BULOVA PRECISIONIST - TIMEKEEPING NOT TO STANDARD QUOTED
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  1. #1
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    BULOVA PRECISIONIST - TIMEKEEPING NOT TO STANDARD QUOTED

    I have a great interest in precision timekeeping, and bought recently a Bulova Precisionist being persuaded by the claim of better than ten seconds a year accuracy.

    This however, is clearly not going to be achiveable with the Claremont Two tone watch I bought.

    It has lost three and a half seconds already from when it arrived on 17th February that is 3 1/2 seconds in only five weeks; which if stable at this rate means a loss of 35 seconds in a year ....way-out from the claimed ten seconds accuracy. The watch has been kept mostly in its box at a stable temperature of near 28 degrees centigrade.

    You might be interested in the exchange of e-mails when I complained about this to Bulova.

    The exchange is on-going, and I am still not satisfied with their response. IN fact I think it is inadequate and unsatisfactory. I do not liike to be fobbed-off with arguments which are clearly not addressing the problem. It is clear they do not want to know about the inadequacies in accuracy I am experiencing with the Precisionist movement in my watch. I shall wait a little longer to continue with rating the watch and contact them again. I sent copies of the e-mails to their head office, customer service and watch servicing departments.

    Here are the e-mails, progressing downwards:-
    -----------------

    COPY:
    Douglas Denny to Bulova. 03/02/2012

    Dear Sir or Madam,
    I recently bought a Bulova 'Precisionist' watch purely for the relatively
    low cost compared with most temperature compensated watches for the exceptional timekeeping qualities which are ascribed to it, wishing to use it for navigational use as a precision timekeeper for
    use at sea; i.e. in other words as a chronometer.

    I have some reasonable horological expertise myself as I repair clocks, and
    heve even repaired Bulove Accutron tuning fork movements myself, even
    producing a strobe light triggered by variable frequency generator to
    enable the adjustment of the jeweled indexing for the tuning fork accutron.
    I also have still a 'Unisonic' divers watch which I bought in 1969.

    The watch I bought : a Claremont Two Tone Ref 98B140 itself is a rather
    large piece of 'bling', being much larger than I envisaged when I bought
    it via the internet - I thought it would be a standard size like the Rolex
    Explorer, but it is enormous for the small calibre movement inside so I was
    not happy about that to start with; however, on rating the watch I found it
    is nowhere near the accuracy you claim for it and it is this which I am
    complaining about. The watch is acceptable as a chronometer in appearence
    which is not too much of a problem, but the rate and accuracy is not
    acceptable if your claims for accuracy are to be believed.

    It arrived on Feb 13th and it has lost 1 and 1/2 seconds in three weeks in
    a stable room temperatere. Now this is very good by anything expected of a
    standard quartz watch but is double the worst error expected for what you
    claim is possible for a Prescionist watch i.e. less than ten seconds per
    year.

    That will not go down well on the watch bloggs where watch performance is a
    regular issue for comment. The race is on for a watch company to produce a
    really outstanding perfrmance watch at reasonable cost. I thought this
    watch would be exactly that - but it seems your claims are not viable.

    Have you any comments to make about this?

    I would be intersted to know if it is possible to change the rate with
    adjustment at the source - i.e. the movement. I have done this with my
    Casio Chronograph which is now over twenty years old, is a standard quartz
    with capacitor adjustment and not themo-compensated, and maintains accuracy
    of better than a second a week.
    Yours faithfully, Douglas Denny.

    ----------------

    Reply to my e-mail of 3rd March:
    BULOVA to Douglas Denny. March 07, 2012 Subject: Re: Bulova Precisionist - Timekeeping Not to Standard Quoted

    the rate is calculated over 1 year period. It can not be over a period of a
    month or two and make the calculation for the year. As explained to our
    service division that temperture changes come into play with the
    precisionist. so in warmer season the performance will differ from colder
    seasons.
    I'm not saying that every movement is perfect. we have seen a very good
    performance record on the precisionist models

    ------------------

    Reply to Bulova's e-mail of 7th March.
    Douglas Denny to Bulova: 09 March 2012

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    Your unsigned reply, from an anonymous person, is very poor. It is an inadequate response with no technical information about the movement itself as I requested.

    You admit that "not every movement is perfect" yet try to make a case for saying there is unlikely to be anything wrong with my particulat watch implying it 'might' be better in different seasons as th etemperature changes, and further imply I should threfore wait ayear to find out ! That is proposterous.


    The watch has been kept in a constant 28 degrees Centigrade, which is what wrist temperature is, and is therefore not going to change its rate from one season to another.

