Bulle Post Your Bulle-Clocks Here

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

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  1. malcolm36

    malcolm36 New Member

    Sep 13, 2009
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    Re: Bulle Mantel Clock needs help

    Thanks Eckmill. There is no sign of a hairspring or any other elecrical connection bipassing the two suspension cloths. Thats what has me puzzled. The electrical path I can see is:- back of dial support pillar - spring to fork - contact pin - brass pendulum rod - one side of coil - internal connection to other side of coil and brass cover - steel pendulum rod - ??cloth suspension - brass support post.

    Thanks also John - most helpful. Will look for serial number and send close- ups of movement later. There is a spring steel tab pressing on to the end of the fork arbor shaft. Is this also to stabilise the movement?
     
  2. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle Mantel Clock needs help

    Malcolm, the spring tab at the front of the contact yoke arbor is there to keep the arbor in position for the impulse pawl to work properly. Since the pawl is pushing against the contrate wheel that is turning in a circle, the pawl will be forced to the front as the wheel rotates. The spring tab prevents that forward motion.
     
  3. malcolm36

    malcolm36 New Member

    Sep 13, 2009
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    Re: Bulle Mantel Clock needs help

    John thanks again! Your explanation for the purpose of the spring tab makes sense.
    The serial number was where you said it would be and is 7291.
    Will send photos of the movement in due course.
     
  4. Wynen

    Wynen Registered User

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    Re: Bulle Mantel Clock needs help

    This is realy a very early Bulle Clock, about 1922. See "John Hubby: Dating Bulle Clocks" on the BHI Website: http://www.bhi.co.uk/aHints/bulle1.html

    Congratulation
    Hartmut
     
  5. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    Re: Bulle Mantel Clock needs help

    I found this article really useful. It is from an Australian chapter of the NAWCC. www.aussieclocks.com/articles/bulle/bulle.html Lots of info and diagrams. Chris
     
  6. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle Mantel Clock needs help

    Actually this clock was made in late 1921 based on my most recent data update. I need to send that info to the BHI for posting.
     
  7. Scottie-TX

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    Re: Bulle Mantel Clock needs help

    . . . . . . . and just as an "aside", if you ultimately do choose to operate on a 1.5V cell, I'd choose a small one like a "AA", because if a "C" or "D" cell will run it for several years, the battery will decay and corrode it's compartment long before the clock stops.
     
  8. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
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    #208 eskmill, Sep 22, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2009
    Re: Bulle Mantel Clock needs help

    Scottie's made a good point about which dry cell to use for the Bulle battery clock.

    Carefully prepared, the Bulle clock, by its unique magnetic design, uses little of the energy in the dry cell. The Bulle, ATO, Brillie and similar clocks are considered "weak-current" battery clocks. The Bulle battery clock's moving solenoid induces a "bucking" current that opposes the driving current, thus effectively limits the drain on the dry cell.

    There is one caveat regarding the Bulle and similar battery clocks. Their magnetic circuit can be affected by any iron or steel masses in the flux field of the solenoid. For this reason, some may not work so well with steel clad "leakproof" dry cells such as commonly found with the newer alkaline dry cells if the cell is fastened in the vicinity of the pendulum solenoid.

    Bulle clocks using the older zinc-carbon dry cells will often be observed stopped for want of a fresh cell, but with the slightest vibration will commence running again and continue operating for weeks.
     
  9. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle Mantel Clock needs help

    Eckmill's point is particularly valid for the enclosed case Clockette models where the battery is mounted in a side compartment near the "U"-shaped magnet. I generally mount a new battery holder on the back door near the top of the door if there is one, or underneath the base at a far side. The use of smaller batteries such as AA will definitely reduce this effect. FWIW, two AA batteries wired in parallel will run one of these well more than a year.
     
  10. malcolm36

    malcolm36 New Member

    Sep 13, 2009
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    Re: Bulle Mantel Clock needs help

    John here are some views before cleaning. After cleaning it still needs 2.5 volts to maintain the swing. Perhaps the magnet is now too weak.

    Eckmill I now see that there is a fine loop of wire bipassing the suspension and making electrical contact between the steel pendulum rod and the brass frame. So I understand the electrical circuit!

    Many thanks for helpful reference Jeules0. However it is still not clear for what period of the swing that the impulse is given.

    Am most grateful for all the help received.
     

