Bulle Post Your Bulle-Clocks Here

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

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  1. KPNuts

    KPNuts Registered User

    Aug 20, 2015
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    I wonder if they changed their 2-3 year battery life advertising claims for the later models without the iso spring and did the cell type change for the later models?
    I haven't been able to find any data regarding the voltage drop over time for Leclanche type cells at the very low currents (pretty much the same as the self discharge rate) drawn by the Bulle design but it may be sufficiently small that clocks without the iso spring would remain accurate for a significant time. I have access to a laboratory power supply and one day I may find the time to do some tests on the non iso spring clock to see how the timekeeping varies with a reduction in voltage. There is probably someone out there who can work this out theoretically, unfortunately my physics knowledge is rather rusty after forty odd years of virtual non use!

    Kevin
     
  2. ukanduit

    ukanduit New Member

    Apr 22, 2011
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    Bulle Pendulum rod length

    Hello,
    I am (attempting) to restore a Bulle serial 67768 and have found the top of the pendulum rod to be cut off with a wire-cutters. It measures 8-3/4" now and I am assuming based on the length of the threaded section on the bottom end (assuming both ends have the same length thread) that about .360" has been snipped off. What is the length of the pendulum rod?
     
  3. agwat1111

    agwat1111 Registered User

    Aug 6, 2015
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    Bulle 54499

    Hello All,

    I have always wanted to own a Bulle clock and recently started browsing eBay and got a bit of sticker shock. I stumbled onto Peter Smith's site where he mentions on a page that he has un-restored clocks for sale. I sent Peter an email and after he returned from vacation he sent me photos of several clocks. I selected one and he sent it to me last week for a very reasonable sum. The clock has what I believe is a two plate movement with a mahogany case and beveled glass and Peter stated that it dates to 1927. the clock was nearly 100% complete and only had a few minor issues that I needed to sort out to get it running. The issues upon arrival were 1) polarity from the battery to the clock, 2) the pendulum drop was incorrect and needed to be adjusted, 3) the electrical connection at the backside of the coil was poorly insulated and shorted to the frame, 4) the contact pin was loose due to the small brass bar between the pendulum rods was missing. After sorting those small issues out the clock started up and is keeping nearly perfect time. i have made a full accounting of the needs of the clock and ordered most of the needed parts from either Timesavers or Carlton clocks in the UK. When all parts arrive I plan to tear it down fully ultrasonic clean all parts, wax the case with Black Bison Wax, Polish all parts, re-wrap the pendulum cover, paint the magnet and supports flat black, and then re-assemble. The lower support does not appear original, it is contrstucted of 2 right angle aluminum pieces at the base and what looks to be Micarta. I am guessing that an electric motor or generator repairman worked on it as Micarta is not a normal material outside of that industry. Below are some photos...

    This Photo from Peter shows the front and back of the clock

    6.jpg

    Another image after getting the clock going

    clo2.jpg

    [video]https://flic.kr/p/zbRyhS[/video]

    [video]https://flic.kr/p/zbQj1Q[/video]

    anyhow I am super excited and looking forward to a lifetime with the clock.

    On a funny note after getting it running we couldn't figure out where to put the clock so I placed it in the bedroom on my bureau. Two minutes after retiring that evening d my wife said "That isn't very relaxing" referring to the high frequency of the pendulum :). It has now moved to a different part of the house...

    Andrew
     
  4. agwat1111

    agwat1111 Registered User

    Aug 6, 2015
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    Re: Bulle Pendulum rod length

    I am getting ready to restore my clock and can take measurements. Can you post a photo so we know exactly what clock and movement you have?
     
  5. ukanduit

    ukanduit New Member

    Apr 22, 2011
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    Re: Bulle Pendulum rod length

    Thanks for the offer, but I already have it back together. Turns out it was not too short because it is keeping time. It just looks like they used a wire cutter to cut the rod...
     
  6. agwat1111

    agwat1111 Registered User

    Aug 6, 2015
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    Re: Bulle Pendulum rod length

    I picked up my second, Bulle this time a Clockette...serial # 199922. It just arrived and appears to be in good shape. It is a short movement that appears to only need a good cleaning as well as a redesign and updating of the battery holder...

    b2.jpg

    The case has some nice features and everything appears be be in good shape including the fork, suspension, coil, and isochron spring.

    Hope to post more photos as I go through it...
     
  7. Mistyoptic

    Mistyoptic Registered User

    Jul 8, 2015
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    Back to the Future

    Hi All

    I will post updated photos of my clocks shortly but just an interesting observation...

    Was re-watching "Back to the Future" yesterday (because of the date).

    Has anyone else noticed that there is a Bulle clock in the opening title sequence of the film? Or am I the only one sad enough?

