Bulle Post Your Bulle-Clocks Here

Discussion in 'Electric Horology' started by John Hubby, May 7, 2002.

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  1. malloy1

    malloy1 Registered User

    Nov 6, 2013
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    Re: Bulle magnet question

    From a post in 2009 (post #288) - didn't see a solution, so wanted to post my observation:
    So I was playing with my Bulle clock, I accidently messed up something that battery leads had to be reversed to get the clock to run. Turned out that I flipped the coil over the wrong way. So I needed to flip the coil around to get it run with the battery leads correctly.

    Paul
     
  2. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    #452 John Hubby, Dec 25, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2014
    Re: Adjustments, Adjustments, Adjustments..

    Paul, if your clock is running too fast and the drive pawl is only picking up one tooth at a time, the isochronous spring has too much tension. Here is the sequence to get these guys running on time:

    1) Disconnect the battery.

    2) Set the isochronous spring with no tension even at maximum swing, and set the rating nut at the center of travel.

    3) Check the silver contact spring to be sure the tension is not set too tight. It should have just enough tension for the loop that sits in the groove of the "Y" yoke arbor to maintain contact and "roll" easily up and down as the pendulum swings. If it is too tight it will bind that 'Y" yoke and reduce pendulum oscillation.

    4) Adjust the silver contact pin height so its centerline is just at the shoulder of the silver contact and insulator on the "Y" yoke. Manually move the pendulum from max left to max right and back, the drive pawl should come close to picking up two teeth on the contrate but not quite. IF it is picking up two teeth, raise the contact pin slightly as that reduces the horizontal movement of the "Y" yoke. Now test it by swinging manually only one-half distance from center to side in each direction, and the drive pawl should still pick up one tooth. That should be your normal operation position of the contact pin.

    5) You had mentioned earlier about moving the magnet position, be sure it is centered in the hole through the pendulum coil.

    6) Reconnect the battery and start the clock. If all is well the clock should run slow. If it doesn't, you will need to lengthen the pendulum assembly by lowering the support rod at the upper connection to the suspension. You need to BE SURE the clock is running slow with no tension on the isochronous spring, otherwise you will not be able to regulate the time. It doesn't take a lot of lowering, only a couple mm or so to get it to run slow in most instances. You will also need to lower the magnet the same amount to keep it centered in the pendulum coil.

    7) Once the clock is running slow, now begin to put tension on the isochronous spring. Adding tension speeds up the clock, reducing tension slows it down. This is trial and error. Make an adjustment and check the rate. If still too slow, add more tension, etc until you have the clock running within about 4 minutes per day (10 seconds per hour) either fast or slow. At that point you can do the fine tuning using the rating nut. One full turn of the rating nut will give you about 1-1/2 minutes per day or less, so as you can see it is NOT to be used for anything other than fine tuning. The isochronous spring is the KEY to getting these clocks to run to time.

    NOTE: It is seldom one of these will initially run so slow that you can't bring it to time with the isochronous spring. The main reason for this to happen is when the suspension unit has too much gap between the upper and lower chops. As noted earlier that needs to be 1 mm or slightly less. The second most frequent problem is the pendulum being too long, that just needs to be shortened using the upper connection mentioned in Item 6 above. Too much friction in the "Y" yoke arbor will reduce pendulum oscillation as mentioned above and this can add to the problem. The only other situation found occasionally is that someone has swapped the movement for one that uses a shorter pendulum, in which case there is no hope of making it run fast enough. Remember the movements are NOT interchangeable between the full size, intermediate or clockette models since the gearing in the contrate and motion works is set for the pendulum length for those models.

    Hope this will help, let us know if you have any questions.
     
  3. malloy1

    malloy1 Registered User

    Nov 6, 2013
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    Re: Adjustments, Adjustments, Adjustments..

    Thanks John-

    I think I have it close. Maybe a little slow, but ok. The thumb screw is pretty high, but seems to be running on time. Need some more time to see.

    Paul
     
  4. malloy1

    malloy1 Registered User

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    Re: Adjustments, Adjustments, Adjustments..

    It's running on time now.

    Thanks-

    Paul
     
  5. devore

    devore Registered User
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    Mar 13, 2010
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    Re: Dating Bulle clocks

    A couple of my Bulles...

    image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
     
  6. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Dating Bulle clocks

    Great collection, especially the Garniture "Lion au Serpent"! I recognize all the models you have, would very much appreciate if you could provide serial numbers corresponding with each clock From that I can provide accurate dating and likely other info regarding each one.
     
  7. devore

    devore Registered User
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    Re: Dating Bulle clocks

    John - serial numbers are as follows:
    Lion au Serpent 95463
    Pink & red veined marble 317717
    Large chrome 287473
    Glass domed clockette 193345
    Small chrome clockette 309947
    Large gold has no visible serial number
     
  8. Dan Mcman

    Dan Mcman Registered User

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    Re: Bulle clock questions

    Does anybody know where I can get appropriate springs?
     