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  11. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
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    #211 eskmill, Sep 29, 2009
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    Re: Bulle Mantel Clock needs help

    Malcolm36 asks in a way, "However it is still not clear for what period of the swing that the impulse is given."

    There's several forces to consider when understaning the principles of the Bulle battery clock as the pendulum moves from the left toward the right (facing the clock) not considering friction of the wheel train.

    Specifically, the pendulum is impulsed as it moves toward the right when the battery-solenoid circuit is completed by the action of the silver contact pin in contact with the silver surface on the right edge of the fork. However, the amount of current or strength of the impulse is affected by the strength of the reverse direction current induced in the solenoid as it moves to the right.

    If the motion is slow, the induced current or back-EMF will be weak and the battery current great. The opposite is also true. That is if the electrical contact is good, firm and not interrruped, the motion of the pendulum solenoid will be rapid, the induced back-EMF in the solenoid will significantly reduce the battery current and consequently reduce the driving force. Thus considerabe self-regulation of pendulum motion is effected by the combination of driving impulse and the counter effect of the induced back-emf.
     
  12. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle Mantel Clock needs help

    Malcolm, when properly adjusted the period of swing that impulse is given is approximately 8 to 10 degrees. Total pendulum swing varies depending on the model, but generally is about 30 to 35 degrees, or 15-17.5 degrees either side of vertical. Contact is first made about 4-5 degrees to left of center as the pendulum swings from left to right (looking from the front) and disconnect at about 4-5 degrees to right of center. No contact is made on the return swing.

    If you still require 2.5 volts to run there are three possible reasons:

    1) Poor circuit continuity. As Eckmill points out all contact points, wiring connections, etc. "must" be squeaky clean for optimum performance. Also, the contact pin position needs to be correct, with its centerline right at the shoulder of the silver contact on the yoke when the pendulum is at vertical rest. I'm attaching a drawing showing the correct position.

    2) Low coil resistance. The normal coil resistance is 1200 ohms, for ALL Bulle clocks. As coil resistance decreases the voltage needs to increase to provide the same impulse. Have you checked the resistance since our earlier discussion?

    3) Low magnet strength. Normal magnet strength is 60+ gauss at the center (need a gauss meter for this). However, if both the above are OK then you can assume the magnet is weak. It can be restored to strength using the technique explained on the Aussieclocks website.

    Will be interested to hear how this checks out.
     

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  13. Maarten

    Maarten Registered User

    Sep 21, 2009
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    #213 Maarten, Oct 11, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2009
    Bulle clock,silver thread.

    Recently I bought this Bulle clock.I would like to know how common this type is please and also could one cut the silverthread in half in order to make two? Funnily enough the clockwork was very dirty and drained in oil throughout and still functioned pretty good.According to the timetable this one should be from circa 1930.
     

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  14. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle clock,silver thread.

    Maarten, thanks for posting the photos of your Bulle clock. I've seen a lot of Bulle wall clocks but not this model before. What is the serial number of the movement? From that I can provide the manufacturing date, the information posted on the BHI website is a little old and needs updating.

    Which silver thread are you referring to? Could you show by photos where it is located? If you are referring to either the isochronous spring (located between the back of the movement and the front pendulum rod) or the contact spring (located at the "Y" contact yoke arbor and connected to an arm mounted on the back of the movement), I do not recommend shortening either one, especially the isochronous spring. You can obtain new springs from Peter Smith at www.Horologix.com in the UK if either one needs replacing.
     
  15. Maarten

    Maarten Registered User

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    Re: Bulle clock,silver thread.

    Thank you John for your reply and adress for spare parts.The serialnumber is 120117. I have only seen one other example of this clock on Worthpoint.com. It was the contactspring I was referring to.Just out of interest-I dont no anything about electrics-I wondered if one could shorten it without causing trouble. With respect to the serialnumbers,I have also had Bulle's which didnot have a number at all.I presume they gave up numbering at the end?
     
  16. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle clock,silver thread.

    Maarten, thanks for the serial number. That dates your clock to 1927 based on my latest updated information. I've only documented one Bulle clock that did not have a serial number on the movement, and have nearly 1,500 in my database. That one was obviously an early prototype, so far the only one with its particular movement details. If you should see any in the future, I will appreciate if you could post photos here of the movement to show the lack of a number.

