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Bulle Post Your Bulle-Clocks Here

Ingulphus

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May 29, 2006
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Re: 4 Glass Wood and Brass Cased Bulle

Ian -

Thank you! I had missed #51029, but it was a huge help. Very thin silver wire is on order, and I look forward to addressing the myriad of other issues. I thought torsion clocks were addictive, and I've been content with my Model A for several years, but my eyes have been opened (and my wallet)!:^

By the way, when you re-wrapped your pendulum bob with Anchor pearl cotton thread, what thread size did you use? I suspect that, while neatly done, mine is not original.

Best regards,

Mark
 

Mistyoptic

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Jul 8, 2015
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Re: 4 Glass Wood and Brass Cased Bulle

Mark
the lady of the house, who does all the sewing stuff, tells me that Perle or pearl cotton is a particular twist and thickness so all you need to specify is the colour :)
Regards
Ian

ALERT - seems that's not necessarily true in USA so it is the Embroidery version that I used
 
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Ingulphus

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Re: 4 Glass Wood and Brass Cased Bulle

Cheers! That certainly simplified things.
 

Murday2016

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Re: Bulle clock questions

Hi, Here is an early Bulle I've had for a couple of years. Its a single plate version, I think, and it has no serial number. I bought it from a guy in Spain who said that he got it from and elderly gent in France who said it was a reps sample taken around in the early days to show to prospective purchasers. Sounded like a ploy to raise the price! As they say on the Antiques Roadshow;- good story but it ain't worth anything without the proof of provenance!
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Mistyoptic

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Jul 8, 2015
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Hi
Nice looking example, looks to be the same model as the one I posted on the previous page which has a serial number of 3179. Perhaps that will help to date your example?
Ian
 

mopydick

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Jul 12, 2016
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4624 - another early one

This one is housed in a round top mantle case. As much as it is a basket case, all the important parts are still there so I'm optimistic about it chances of returning to the land of the living.

The coil has paper as its outer shell versus the colored twine I see on virtually all the early ones. Was the twine just used on the domed versions to jazz them up, and the hidden movements were given paper since no one was going to see the movement?

Peter

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Ingulphus

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Re: 4624 - another early one

Interesting - I would have expected a smaller XC or XA movement in a tambour case like that. I suspect that the paper and tape on the coil is from a previous repair; most of the movements I've seen where the pendulum bob is not visible were covered in silk ribbon (as opposed to the silk or cotton cording used when it would be seen). Others with far more experience than I will hopefully add their information to the thread.
 

Mistyoptic

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CD about Bulle clocks. Opinions please

Hi all

Periodically my ebay notifications try to offer me a CD about Bulle Clocks "all about this interesting electric clock"

Is it worth it? I have the Robert Miles translated book. Will the CD add anything useful to my knowledge?

Thanks

Ian
 
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-roi-

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Re: CD about Bulle clocks. Opinions please

hello,
I have a bulle clock.
The clock is very important to me and I've been looking for parts for a few years already.



I'm looking for two specific parts of my clock.
- Driving click
-Back click

http://postimg.org/image/5vuhcvmkx/

If you can help me find some parts I would be very happy with!
Even a complete mechanism is obtained.
roi
 

Mistyoptic

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Re: Same case, different movement

Same case, different movement.
since my first post about mother in law's clock (post #480) I have acquired another in the same case but with a BC movement. I've just trawled all through this thread again without finding another similar. The serial is 68405.
if John Hubby is still reading this thread, any idea of date? Has anyone else seen this movement type? I looked at Pete Smith's restorations on horologix.com and he has not detailed one like it. Seems to be a 'cheaper' option with less brasswork.
Cheers
Ian 305188.jpg 305189.jpg
 
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John Hubby

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Re: Same case, different movement

Same case, different movement.
since my first post about mother in law's clock (post #480) I have acquired another in the same case but with a BC movement. I've just trawled all through this thread again without finding another similar. The serial is 68405.
if John Hubby is still reading this thread, any idea of date? Has anyone else seen this movement type? I looked at Pete Smith's restorations on horologix.com and he has not detailed one like it. Seems to be a 'cheaper' option with less brasswork.
Cheers
Ian
Ian, thanks for posting your clock, I've edited the title per your comment. I've documented several with this movement and magnet configuration, all in the mid-late 1920s. As I recall it has a 120 bpm pendulum length but could be faster than that. Based on the serial number your clock was made about March 1925.

