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  1. #1
    Registered user. RJSoftware's Avatar
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    Default Opening Bulova accutron

    Hello all;

    A while back I inhereted a 14k 33 diamond with gold band, Bulova Accutron watch.

    I would like to remove the battery that is in it cause it went dead a while back. Dont want acid to ruin it.

    But I'll be danged if I can get it open.

    I figure it might unscrew cause it has these notches which looks like grips for a socket of some sort.

    Anyway, I would like some confirmation. And maybe some advice on how to make the tool to open it or how to open it.

    Trying to save money. Was thinking also that I might just go to local jewler have them open it.

    I think it's model N1 or NL cant make it out.

    Any advice on new battery would be apreciated too.

    Thanks
    RJ
    [Discovery is about to be destroyed by the birth of a new star]
    HAL 9000: I'm afraid.
    Dave Bowman: Don't be. We'll be together.
    HAL 9000: Where will we be?
    Dave Bowman: Where I am now.

  2. #2
    Registered user. RJSoftware's Avatar
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    Default Opening Bulova accutron (RE: RJSoftware)

    Hello all;

    A while back I inhereted a 14k 33 diamond with gold band, Bulova Accutron watch.

    I would like to remove the battery that is in it cause it went dead a while back. Dont want acid to ruin it.

    But I'll be danged if I can get it open.

    I figure it might unscrew cause it has these notches which looks like grips for a socket of some sort.

    Anyway, I would like some confirmation. And maybe some advice on how to make the tool to open it or how to open it.

    Trying to save money. Was thinking also that I might just go to local jewler have them open it.

    I think it's model N1 or NL cant make it out.

    Any advice on new battery would be apreciated too.

    Thanks
    RJ
    [Discovery is about to be destroyed by the birth of a new star]
    HAL 9000: I'm afraid.
    Dave Bowman: Don't be. We'll be together.
    HAL 9000: Where will we be?
    Dave Bowman: Where I am now.

  3. #3
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Opening Bulova accutron (RE: RJSoftware)

    RJ,

    Accutrons have been made that are the electronic, tuning fork variety, and also the newer quartz variety. You don't say which you have.

    The backs on most Accutron gent's tuning fork watches, and many of the quartz nodels, have an indexed case back with a finger to prevent the back from turning when tightened, and a surrounding ring which actually does the turning. Some women's Accutrons have a standard case back, the entire back turning when tightened. All of these have the lugs you describe. While there is a dedicated case wrench for the gent's models, I don't know if there is one for the lady's models. You don't say if your watch is gent's or lady's, but with 33 diamonds, it might be the latter. I recommend the correct case wrench for the gent's model, especially since the jaws on an adjustable case wrench can scratch the case back when turned. If one of these wrenches is used, care must be taken. As to the cell to use, it depends on whether the watch is lady's or gent's, quartz or tuning fork. Let us know and maybe we can advise you further. I would recommend that you don't try to do this yourself. 14 karat marks easily, and if you get the back off, and cross-thread it when you put it back on, well..........! Trouble!

  4. #4
    Registered user. RJSoftware's Avatar
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    Default Opening Bulova accutron (RE: RJSoftware)

    Hey Doug;

    It's a gents watch.

    Also it has the tuning fork. I remember from reading about it before that N1 might be something like 1971.

    I suppose my next step is to contact a watch repair guy to open the case for me.

    Although, I would like to investigate purchasing an opener.

    What is the tool called specifically?

    Maybe I can find it on ebay or some other location to purchase it.

    Stands to reason also that maybe jewler might not have the tool. As it is older watch.

    RJ
    [Discovery is about to be destroyed by the birth of a new star]
    HAL 9000: I'm afraid.
    Dave Bowman: Don't be. We'll be together.
    HAL 9000: Where will we be?
    Dave Bowman: Where I am now.

  5. #5
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Opening Bulova accutron (RE: RJSoftware)

    RJ,

    I had a look at my Accutron wrench, and found out something I didn't know before! I have TWO of them! They are both marked "ACCUTRON BY BULOVA", and one is marked "F" and the other "L". The only difference between them is the size of the "tines" that do the work, the tines on the "L" model being a bit finer. These wrenches are about 40 years old, and your average shop is not likely to have either of them. However, a typical adjustable wrench will likely be okay as long as care is taken.

    As far as the cell question is concerned, there were three different 1.35 volt cells used in Accutrons. The 343 cell in the 214, the 387 in the 218 and derivatives and the lady's 230 models and derivatives, and the 388 used in the 221 model. None of these is now available, and the usual solution is to replace the 343 with a 344, the 387 with a 389, and the for 388, I don't recall the equivalent. Sometimes these Accutrons will work fine with the 1.55 volt cell the way they are, some will work okay with re-phasing, and some of them refuse to work correctly with the 1.55 volt cell, period. At least in my experience. The modern Accu-Cell should work for all Accutron applications, and I've had success with those.

  6. #6
    Registered user. RJSoftware's Avatar
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    Default Opening Bulova accutron (RE: RJSoftware)

    Doug;

    Any chance I can get you to take photo of how to use adjustable wrench on it?

    Are we talking the same wrench here? One typically made by Crescent. With 2 flat surface jaws. One on bottom moves.

