Timing Your Accutron

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All too often I receive a watch which has been described as running "fast" or "slow", but I find that the watch is keeping time well within the guaranteed +/- 4 minute per month limit.

Your Accutron was adjusted with a Vibrograph timing instrument (photo below) which gives a digital readout in seconds per day. The correct setting specified in the Bulova 214 repair manual is
minus 2 seconds per day. This is because 214's will gain that much on average while being worn. Please bear in mind that any losses during the night while on the dresser will usually be balanced out during the day when a 214 is being worn. If you don't wear your 214 you should expect it to lose time.

Time Setting Errors:
If a watch is set incorrectly it will appear to be running fast or slow at the next time check. Five minute errors are not uncommon. After setting the time, it's a good idea to wait 10 minutes and then recheck the setting.

Frequent time Setting:
The worst thing you can do to determine an error rate is to keep resetting your watch. The correct procedure is to set the watch at some convenient time like a coffee break or at lunch time. Always recheck the setting after 5 or 10 minutes. Then check it again at approximately the same time each day for a week without resetting it. If your 214 is running either fast or slow on the first day you would expect it to gain or lose by the same amount on each of the following days. The time would be off by 5 seconds the first day, 10 seconds the next and so on. When you have an accurate weekly rate you can quickly convert it to the  daily and monthly error rate.

If the error rate is consistent, but always seems to vary by a few seconds, take the 7 day average and you'll have a fairly accurate number to work with.

An error rate of less than 1 minute per week falls within your +/- 4 minute per month guarantee. In order to prevent unnecessary effort and expense please verify that the watch is gaining or losing more than 4 minutes per month before contacting me.

Also see:
Battery Installation


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