    Cheers

    Ian
     
  8. agwat1111

    agwat1111 Registered User

    Aug 6, 2015
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    Bulle 199922

    I bought this clock on ebay and received it this week. I began disassembling it last night and believe it to be more or less original. I am guessing that it was oiled at some point and that consequently all of the silver is tarnished and has tuned black. The silver contact on the fork is black, as well as the silver contact spring and contact pin on the pendulum. These is also alot of dark dirt material on the movement.

    The battery holder is unusual...has anyone seen anything like this?

    DSCF5637.jpg

    Here is a photo of the contact pin with black tarnish, the pin was bent and needed to be straightened.

    DSCF5638.jpg

    The next couple of photos show the movement and the tarnish present

    DSCF5640.jpg DSCF5641.jpg DSCF5643.jpg


    Here is the hairspring, dial, and bezel.

    DSCF5644.jpg DSCF5647.jpg DSCF5648.jpg

    Doe anyone have a suggestion on touching up the bezel (chrome)?
     
  9. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
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    Aug 24, 2000
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    Re: Bulle 199922

    The silver contact pin on many Bulle productions is threaded into the adjustable fitting on the pendulum. It can be removed for replacement or cleaning if badly soiled with black silver sulfide.

    Silver sulphide is somewhat electrically conductive depending on many variables. If the black sulfide is thin, then often any rubbing action removes enough black sulfide to restore electrical conductivity. For this reason, silver is often used in electrical contacts.

    Silver is rather soft. I have found the pendulum contact pin deeply cut from years of rubbing the metal fork causing the edge of the fork to lodge stuck in the slotted pin.:confused:
     
  10. agwat1111

    agwat1111 Registered User

    Aug 6, 2015
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    Re: Bulle 199922

    Thanks Les,,,I cleaned the movement and removed all of the grime this morning. The movement looks a lot better as does the silver contact pin and spring. I still plan to replace the suspension and the isochron spring and will hit most of the brass with a wire brush to make it look better. Luckily the fork and contacts are in good condition as I do not have the tooling to replace the contacts.

    Question...any idea on how to properly set the damper on the pawl assembly?

    move.jpg

    Any experience with chrome?

    Andrew
     
  11. Mistyoptic

    Mistyoptic Registered User

    Jul 8, 2015
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    Re: Bulle 199922

    I found that an ultrasonic clean in Priory Polishes No1 cleaner removed most oil and tarnish and the tarnish on the silver contacts too. For extra I then soaked the contact spring in Goddard's 'Silver Dip' and a trace of Deoxit on the contacts on reassembly. Ticking away nicely now

    just seen your subsequent post. There is much detail on Pete Smith's Horologix website about setting the pawl but you need to trawl through his case records to find it and other helpful stuff

    can't help with chrome but an automotive restorer might be able to strip and re chrome it?

    ian
     
  12. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
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    #512 eskmill, Oct 23, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
    Re: Bulle 199922

    Andrew. Please do not "hit the brass with a wire brush !" Instead leave its patina intact if possible. Wire brushes destroy the originality of the clock parts.

    Really badly stained brass movement parts do often become stained and in the worst deeply stained but generally, brass movement parts "come clean" using most commonly used clock cleaning solutions and carefully rinsed with water followed with some alcohol to clear any residual moisture....especially in holes.

    The bezel: Chrome or nickel plate on the bezel does often have rusty blisters. The severe option is strip down to bare metal and re-plate using the services of a known good chrome plating shop. Strip, copper plate, then nickel plate followed with high polish, clean and finally a thin coating of chromium; labor intensive, costly and often poorly done.

    Are you certain the bezel is chrome plate? Many used nickel plate which polishes up from gray to silver-white using Simichrome or equivalent metal polish.

    My advice: if it really is chromium, 4-0 steel wool will remove any rust showing through the chrome, then apply a thin coating of wax to seal any blister. Not permanent but sufficient in my view.

    I strongly advise you to obtain a copy of the original Bulle maintenance book in French language or in English translation by Miles. Although French is not my language, the French version is far superior when compared to Miles' English language translation.
     
  13. agwat1111

    agwat1111 Registered User

    Aug 6, 2015
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    Re: Bulle 199922

    Thanks for the advice Les. I have no intention of getting super complicated with the chrome on the bezel. Your suggestion or the 0000 steel wool and simichrome should be more than sufficient with a final coat of wax. I really don't want to spend the time with with brush either so I'll hold off at your suggestion :). Everything was going super well until the silver pin snapped off while I was giving it a final "straightening, so what was a fairly simple tune up just got a little more complicated.

    The repair book is a good idea as well. After drilling out the old pin I will need to determine the thread die that the new pin will need so any insight is appreciated.