  9. swolf

    swolf Registered User
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  10. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Dating Bulle clocks

    Thanks much for the serial number info. I'll add my dating and comments for each clock.

    One question, does the last clock have a door on the back of the case? Same question for the chromed version.

    I'll look forward to the info for the last clock.
     
  11. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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  12. devore

    devore Registered User
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    Re: Bulle 177174

    GREAT info on the Bulles John! Thanks!

    The last four digits of the serial number on the large gold Bulle as seen through the front dial opening are 0092. The first digit is covered.

    The large chromed & pink/red veined Bulles have rear opening doors. The Lion, large gold & small chromed Bulles do not have rear doors.

    Here is one other shelf/wall Bulle. The last four digits of the serial number on this one as seen through the front dial are 5842. Again, the first digit is covered.

    image.jpg image.jpg
     
  13. devore

    devore Registered User
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    Re: Bulle

    John - movement pics of the large gold Bulle (serial digits 0092).
     

    Attached Files:

  14. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle 177174

    OK, I'll comment on the large gold Bulle in my next post to go together with the movement photos you posted.

    Thanks for posting this wood case wall model, which is a variant of the Model Ba illustrated in the Bulle 1926 Catalog. The catalog illustration is for a plain wood case version, yours has the stamped wood moldings and side impressions, a very attractive clock indeed. The plain case version was first used in 1920, Bulle's inaugural year of production. The last year any version of this case has been recorded is 1928.

    This one was made some time between mid-1924 and the end of 1926 based on two pieces of information:

    * First is the type of pendulum coil cover, a black enamel on brass. That was first introduced late in the April-June quarter of 1924.

    * Second is that when serial numbers reached 100001, Bulle started stamping them on left rear of the back movement plate. For a time they stamped both front and back, in later years it was on the back only. The transition started at the beginning of 1927.

    The missing digit in your serial number could be a 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9, quite a wide spread but as I've noted this covers only a 2-1/2 year production period. Should you have the opportunity to remove the dial and the nut on the left movement support post you will be able to see what number is actually there. It would be appreciated if that can be done some time at your convenience.
     
  15. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle

    Thanks much for the detailed photos of the movement and the information that the last four digits of the serial number are "0092". I had mentioned earlier that this clock was a model "H" 4-Glass and Gilt Brass crystal regulator style clock, after consideration of this new information I have some other interesting information. Consider the following:

    * The lowest recorded serial number for a movement with the "double pawl" escapement drive pawl mechanism is 15325. Your clock has this type of escapement. All clocks made prior to this number have a "pawl plus weight" drive mechanism or other earlier designs. From this information we can positively conclude that the serial number for your clock cannot be "10092", since a completely different escapement design was being used when that movement was built.

    * The highest serial number previously documented for the dial logo "MFB" is 17318, made right at the end of 1921. Your clock has that logo, which indicates almost certainly that the missing digit is "2", being the next in series after five-digit serial numbers starting with "1". That would show your serial number is "20092", made near the beginning of 1922.

    * The lowest serial number previously recorded for a model "H" clock is 26674 made in the July-September quarter of 1922.

    There is little to no possibility of the missing digit being a "3", as the dial stamps had changed almost universally to "BULLE-CLOCK Brevete S.G.D.G. Patented" by the time that movement would have been made near the end of 1922.

    Additional info regarding what I call the "MFB" logo is that the highly stylized "MFB" is the three letters of Bulle's full name, Maurice Favre-Bulle. The logo includes the word "Patent" above the "F" in the center, and the abbreviations "Bte. S.G.D.G" incorporated at the bottom as extensions of the letters "M" and "B". The "Bte" stands for Brevete or Patented in French, and "S.G.D.G" is for "Sans Garantie du Gouvernment" or "Without Government Guarantee", which was a requirement of the French patent office when reference was made to a French patent. Here is a close-up photo of the logo on an early dial:
    1738 Dial Logo.jpg

    Presuming the serial number is confirmed, you have not only the earliest example so far documented for the model "H" 4-Glass and Gilt Brass case, but also the last known commercial use of the MFB logo. Also, the movement is one of the earliest commercial versions of the Bulle double pawl drived mechanism.
     
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  16. devore

    devore Registered User
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    Re: Bulle magnet question

    Thanks John. Fantastic, detailed information. Especially interesting on the "H" Gilt Brass. I would have expected such a "Gilt" finish to be shiney (like the chromed finish) vs an "antique brass" finish (which I do believe to be original due to its uniformity).
    I'm curious...are reprints if the Bulle catalogs available? I've not seen one but would love to have a copy.
    Bill
     
  17. swolf

    swolf Registered User
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    Re: Bulle magnet question

    Thanks to Pete Smith - http://www.horologix.com/downloads.html

    1925 Catalog - http://www.horologix.com/bulle_catalogue_1925.pdf
    1935 Catalog - http://www.horologix.com/bulle_catalogue_circa_1935.pdf
     
  18. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle magnet question

    Thanks for posting the links to Peter's downloads page. For info to all, he also has a 1940 catalog, some advertisements, and post WWII sale brochures that can be used for identification purposes. There is also a Bulle restoration tutorial in five parts that shows you just about everything you need to know for service and repair of a Bulle. The most impressive (to me) part of the website is the PDF files for many of the clocks he has restored.
     
