New to me Bulova tuning fork
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  1. #1
    Member joeuk's Avatar
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    New to me Bulova tuning fork

    Always wanted one of these in my collection and finally have one. I know its nothing fancy like an omega etc but to me bulova were the daddy of these movements. Bought it from Bulgaria and came today and its running like a dream and the movement is spotless, he did say he as just serviced it and it looks good to me. The second hand is so so smooth, better then my omegas and humming away nicely, and hummed even louder when rested on my table to take the pics. Great to have such a piece in my collection, and a bonus with it being made in the USA. Enjoy my pics and any comments good or bad welcomed. And if you want to share your tuning forks more then welcomed.

    P.s all this for £105 to me thats great esp when some people on the omega forum spend more then that on an omega strap.





    Last edited by joeuk; April 23rd, 2012 at 15:42.
    trim, john87300 and howards4th like this.

  2. #2
    Member joeuk's Avatar
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    Re: New to me Bulova tuning fork

    Also any info would be great like whats the best batteries to use and does and donts etc.

  3. #3
    Member Sparcster's Avatar
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    Re: New to me Bulova tuning fork

    Hi Joe,

    Congrats on your purchase!

    The dial looks very very clean... too clean? or just amazing condition... either way... very nice!

    I am unsure if this is the same as my Omega hummer, with plastic date wheel.... but as I write this, I can see trim was looking.... so Im sure he will advise! As with my omega, its always best to set the date with the time no where near midnight, as it is prone to damage the date wheel!

    Looks like the case dates to 1970? N0 on the case back?

    Congrats again....

    Marc
    Last edited by Sparcster; April 23rd, 2012 at 22:41.
    A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away...

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  5. #4
    Member trim's Avatar
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    Re: New to me Bulova tuning fork

    Well done Joe, I know you've been fence sitting on one of these for a while.

    The dials on these are most often very good, as is yours - so no need for doubts Marc.

    I've now serviced/repaired both a 218 (like this one) and a 214 (last night) and the 218 is a much nicer movement to work on. I also now know why its hard to find people to fix them - very cool, but absolutely no room for error, duo-fix springs - ugh!

    Battery - everyready/energizer 344.

    No dos and don'ts, just wear and enjoy - oh, and don't leave it hacked for storage. For long term non wear, remove the battery.

    ESA9162 is completely different Marc, the 218 has a proper metal date wheel.

  6. #5
    Member Sparcster's Avatar
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    Re: New to me Bulova tuning fork

    Quote Originally Posted by trim View Post
    Well done Joe, I know you've been fence sitting on one of these for a while.

    The dials on these are most often very good, as is yours - so no need for doubts Marc.

    ESA9162 is completely different Marc, the 218 has a proper metal date wheel.
    Like I said... Trim was your man!!

    Congrats again Joe... very nice looking watch.... and sounds like its less fragile than mine..... still not looks at getting the timekeeping sorted!

    Marc

    Forgot to add.... any chance of a wrist shot, so I can see what it looks like on me!!!
    Last edited by Sparcster; April 23rd, 2012 at 23:09. Reason: wrist shot request
    A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away...

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  7. #6
    Member joeuk's Avatar
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    Re: New to me Bulova tuning fork

    cheers trim and Marc, good advice on the hack trim, still love the smoothness of the second hand. I think it dates about the 70s and omega used a ESA movement. I just get worried about the movement as I dont want it to breakdown on me, I hear so many stories about the omega f300 breaking down and costing lots of money to fix, I know they are different movements just wondering if they are tougher movements then I think.

  8. #7
    Member Sparcster's Avatar
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    Re: New to me Bulova tuning fork

    Quote Originally Posted by joeuk View Post
    I think it dates about the 70s
    As I say above... N0 on the case back is the date letter for 1970!

    N1 would be 71, N2 = 72. M8 would be 1968.....

    Marc

    Link - http://www.mybulova.com/bulova-date-codes
    Last edited by Sparcster; April 23rd, 2012 at 23:21. Reason: link added
    A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away...

    Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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  9. #8
    Member trim's Avatar
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    Re: New to me Bulova tuning fork

    Quote Originally Posted by joeuk View Post
    I just get worried about the movement as I dont want it to breakdown on me, I hear so many stories about the omega f300 breaking down and costing lots of money to fix, I know they are different movements just wondering if they are tougher movements then I think.
    The weak spots with the ESA9162 in the Omega, and the 218 in the Accutron are completely different.

    The ESA 9162, probably the most likely failure is when the date wheel degrades, gets broken and then jams the mechanism. Sadly the date rings are NLA, but the movement itself is bulletproof - subject to battery replacement and servicing. If the date stopped clicking over - remove the battery and retire the watch until you can get it repaired, don't keep using it.

    The 218, probably the most common problem is with the centre wheel assembly - the hands stop moving, but movement still hums and the second hand works. The assembly can be repaired, once.

    The 214, the coils are weak.

    Everything has a weak point. Mechanical watches, Cars, People, Suns.

    Old corroded batteries will kill them, all, dead.

    The main problem is, I think people ended up treating them like quartz and didn't get them serviced regularly. It is hard to find people to work on them - mail order service is probably needed.\
    Last edited by trim; April 23rd, 2012 at 23:40.

  10. #9
    Member Sparcster's Avatar
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    Re: New to me Bulova tuning fork

    Trim.... And if an omega is running fast?

    Service needed??

    Marc
    A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away...

    Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    Twitter: quickpicmarc

  11. #10
    Member trim's Avatar
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    Re: New to me Bulova tuning fork

    How fast?

    The 9162 isn't really prone to double indexing like say a 214, but if it is more than seconds a day then the indexing needs to be looked at. It is possible your oil in the setting clutch is stiff, causing the index wheel to spin, corrosion, dust or dirt on the index wheel, stripped teeth, or incorrectly adjusted pawl fingers.

    Even if keeping time, if it hasn't been serviced in 5 (maybe as long as 10 if the history is known - i.e. your watch the whole time, with scant wear) years then yes, it likely needs a service.

    But you knew that servicing was the answer anyway
    Last edited by trim; April 24th, 2012 at 00:08.

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