    Andrew
     
  14. sophiebear0_0

    sophiebear0_0 Registered User

    Nov 5, 2012
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    Re: Back to the Future

    BTTF 1.JPG

    Ian

    That was a good spot on Back to the Future. It looks like a Clockette on Bakelite base. However it seems that it had the wrong finish on the coil ? It appeared to be a green cord-wrapped coil which you wouldn't find on an original. Pity it didn't appear to be operational - but maybe they were on a tight budget ?

    I have attached a picture of my example - and there is a similar model on Pete Smith's Horologix site. I think its a lovely design.

    Talking of spotting Bulles on film, I did notice a brief sighting of a Bulle battery on the recently screed (in the UK) mini series "Resistance". It was in the episode where a bomb concealed in a briefcase was being planted. The timer was shown to be powered by a blue Bulle battery (No 24 I think). Strange what you come across ?

    Maybe we should start a dedicated tread for Bulles in the Movies ?

    Regards,

    Peter
     
  15. agwat1111

    agwat1111 Registered User

    Aug 6, 2015
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    Re: Back to the Future

    Peter,

    What is the purpose of the shiny bracket in the photo? Cool looking clock BTW :)

    Andrew
     
  16. agwat1111

    agwat1111 Registered User

    Aug 6, 2015
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    Re: Bulle 199922

    I drilled out the silver pin contact holder and was able to re-thread the existing pin and begin testing the movement while I am waiting for some silver stock to be delivered. I made a little video using my iphone of the movement and the fork/pin engagement. The pin is very short and should be repalced tonight and I have not re-installed the silver contact spring or the isochron spring.

    [video]https://flic.kr/p/Aor6N1[/video]
     
  17. Mistyoptic

    Mistyoptic Registered User

    Jul 8, 2015
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    Re: Back to the Future

    Hi Andrew

    the shiny bracket is a transit clip which fits onto the magnet either side of the pendulum to stop it swinging and causing damage

    Ian
     
  18. sophiebear0_0

    sophiebear0_0 Registered User

    Nov 5, 2012
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    Re: Back to the Future

    Bulle clip.JPG

    Andrew

    Ian is correct. I've attached a better picture of the clip.

    I assume that these clips came as part of the original clock when they were manufactured. Interestingly I have only ever seen them in a size that would be suitable for the small coil found on the Clockette type models. So I don't know whether Bulle ever produced any similar clip for the Talle A model with the longer coil length ??

    Some of the later Bulle models have a spring clip attached to the pendulum which can be secured on a small hook on the clock case or base (depending upon the exact model).

    The brass clips are rather scare today, and I assume most were discarded in their early life as part of the packaging. In practice I actually use plastic clothes pegs when I need to transport my Bulle clocks. They are a lot less aggressive on the magnet. But the brass clips are a nice addition if you are able to track them down.

    Regards,

    Peter
     
  19. sophiebear0_0

    sophiebear0_0 Registered User

    Nov 5, 2012
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    Re: Bulle 199922

    Andrew

    Very pleased to see you are back on track with your latest acquisition.

    I would be grateful if you could share the specification of the replacement silver contact pin when you get it sorted. Is it hardened silver, and is it readily available etc. Great also if you have the dimensions of the pin & thread to hand.

    I have experience the problem that Les referred to in an earlier post whereby the pin can become so baldly scored that it can actually hold-up. I have usually just smoothed our the burrs, but on occasions have actually just inverted the entire pin holder assembly. But I'm sure a couple of my clocks would benefit from replacing the pin entirely.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Regards,

    Peter
     
  20. agwat1111

    agwat1111 Registered User

    Aug 6, 2015
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    Re: Bulle 199922

    Peter,

    The original pin measures 1.5mm with my calipers which is consistent with what I have found in this archive. I was not able to find 1.5mm diameter sterling silver but I was able to find 14ga wire which I measured at 1.6mm. I ran the wire through a 1.6mm die and it threaded into the brass holder. Sterling silver wire which is called "half-hard" and is also referred to as "92.5" is available on the internet from jewelry supply companies. I ordered mine from "artbead.com". The 0.1mm diameter difference might concern some people but as you pointed out you have clocks that the pin is not correct and run so I figure the variance is immaterial.

    This clock is fickle...the connections all have high resistance and it has taken me a bit to get them to a near zero resistance so that it will run consistently. I have a bit more to do on the case and then hopefully I'll have it back together once I procure a new balance spring for the connection from the battery to the steel pendulum rod. It has been likely the root cause of the clock not running well due to poor connection and corrosion.

    Have a great Day,
    Andrew
     
  21. sophiebear0_0

    sophiebear0_0 Registered User

    Nov 5, 2012
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    Re: Bulle 199922

    Andrew

    Many thanks for getting back to me with the details of the pin. Very helpful.

    I have managed to source some 1.5mm silver wire, so will give it a go next time I take one of my clocks apart.

