuning fork movements, the Beta-21 originally used a mercury battery, #313. Also, like out Accutrons, a silver oxide is the replacement for the original mercury battery. The Beta-21 movement does not have a true tuning fork like Bulova used. It uses a resonator or vibrating mass to drive the gear train. While not exactly the same as a tuning fork it is similar In function. The pic below of the resonator is from the website of Rob Berkavicius.


An electronic circuit, permanent magnet, index wheel and pawl fingers transfer the vibrating motion to rotary motion to drive the gear train. A unique design that was used into 1974 by various watch manufacturers. Variations of the movement relocated the crown to the left side and slimmed down the movement by the use of a thinner battery.

Sure would be nice to find a case to house the movement. Only chance of that would be from one of the other manufactures who used the Beta-21 but that wouldn't be easy and it must fit the dial Bulova used.
 

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Sure would be nice to find a case to house the movement. Only chance of that would be from one of the other manufactures who used the Beta-21 but that wouldn't be easy and it must fit the dial Bulova used.
That's going to be a real tough find Oliver, I wish you much luck...

I now have 6 Accuquartz's... Finally found a a working N3, 2240 in a SS pillow case.
So I have two 2241's and three 2242's all in running condition but of course all of
them need servicing. One of these days I have to set aside the funds for that task,
but first I have to swear-off the buying urges...
 

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Very nice, a "white" version of the silver dial that I'd posted about here http://www.watchtalkforums.info/forums/bulova-accutron-forum/60900-3.htm#post559188 last year?



I wonder if it would fit in my spare Omega Electroquartz "Pupitre" case...

On top of that "gaudy" 18k design above that was unearthed by azimuth_pl here Bulova Accuquartz Beta21 Ad1970 - The Watch Forum I think I've seen another one but can't track it down right now. I think it was 18k too so chances are slim any would have survived...

EDIT - Found it, was from that same thread actually : http://www.watchtalkforums.info/forums/bulova-accutron-forum/60900.htm#post547620



So there's at least still one Bulova Beta 21 around!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Very nice, a "white" version of the silver dial that I'd posted about here http://www.watchtalkforums.info/forums/bulova-accutron-forum/60900-3.htm#post559188 last year?



I wonder if it would fit in my spare Omega Electroquartz "Pupitre" case...

On top of that "gaudy" 18k design above that was unearthed by azimuth_pl here Bulova Accuquartz Beta21 Ad1970 - The Watch Forum I think I've seen another one but can't track it down right now. I think it was 18k too so chances are slim any would have survived...

EDIT - Found it, was from that same thread actually : http://www.watchtalkforums.info/forums/bulova-accutron-forum/60900.htm#post547620



So there's at least still one Bulova Beta 21 around!
Thanks for the links! Yes, now I remember the thread from last year.
 

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Yes that link is above, twice actually ;-)

Well there are still a few Omega 18k Electroquartz watches hanging around and there's at least one Bulova Beta 21, but the chance of finding a spare 18k Bulova case is of course nil, since any surviving watch would have to be full set and sold as such...although you must never say never ;-)
 

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Great find and catch. The Beta 21 movement in all of the different watches that used it would be a great area for collecting all by itself. I wonder if your man in Bulgaria would work on it if needed.
You are getting a very nice collection of Accuquartz. I think specializing like that makes a very interesting collection. Good luck finding a case, you are gonna need it. The search will be fun.
Have you ever seen an Anniversary Accuquartz for sale ?
 

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Sure would be nice to find a case to house the movement. Only chance of that would be from one of the other manufactures who used the Beta-21 but that wouldn't be easy and it must fit the dial Bulova used.
I wish you luck. I can't think of a better example of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole or is it the other way round?
It just a year ago that we had a Beta21 discussion and we have rjp605 to thank for the Bulova case number (7051) that fits your 10 EACD movement. I wouldn't be surprised if that is the only Bulova case that fits that movement with a round dial. From what we know about Bulova gold case production, the number of units was probably very small. Of the fifteen or so watch companies that participated in the Beta21 project, Omega was the only one that had any serious production. Omega did make stainless steel cases to fit the 1301 movement that had a round dial but not having one to measure the dial diameter, it is impossible to speculate about the fit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Thanks to all for the responses. Actually, I don't really expect to find a case for this movement and won't be upset if I never do. I wanted the movement to display with my 224x Accuquartz watches as it was the first to wear the Accuquartz name. If, by some small chance, the Omega SS case would fit this dial and if I ever found one, that would be nice but not expected.

You can see from the pic there is still a mercury 313 cell in the watch. I have ordered the proper silver oxide cell and will pop it in to see if the movement comes to life. If it does, great. If it doesn't, it will still be ok. Just having it makes me happy. What I need now is a nice, small display box for the movement. It will be placed on a shelf in a position of honor between my other Accuquartz watches.

Sam2: Thanks for the reminder of that thread. I had a temporary memory lapse about that discussion. At least that's what I'm going to blame it on. LOL You shared good info on this movement. Ever since then I have been intrigued by Bulova using the Beta-21 in 1971 and calling it an Accuquartz. Wow, over $2K for those watches. Wonder how many they actually made and sold. Like most things Bulova, we will probably never know.