    One thing, the serial numbers on some were stamped on the back of the movement support back plate, some on the front, and some with numbers both front and back. The numbers on the back of the movements that are in closed cases can't be seen without removing the clock from the case; I've had some report no serial number but when the clock was removed they found it on the back.

    Is there some reason you want to shorten the contact spring? If the coils are extended they can be brought back together using tweezers. It is important that the loop that fits over the groove at the end of the contact yoke arbor be free to "roll" as the clock operates, but neither too loose nor too tight. Also, the post that the spring is mounted on to the back plate of the movement is adjustable (it can rotate to loosen or take up slack in the spring) so I'm curious why you need to shorten.
     
  17. Maarten

    Maarten Registered User

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    Re: Bulle clock,silver thread.

    Thanks John.Very intersting that you date the clock 1927,because on the back someone scratched 1926.At first I thought that a previous owner had more or less guessed this,but now I think could it be possible that it has been done at the time,what do you reckon? Concerning the contact spring I am just interested in how it all works, for instance:what is the point of being a spring because when you stick it to the frame the clock also runs.So why go into the trouble of making a spring? Looking forward to your answer.
     
  18. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle clock,silver thread.

    Is just the year written on the back, or is there any indication of a date? My dating projections are based on a many things including such as owners writing the purchase date somewhere on the clock, so it's always interesting to find new points. Right now my data indicates the clock was made in 2nd quarter 1927, but there is always a possibility it could have been a few months earlier.

    Regarding the contact spring, its main function is to ensure circuit continuity from the contact yoke through to the movement frame. The clock may work without the spring being there, but the electrical current must then pass through the arbor bearings to the movement frame. These points are among the few where oiling is recommended, and the oil serves as an insulator. That can lead to irregular contact, added resistance, and other problems which affect impulse and thus can stop the clock.

    The reason it is a spring is to ensure constant contact with little or no sliding friction. The loop at the end of the spring that sits in the contact yoke arbor groove actually rolls back and forth in that groove when properly adjusted, with the spring maintaining a minimal pressure to ensure contact through the full cycle of pendulum motion. A simple wire would have to maintain contact using sliding friction and be subject to loss of contact since no spring action would be present. Further if the wire were tightened to keep contact it could prevent free movement of the contact yoke, also causing the clock to malfunction. This info is described in the original Bulle instructions, and I have validated it in actual practice. In my experience the correct contact spring is essential to ensure trouble-free operation of these clocks.
     
  19. Maarten

    Maarten Registered User

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    Re: Bulle clock,silver thread.

    Just the year on the back John,no further clues I am afraid.Your comments on the contactspring have been most helpfull,thank you.
     
  20. Maarten

    Maarten Registered User

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    An annoying Bulle clock

    This Bulle clock I have had for years now,and it hasnot run as it should for two days in a row.I,ve cleaned it, checked it ad nauseum,spoke gently to it.Nothing seems to work.It runs a while,sometimes with a large swing,sometimes with a very small swing,sometimes both.But most of the time it doesnot want to run at all.What could be the matter with this clock please.
     

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  21. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
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    #221 eskmill, Nov 1, 2009
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    Re: An annoying Bulle clock

    Maarten. The Bulle and ATO battery clocks are "weak current" clocks. They don't draw or need much current from the dry cell but the small electrical need must be satisfied earnestly. The circuit must be reliable.

    Your clock's symptom suggests an unreliable electrical circuit to the solenoid. Of course you've examined the wire connections.

    The condition of the contact on the fork and the connecting silver pin on the pendulum must be clean and free of any trace of oil. Too, the silver spring wire with the large circle that rides on the end of the oscillating fork arbor too must be free of oil. It is common for oil from the bushing to migrate to the end of the arbor where the large circular loop of silver wire rides making the circuit unreliable.

    If the Bulle clock has seen years and years of service, the silver contact on the right edge of the fork may be completely worn away, leaving only the steel of the fork, a poor conductor, to contact with the silver pin attached to the pendulum. The steel edge of the fork will cut a thin slot in the silver pin.

    Lastly, Maarten do not overlook the possibility of a severely depleted dry cell. I owned a Bulle clock that ran for several years on the same dry cell; but before I realized that it had run for over two years on the same cell, I kept re-starting the clock. It would run for a couple of days on the dead cell, then rest a couple of days only to come back to life for another day with a gentle nudge.
     