    I know what you mean about dodgy contacts and the need to get good electrical connectivity. I always check the fully assembled resistance of the circuit across the battery terminals (no battery present of course) to make sure there isn't anything untoward. It also helps confirm that the make-and-break of the fork and pin is operating as designed.

    I also tend to "break-in" my rebuilt Bulles (& ATO's) with a slightly higher voltage to give everything a good work out and get the contact pin and silver contact mating well. I use a 3v battery pack with a 5k variable resistor in series to start with a voltage around 3 volts and then gradually reduce the voltage as the movement beds-in. Purist might argue that it isn't a good idea to run the coils at higher voltage - but I've never experienced a coil failure due to the slightly higher current. Even at 3volts it will still only be drawing around 2mA - so shouldn't be a problem.

    Hope you manage to get your latest clock sorted - and thanks again for sharing the information.

    Regards,

    Peter
     
  22. Mistyoptic

    Mistyoptic Registered User

    Jul 8, 2015
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    Re: Bulle 199922

    Andrew
    in your photograph of the movement, there is no silver contact spring which should be hanging off the nipple at the back of the fork arbor from the arm on the right of your photo. This will have a big effect on the continuity. Apologies if I'm 'teaching my grandmother'
     
  23. agwat1111

    agwat1111 Registered User

    Aug 6, 2015
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    Re: Bulle 199922

    Thanks for the suggestion. I was running the clock without the spring as I have been working on it but when the trouble didn't clear up I reconnected it but it didn't seem to help. I am planning to try to re-magnetize the permanent magnet in the next couple of days as it seems to be the likely culprit. The clock runs well with 3vDC and will run well around 2.2 vDC but it seems very weak at 1.5v. If re-magnetizing doesn't solve the issue I will have to figure out if perhaps there is a larger than normal mechanical load at the fork/pawl assembly. If that proves unproductive I will probably make a variable voltage regulator so I can run it around 2.2vDC...

    Andrew
     
  24. agwat1111

    agwat1111 Registered User

    Aug 6, 2015
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    Re: Bulle 199922

    Ian,

    Well...I reassembled the clock last night and continued to have issues. I started looking more closely at the fork and spring and noticed that it was riding poorly in the groove at the end of the fork. I gave it a small adjustment and the clock took off!! So...I am not positive but I am assuming that the contact spring has likely been the issue since I received the clock :) I installed a spare that I purchased for another clock and the clock is now running very well.

    Thanks for the suggestion and pointing me in the right direction!!

    Andrew

    ps - I have ordered the Bulle repair manual and faultfinding pamphlet
     
  25. sophiebear0_0

    sophiebear0_0 Registered User

    Nov 5, 2012
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    Re: Bulle 199922

    Here's another Bulle curiosity.

    I picked up the attached from an auction in the UK. I bought it blind - so didn't really know what to expect.

    It looks like a Bulle Majestic as shown in the 1935 Bulle Catalogue (available on the Horologix site). Clearly the Bakelite base is a replacement, since it has the drilled holes for a column support. However it looks to be the correct shape base for the Majestic design.

    What is really unusual (to me at least) is the odd contact pin and movement.

    The pin actually has a plastic insulator fixed alongside it and attached to the pendulum. This plastic insulator fulfils the same function as the fibre contact found on the normal Bulle fork.

    The fork has no insulator, but just a single silver contact. The drive pawl is connected directly to the fork and has a small counter weight attached to maintain balance. There is a small Cobalt half-magnet and a small electrical coil with approx. 1100 ohms.

    The movement is marked A1946 (date ?) and Patent 161650 178482

    The clock has been modified to accommodate a modern cell in the base - so clearly it has received attention by someone in the past.

    The clock is happily swinging away on 1.5 volts and looks to be keeping time.

    So I guess the clock is some form of hybrid. But I wonder if the movement is an early prototype, or whether it has been developed by an ingenious restorer ? Unfortunately I wasn't able to trace anything from the patent number.

    I'd love to hear from anyone who could shed any light on my latest acquisition.

    Regards,

    Peter Bulle 2.JPG Bulle 3.JPG Bulle Majestic.jpg
     
  26. agwat1111

    agwat1111 Registered User

    Aug 6, 2015
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    Re: Bulle 199922

    I have finished tinkering with my current Bulle project and am already looking forward to the next clock. I hope to but a clock with the "lightning" case. I learned a lot with this clock and although it has all been said and written before one has to experienced the things we find in books. The clock is running well and will be given to my dad for Christmas :)

    i tried to keep the clock as close to original as possible and ended up soldering the original connectors from the old wiring to the new wire that I used for the black wire. The battery holder is what it came with the clock and although it is not original it is actually quite cool.

    questions - how do you identify the movement, this movement appears to be unmarked? What points are used when measuring the length of the pendulum? Does anyone know of dimensional drawings that identify hardware used?

    here are a couple of photos
     

    Attached Files:

  27. sophiebear0_0

    sophiebear0_0 Registered User

    Nov 5, 2012
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    Re: Bulle 199922

    Andrew

    Your restoration is looking good. I am sure your dad will be very pleased to receive it.