  19. devore

    devore Registered User
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    John, have you seen a Bulle with the 24 hour numbers in red? This is the first one I've seen. Are they unusual? Any history to share? Thanks.

    image.jpg
     
  20. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    The 13-24 don't look original. It looks like
    some used a stencil and added them.
    They where not placed with the same care that
    the main dial was.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  21. Ingulphus

    Ingulphus Registered User

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    There are two Bulle clock with this secondary set of numbers currently at auction; both are the types with cut-glass domes.
     
  22. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    #472 John Hubby, Feb 6, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2015
    Mark, I think the red numbers on Devore's Bulle have been added on. From my database, the only Bulle clocks with 24-Hr dials I have documented thus far are both of the two standard size Kosta Boda Crystal Dome models. About 3/4 of them do have the 24 Hr dial as you have pointed out for the two other examples. Here is a photo of one of mine:

    24-Hr Dial JH.jpg Note that the 13-24 hour numbers are stamped in the metal dial just like the main Arabic hour numbers, and then filled with black lacquer after the dial was silvered. The red numbers on Devore's dial appear to be either painted on or are transfers/decals. Note the 24 overlaps the Bulle Patent logo whereas in the one I've pictured it fits neatly between the logo and the "12".

    The dials used for the crystal dome models that don't have the 13-24 numbers are identical to Devore's dial but without the numbers.

    Devore, if you will provide the serial number of the movement I can date your clock. Also do you have the dome? Photos would be appreciated. Here is a bit of history:

    ALL the Bulle clocks with the heavy cut lead crystal domes were actually made by the Kosta Boda crystal company of Sweden, between 1927 and 1930. They designed the bases and domes of three different models, purchased the movements, dials, and pendulum/magnet assemblies from Bulle and then assembled the clocks at Kosta Boda. These were sold only through Kosta Boda retail outlets and are not shown in any known Bulle catalog or sales brochure, but do appear in Kosta Boda brochures and contemporary ads. While many of the domes share similar design patterns, no two are exactly alike as they were all hand-cut crystal.

    The three models include:

    >> A standard size "D" dome profile model. The base is of flat curved design in a matching "D" profile and is of fine wood. It was offered in Ebony, Walnut, and Mahogany. This model was made from near the beginning of 1927 to mid-first half 1929. Serial numbers will be between 120.000 and 180.000 based on present data.

    >> A Clockette size "O" dome profile miniature model. The dome and base is perfectly oval and was finished with gold leaf as the only option. This model was made in second quarter 1929 only, with serial numbers between 193.000 and 201.000 based on present data.

    >> A standard size "O" dome profile model. The dome and base is perfectly oval, the base being flared with three built-in legs, and was offered only in ebony finish. This model was made from mid-1929 to the end of 1930, with serial numbers between 202.000 and 265.000 based on present data.

    Altogether perhaps 15,000 clocks in total with these stunning domes were made. I need more data before trying to make more accurate projections of the production.
     
  23. devore

    devore Registered User
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    Mar 13, 2010
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    Re: Bulle clock questions

    As always, great info John. Thank you! The Bulle in question w/ the red 13-24 isn't one of mine but rather one I saw at auction. I had never seen one like it and thought it, too, to be modified. Thanks again for the detailed Kosta Boda info!
     
  24. sophiebear0_0

    sophiebear0_0 Registered User

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    Re: Bulle clock questions

    004.jpg
    014.jpg DSCF0770.jpg

    I have just taken delivery of a Bulle travel clock. Its quite unlike the conventional Bulle clocks, though it does have the normal contact pin and swinging fork.

    I have managed to get the pendulum to swing with 1.5 volts, so I'm cautiously optimistic that I will be able to get the clock working.

    I am hoping that somebody may be able to help regarding the electrical set-up. I have attached a close-up of where the post carrying the +ve wire passes through the movement plate and connects to the contact spring. This post needs to be isolated from the movement plate. Should there be some form of electrical isolating washer ? Note that the hole in the movement plate is larger than the post to allow swivel of the post to set the fork depth.

    I'm sorry if this all sounds confusing -but hopefully for anyone owning a similar model of clock will be able to understand my ramblings ?

    Finally, I have not located any serial number. Does anyone know what the year of manufacture is likely to be ?

    Thanks & regards,

    Peter
     
  25. Pastimes35

    Pastimes35 New Member

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    Re: Bulle clock questions

    Be sure to check both the front and back of the movement for the serial number. As I recall the number on this movement isn't in the usual places.
     