  22. Maarten

    Maarten Registered User

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    Re: An annoying Bulle clock

    Thank you Les for your comments.I have really tried it all.I have even put a new pin and silver wire on it.I'v have cleaned all the contacts several times very thouroughly,tried numerous battery's,I am really at a loss what to do now.
    There must be a fault somewhere or are there Bulle's who simply will not cooperate?
     
  23. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: An annoying Bulle clock

    Maarten, my experience is there has to be an intermittent fault when the clock runs erratically.

    This can be caused by a couple of things:

    First is poor rolling contact of the silver contact wire in the groove at the end of the yoke arbor. You apparently have checked this already but it won't hurt to check again. One test is to remove the battery, connect an ohmmeter across the battery leads, and then let the pendulum swing naturally by moving it completely to one side and releasing. If you have good contact you will see the ohmmeter needle move to the same resistance point on each swing. Do this several times to see if you get the same result.

    The second is a problem in the pendulum coil, caused by possible corrosion or a broken wire. This can cause intermittent faults as the clock runs and current has to "jump" from one layer of coil wire to another (corrosion) or across a broken wire with the ends just touching. To find this you need to take apart the pendulum coil and see if there is any evidence of corrosion where the coil wires are soldered to the leads, or at any other location on the coil. A broken wire will usually be found where the leads are soldered to the coil. While you have it apart be sure to check the coil resistance if no visible corrosion or breakage is found. If it is less than 1000 ohms then there could be a broken wire or invisible corrosion inside the coil. If corrosion is found, or resistance below 1000 ohms the only solution is to rewind the coil. A broken wire near the solder joint to the lead can be re-soldered. I have seen both of these conditions on several clocks over the past 20 years.

    Hope this helps!
     
  24. adrian

    adrian Registered User

    Oct 26, 2009
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    Base of 'closed' Bulle

    I have recently come to own a wooden-cased Bulle clock, I think originally of the enclosed type. The base is a rather tatty piece of hardboard.

    I imagine the base was intended to be removable so that the battery could be replaced, and has been lost.

    Can anyone show me what the original base would have been like, so I can make a replacement please ?

    The serial number is 58026. The case and dial look a little like 57470 but the movement looks more like 51540 on the pages at http://www.horologix.com/gallery_2.html
     
  25. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Base of 'closed' Bulle

    Adrian, first of all a big welcome to the NAWCC Message Board and thanks for posting your inquiry! It will help a lot if you could post photos of your clock. There are at least three different cases that all look similar to No. 57470 on Peter Smith's site but the bottoms and backs are all different. We can probably get photos of one like yours but will need to see yours first to be sure it's the same.
     
  26. Maarten

    Maarten Registered User

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    Re: An annoying Bulle clock

    Thank you John for your most illuminating answer.I now have taken the coil apart and checked it.To my mind it all looks fine.However I will buy an ohmmeter to do more checking.What I did found was that if you warm up the coil with a hairdryer it runs quite nicely for as long as the coil is warm.Could you tell me please what the reason is for this phenomenon?
    Many thanks again and with the kindest regards,Maarten.
     
  27. adrian

    adrian Registered User

    Oct 26, 2009
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    Re: Base of 'closed' Bulle

    Hi John,

    Thanks for the welcome.

    I've had a good look around the board and some other sites - I gather from your list at the BHI that this clock was made around 1927, though from your comments here it might be a bit earlier. I can't see any markings on the clock to confirm that, though.

    From the front, it looks in good condition. There appears to be nothing important missing and after a little work (repairing coil and suspension) it seems to run well. But I don't think that door in the back is original! Unless I'm wrong, I shall be looking for a way to tidy that up a bit.

    What were the original batteries like in these clocks ? I've seen the cell made for a Eureka on Peter Smith's site, but it looks too big for this case.


    Some pics are attached.
     

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  28. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
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    Re: Base of 'closed' Bulle

    Good snapshots of your Bulle Clock case.

    The movement assembly on a cast aluminum plate probably has the letter XA cast into the metal. These movements were supplied to clock case makers literally all over the world.

    Apparently the maker of your example didn't include a holder for the dry cell.

    However, some small Bulle clocks did have contacts underneath the case for a specially made dry cell with connecting "blades" extending to be latched to the terminals as shown in the photo attached.

    Additionally, there were various dry cells made for the various case/cell connection arrangements as shown in the array of LeClanche cells made for the Bulle clock.
     