    The original battery would have had screw terminals (probably a Bulle type 24). This will have been held in a brass clip. Your holder, whilst not original, adds to the charm. Personally I am not a great fan of the modern battery holders and do try to use adaptors that look more authentic. You may have seen some on a well known auction website ? I have also made up a couple of my own using the shells of original batteries.

    Good question on details of the different movements. Pete Smith has put together a very good summary/comparison of the early movements. This is available in the "Download" section of the Horologix website. I does not however cover some of the later designs, but this thread gives some good information. And I'm sure if you have a specific question then folks here will be able to assist.

    I wish you luck in your search for a lightning model. I have one and I think they look very smart. There are a couple of variations in design, one having a tapered base and the other with parallel sides. Be aware that these hold the XA movement with a dial around 15cm. So they are pretty sizeable clocks !

    Best regards,

    Peter
     
  28. Mistyoptic

    Mistyoptic Registered User

    Jul 8, 2015
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    New additions

    Very excited by my latest acquisition, although stretching my budget somewhat. This is a wall mounted clock with an upward hinging case. Serial No 3179, which I'm sure John Hubby will date for us in due course. I suspect the clock has been simply an "ornament" in recent years because you will see from the photo of the top of the pendulum that there is no way on earth it would have run :)

    Pendulum coil cover suffering from a nasty attack of Brasso so the cord will need replacing. Should keep me out of mischief for a while. P1040394.jpg P1040402.jpg

    This brings my collection now to 4 as I purchased 6359 from Pete Smith. Another long movement but in a "gothic" arched mahogany case. Sadly it will need some extra TLC as it has some battery corrosion damage to the brass frame. I've built a nice test stand out of a piece of mahogany to make it easier to work on the movement
    P1040340.jpg P1040347.jpg
     
  29. agwat1111

    agwat1111 Registered User

    Aug 6, 2015
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    Re: New additions

    That is a bomber suspension likely to last for years :) Please post pics of the cord re-wrap as I am very interested in learning to do this myself but have no experience. Both clocks are very good looking and your test stand is pretty spectacular :)

    Thanks for sharing!
     
  30. agwat1111

    agwat1111 Registered User

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    68239

    I have found my next project! Serial # 68239. I now own a shipping clip! The clock is in good condition overall but requires a few fairly standard parts:

    • Isonchron spring is missing
    • Silver Contact spring has what looks like a pen spring
    • suspension needs replacement
    • Hand collet washer is missing
    • Movement/case retaining bolts are missing
    • hairspring is missing

    The coil is in good condition as are the silver contact fork and pin.

    I have attached photos below.

    The case is fairly dirty and has some minor cracking of the finish at the top of the case. I am wondering what people might suggest in regards to revitalizing the polish? I am planning to give the case a good cleaning and then reassess.

    Thoughts,
    Andrew


    DSCF5668.jpg DSCF5669.jpg DSCF5670.jpg DSCF5671.jpg DSCF5672.jpg DSCF5673.jpg DSCF5674.jpg
     
  31. Mistyoptic

    Mistyoptic Registered User

    Jul 8, 2015
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    Re: New additions

    @agwat1111 thanks for the kind comments.
    I have now re-covered the pendulum case, pics herewith.
    I've used Anchor "pearl cotton" which is slightly thicker than the original. I chose the colour by matching with an unfaded piece from inside the pendulum case.
    After lacquering the brass, it is mounted in the chuck of a cordless drill with speed control (you could use a lathe if you have a speed control I guess).
    Form a large knot in the end of the thread, then slip the knot down the slot in the brass, you want to start winding from the middle. I used about 12 feet of thread each side. Wind slowly with some tension on the thread until you reach the outer edge and then wrap the end of the thread under and into the slot to secure it. Repeat for other side.
    bulle pendulum cover 1.jpg bulle pendulum cover 2.jpg
     
  32. sophiebear0_0

    sophiebear0_0 Registered User

    Nov 5, 2012
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    Re: New additions

    Ian

    Thanks for sharing the cord-wrapping method. Your results look really excellent.

    I am assuming you only require a single layer of cord for each side of the coil. Is that correct ?

    Regards,

    Peter
     
  33. Mistyoptic

    Mistyoptic Registered User

    Jul 8, 2015
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    Re: New additions

    Hi Peter

    you are correct, one layer of cord.

    thanks for the suggestion of salt and lemon juice for battery corrosion. I extended the chemical reaction logically and used Hydrochloric Acid which removed the deposits in moments and with no damage to the brass. Photos in due course

    Ian
     
  34. Mistyoptic

    Mistyoptic Registered User

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    #534 Mistyoptic, Feb 15, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
    look no suspension!

