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Accutron Time Setting Instructions

 How to Set the Time
on my Bulova Accutron Tuning Fork Watch
214, 218, 218D, 2180, 2181, 2182, 2185:

Setting the Time for the 214 Model Accutron
(Bulova's original instructions for setting the time on 214 Accutrons including Spaceview, Railroad & Astronaut Models)

setting the hands

Accutron 214 case back showing battery door and crownFrequent setting of the ACCUTRON timepiece is not required because of its unusual accuracy.  Since the setting crown is seldom used, it has been placed on the back of the ACCUTRON case.  Its position is shown in Fig. 1 (left). 



Accutron 214 - How to Pull the CrownLifting the setting handle to an up-right position, using the fingernail (see Fig. 2 left) engages the setting mechanism.  When the setting handle is in the up-right position, the hour and minute hands may be set by turning the handle in either direction (see Fig. 3)Bulova Accutron 214 - Back Set Crown

Most ACCUTRON models are provided with a spring which returns the setting handle to the flat position and at the same time disengages the setting mechanism after the hands have been set.  After returning the handle to the flat position on models NOT provided with the spring, it is necessary to press in the crown, until a slight snap indicates that the setting mechanism has been disengaged.  This is the same as pressing in the crown of an ordinary watch after setting.  If the setting mechanism is not disengaged, the hour and minute hands will not turn.

The sweep second hand of the ACCUTRON timepiece continues its rotation while the minute and hour hands are being set, so that an exact number of minutes or hours may be added or subtracted.  This feature is particularly useful when traveling from time zone to time zone or when changing to or from daylight saving time.  If desired, the second hand can be set approximately on time by removing the Power Cell and replacing it at the proper time.  With practice, this can result in a fairly accurate setting.  This procedure, although relatively difficult, is the only way to accomplish a result which is not intended as a feature of this timepiece.

Vintage Bulova Accutron Spaceview Watch with Spiral Lugs  Vintage Bulova Accutron Repair


Setting the Date (Date Accutron Models Only)
(as printed in the 218-1, 218D Owners Manual)

In the 218 Date Model, the date indication advances instantaneously each day at approximately 12:00 midnight.  It will function automatically except that a manual correction is necessary after a month with less than 31 days.  This is readily accomplished WITHOUT DISTURBING THE TIME INDICATING HANDS, since this model is provided with a unique "instant-correct" device for the date.

To advance the date manually, the setting crown is turned in a clockwise direction in the normal or "in" position, until the proper date is indicated.  A "hard-turn" device resists free turning of the crown for a portion of each revolution.  When setting the date, stop turning after reaching the proper date indication and before reaching the "hard-turn" portion of a revolution.  This will prevent subsequent accidental advance of the date.  If the date indication is advanced manually within 1 1/2 hours before midnight, it will not again advance automatically until midnight of the next day.

Note:  Like any date model timepiece, it is important to differentiate between noon and midnight.  This will assure that the date will change at midnight, rather than at 12 o'clock noon.  To establish 12 o'clock midnight, set the hands forward until the date changes.  Then set the hands forward to the correct time, advancing beyond 12 o'clock noon if the timepiece is being set in the afternoon or evening.

Accutron 2181, 218D - OFT Accutron Repair Specialists  Accutron Watch Repair Accutron 218 Spaceview Vintage Tuning Fork


Setting the Day/Date Accutron Models
(Bulova's original instructions for 2182 Accutron Series Models with both Day and Date)

Bulova's Method:  First set the day of the week.
Pull out the crown and advance the time until the day advances.  (It may be necessary to complete a 24-hour cycle before the first day change occurs.)  Repeat this procedure until the proper day appears in the day window.  
Then set the date.

Move the hands backwards to 6 o'clock and forward just beyond the 12 o'clock position to advance the date.  Repeat this procedure until the correct date appears in the date window.

My Own Method:
My trick (not Bulova’s) is to turn the crown until the DAY OF THE WEEK is set to YESTERDAY (i.e. Thursday), then turn the crown until the DATE is set to YESTERDAY (i.e., 31st)  Then pull and turn the crown, advancing the time as you normally would, passing the 12 midnight point, (this may require two revolutions), at which time the DAY and DATE will advance together displaying the current time.  This synchronizes both wheels & establishes midnight (from noon).

Accutron 2182 Model in 14K Yellow Gold - Accutron Repair Specialists  Accutron 2182 Restored by OFT - Accutron Watch Repair Specialists


Setting The Time for the 2185 Mark II Models
(from Bulova Accutron Astronaut Mark II - Model 2185 Owner's Manual)

The unique feature of the Accutron Astronaut Mark II is that the hour hand may be "advanced" or "backed-up" in exact one hour increments without disturbing the minute and seconds.  This permits the traveler to readjust the hour hand of his watch to agree with local time as he crosses into new time zones.  In addition, a reference hour hand or digital hour read-out, in a window, depending upon the style, will continue to display his home-base time as he moves from one time zone to another.  The date indicator is controlled from the (local) hour hand and for this reason it is important to follow the setting instructions as outlined.

Align the Hour Indicators

1.  Prior to setting the time, set the hour hand to the same hour as home-base time. This is accomplished by turning the hour setting crown in the appropriate direction to advance or back-up the hour hand.  CAUTION:  Hour setting crown is to be ROTATED ONLY to move hour hand forward or backward.  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PULL CROWN "OUT".

Set The Time

2.  Pull "out" time setting crown when second hand reaches 60 second marker.  All hands will stop.
3.  Advance the hands until date changes.  (This establishes midnight.)
4.  Now continue to turn hands forward until minute hand is slightly ahead of the desired minute marker and then turn back to this marker.  (If setting the watch after 12 Noon, advance hands an additional 12 hours.)
5.  When time standard by which you are setting your watch reaches 60th second, push time setting crown to normal "in" position.
6.  Rotate time setting crown clockwise until the correct date appears in the date window.
Note:  The date will advance automatically at midnight, provided a.m. and p.m. have been established.  On the first day of each month, following a month with less than 31 days, advance the date manually (same procedure as step 6).

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