Actually this case was used for three movement versions that I've documented. This one is labeled "BC", however when the pendulum design changed from the cord-wrapped coil case to the black metal coil case it was labeled "Modéle BG". A standard movement design mounted on a post having a crossbar near the bottom with posts at the end to hold the magnet was also used. The case design is quite nice and has been found in mahogany and walnut versions.
 
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Mistyoptic

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Re: Same case, different movement

Just stripped it down today. With the oil removed and some insulating washers it might even work - lol
 
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Mistyoptic

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Re: Same case, different movement

Actually this case was used for three movement versions that I've documented. This one is labeled "BC", however when the pendulum design changed from the cord-wrapped coil case to the black metal coil case it was labeled "Modéle BG". A standard movement design mounted on a post having a crossbar near the bottom with posts at the end to hold the magnet was also used. The case design is quite nice and has been found in mahogany and walnut versions.
Thanks John
The other interesting thing to note is that whereas the other one had a veneered case, this one appears to be solid wood. Sadly, at some time I think it was dropped and so the case is cracked in a couple of places and the movement seems slightly out of true. The bevelled glass window seem original so must have survived the fall.
 
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agwat1111

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Aug 6, 2015
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Re: Same case, different movement

Same case, different movement.
since my first post about mother in law's clock (post #480) I have acquired another in the same case but with a BC movement. I've just trawled all through this thread again without finding another similar. The serial is 68405.
if John Hubby is still reading this thread, any idea of date? Has anyone else seen this movement type? I looked at Pete Smith's restorations on horologix.com and he has not detailed one like it. Seems to be a 'cheaper' option with less brasswork.
Cheers
Ian
That is very interesting. I have the same case with an "A" movement. Photos of it before restoration are in POST 503
 

agwat1111

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Re: Same case, different movement

I finally got around to finishing this clock which I bought in 2015 and it is now happily running on my desk at work. I bought the clock from Peter Smith in England and it was missing many parts. The case was very dark when I received it and I believe it was covered in nicotine. XA Model, serial # 68239. The case is a bit worn so I took care to simply clean and wax it. The Isochron spring was replaced, silver contact spring was replaced, suspension was missing and replaced, hand collet washer was missing and replaced, hands were missing and replaced, and there were no bolts to retain the movement.

The dial has a cool feature to help in properly setting the back foot of the case which will insure proper position of the pendulum in relation to the permanent magnet (looks like I still need a proper pin to retain the hands)

313027.jpg

313028.jpg 313029.jpg
 

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Siddha

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I am a new owner to a bulle clock. I am not either a professional or amateur clockmaker that somebody who likes clocks and wants them to work well.

My clock (under a glass dome) behaves curiously. When putting in a new battery the pendulum does not move very much from side to side at first; later in the day returning home I found the pendulum moving fairly vigourously and clock hands moving accordingly. When measured against actual time the clock appeared to be moving at an appropriate speed e.g. neither slow nor fast. After a number of hours clock seems to go back to a very small movement from side to side and hands no longer move, a little later on the pendulum has speeded up again. After 3 days of this the pendulum stops moving altogether.



Does anyone have any idea about what is going on here?
 

Burkhard Rasch

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Check all contact points from the battery compartment to the pendulum fork! These are low current flow clocks and a slight increase of resistance caused by oxydation of a contact point interrupts the circuit. Make clear to Yourselv how the electric energy runs,in some places it uses the construction frame,and You´ll find all contact points.Clean the contacts incl. that on the fork!
Best regards
Burkhard
 

sophiebear0_0

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Nov 5, 2012
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I agree 100% with Burkhard that the root cause of the problem is likely to be an issue related to the flow of current.