    I'm just working through a number of clocks I purchased from Pete Smith recently as a "job lot" and cataloging them before I start work on them. This one is interesting, partly because it is the highest number I've seen referred to and also because of the use of a "knife edge" suspension instead of the more usual silk (I've temporarily removed the retaining washer to make the pivot more visible).
    I don't think one could call the case attractive but it is different. The Bulle label inside calls it a "Classic", hmm! S/N is 346128. It won't go as it is gummed up with old oil but,unlike some other late models it is fitted with an Isochron spring. The silver contact spring appears to have been replaced with something unsuitable though.

    Any suggestions for cleaning up the chromed hands and numerals would be welcome
    IMG_8338.jpg IMG_8345.jpg
    Ian
     
  35. sophiebear0_0

    sophiebear0_0 Registered User

    Nov 5, 2012
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    Bulle Model D

    Bulle arch 1.jpg Bulle arch 2.JPG Bulle arch 3.JPG Bulle letter 1.JPG Bulle letter 2.JPG Bulle manual 1.JPG Bulle manual 2.JPG Bulle manual 3.JPG Bulle manual 4.JPG

    I thought this might be interest.

    I recently acquired a Bulle Model D. This has the same movement/pendulum as the Tall A Model.

    I bought it blind from a UK auction house. The clock came complete with the original instruction manual as well as an accompanying letter showing that the clock was given as a wedding gift. The clock is serial number 7699 and the letter dated 1st June 1923. So a pretty good source for dating the clock. It was retailed by Bracher & Sydenham in Reading (SW London). I believe they are still in business today.

    The instruction manual is interesting and refers to the original wet cell battery. They claim it would run maintenance-free for 10 years. They also state that a single turn on the rating nut equates to 24 seconds/day. I am sure I have seen different figures quoted elsewhere ?

    The case is in near-perfect condition, but sadly the movement, coil & pendulum assembly have been tampered with. The coil has been re-wound and now only reads around 400 ohms. The lower isochron bobbin has been removed and is lost. There should also be a arbor on the left of the movement which holds a damping arm and pawl end-stop. again this has been removed and presumed lost in action. There were a few other nightmares where the clock had been "repaired".

    The good news is that I now have the clock running and it seems to be keeping time. In the absence of a lower bobbin, I have decided to try and use a regulated power supply to produce a uniform voltage. I have also added a resistance in series to limit the pendulum amplitude (the regulated power supply has a minimum voltage of around 1.5v so I couldn't lower the current by reducing the voltage).

    Bulle arch 4.JPG

    The clock is currently on its test stand (well an old wine-box !)

    Hopefully I will be able to pick up the missing parts one day from a broken clock. i will also rewind the coil to give the correct resistance. But meantime I'm cautiously optimistic that teh regulated supply will do the trick.

    Best regards,

    Peter
     
  36. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle Model D

    Peter, thanks much for posting! This is the best documentation I've seen yet for this model, and the wedding present letter is a big bonus. Actually the clock was made near the beginning of 1921 based on the movement serial number, so it was in transit and sitting in the jeweler's shop for about 16 months or thereabouts before it was sold. Not at all uncommon at that time.

    Interesting the instruction manual shows the clock as a Model D. The 1926 catalog shows it as a model "I", but there are always variants that can change how they label to clock for sale. As you say, the case is in exceptional condition.

    You've had quite a challenge to get it running with the low coil resistance and other problems but seems you've made good progress. What voltage are you using to run the clock? with only 400 ohms resistance it could be as high as 3-4 volts.
     
  37. sophiebear0_0

    sophiebear0_0 Registered User

    Nov 5, 2012
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    #537 sophiebear0_0, Mar 25, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2017
    Re: Bulle Model D

    Bulle parts.JPG Bulle coil.JPG Talle A.JPG Bulle glass.JPG

    John

    Many thanks for responding and for shedding further light on the dating and model type. I have not come across this particular model before.

    It certainly makes sense that the clock was manufactured some time before the sale. It presumably took a while for the UK market in Bulles to be established, and at 5 1/2 Guineas (1 Guinea = £1.05) the cost of the clock must have made it quite a luxury.

    Its a shame that the clock that was so dearly cherished and looked after from the outside, was so poorly treated on the inside. When I received the clock it had a home made 1.5 volt holder. I cleaned the contact pin and the pendulum did move (albeit erratically). On closer inspection, the contact pin was very badly scored (see photo). There wire that bridged the suspension was very thick and stiff, and there was an extra weight added to the pendulum. You can also see from the photo of the coil, that the wire out is incorrectly routed behind the pendulum. The contact spring was absent - and the post which should hold the contact spring had the battery lead soldered directly onto it !!