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  29. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Base of 'closed' Bulle

    Adrian, thanks for posting the photos. To tell the exact age of the clock I need the serial number from the movement. It is stamped on the left side of the movement back plate, you should be able to see it clearly looking in from the back of the clock. My present data set does show clocks to be made earlier than the one posted on the BHI site. I am reworking all that and the update should be posted before long.

    Regarding your case, what it looks like to me is that someone decided it needed a back door when none was there to begin with; then proceeded to massacre the beautiful burl finished back. The hardboard was used to cover what was originally an open bottom with no cover. The battery holder was mounted near the bottom at one side, screwed into the case.

    To work on these clocks you had to loosen the mounting screws to the back (still there) and remove the assembled movement, pendulum, etc. through the dial opening in the front of the case. This is not an easy job so that probably resulted in the case "modification".

    If you want to put it back to as close to original as possible, it will require installing glue strips to the inside of the case, then glue the "door" in place being careful to make it as level as possible to the back. The saw kerfs could then be filled with wood putty and finished smooth to the back of the case. A very close match to the original burl can be created using faux wood painting techniques (Google this or check in the Clock Case Repair and Restoration Forum).

    Regarding the battery, Bulle clocks used relatively small rectangular or square section batteries, no longer available. I use a plastic 2-cell holder for "C" cells, rewired for parallel operation. This gives about 18 months to 2 years operation.
     
  30. adrian

    adrian Registered User

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    Re: Base of 'closed' Bulle

    Thanks! I think that's it ! There are holes for those latches (but no latches), the feet are the same and there's that screw as well.

    So is the battery held in by the latches ? They don't look very sturdy. The screw, on the other hand is very strong, but I don't quite see how it engages with the battery, or how the other edge is held.
    -> posts merged by system <-
    It's serial number 58026.

    The dial says
    BULLE-CLOCK

    (smaller letters)
    BREVETE S.G.D.G
    PATENTED

    (at the bottom)
    FRANCE

    An oval brass tag on the right hand side has a similar patent declaration.

    Massacre's the word all right :confused:

    And as badly planned as it was implemented - to open the door, you still have to remove the screws holding the dial, and because of the covered base you can't see where to locate them when putting it back !

    But it's quite useful to have the door, and since it's already done and I will have difficulty hiding it, I thought I'd perhaps just veneer the edges so that when it's in place it has the same appearance as the light-dark-light strip on the front and sides.
     
  31. Frank Manning

    Frank Manning Registered User
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    Bulle Contact Question

    Hi Everyone,

    I have a Bulle clock that I am repairing. It is housed in a crystal regulator style case. My question concerns the contact fork and the silver contact. This area is shown in the attached photo. The contact is worn down as well as the fork. So, it doesn't hit the contact all the time. I plan on rotating the contact after I remove the rivets. Should I just be turning the contact or should I grab ahold of the bushing in front of it and turn it as well? Also, the fork is made of plastic. Is this a factory part or did someone make one and put it in? I haven't seen a plastic one yet. Does anyone sell this size and style fork?

    Thanks, Frank
     

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  32. Scottie-TX

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    Re: Bulle Contact Question

    I suspect this type clock may receive better exposure and more replies in the "electric clocks" forum so I shall move it there.
     
  33. Hans Vrolijk

    Hans Vrolijk Registered User
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    Re: Bulle Contact Question

    . Should I just be turning the contact or should I grab ahold of the bushing in front of it and turn it as well? Also, the fork is made of plastic. Is this a factory part or did someone make one and put it in? I haven't seen a plastic one yet. Does anyone sell this size and style fork?

    Thanks, Frank[/QUOTE]

    I would suggest just to turn the contact.
    I have a four glazed Bulle with the same perspex (?) contact as yours.Definitely original.
    You can find Bulle parts on www.horologix.com
     
  34. Frank Manning

    Frank Manning Registered User
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    Re: Bulle Contact Question

    Thanks Hans for your reply. I will give it a try.

    Frank
     
  35. Maarten

    Maarten Registered User

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    #235 Maarten, Nov 24, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
    Bulle Mantleclock,mahogany.

    Recently I have bought this nice mahogany Bulle,it measure 38 cm high and has a nice imprinted thick dial and a pushbutton to open the door.I would like to know how rare this version is please.
     

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  36. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle Mantleclock,mahogany.