  26. sophiebear0_0

    sophiebear0_0 Registered User

    Nov 5, 2012
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    Re: Bulle clock questions

    Thanks. You are absolutely right ! Not sure how I missed it, but its low on the back of the movement. Its #274758. On closer inspection I think the support for the contact spring is actually at the incorrect angle ? I think the contact spring should actually be closer to horizontal, rather than the vertical (shown in my photograph). This means the contact spring passes on the outside of the movement support pillar.

    I think it a great little clock. You don't seem to see many of these travel clocks. Anyone any idea whether they were manufactured for a long period any how many were made ?

    Thanks again for your help. Much appreciated.

    Regards, Peter
     
  27. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle clock questions

    Peter, welcome to the NAWCC Message Board and thanks for posting your inquiry and the photos of your Bulle travel clock. There were at least two models of these little clocks that used the same basic movement design. As can be seen in your photo of the back of the movement the lever arrangement there provides for simultaneously locking the pendulum in place and disconnecting the battery. Once locked, the clock can then be safely moved to any new location, set in place, and the levers unlocked to restart the clock. All that would then be needed is to close the cover and set the time. This design feature would allow these to be classified as travel clocks although I doubt they were normally used for that purpose.

    My database now has five of these clocks including yours. Four of them have the identical case design and veneered wood construction as yours, however one of these has an Art Deco marquetry style veneer instead of the burl rosewood with boxwood inlay pattern like yours.

    273564 Front.jpg

    The fifth clock has a closed nickeled brass case with a translucent white dial and a press-fit back cover but has the same movement design.

    273446 Front 1.jpg

    Among these five clocks there are three different contact designs so it is obvious they had not standardized on a single design at the time. Here are photos of the three designs:

    273564 Yoke.jpg 274803 Mvmt Contact.jpg 277746 Contact.jpg The first to the left has the contact arm extended to about twice the length of your but would otherwise operate the same. The contact spring for this one "would" be in a vertical position but isn't present. The second version is an "I" shape contact plate that oscillates to contact a silver pin to the top left, and in the other direction just the insulator block at the bottom left. The contact spring for this one is at a 45 degree angle and attached to what appears to be the correct holding arm. The third is the same as your s but uses a plastic "Y" yoke, note that the contact spring is horizontal as yours should be.

    Based on the serial numbers all of these clocks were made in the first half of 1931. Yours with serial number 274758 was made in the January-March quarter of that year. The highest serial number so far is 277746. None of these have been found in any of the catalogs or advertisements I presently have available so my guess is they weren't good sellers and thus weren't made for very long at all. Using the serial numbers now documented my estimate is that that not more than 1,500 in total were made.

    One thing I have found is that these run very well on a 1-1/2 volt battery, I have one and use a two-cell plastic holder with the contacts wired in parallel. That provides for at least a year of operation.
     
  28. sophiebear0_0

    sophiebear0_0 Registered User

    Nov 5, 2012
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    Re: Bulle clock questions

    John

    Thank you for your warm welcome - and for taking the time to give such a detailed reply. Much appreciated.

    I sense you are right that the clocks were not great sellers. Great pity, because I think they are really splendid. I have only owned mine for around a month. It seems to be working well and keeping good time (powered by a single 1.5 volt battery).

    It has certainly been tinkered with in the past, and the wire from the coil has been soldered onto the swinging arm that holds the contact pin. It looks like this should be secured with a screw/nut. I plan to give it a complete overhaul in the near future, so hopefully can address these minor issues.

    Thanks again for providing the excellent information.

    Best regards,

    Peter
     
  29. swolf

    swolf Registered User
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    Re: Bulle clock questions

    Hi John - this is #53298. I have a similar one with Arabic numerals. Any info you can pass would be much appreciated. -Steve
    IMG_2314.JPG
     
  30. Mistyoptic

    Mistyoptic Registered User

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    Newbie needs help

    Hi all

    I am in the process of trying to "sort" my ma-in-law's old Bulle clock.

    With lots of help from Peter Smith's Horologix website and some new bits (fork, suspension) I have it running for the first time in 25 years, so feeling fairly chuffed.

    Problem is it won't run to time. Loses about 15 mins a day! I've read the whole of this thread, and most of Peter's case histories, without finding the cure. I am worried that there is evidence of previously "unsympathetic" attempts to fix it. Evidence for this is the fork arbor which is not typical of any photo I've seen and seems to have the pawl pivot "mashed" onto it. We had to make a special bush to refit the fork. How do I tell if the gears are correct for this model?

    Runs like a dream on 1.5v as you will see from the photo of the pendulum swing. Checked the pawl, definitely one tooth every swing (for the five minutes I watched before I went "boss-eyed"). I know the silver contact spring is missing at present but I don't see that as the issue.