    Once I cleaned the movement, replaced the bridging wire with a strand of silver wire, and fitted a new contact pin, the pendulum raced away with 1.5 volts. So i suspect that the "original" stiff bridging wire and pendulum weight were an attempt to reduce th pendulum swing ?

    I have double checked my resistance reading with my best ohm-meter. I get an astoundingly low resistance of 127 ohms for the coil ! I have calibrated the meter against a know resistance, so am confident that it is reading correctly. I have added a 200 ohm resistor in series and the clock is running very well with an input voltage regulated at 1.48 volts. I am fortunate that I own 2 Bulles with similar movements, so I have been able to judge by eye the required pendulum amplitude. This gives a good starting point for regulation, with fine tuning achieved by adjusting the rating nut.

    I was amazed that the clock runs with such a low coil resistance, and like yourself would have assumed it would require a much higher current to get it to run ? I know that some of the very early Bulle models had lower coil resistance and that some had resistors fitted in series to control the pendulum swing. But these coils were around 800 ohms and certainly not as low as 127 ohms !! I haven't taken the coil apart to determine whether it is incorrectly wound, or whether there is a partial short.

    Clearly the downside with the existing set-up is that the lower resistance will mean power consumption will be higher. Not sure that this will be a major issue. But if it causes a problem, then I will just rewind the coil. It will also be interesting to see whether the regulated power supply will help overcome the absence of the iso-spring. I will continue my search for a lower bobbin assembly and for an arbor with the damping arm. I am not sure that the damping arm is really necessary, so it would be more for looks rather than functionality.

    Finally, I did mis-post my original submission in a new thread. Might be better to move the entire piece to the "Post Your Bulle Clocks" thread. Unfortunately I am not sure how to do this.

    Best regards,

    Peter

    Bulle parts.JPG Bulle coil.JPG Talle A.JPG Bulle glass.JPG
     
  38. Mistyoptic

    Mistyoptic Registered User

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    Re: Bulle Model D

    That's a lovely example, Peter and wonderful to have the provenance as well.

    I now have two of the model D as you now identify it. One labelled Freeman Willows of Grimsby and the 6359 I posted on the other thread. I also have a spare case which is well faded and in need of a good polish. Once I have finished cataloging the clocks I bought from Pete Smith, I will put some more photos up.

    Ian
     
  39. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle Model D

    Peter, thanks for the additional detail. I've moved your thread to the "Post Your Bulle-Clocks Here" thread per your suggestion.
     
  40. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: look no suspension!

    Ian, thanks for posting! I've not been able to post regularly for a while but now back and trying to catch up on all the goodies that have been posted.

    Firstly, based on the serial number it appears your clock was made in 1950 or early 1951. My data is rather sparse for post-WWII clocks so this is still in the "reasonable estimate" stage. The movement in your clock has been found in several others made both before and after the war. The earliest one I have documented was made near the beginning of 1937.

    Could you post a photo of the back label showing the model designation and other info? That would be quite useful.

    The case is unusual and not found in any of the sale flyers I have for late pre-war or post-war clocks, but not out of school for the period. The chrome plating is the worse for wear, I would try hand polishing with a chrome polish such as simichrome, using old toweling initially followed with soft cotton cloth. If possible you should remove the numbers from the case before polishing. Don't use a buff, that could do serious damage. There may be more suggestions where other users have some experience with polishing deteriorated chrome plating.
     
  41. Mistyoptic

    Mistyoptic Registered User

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    Re: look no suspension!

    Hi John

    thanks for the reply. I will, indeed, post a photo of the back label in due course. The nearest I can find to the case is the "Chef" in Pete Smith's 1940 catalogue which says a version with chrome numerals is available "similar to the Albany".

    Thank for the comments about polishing, I will have a gentle attempt to remove the numbers for polishing
     
  42. Mistyoptic

    Mistyoptic Registered User

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    Re: look no suspension!

    image.jpg Hi John, this is the back plate. As you can see there is also a record a previous owner had kept of battery replacement dates
     
  43. Ingulphus

    Ingulphus Registered User

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    Bulle Model H

    I've just received this Model H (at least I believe it's a Model H) and intend to restore it; it is lacking the spade and pointer hands and the knurled adjustment knob at the bottom of the pendulum, and the suspension has to be replaced, but it is in otherwise good shape, although the case is tarnished and dirty. I've sent an email to Dave West Clocks to see if he can supply the hands and/or adjustment knob, but if anyone has either of those items to sell, please PM me.

    The serial number is tiny and my eyes are weak, but it appears to be 179841.