    Maarten, could you provide the movement serial number? That will allow me to provide the year of manufacture for documentation. I've not seen this exact case before but would estimate it was made in the early 1930's. The movement and pendulum design was used in a large number of enclosed cases such as this one.
     
  37. Maarten

    Maarten Registered User

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    Re: Bulle Mantleclock,mahogany.

    Apoligies for not mention the number the first time John and thanks again for your comments.The number reads 177844. Would it be possible to give an idea on the relative value of these examples at the time of manufacture,I mean in relation to the more common foursided glass models for instance?
     
  38. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle Mantleclock,mahogany.

    Maarten, thanks for the serial number. That shows your clock was made in 1st quarter 1929, a bit earlier than I had estimated. It has a very nice case although as mentioned earlier I've not seen this model before nor is it in any of the catalogs I have.

    Regarding price at the time of manufacture, the price list from the Bulle 1926 catalog indicates that nice wood case models such as yours sold for about twice the price of the more simple four-glass or dome models.
     
  39. Maarten

    Maarten Registered User

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    Re: Bulle Mantleclock,mahogany.

    Thank you John.Because you have not seen this model before and as I bought it from an english seller possibly is was especially made by a british cabinet maker?
     
  40. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle Mantleclock,mahogany.

    That is quite possible, although I suspect it is one of the many case designs used by Bulle that were made in England as production models. I have documented quite a few such clocks, starting around 1928 and continuing until the beginning of WWII. Many of them have labels with a model name or number. Since the case very obviously was made to show off the movement I think it was probably one of this type, likely being made by a third party to Bulle's specifications. Also it isn't unusual that I haven't seen a particular clock case design, this happens fairly often.

    My research shows that many cases were made in England, Belgium, and America that are not illustrated in the Bulle catalogs from France. So far I've not located any catalogs published in England or Belgium, but do have two from the U.S. that show a number of the case designs made over here in the 1930's. Only about 2/3 of these are in the French catalogs. It is amazing to me how many case designs were used by Bulle, literally hundreds of different ones.
     
  41. ccawley

    ccawley Registered User

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    Re: Bulle Mantleclock,mahogany.

    That's one of the nicest Bulle Clocks I've seen for some time
     
  42. Maarten

    Maarten Registered User

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    Re: Bulle Mantleclock,mahogany.Detail pic's.

    Thank you Ccawley,its always a pleasure to share the appreciation of a thing of beauty.I find your comments fascinating John.It never fails to amaze me how little we know of things that were made not very long ago.Also one must admire the craftsmanship of those days and the fact that back then you could order a case of your liking.I wonder how many cabinetmakers are left now who could make such quality items and at what price. I enclose some detail pictures of the lock and feet,possibly they can be of some use in determinating cases like these now or in the future.
     

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  43. kcarlso1_9e1846

    kcarlso1_9e1846 Registered User

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    Dimep, made in Brazil, domed battery clock

    Just acquired a nice domed magnetic pendulum clock made in Brazil by Dimep. I am trying to locate information about the repair and mainenance of this clock. I understand that about 1966, Dimep published a 14 page service phamplet, in Portugese. Does anyone have a copy of this to loan to me?

    Ken in Ohio.
     
  44. eskmill

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    Re: Dimep, made in Brazil, domed battery clock

    Ken. It would help a lot if you could please post a photo of your "domed battery clock" or describe the mechanism sucinctly in words. Something like a moving pendulum bar that passes through an electromagnetic coil or solenoid or the opposite, a cylindrical coil that moves on a magnetic bar.

    There were some domed battery clocks made in Brazil that resemble the French made Bulle clock. 'Just one of many attractive battery powered clocks made between about 1912 and 1960 with a glass dome cover.
     
  45. kcarlso1_9e1846

    kcarlso1_9e1846 Registered User

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    Re: Dimep, made in Brazil, domed battery clock

    Here are a couple of pictures of this Dimep clock. The swinging coil pendulum is much like a Bulle but the gear train is very different.
     

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  46. Frank Manning

    Frank Manning Registered User
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    Bulle in Crystal Case

    Hi Everyone,

    My question is about the Bulle clock in the attached photo. Did they normally put these clocks in this style case? The reason I ask is that the front posts have the normal holes that would hold a normal regulator style movement.