In addition to the tips that have been mentioned, it would also be useful to check that the contact spring which attaches to the back of the contact fork. There is also the chance that the contacts on the fork are very worn, or that there is something causing the fork contact to short out. If you could post a few pictures on the forum that might help with the diagnosis. It would also help if you had access to a electrical ohm meter to check the electrical circuit.

I notice that you are UK based. I am in SW London (near Teddington) and would be very happy to assist you in any way I can. I will send you a brief direct message on the forum so that you will be able to contact me directly.

A great source of information is for Bulle clocks is the website Horologix.

I think your chances of getting a fully working clock are pretty good !

Regards,

Peter
 

sophiebear0_0

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Nov 5, 2012
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Just acquired this Bulle Clockette.

Its a standard Art Deco style small clock on bakelite base referred to as Bulle Junior. The clock seems to be in totally original state. It has some interesting features :

1) The magnet has white plastic/bakelite end caps
2) The insulating washers are white plastic/bakelite
3) It has a hexagonal rating nut with each segment stamped with a number
4) The frame is brass, but coated in a matt black finish
5) The pendulum is stamped British Made, together with patent numbers
6) The serial number is #274445

I had initially thought that it had been modified. But I'm now convinced that it is all original.

I would be interested to know if anyone else has come across a similar model with the unusual insulating washers ?

Regards,

Peter

Bulle Junior 1.JPG Bulle Junior 2.JPG Bulle Junior 3.JPG Bulle Junior 5.JPG Bullle Junior 4.JPG
 

zzippy

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hi all, I have just got my first bulle clock it is about 11" high and a glass dome
does anyone have an exploded diagram of the workings of this clock as I cant seem to get it to work
properly.The pendulum swings but not enough to engage into the teeth
have read all this thread (now got headache) there was a small spring hanging off so clipped it to where I thought it would go and that made the pendulum swing ,where before it just came to a stop
 

Hampus

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Feb 26, 2015
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zzippy:

I don't have any diagram, sorry, but I would suggest that you try to adjust how deep the contact pin sits in the fork. If you loosen the screw marked here with an arrow and move the assembly downwards a little bit, the pawls will 'take bigger steps'.
nnnSkärmklipp.gif
 

Hampus

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This Bulle has been sitting on a shelf for several years waiting for an overhaul, last week was a rainy week and I had nothing to do so I finally took care of it.

I bought it quite cheap as it was in unclear condition. Turned out most parts was still there and in good condition, but unfortunately the slot for the pendulum suspension was broken. That's why I put it away for so long.

The suspension slot is made of zinc alloy or something similar light metal. It is an integrated part of the clocks 'chassis'. To make matters worse, the break was straight through a threaded hole.

This kind of metal is not easy to solder due to it's low melting point, it is were easy to melt it all and end up with a molten mess. The screw hole did not make it easier. I decided to try epoxy glue.

The broken-off piece was first reattached with a precise layer of super glue so not to get glue in the threads. Therafter I made two steel pieces to use as reinforcement. These were glued on with epoxy on upper and lower side of the break. It was clamped and let to dry a few days. It seems sturdy and is holding up well.

It may be seen as a bodge, but I do not think that there was so many alternatives in this case.

I did not know how the dry cell was supposed to be connected, there is two rotatable arms and a big opening in the bottom of the case. Thanks to this forum I found a somewhat blurry picture of how the cell looked like and was able to make an adaptor. I am going to buy a real holder but for now I have just soldered a cell to it.

If anyone has the lower suspension screw and nut to sell I am interested. The one that is smooth in most of it's lenght but with a short thread in the end. Mine was snapped off. This is not a critical part but it would be nice to have the correct screw instead of the one I have fitted now.

Serial number is 206283
DSC_0015.JPG DSC_0021.JPG DSC_0024.JPG DSC_0026.JPG DSC_0027.JPG
 
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Teknosofen

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Hi folks,

Am completely new to the wonderful world of the Bulle clocks, what a fascinating piece of engineering!

My daughter’s father in law have a Bulle inherited from his grand parents, it was not running so I gave it a look. A few drops of oil and a new battery was all it needed to start! It is surprisingly accurate, a few minutes or so off per week.