    Bulle Model H - Dial.jpg Bulle Model H - Movement.jpg
     
  44. sophiebear0_0

    sophiebear0_0 Registered User

    Nov 5, 2012
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    Re: look no suspension!

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

    I have just acquired a Bulle mantel clock referred to as "Bristol Model". The model features in the 1935 catalogue - though I suspect this example is much later ? The is a presentation plaque attached, but unfortunately it doesn't include any date information.

    The movement is serial # 347762

    The movement looks identical to that posted by Ian (ie knife edge suspension). It has iso-spring bobbins fitted - but you will notice that a previous "restorer" had decided that there should be electrical wire soldered to the bobbins to form a conductive path !!

    I have managed to remove the offending wire and cleaned up the bobbin. So fortunately no permanent damage has been caused. The clock is currently on test and seems to be operating as expected.

    Regards,

    Peter
     
  45. Mistyoptic

    Mistyoptic Registered User

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    Re: look no suspension!

    Nice one Peter. I saw that on the 'bay but took my eye off the ball...
    just won an auction for a chrome bodied 'art deco' model. Photos when it arrives

    Ian
     
  46. sophiebear0_0

    sophiebear0_0 Registered User

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    Re: look no suspension!

    Thanks ian

    I saw your latest acquisition on the website. It looks very interesting - and I've certainly never seen anything like it before. The dial looks in great condition, and the movement has actually got an iso spring rather than a piece of soldered wire ! I hope the case cleans up well. I have actually just had the door of one of my Bulles re-chromed. They did an excellent job. I can send you the details of the company by email if you require them.

    Regards,

    Peter
     
  47. Ingulphus

    Ingulphus Registered User

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    4 Glass Wood and Brass Cased Bulle

    I picked this up at a local auction house; the serial number is 55131, and while it has a number of issues, I was very happy to acquire it. As you can see from the photos, a previous owner attempted many repairs with what he had on hand, including a piece of thick fabric to replace the silk, that spiral copper wire in place of the usual bridging connection (and I have a question about that, but more in a moment), with the other battery lead soldered to the cross-arm, a large disk of lead added to the rating knob on the pendulum, and a few poor attempts to insulate various components.

    The isochronal spring is present but distorted, but the silver spring that rides on the fork is missing. One of the brass end caps on the bob has gone walkabout as well, as has the steel 'T' piece. There were two very old and very corroded D cells still in the column, but they had been heavily wrapped in masking tape to hold them together in series, which kept the majority of the acid from damaging the column.

    On my Model A, there is a brass contact strip held in place both by a threaded brass piece that passes through the top suspension spring and an insulated mount, with a spiral copper spring to bridge the gap. On this clock, there isn't - is it missing or is this an earlier design that had one electrical connection to the frame and one to the movement, with a loop of silver wire bridging the gap at the top of the pendulum? The 'suspension' is currently held in place by a single screw. The same clock (but beautifully restored) is listed on a well-known online auction site; one photo shows one battery connection held between a dial screw and its washer, but the other connection isn't visible.

    I also am curious as to the date of the clock; this model doesn't appear in the 1925 catalog, although an early version was featured as a restoration project on Horologix.com (without a photo showing the top bar and connections).
     

    Attached Files:

  48. sophiebear0_0

    sophiebear0_0 Registered User

    Nov 5, 2012
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    Re: 4 Glass Wood and Brass Cased Bulle

    @Ingulphus

    That's a nice looking example.

    It looks like most of the issues are cosmetic - so it should be relatively straightforward to restore it to its former glory. It will then look even better.

    I suspect that this model did not have a supporting arm to hold the bridging contact. The models with the support arm attached to the frame are present in situations where a spiral hairspring is employed. Most commonly these are found in the clockette models and small movements housed inside closed wooden cases with access via the base. These are Models XC or Models XA.

    Your latest purchase just requires a loop of silver wire to bridge the silk suspension. restoration #3899 on the Horologix site gives full details and pictures.

    Regards,

    Peter
     
  49. Ingulphus

    Ingulphus Registered User

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    Re: 4 Glass Wood and Brass Cased Bulle

    Peter -

    Thank you for your input! I am especially grateful for your pointing me to restoration #3899 - I didn't think to peruse the Model A restorations.

    Best regards,

    Mark
     
  50. Mistyoptic

    Mistyoptic Registered User

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    Re: 4 Glass Wood and Brass Cased Bulle

    Mark

    As Peter says, not all of this type of movement have the arm you refer to. I have checked my Model A, which has one as you say. The Model D which uses a similar movement relies on a contact wire as Peter describes as does my wall clock No 3179
    Another photo for you on Pete Smith's site is in restoration 51029 which clearly shows a coiled contact wire on page 10.
    Hope that helps
    Ian

    edited as this 'crossed in the post' with your latest
     

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