    All advice welcome. Serial No is 54166

    Cheers

    Ian

    ps incidentally, I'm afraid the Horologix website is no longer a source for parts. Peter has posted a note to the effect that time/life has caught up with him and he's had to stop. he gives a new link for someone who has taken over the parts supply
    bulle3.jpg bulle1.jpg bulle2.jpg bulle4.jpg
     
  31. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    Re: Newbie needs help

    Time is carefully for several lengths of time. If it is missing catching
    a tooth it will more likely be erratic, unless it always misses the same tooth.
    Try to be more accurate. Keep a log. You don't have to log it at exactly
    24 hour but you do have to keep an accurate log.
    It should be, at xxxx time it was yyyy minutes off.
    This should be repeated for several days.
    It is OK to check it multiple time a day as well.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  32. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle clock questions

    Steve, thanks for posting the photo of your Bulle Gallery clock. Based on the serial number it was made in the April-June quarter of 1924. I don't have any exact model illustration in any of the Bulle sales catalogs or other literature that I have so can't help with a model name or number.

    Is the case made of metal or wood? A side view and a view with the bezel open, or especially if you have photos of the movement with the dial removed that would be most appreciated. What is the diameter, overall and of the dial just outside the minute ring? That may help me find more info.
     
  33. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Newbie needs help

    Ian, welcome to the NAWCC Message Board! Thanks for your inquiring and for posting the photos of your MIL's Bulle, and congratulations on getting it to run. That's usually the biggest hurdle, after that we can usually find how to bring the clock to time.

    Based on the movement serial number, the clock was made in the April-June quarter of 1924, just a little later than Steve Wolf's clock I just posted about. This is the third clock of this exact case design I have documented so far, so it's not really very common. The other two were made in 1927 and 1929.

    You asked about whether the gear count is correct for this movement. Since it is within 15 minutes per day, there is no question it has the correct gearing. A change to the gearing of either the larger standard model or any of the smaller Clockette models would have you off by an hour or more per day.

    First things first, I recommend you do the check that Tinker has proposed to be sure you aren't missing any teeth. There won't be any assurance with even a half-hour check and "going blind" while watching the action. Also it will give you a base line from which to do the adjustments I have outlined below.

    I've looked closely at the photos you posted to see what I might observe about why it is running slow. Before going into the detail, I expect you have already found that using the rating nut will not speed up the clock enough to compensate for it being 15 min. per 24 hr slow. For this clock, one full turn of the rating nut will only change the rate by 2 minutes in 24 hours, not nearly enough to bring the clock to time from where you are by using that method.

    Now let's look at other possibilities:

    1) You have observed that the drive pawl is picking up one tooth at a time on the escape contrate wheel, so that can be eliminated.

    2) It appears the pendulum assembly is about as short as it can be made and the pendulum coil is centered on the magnet, so there isn't much if any room to shorten that. Shortening the pendulum "will" speed up the clock but this is normally not a factor.

    3) The suspension unit supporting the pendulum has the correct gap between the upper and lower brass chops and you mentioned it was new so no problem there.

    4) I see there is yet plenty of adjustment room to add tension to the isochronous spring, possibly up to 5 or 6 mm. That's the spring connected between the back of the movement and the front pendulum rod. Adding tension to this spring will speed up the clock. That is achieved by lowering the isochronous spring clamp on the front pendulum rod, which will speed up the clock about 5 min. per 24 hr. per millimeter of additional spring length.

    Point 4 is the key to getting your clock to run to time, since it appears to be running steadily and not missing any teeth on the contrate wheel.

    You need to lower the isochronous spring clamp to speed up the clock. This stretches the spring and thus increases tension. If you need to slow down, the reverse is true. This really a trial and error affair but my experience shows the approximate rate change you get with each mm of adjustment as noted above. You will need to make small adjustments each time and carefully record the actual time gain or loss per 24 hours after each change. These adjustments must be made with the pendulum rating nut in its present position.

    Please note that before you try to use the rating nut on the bottom of the pendulum coil, you need to get within about 2 or 3 minutes per day of correct time by adjusting the isochronous spring. When you are within that range, either slightly slow or slightly fast, first let the clock run for a few days to "settle in" so you can be sure no further adjustment is needed to the isochronous spring. Then you can use the rating nut to make fine adjustments.

    Keep us posted on your progress.
     
  34. Mistyoptic

    Mistyoptic Registered User

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    Re: Newbie needs help

    Thanks John and Tinker that is a really helpful and detailed response.

    I have made a start on logging the time "slip". So far it seems to be 30seconds per hour but I will keep a check for a few days as you and Tinker suggest before doing anything further.
    I added this photo to make you cringe. I don't know if you have a "house of Horrors"? bulle5.jpg

    I'll keep you posted with my progress.

    Cheers

    Ian
     
  35. Mistyoptic

    Mistyoptic Registered User

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    Re: Newbie needs help

    Well, after some to-ing and fro-ing, we seem to be almost on time. Just waiting another day before I put it back in the case. Turns out there was some intermittent current loss and so the silver contact spring was more needed than I thought. Unfortunately the previous "repairer" had changed/damaged the fork arbor so that there was nowhere to hang the spring. Looping it around between the fork and the frame seems to have provided a sufficiently good contact and we now have a very brisk swing on 1.5v

    Inspired by this I have bought, for myself, from the "Bay" another Bulle to restore. John will want to know that it is s/n 207134. Coil seems electrically sound, magnet is good but the whole thing is very dirty and so complete circuit is poor. Doesn't seem to have been "got at" so looking forward to a nice clock for myself.