Does any of you know something about this model, it’s age and so on? I have been browsing for pics of Bulle clocks but have not found any clock with a similar glass.

The serial no is 98028.

A8D6E156-0176-424B-BEE1-A5D4B564EE15.jpeg C297C697-ACC7-41AD-B379-BC997CAF4726.jpeg 2C940D3C-EEE5-4007-8DF0-D14E5BBDD9BE.jpeg B4126142-2670-4344-B771-E406DAE6BC0B.jpeg
 

sophiebear0_0

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Nov 5, 2012
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Hi

That looks to be a nice example. I'm not sure if the base oval or circular ?

There are some comments on this model in this current Thread ( # 314 onward). There is also details on the Horologix site with restoration # 28105.

Regards,

Peter
 

Teknosofen

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Hi

That looks to be a nice example. I'm not sure if the base oval or circular ?

There are some comments on this model in this current Thread ( # 314 onward). There is also details on the Horologix site with restoration # 28105.

Regards,

Peter
Hi Peter, thanks! tThe base is oval’ish, I.e. the front is less rounded than the back, the glass is also asymmetric.

C6233BCD-818B-4AF9-A761-47546F909EEF.jpeg
 

whatgoesaround

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Hello,
. I have wanted a Bulle for sometime and was lucky enough to acquire this one about a month or so ago. It was described as "running, but timekeeping is intermittent" or something close, I figured it was running and I could get all the information I needed from the experts here. After reading throgh the first 300+ postings I decided to tackle it. It has been a bit of a learning experience, but it is running nicely now. I did not see anything that resembled the case in the postings I have viewed, so was wondering how rare this model is. I assume it to be a clockette model. In fact I wondered to begin with if it was a Bulle in some other case, but see the markings on the pic. Also, would like to know if it could be dated. I would gather from the case that it is from the Art Nouveau period. .Mr. Hubby, I looked for a serial number, but saw none. If it is on the other side of the movement, I really. do not want to take it apart to see it. Still not that confident. I read not to put the battery near the magnet; there is a small hole in the bottom of the case where a battery may have fitted, but it would have been pretty thin. Any suggestions on how to mount it?

IMG_2363.JPG IMG_2364.JPG IMG_2365.JPG IMG_2366.JPG
 
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sophiebear0_0

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Nov 5, 2012
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Hi

It is indeed a Clockette Model. I believe the case is made from pewter.

Some of the clockettes have the rating nut below the coil, others like your have it mounted above the coil. And there are variations on how the negative wire is attached to the top assembly. John Hubby may be able to help date the clock from the movement type ? The Clockette Model does appear in the 1925 Bulle catalogue - although its a wooden case version.

I suspect it would originally used one of the upright 1.5v batteries with 2 screw terminals at the top. From memory these are Bulle 21, Bulle 23 & Bulle 24. in the wooden cases you often see the batteries secured by a couple of strips of elastic fabric. In my pewter clockette, i just use a 2-terminal battery placed on the base ledge. You often see modern Bulle-type batteries advertised on popular auction websites. Some are also regulated. I have attached a picture of a modern replica battery.

I do find it interesting that the Clockette models do seem to just have a cloth wrapped coil. I find this a little strange since the coil is visible. In other models with visible coils you normally see these metal-clad or wrapped in silk cord.

You raised a good point about the battery influence on magnetic field. My experience is that this is more of an issue with the small ATO movements, and the Bulle clocks are less susceptible. But good to be aware of the issue nonetheless.

Regards,

Peter

Bulle battery.JPG
 
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whatgoesaround

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I just wanted to thank you, Sophiebear; you gave me quite a good reply. I really thought there would be more conversation on the dating from others and about how common the case was.
 

atopos

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Hi All,
I bought my first Bulle "Junior" clock.
Anybody can help what kind of contemporary battery I have to buy to run this clock?