    Thanks, Frank
     

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  47. jeules0

    jeules0 Registered User

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    #247 jeules0, Dec 16, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2009
  48. Ray Fanchamps

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    Re: Bulle in Crystal Case

    Bulle was a prolific manufacturer of battery clocks. They came in many different case styles including many Crystal regulators.
    Though many case styles were produced (and many of them cataloged) the movement style and mounting style varied very little.
    With no exceptions, all the Bulle Crystal regulator clocks I have seen have used the simple brass frame mount. A single brass rod with lower arms extending out to hold the magnet and upper arms to hold the movement and the dial. The single vertical brass rod is mounted into the base of the case.
    Bulle did make assemblies whereby the movement, bezel,dial and bar magnet were all mounted to a cast plate. Tabs added to either the bezel or the casting made for simple mounting of the assembly into the case. That is the assembly that you have. Another questionable issue is your clock has the very short pendulum making for an odd visual presentation for a Crystal regulator.
    There is always something out there not seen before but given the short pendulum and the "unusual" (at least for Bulle) two post "Anniversary style" mount I doubt that particular clock is original.

    Yes Bulle made lots of Brass Crystal Regulators, I will be surprised if any of our resident experts suggest this particular one is original. An image of the back showing the mount to the two pillars would be helpful in this regard.

    http://electrichorology.org/images/brassbullecreg.jpg
     
  49. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Re: Bulle in Crystal Case

    I suspect a marriage, the dial is a bit big for the case and the pendulum/magnet would normally be quite visible. Photos of the back showing how the movement is mounted will help. Also, if it is possible to see a closeup of the back of the dial bezel that will confirm whether this was a movement originally mounted in a closed case.

    My observation is the same as Ray's, that in crystal regulator cases Bulle normally used a single post mounted at the back with the movement and dial mounted to that post. The Clockette models I have documented in a 4-glass case have smaller dials than this one and the pendulum/magnet being well visible, the standard models have the curved magnet near the bottom of the case with the pendulum in full view.
     
  50. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    #250 John Hubby, Dec 16, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2009
    Re: Dimep, made in Brazil, domed battery clock

    Ken, a very warm welcome to the NAWCC Message Board, and thanks very much for posting photos of your clock. Here's what I know of the DIMEP story and the connection to Bulle.

    The company DIMEP was founded in Brazil in 1936 by Dimas de Melo Pimenta to develop and produce electrically operated timepieces and timing devices. The DIMEP name was adopted about 1950. They continue in operation today involved in watch and clock manufacture (quartz) and all kinds of timekeeping and control devices. Their website (in Portuguese) is http://dimep.da.ru/. They own and operate an excellent small horological museum in São Paulo, Brazil, that I have visited a couple of times. The museum contains mostly the personal collection of the company founder, plus clocks and watches made by DIMEP over the course of their history.

    In 1954 the founder of the Bulle Clock Co. Maurice Favre-Bulle died, with no heirs. Manufacturing operations of Bulle clocks was stopped but service operations continued for Bulle clocks into the 1970's. About 1956, the entire manufacturing machinery and patents were sold to DIMEP and moved to Brazil, where Bulle-patent clocks were again produced, many to the same design as the Clockette originals made in France (the movements were identical except stamped either "ORO" or "ALTO" and "Made in Brazil") but also a number of innovative designs. The clocks were sold under the "Alto Relogios" name, owned by DIMEP. Somewhere over 100,000 serially numbered clocks were made between 1957 and about 1970, which would correspond to the expiry of the last Bulle patents granted in the early 1950's. After 1970 a number of clocks were made with the Bulle movement but with no serial number.

    Some time in the late 1960's DIMEP were experimenting with redesign of the Bulle movements, possibly to circumvent patent restrictions. In the early 1970's they started manufacture of clocks having the same movement as the example pictured in this thread. These movements were made as the "Clockette" style clock here, but the same mechanism was also placed in various design table and wall clock cases. This production continued until the mid-1980's when mechanical clocks were discontinued and DIMEP focused entirely on quartz clocks.

    Long story short . . there is a direct connection between the original Bulle clocks and this DIMEP label clock, as explained above. As far as when this clock was made, about all that can be said at this time is between 1970 and 1985. One of these days I'll find a copy of a DIMEP sales catalog that has these illustrated and be able to give a better estimate of manufacturing date.

    I'm attaching two photos, one with the Alto trademark made in Sept. 1960 with an original design Bulle movement but modern style case, and one of another DIMEP clock with the same movement as the one that started this thread.
     

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