    Only pressing question is that the face, as you will see, is scratched. Is there any way to improve this on an aluminium face?

    $_570.JPG $_572.JPG $_573.JPG $_575.JPG $_576.JPG $_577.JPG $_578.JPG $_579.JPG $_581.JPG
     
  36. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

    Oct 11, 2010
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    Re: Newbie needs help

    One wonders if there isn't an optional material that can be
    used in place of the silver wire.
    Silver is an excellent conductor but does suffer from both work
    hardening and corrosion.
    A light hair spring as might be used in a meter might be a better choice.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  37. Mistyoptic

    Mistyoptic Registered User

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    Re: Newbie needs help

    Thanks to John Hubby and Tinker Dwight for your helpful advice. Clock is now returned to its owner having run for two weeks with no appreciable deviation in timing. Finished result h/w
    54166.jpg
    Now time to start on my own acquisitions, 207134 shown in earlier post and 192092 since purchased. This one is a wooden case with an XA movement, looks like it would have been a "cheapie" at the time (dial says "Foreign Made" under the 6 and case quality seems of a lesser standard). Photos in due course. Any info about ages would be welcome John.
     
  38. sophiebear0_0

    sophiebear0_0 Registered User

    Nov 5, 2012
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    Re: Newbie needs help

    Bulle 1.JPG Bulle 2.JPG Bulle 3.JPG Bulle 4.JPG Bulle 5.JPG Bulle 6.JPG

    John - quite an interesting clock for your dating data-base.

    The serial number is 128092. It is a standard XC movement with a case where the movement has to be accessed via the front bezel opening. My French isn't very good, but I think it relates to a service recognition award (or perhaps retirement) from Lemaitre-Demeestere & Sons in 1927. I believe they were a textile company and are still in business today.

    A few other interesting observations on the clock:

    1) It all looked pretty original to me

    2) The support bracket which connects to the hairspring has been shortened and does not have a screw terminal to connect the power lead. I have seen this before with XC movements that are housed in cases without back doors. I wonder whether this is to aid removal of the movement from the case ?

    3) The shortened bracket makes attaching the battery wire a little more tricky (since this has to be electrically-isolated from the frame. This is achieved by using two shouldered insulating washers. Again, I don't know whether this is original ?

    4) The magnet as received was N-S-N which is unusual. This explains why the positive wire is connected to the bracket.

    5) The original battery lugs were in place at the base of the case. This allowed me to make a simple battery holder screwed to a bit of plywood. this works really well and prevents any excess wiring interfering with the pendulum swing.

    6) The fork is constructed with separate silver & fibre contacts (as opposed to the s-shaped contact arrangement). Both fibre & silver are in excellent condition, so either they have been replaced or the clock has not seen many working years ? the pawls are also in excellent condition.

    7) I have attached a picture of the as-delivered movement. Maybe the oily grime has helped preserve the movement in good condition !

    8) I have cleaned up the movement and it is now working away nicely.

    Regards,

    Peter
     
  39. sophiebear0_0

    sophiebear0_0 Registered User

    Nov 5, 2012
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    Re: Newbie needs help

    Bulle 1.JPG Bulle 2.JPG Bulle 3.JPG Bulle 4.JPG Bulle 5.JPG Bulle 6.JPG Bulle 7.JPG Bulle 8.JPG Bulle 9.JPG

    I thought some of you may be interested in this Bulle curiosity. It looks like a standard Bulle in an oak case with a very Art Deco design. However the movement is very unusual. It is the same movement as posted in an earlier thread (Unknown clock running too slow). It definitely appears to be a genuine Bulle ?

    Some specifics which might be of interest:

    1) It is a large diameter dial (ca 15 cm)
    2) Unusual design of chrome plated front feet - no levelling adjustment
    3) The contact spring is looped at both ends (rather than the usual loop & tag)
    4) The fork is smaller than the conventional Bulle fork and the silver contact is a small circular riveted circle.
    5) The contact pin is brass rather than silver. It is very short and has no method to adjust the depth of penetration into the fork.
    6) This example has the iso spring fitted. It is hung from a short bracket. I suspect it can be adjusted but I haven't yet attempted that.
    7) The magnet is horseshoe rather than conventional U-shaped. It is magnetised N-S-N
    8) It has a serial number on the front - but no other makers marks (other than Bulle on the dial)
    9) Wiring looks original and is standard Bulle type with standard connecting lugs.

    The clock requires a strong pendulum swing to operate the cog wheel mechanism reliably. At the moment I have it running on 3 volts and it appears to be keeping pretty good time. I will try and reduce the voltage to 1.5 V once the clock has run for a couple of days.