    Or are you talking bout a slip jointed type. You know like "Channel" locks.

    Not sure how either would work in this case cause the "tines" are awfly small. Plus gold being easy to scratch.

    That's why I say maybe a photo would be best.

    Thanks for helping!
    RJ
    [Discovery is about to be destroyed by the birth of a new star]
    HAL 9000: I'm afraid.
    Dave Bowman: Don't be. We'll be together.
    HAL 9000: Where will we be?
    Dave Bowman: Where I am now.

  7. #7
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Opening Bulova accutron (RE: RJSoftware)

    RJ,

    Here is a scan of the two Accutron wrenches I mentioned, a typical adjustable "Jaxa" wrench, and an Accutron case ring. The three jaws on the Jaxa wrench are adjustable to span the case back, but the "fingers" are somewhat heavier than the Accutron wrench, and care must be used in using one on a karat gold back or the back can become quite scored.

  8. #8
    Registered user. RJSoftware's Avatar
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    Default Opening Bulova accutron (RE: RJSoftware)

    Doug; Thanks for photo.

    The ring on mine is not gold thankfully. Maybe now I can do a search on ebay for similar "jaxa" wrench.

    I doubt I can find the actual accutron wrenches. But I will try those first. Hopefully get the right size one. Is one for ladies and other for gents watch (size diff?).

    Thanks again!
    RJ

    :update: I see there are pleanty of "jaxa" wrenches. I may go this route.

    RJ
    [Discovery is about to be destroyed by the birth of a new star]
    HAL 9000: I'm afraid.
    Dave Bowman: Don't be. We'll be together.
    HAL 9000: Where will we be?
    Dave Bowman: Where I am now.

  9. #9
    Registered user. RJSoftware's Avatar
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    Default Opening Bulova accutron (RE: RJSoftware)

    Any homemade solutions? Have to ask.
    [Discovery is about to be destroyed by the birth of a new star]
    HAL 9000: I'm afraid.
    Dave Bowman: Don't be. We'll be together.
    HAL 9000: Where will we be?
    Dave Bowman: Where I am now.

  10. #10
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Opening Bulova accutron (RE: RJSoftware)

    RJ,

    On most ladie's karat gold models with the screw back, an outer ring is not used. On gent's karat cases, the outer ring is always steel to the best of my knowledge. All the ones I've seen have been, in any event.

    Short cuts? If a Jaxa is used with care, and if you use the right fingers, no harm will happen to the case back. I would recommend that you stay away from the knock-off Jaxa that is made "offshore", as they lack the control and precision of the Jaxa. By the way, the Jaxa wrench comes with 6 or 8 different interchangeable sets of three fingers for different case back lugs.

  11. #11

    Default Opening Bulova accutron (RE: RJSoftware)

    RJ- Here is an improvised device I used before purchasing an adjustable wrench. I'm a rank-amateur but successfully used this device about 20 times.

    I used a pair of metal calipers. The calipers have pointed feet and a threaded set-screw to lock in the width opening. It's about 9-inches in overall length and is probably a machinists tool for measuring and transferring dimensions.

    With the watch set in the palm of my hand and the caliper tips adjusted to fit in opposite slots of the ring, I cautiously but firmly twist the calipers. The length of the calipers is important because there is much rotational torque involved.

    I had to be real careful because a slip would scratch the watch back and possibly send me to the emergency room to patch a hole in the palm of my hand. (As I write this it occurs to me that I should have blunted the tips of the calipers.)

    I found that the calipers did not work on newer watches. I also could not use them on rings that had excessive wear. The adjustable wrench outfit is safer and works great. I paid $15.00 for it at a swap meet a year ago.

    Frank

  12. #12
    Registered user. RJSoftware's Avatar
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    Default Opening Bulova accutron (RE: RJSoftware)

    Frank; Thanks for info.

    I was thinking of using a metal coupling. Some sized coupling for electrical pipe or plumbing or connector...

    Then mark where tabs are suppose to be and cut rest out with dremel.

    Maybe even drill hole through side and put metal bar to work as handle.

    Anyway, all I wanna do is open it and remove the battery. Your way if it works will be great!

    RJ
    [Discovery is about to be destroyed by the birth of a new star]
    HAL 9000: I'm afraid.
    Dave Bowman: Don't be. We'll be together.
    HAL 9000: Where will we be?
    Dave Bowman: Where I am now.

  13. #13
    AnthonyR
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    Default Opening Bulova accutron (RE: RJSoftware)

    I just use the corners of my thumb nails, I haven't come across one I couldn't open that way as yet.

    Anthony

  14. #14
    dumbdumb
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    Default Opening Bulova accutron (RE: RJSoftware)

    I find the the adjustable wrenches are the most convenient at they open a variety of casebacks. Having said that, Doug is absolutely spot on cause solid gold cases damage far easier than a ripe peach.

    One method I employ (when I'm feeling lazy) is to get someone to hold the watch level for me, while I place 2 fingernails diametrically opposite the case and turn. Single 'thumbnail' operation is tough cause you don't get the right leverage...

  15. #15

    Default Opening Bulova accutron (RE: RJSoftware)

    Why try to complicate this---case block--L/G Wrench---job done!

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