Bulova 1969 Deep Sea

Submitted by mustangbrad on May 27, 2016 - 10:00pm
Manufacture Year
Movement Model
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Case Serial No.
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Watch Description

Hello Everyone, My name is Brad and I have just recently picked up a Bulova Accutron Deep Sea watch. I would greatly appreciate any information anyone may be able to give me regarding this watch as I am a total novice. I understand it is a 1969 model but the M9 on it. The case has 702 on it, the inside on the watch says 2181 and has a 218 battery. My first question please is what type of battery should I replace it with? and I have heard that replacing it with a 344 battery the voltage is slightly different and can harm the watch? T? or F? And suggestions on where to get a battery? 2. I can't seem to find this particular watch anywhere on the internet with the orange hands? Do you think the hands could have been changed? And this style of watch seems to be hard to find? Again all information would be greatly appreciated. Also is the leather strap a stock item for this or could have been changed to leather? And not sure if I am allowed to ask this or not but possible value of this watch? Thanks everyone!

1969 Accutron Deep Sea Bulova watch
1969 Bulova watch
1969 Bulova watch
1969 Bulova watch
1969 Bulova watch
Posted May 28, 2016 - 5:32am

Your watch is Accutron Deep Sea "AB" model

Geoff Baker
Posted May 28, 2016 - 7:55am

Hello Brad, welcome to myBulova. Sounds like you've been bitten by the dread Bulova Bug, I regret to inform you it is incurable. You can look forward to spending evening hours scouring the internet for old watches and most likely spending the rent money to buy them.

I think Jaroslav (jabs) is spot on with the ID, Deep Sea model AB. The Deep Sea model is styled after dive watches although I wouldn't recommend even getting it wet, much less taking it to the "deep sea". Bulova used a 333' and a 666' foot rating on some of their watches but I think (opinion only) it was an ad gimmick to 'one up' watches sold as 100m or 200m ratings as 333' and 666' where slightly deeper than 100m & 200m. Again - opinion only. I think most would agree that a watch that does not have a gasketed screw down crown should not be used at depth.

To answer your questions, we cannot perform appraisals, sorry. 218 is the generic designation for this type of Accutron (crown external, generally at the 4 PM position). The 214 Accutron does not have an external crown. 702 is likely the case model number, 2181 is the movement model number. Most of what I've read suggests that the 1.5 volt 344 can be safely used in 218 movements, perhaps one or two of our professional watchmakers will weigh in with an opinion as well, I am not a watchmaker. Regarding the hands currently on the watch, I tend to think their replacements as I can't say I've seen them on other Accutrons. Having said that someone will undoubtedly bring me 24 examples of Accutrons wearing them and I'll have to eat those words. Again, I'm not an expert, they could well be original but either way I like them, a lot.

Your watch is in nice condition, congratulations on a good find. Wear it well, as always have it professionally serviced regularly.

Accutron Deep Sea "AB"


OH, almost forgot....what year is the Mustang? Mine was an Ivy Green '66 Coupe with a Pony interior, long since gone I'm afraid.

Posted May 28, 2016 - 3:04pm

In reply to by Geoff Baker

Hi Geoff and everyone, thsnk you all for the wonderful ID and info. Very much appreciated guys. And yes I think ive been bitten. Thanks for the info on the battery that was my main concern if I could replace it without harm.
Geoff, I had a 67 gta big block 390 car with nearly every option ford offered, tilt-away, air, consoles, remote trunk release etc.
Thanks again everyone!

Reverend Rob
Posted May 28, 2016 - 9:54am


A modern 1.55v cell can be used in the Accutron, but it will tend to run fast. (A fresh cell actually kicks out 1.62v.) This can be addressed by having the watch 'phased' and this can be done by various qualified watchmakers in the US, you will need to do a bit of digging as I have lost track of any that I once knew that did this. The part that is no longer available, the index wheel, is the part that is most often damaged. Bulova destroyed the hobbing machine that made these wheels and since that day, there have been no new index wheels save for what is still in NOS stock with watchmakers that are still working on Accutrons. 

The Index Wheel is very easily damaged, simply touching it with tweezers (or a finger) will ruin it. I should caution anyone who is not properly trained about working on Accutrons, the adjustments necessary are on the scale of microns, and need to be done with a microscope. 

That said, I believe we are spot on with Jabs' ID of Deep Sea AB.

Posted May 28, 2016 - 1:11pm

Deep Sea AB. I don't think I have ever seen hands like those before on any Bulova watch.

Posted May 28, 2016 - 4:13pm

I agree with Accutron Deep Sea "AB"

The hands appear to be from one of the Snorkel models, as seen in this 1968 offsite ad