Bulle Junior.jpg
 

whatgoesaround

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Jan 22, 2008
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Hello Atopos, welcome. I run my Bulle on a C cell, 1.5 v. Whatever size best fits. I like the visibility of the workings on the dome covered one, like yours.
 

zzippy

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my latest purchase can anyone comet on this clock never seen one bought as a French electric clock when I collected bingo its a bulle

DSCF6679.JPG
 

whatgoesaround

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Hello zzippy,

I thought about bidding on that clock just for the movement, which is a working Bulle. The rest is not a Bulle case, however. For me the shipping added too much, but since you are in England you got a working movement at a decent price,
 

Frank the Clock

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Hello,
I'm new to the 'board and just testing my registration has worked. Bit of a Bulle addict. I have just restored an early Bulle and hope to obtain serial number 772 shortly. I'll post pictures and thoughts whatever. Thanks for all the historical comments.
 

Frank the Clock

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Feb 19, 2020
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IMG_2068.JPG IMG_2065.JPG IMG_2066.JPG
Well I was dropped in the deep end of electric clocks after buying this one at auction. The pictures are of the rebuilt clock. It was black inside and out from the auction. It's number 10,519. I have made copies of seconds pendulum astronomical floor standing regulator clocks and have restored several different mantel clocks. As a "not qualified" horologist I always start from basics so I stripped this clock right down and first restored the cabinet. Then I stripped everything else. I started looking at the coil and found most of the turnings gone with a resistance of 650 ohms. I have read since that early clocks had a low resistance. Anyway I rewound the bobbin with 6,500 turns (about lol) of 38 awg magnet wire and found a resistance of 1550 ohms. I was especially aware of how good the electrical connections needed to be so altered the original wiring as shown. Also I did not consider a silver wire was needed to bridge the silk suspension so I made a short fine wire copper contact spring as shown. I made a new silk suspension as the old one was about 1/2 inch long and on an angle! I bought a new silver contact spring for the fork contact and soldered in on to it's lug for good connection. I realise some purists will find these alterations not acceptable but they are minor and I do want the clock to work. I polished and waxed the brass parts and and rewound the coil shell in green cotton.

I attached a new D cell battery and the clock started by itself and the pendulum swung very well leaving only 1 inch clear at each side. I adjusted the click to give 1 1/2 crown wheel teeth pickup on this amount of swing. It ran fast so I started by releasing the iso spring then making the pendulum longer until the clock just ran slightly slow. I then adjusted the iso spring to speed the clock to about +/- 1 minute a day. I then adjusted the rating nut, which I had left in the middle position. The clock has been running for three months at +/- 30 seconds a day at worst.

OIL. The factory manual says to lightly oil the pivots which I did. I have seen a Bulle label on this forum saying "The Bulle clock should not be oiled". I think that is because it has already been oiled at the factory and is to deter owners from adding extra oil. My views on the iso spring. Although it might avoid circular error as the battery runs down and is a means of adjusting rate I don't think it needs to be made of any special material as long as an original one is copied for correct dimensions.

With any luck I might own clock number 772 soon. I'll need some help from here as some owner(s) has done some terrible mods including an integral mains adaptor.

Thanks again for past posts. Very informative.
 

Frank the Clock

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Well I managed to buy Bulle No 772 at auction (Gulp). I wonder if members could help. I assume it was built as a wall clock as the back board is separate and that the feet on the bottom have been added to help use as a mantel clock? I also assume it has been converted to run off 240 ac ? I need to restore the backboard to original and therefore need details of an original together with details of an original battery compartment which I can make. Is the level bubble and resistor original? Sorry for so many questions but I'd rather restore as correctly as possible. IMG_2053.JPG IMG_2055.JPG IMG_2056.JPG IMG_2060.JPG IMG_2057.JPG IMG_2058.JPG IMG_2061.JPG IMG_2061.JPG
 

focusrsh_b07732

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I just started working on a Bulle that was gifted to me from a friend in England. Serial #2520. Is there a way to look up when it was built? The case appears to have the number 198, but it is very faint and I could be fooling myself. The door has very nice beveled glass. Not sure how the glass was held in originally.
I have the Miles book, and am in the process of reading every posting on this forum.
A new adventure awaits!

