Accutron Battery Installation

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Timing Your Accutron

INTERMITTENT BATTERY CONTACT:
If your 214 kept good time right up until the battery was replaced but has been losing time ever since, the problem is most likely poor battery contact. This is a fairly common occurrence, which can often be avoided (or corrected) by installing the battery properly.

The correct battery for your Accutron 214 is a #387S or a #394. Both are 1.5volt silver oxide cells. When your 214 was new, its battery lasted for up to 14 months but depending on the current strength or weakness of your tuning fork magnets, your battery could fail in less than a year. The stronger the magnets, the less power is required to drive the fork. If your watch starts to behave erratically please have the battery checked locally before contacting me about a potential problem. If the battery voltage is low, install a new battery.

INSTALLING THE  BATTERY:
1) Check the voltage of the new battery to make certain that it's fresh. It should measure at least 1.5V. If the battery is ok, install it by following these instructions carefully.

2) Unscrew the battery hatch, and carefully place the battery into the watch as follows: Angle the battery slightly downward. Aim the lowered edge toward the outside of the case and insert the battery, lower edge first so that it falls into the recess easily.
                                                                     
View of the battery as it should appear when placed into your 214s battery compartment (unprinted side up). The printed (+) side is facing down.  Important: Hold the battery with your fingers or non conducting tweezers only.


Make certain that the plastic insulator is not hanging up on the battery nest, preventing the battery from having solid bottom contact. After dropping a battery into your 214s battery compartment, it may appear to be seated  properly even when it is not. Always press the center (metal part) of the battery down firmly (but not too hard) until it seats against the  bottom contact. This is necessary because the plastic spacer is often too large to enter its opening thus preventing  the bottom of the battery from seating all the way down.

3) Check to see that the contact spring installed on the under side of the battery hatch has not been flattened. Make sure that the spring moves down freely when pressed and that it pops back up when released. The spring must provide positive pressure against the top of the battery.

                                                                        
Early 3 finger contact spring (1960/1961)                                      Common battery contact spring (1962 on)          

4) Screw the battery hatch back on to the cover being careful not to cross thread it.

IMPORTANT:
TO PREVENT DAMAGE TO THE COIL, MAKE CERTAIN THAT THE METAL PART OF THE BATTERY IS SEATED FLAT AGAINST THE CIRCUIT BOARD. IF YOU FEEL PRESSURE BEFORE THE BATTERY CAP IS SCREWED ALL THE WAY DOWN, REMOVE THE CAP AND RE-SEAT THE BATTERY.

DO NOT OVER-TIGHTEN THE BATTERY HATCH. Assuming that the hatch is installed correctly, when you feel a slight resistance, the hatch is tight enough.

RETURNS:
If after carefully following the above procedure, your 214 is still not operating properly, please contact me.

STARTING YOUR WATCH:
Most 214s will start spontaneously when a new battery is installed but some will not. Over the years the permanent magnets on the tips of your tuning fork may have lost some of their strength. If this is the case you will need to jump-start the movement. First, press hard on the setting stem to be certain that it's seated all the way down. Now give the watch a sharp smack with the palm, or the knuckles of your hand at either the 3 or the 9 o'clock position. That should cause the tuning fork to start to vibrate. Once started, the watch should perform normally until the battery dies. 

SETTING THE TIME:
Your Accutron can be set by lifting and rotating the lever on the back of the watch in either direction. When the correct hour is reached the minute hand should always be rotated counter-clockwise to the correct minute setting. Before releasing the lever turn it a tiny bit clockwise to prevent the minute hand from jumping backward as the lever drops back into its cavity. This technique will remove most of the backlash in the gears allowing the minute hand to start moving quickly upon release of the lever providing of course, that your 214 will self start. After releasing, press down on the lever to make sure that its recessed all the way into the pocket. Always check the setting after the release of the lever and again a few minutes later to be sure that the minute hand was set correctly. Let's be honest, 214's can be a pain to set and depending on how accurate you want it to be it may take several tries before you're satisfied. I spend a lot of time setting your 214's accurately, but personally, I give my own hummer one shot and let the lever fall where it may.


 


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