    I really don't know anything about the history of this particular design. I know John has suggested that it may be a relatively late model manufactured in Brazil ? I really don't know - but I do get a sense (gut feel) that it is a relatively late model which in a way is backed up by the overall condition of the movement & case. The dial face is quite badly scratched, but the movement and chrome fittings looked to be in good "clean" condition.

    I'd be happy to share more details if anyone is interested, and be very happy to hear from anyone who has any additional information about this design of clock.

    Regards,

    Peter
     
  40. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Newbie needs help

    Ian, I'm quite tardy in responding to this message, but thanks for the update on your first clock and for posting the photos of your "new" model A2 with the "800 Days" dial. Based on the serial number it was made in late 1929.

    This one appears to be complete and interesting due to the simplified wiring at the top to connect to the pendulum rod and coil. It appears to be a straight-forward Clockette model otherwise. Perhaps by now you've completed the restoration and could show us some "after" photos.

    Regarding the dial, I would polish the bezel and then gently clean the dial with warm soapy water. DO NOT SCRUB! Just use a very soft cotton cloth (old tee-shirt) for both cleaning and drying. Otherwise, there's not much can be done to one with this finish except for a complete restoration that is relatively expensive. Others reading this may have some more advice.
     
  41. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Newbie needs help

    Ian, thanks for posting the completed clock. Great job!! This particular model is especially attractive to me.

    We will look forward to seeing your progress on the Model A2 207134 and now the wood case one serial number 192092. Post photos and we will try to identify the model and such.
     
  42. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    #492 John Hubby, Sep 4, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2015
    Re: Newbie needs help

    Peter, very interesting indeed! Especially the dated presentation plaque, which as you have surmised is some kind of service award, my guess would be a retirement gift since no specific number of years is mentioned. Your solution for the battery connection is excellent, I'm putting that one in my "how to do it" file.

    The fork construction is common in the earlier clocks. The "s" shaped contact appeared in the late 1920's but I haven't tracked that particular detail. Now I need to review my archives and add this to the data as it does seem to be a change that can be readily dated.

    Pleased to hear it is running well, congratulations on your work!

    I'll be back to comment on your latest discovery. I've seen only two other clocks so far with this exact movement, which definitely is based on Bulle principles but completely unlike the "usual" Bulle movements. I don't think it is one of he Brazilian clocks, since they did not have authorization to use the Bulle name and sold their clocks under other trade names such as "Alto Relogios". More later.
     
  43. sophiebear0_0

    sophiebear0_0 Registered User

    Nov 5, 2012
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    Re: Newbie needs help

    EMCO 0.jpg EMCO 1.JPG EMCO 2.JPG EMCO 3.JPG EMCO 4.JPG

    John - Many thanks for getting back to me and shedding more illumination (as always !) Thanks also for your kind words about the battery holder. I do think its a good solution to tangled wires with the closed back version of the Bulle clocks.

    I have attached another Bulle curiosity in my collection. Its all pretty much standard Bulle clockette, though the dome is a much thicker glass. The magnet & coil are all "gold" plated - and even the contact spring has a goldish colour (though most of this has been removed by cleaning). The fork is plastic with the s-shaped contact. There are no manufacturer marking or serial number on the movement.

    The clock just needed a good clean and setting up. I have had it running for over a year and its working well. It just requires periodic cleaning of the oxide layer from the contact pin and fork.

    I have seen a similar clock for sale on a well known auction site - but have not seen any other documentation. I would be grateful if anyone could provide any further information or indication of age.

    Best regards,

    Peter
     
  44. KPNuts

    KPNuts Registered User

    Aug 20, 2015
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    Hello,
    I have just acquired another Bulle clock and wonder if anyone can help with the dating?
    It is S.No 344787 and Model 260WAL. The only dating information I can find comes from John Hubby here which states production stopped at around 330000 in 1954.
    The clock has a small wooden case and the movement does not seem to be of the same quality as my other Bulles, the label says it was supplied by Bulle Products Ltd, London although the movement is stamped 'France'. There is no suspension spring instead the pendulum is supported by a pivoting rod. Also it does not have an isochronism spring and on initial inspection I can't see where one would have been fitted, although presumably it should have one.
    If it is of any interest I will try and take some photographs and post them here.
    Thanks in advance!
     
  45. KPNuts

    KPNuts Registered User

    Aug 20, 2015
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    Forgot to add the clock runs but I haven't checked timekeeping yet
     
  46. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    KPN, welcome to the NAWCC Message Board! Thanks for posting, and please do post some photos of your clock. Regarding when it was made the info on Antiques Price Guide is out of date, that was one of my early efforts and needs updating. I'll contact them and provide my latest revised dating guide, which shows your clock was manufactured about 1949 based on the serial number.

    For info, the highest serial number recorded to date is 348068. That clock was made in 1951 based on a dated presentation inscription on the clock. Several other clocks with serial numbers above 330000 have been documented, so I have revised the total made to about 350,000 when production ceased in 1954.