IMG_6828.JPG IMG_6858.JPG IMG_6842.JPG
 

focusrsh_b07732

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Regarding the above clock. Turns out the serial # was partially obscured by a nut. The correct serial # is 12520.
 

sophiebear0_0

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Nov 5, 2012
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Thought people might like to see a less common Bulle.

Quite a striking case. The clock features in the 1925 catalogue. Unfortunately when I acquired the clock it had been "updated" to a quartz movement. I have since found a suitable replacement movement (XC) - so all is as it should be.

Regards,

Peter

Arts Decrotife Bulle.JPG
 

focusrsh_b07732

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Dec 17, 2009
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I've been working on a Bulle, serial no.12520, and found that the threaded end of the toggle arbor was broken off.

In the process of studying how to make a new arbor, I discovered that the arbor is actually made of three pieces: a silver nub, a center hub, and a threaded arbor.

In this photo, the part on the left is silver. Notice it has a taper on the shaft. It is pressed into the hub enough just enough to leave a gap. That is what the silver spring loops around.
The right side is the actual arbor. It has a section reduce is diameter and presses into the hub. The other end should have a M1.2 thread on it.
The toggle presses on the hub. The hub had a small section that was swaged around the toggle to hold it in place.

The good news is that these three pieces are easily made if you have experience with a micro-lathe.

IMG_6952.JPG fork arbor.JPG
 
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focusrsh_b07732

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Is there a database of serial numbers vs. manufacturing dates? I'm still trying to get info on #12520, which I posted a photo of, above in the forum. Horologix has a catalog from 1925 but I don't see this case.
 

rlwindle

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Mar 18, 2011
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Bulle clock

My Bulle clock has stopped and my current diognosis is that the contact surface on the fork, for the switching, is worn and does not make good contact with the pin on the pendulum rod. This is based on using a VOM. The batteries are good. Any suggestions?

Thanks.

Dick Bailey

Clean the fork area with a non-lubricating electronic component cleaner, I use one made by WD-40, their WD-40 Specialist Electrical Contact Cleaner Spray or a similar product, make sure the label says "Leaves on Residue".
 

rlwindle

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I acquired two Bulle clocks, one made of matte chrome, Serial number 295547 and a much older marble one serial number 67432, how can I find out when they were manufactured, I assume they both came from Paris? I made three repairs to the chrome one and it runs like a charm, the marble one I just got.
Thanks
Russell

295547 front.jpg 295547 front no dome.jpg clock front small.jpg DSC_0322.JPG
 

rlwindle

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This is my first Bulle clock it's serial number is 2955477, made sometime in 1938-39. The repairs to get it to work again were minor. It had a "D" Cell battery compartment when I got it, but when I put the "D" cell battery in it, it ran fast (I had the same problem with a Kundo ATO clock replacing it with a "C"cell took care of it). I put a "C" cell battery in it which slowed it down, it's right on time now.

295547 front.jpg

Russ
 

focusrsh_b07732

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Dec 17, 2009
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It had a "D" Cell battery compartment when I got it, but when I put the "D" cell battery in it, it ran fast (I had the same problem with a Kundo ATO clock replacing it with a "C"cell took care of it). I put a "C" cell battery in it which slowed it down, it's right on time now.
Hmmm, something seems wrong there. I'm not saying that what you experienced didn't happen, but D and C cells have exactly the same voltage. The only difference is that a D-cell has more amp-hour capacity. Since both an ATO and Bulle run on very little amperage, it shouldn't make any difference at all.
Someone else with more experience needs to chime in here.
 

praezis

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Feb 11, 2008
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Hmmm, something seems wrong there. I'm not saying that what you experienced didn't happen, but D and C cells have exactly the same voltage. The only difference is that a D-cell has more amp-hour capacity. Since both an ATO and Bulle run on very little amperage, it shouldn't make any difference at all.
Someone else with more experience needs to chime in here.
You are right, and I had similar thoughts when reading.
However sometimes the metal casing of a cell influences the magnetic circuit of the clock, changing its timing.

Frank
 
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