Skypilot: You are right, the 100th Anniv. Accuquartz is an exceedingly rare bird also.
 

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Wonder how many they actually made and sold. Like most things Bulova, we will probably never know.
Longines was also part of the Beta21 project in 1970 and watches made for that brand were some of the least expensive at $595. Some of the first Longines "Ultra-Quartz" watches also had a round dial. the stainless steel cases had the stem at the four o'clock position. Longines only participated in the project for one year before developing the Cal. 6512 in-house movement. Time and technology marched on and by 1974, due to Beta 21 development costs, Omega, Longines, Girard Perregaux and Bulova had all developed quartz movements of their own. The remaining twelve members of the consortium were left holding the bag, so to speak.
Omega, Bulova, and IWC were the first to market with a Beta 21 caliber movement and although the records are incomplete, 1970/1971 production was no more than 600 pieces between them and according to Pieter Doensen's book on the history of the modern wrist watch, total production of the Beta 21 was just over ten thousand.
 

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Do these Longines ever pop-up from time to time? I don't believe I've ever seen one...I've been keeping tabs and so far I have :

Those that have poppped up :
- Omega, Cal 1300, 1301 and 1302 - rarely but regularly
- IWC, Cal 2001 - very rare
- Bulova, Cal : 10 EACD - very rare
- Bucherer , Cal : ? - very rare
- Patek, Cal : ? - very rare
- Rolex, Cal : ? - very rare
- JLC, Cal : ? - very rare, movement only

Not seen : Credos, Elgin, Enicar (Quartz-O-D), Longines, (Quartz-Chron), Piaget, Rado (Quartz 8192), Universal (Uniquartz); Cyma,Doxa, Ebel, Ernest Borel, Eberhard, Favre-Leuba, Juvenia and Zodiac all called Modul-O-Quartz.

Am I missing any? Would love to see an illustrated book about the Beta 21 !
 

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OLIVER! I bid on that. If I would have known, I wouldn't have... I'm sorry. Anyways, I was going to buy the destroyed SS Omega case, and then wait for a dial to pop up and run it as an OMEGA f8192Hz. I still might buy that Omega, strip the movement, and replace components. The only problem is, I don't know what components to use. I obsessed over the idea that movement, only to lose the bid in the last 3 seconds. I think I owe oliver some money.

About the case, I'm sure everyone made it a point to melt down that gaudy 18kt case. It came from an estate, so you can only assume that's what happened
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
OLIVER! I bid on that. If I would have known, I wouldn't have... I'm sorry. Anyways, I was going to buy the destroyed SS Omega case, and then wait for a dial to pop up and run it as an OMEGA f8192Hz. I still might buy that Omega, strip the movement, and replace components. The only problem is, I don't know what components to use. I obsessed over the idea that movement, only to lose the bid in the last 3 seconds. I think I owe oliver some money.

About the case, I'm sure everyone made it a point to melt down that gaudy 18kt case. It came from an estate, so you can only assume that's what happened
:lol: Well, I can't really be upset. Neither one of us knew about the other and the final price was in the ballpark but about 5x more than i have ever paid for just a movement. Yeah, I was obsessing about that one too. I went back and forth for days about whether or not to bid on it and decided at the last minute to give it a try. At least it will be in the "family". Personally, I would rather never have a case for the movement and keep the Bulova Accuquartz signed dial. If it does appear that a round faced Omega case would work with the Bulova dial and I find the right one I might go for that. I know nothing about the Omega cased versions so I wouldn't really know what to look for.

That's my guess about the case, too. My hope is that the battery ran down, was never replaced and when I install a new battery the movement will function. I have acquired three, IIRC, Accutrons that still had a depleted mercury cell in the movement. All began to humm when a new battery was inserted. Anyone know battery life for the f300 movement?
 

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There are a lot of watches for sale on the bay that are purported to contain the Beta 21 movement, most of them Patek Phillipe, but I don't see any pictures of the movements. On the other hand, the seller seems to have good feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'd like to see pictures of the "Beta 21 " movements. That sure seems like a lot of them to show up at once. You might must need a case to have a $90,000 watch. :drool:
I agree. I wouldn't even consider purchasing a watch like that without full pics and maybe even a video. Would probably even want a personal inspection. As for a case, how about a safe? LOL
 

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Do these Longines ever pop-up from time to time? I don't believe I've ever seen one...I've been keeping tabs and so far I have :

Those that have poppped up :
- Omega, Cal 1300, 1301 and 1302 - rarely but regularly
- IWC, Cal 2001 - very rare
- Bulova, Cal : 10 EACD - very rare
- Bucherer , Cal : ? - very rare
- Patek, Cal : ? - very rare
- Rolex, Cal : ? - very rare
- JLC, Cal : ? - very rare, movement only

Not seen : Credos, Elgin, Enicar (Quartz-O-D), Longines, (Quartz-Chron), Piaget, Rado (Quartz 8192), Universal (Uniquartz); Cyma,Doxa, Ebel, Ernest Borel, Eberhard, Favre-Leuba, Juvenia and Zodiac all called Modul-O-Quartz.

Am I missing any? Would love to see an illustrated book about the Beta 21 !
Rolex was Caliber 5100
JLC: first of the Master-Quartz watches Caliber 01
 
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