    The movement you describe appears to be one of the "miniature" models having a cobalt steel magnet. This version was patented around 1930 and manufactured from that time until the factory closed in 1954. There "should" be provision for the isochronous spring to be installed, although a prior owner or repair person may have removed it not understanding how important it is to obtain accurate timing.
     
  47. KPNuts

    KPNuts Registered User

    Aug 20, 2015
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    Wow! Thanks for the quick response John. Here are the images for 344787, it does run although it has thick plastic covered connecting wires which need changing and as previously mentioned no isochron spring. On the Horologix website there are pictures of S.No 342201 which must be around the same date and I cannot see the isochron spring on that one either :-
    344787_1_Small.jpg 344787_2_Small.jpg 344787_Small.jpg

    This is another one S.No 13931:-

    13931_1_Small.jpg 13931_2_Small.jpg
    I am in the middle of cleaning, replacing the contact and isochron springs and the plastic connecting wires. Hopefully it will be back in its case soon! This has 'Ollivant and Botsford, Manchester' on the dial, would the case have been made by them or were they just retailers?

    S.No 288512:-

    285512_5_Small.jpg
    This is another 'English' one marked 'Pinchin & Johnson' it has been cleaned and is keeping good time running on a single AA battery.

    S.No 317757:-

    317757_3_Small.jpg 317757_4_Small.jpg
    This is a very large (17ins long, 10ins high) clock which I haven't got around to looking at yet. It does run though so I am hopeful it will restore nicely. The wood needs some light restoration but I think it will polish up well. I particularly like the dial colour!
    I am fascinated by the early electric clocks and watches and have a number of Timex electric watches and Accutrons in my collection - a bit of an addiction I'm afraid!

    Regards,
    Kevin
     
  48. sophiebear0_0

    sophiebear0_0 Registered User

    Nov 5, 2012
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    Bulle 1.JPG Bulle 2.JPG Bulle 3.JPG Bulle 4.JPG Bulle 5.JPG Bulle 6.JPG Bulle 7.JPG Bulle 8.jpg

    Kevin

    Some very interesting clocks !

    I have a model identical to #342201 and can confirm that it doesn't have an iso spring.

    The movement of your #3447877 looks very similar in construction to the Manufrance wall clock. I have posted some pictures of one of the examples I have owned. I have owned 3 of these and can confirm that they were not fitted with iso springs. The Manufrance clocks differ from your example in 2 ways:

    1) They have the conventional Bulle silk suspension and hairspring electrical bridging contact
    2) The lower pendulum thread has a much longer travel to adjust the rating nut

    The Manufrance clocks I have owned are a little fiddly to regulate - but once set up they do seem to keep good time.

    The Manufrance have know Bulle markings and no serial numbers on the movement. I have not been able to trace any dating information. I believe the electrical wiring is original and is "more modern" plastic coating rather than the conventional Bulle cloth-covered. So my guess is that the Manufrance models post-date the final Bulle manufacturing ?

    Manufrance were a mail order company based in the South of France which specialised in supplying bicycles, guns and various household items.

    Hopefully John can add some more detail.

    Regards,

    Peter
     
  49. KPNuts

    KPNuts Registered User

    Aug 20, 2015
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    Peter,
    I haven't come across Manufrance before, did they start after Bulle stopped or were they running at the same time? I just wondered if they may have bought some movements/parts after the Bulle closure, as you say the construction does look similar. I will compare them again when I remove it from the case.
    As I understand it the iso springs are to compensate for the changing voltage as the battery ages, perhaps they decided to leave them off later models to save costs and just accepted the fact that the clock wouldn't stay accurate for as long. Also I wonder if the batteries improved over the time the Bulle clocks were produced, I suspect modern batteries would maintain a constant voltage for longer than the original ones did therefore making the iso spring less important.

    Regards,

    Kevin
     
  50. sophiebear0_0

    sophiebear0_0 Registered User

    Nov 5, 2012
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    Hi Kevin

    I had similar thoughts that the Manufrance Bulles were assembled from "spare parts" ? As I understand it, Manufrance were essentially a mail order distributor - so not sure who were responsible for their clock manufacturing. Manufrance did sell quite a range of mechanical & electrical clocks, all badged under the Manufrance brand. The candy stripe plastic coated wiring leads me to believe that there were relatively later (or possibly after) the main Bulle production.

    I had very similar thoughts to yourself regarding the iso spring. I do have a number of Bulle models which do not have iso springs fitted and I reckon they are equally good time-keepers. That said, modern day battery technology will make the time keeping a lot more reliable. It would be interesting to know if these clocks without iso springs performed equally well with battery technology of the day ?

    Interestingly most of the non-iso Bulles that I own are those with the small cobalt magnet. The Manufrance is a convention iron U-shaped magnet, though the vertical limbs are quite a lot shorter than you find in XC or Clockette models.

    I have sent you a private email in case you need more details of the Manufrance or other similar non-iso Bulles.

    Regards,

    Peter
     

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