    The bottom line is your watch is not fit for purpose for the claim you make for the "precisionist" movement, of better than ten seconds a year.

    I would normally request a refund from the supplier, but that is not fair as they are not responsible for claims made of it. The only recourse is, perhaps, to take Bulova UK to court action in the County (small-claims) court to recover my money, and that I shall consider when I have more evidence for the watch not fulfilling the claims you make for it. I shall wait a month or two more to confirm my experimetns with the rate.

    I think your present response will be of interest on the "WATCHUSEEK" website for everyone to see the inadequate, almost dismissive, response from Bulova and for them to make up their minds as my practical experiments with your claims for accuracy. I think it ialready clear your precisionist movements in watches will not even be better than twenty seconds a year let alone ten.

    My watch is now currently 2.8 seconds slow in four weeks: that means 36.4 seconds slow in a year - well above what you claim for it of ten per year... and note at constant 28 degrees C. temperature - wrist temperature. Even my 1962 Mercer mechanical chronometer is nearly as good as that.
    I shall look forward to your further reply.
    Douglas Denny.


    --------------------------------

    BULOVA to Douglas Denny: 09 March 2012.

    This month it may be 2 seconds fast this month it may be 2 seconds fast
    next month. And the way its explained as the temperature changes it may run
    slower off setting the seconds gained. and can only be judged over the one
    year period.
    Henry Encarnacion


    ------------

    ENDS. No further exchange of e-mails so far.
    Last edited by Douglas Denny; March 18th, 2012 at 00:15. Reason: Tidy it up

  2. #2
    Member dicioccio's Avatar
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    Re: BULOVA PRECISIONIST - TIMEKEEPING NOT TO STANDARD QUOTED

    Quartz watches, as you know, are affected by temperature and some of them are engineered to work better at wrist temperature and worn a given amount of time, i.e. 12 hours a day.

    May I suggest you to change the temperature pattern and recalculate the accuracy over a 6 months period ?

    Unfortunately only thermocompensated movements have (as the word says) a very low thermo-sensitivity while uncompensated movements vary their accuracy depending on the temperature.

  3. #3
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    Re: BULOVA PRECISIONIST - TIMEKEEPING NOT TO STANDARD QUOTED

    Douglas,

    I have been tracking the accuracy of my Bulova Precisionist model 98B153 for 17 weeks now with the following results:



    These results are obviously better than you are experiencing with your watch and better than some had reported with earlier models as well.

    I have a working hypothesis that the initial offering of Precisionist watches from Bulova were perhaps not as accurate as they could be, but the "Second Wave" of models introduced to the market are better.

    On the back of your watch, among other numbers, will be an alphanumeric designation beginning with B - so far we have seen "B0" and B1" designations. It has been suggested, and I support the contention, that the "B0" models were manufactured in 2010 and the "B1" models were produced in 2011.

    So far, accuracy reports from "B1" models have been better than "B0" models.

    If possible, can you look on the back of your watch and let us know whether yours is a B0, B1 or possibly a B2?

    TIA

    HTH
    "So?"
    -Andrew Breitbart 1969-2012

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  5. #4
    Member Hans Moleman's Avatar
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    Re: BULOVA PRECISIONIST - TIMEKEEPING NOT TO STANDARD QUOTED

    Some people rate a watch over an entire year.
    This skews the results favorably.
    The gains in the warm season can be compensated for with the loss in the colder season.

    That is not an acceptable way of measuring the performance:
    Compare that with a car that swerves left and right while still remaining on the road. It hasn't left the road yet out of pure luck and not because of the car's steering design.

    I am at a guess how Bulova can claim a 10 second per year rate without any wear requirements since it has proven to be quite sensitive to temperature.

    Since Bulova advertises with a year's performance, you'll just have to sit it out until the year is done. Just don't forget about it!
    Last edited by Hans Moleman; March 18th, 2012 at 02:41.

  6. #5
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    Re: BULOVA PRECISIONIST - TIMEKEEPING NOT TO STANDARD QUOTED

    I realize this is the HAQ forum, and believe me, I definitely appreciate absolute precision in a watch...

    However you are of course aware that the methods of navigation for which you wish to implement the watch as timekeeper were invented and successfully utilized centuries before the first mechanical wristwatch, let alone quartz or or thermocompensated quartz? For general navigation, this watch should be fine to chart a redundant course and keep your GPS honest.

  7. #6
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    Re: BULOVA PRECISIONIST - TIMEKEEPING NOT TO STANDARD QUOTED

    Thanks for sharing your exchange of emails with Bulova, I'd been meaning to take them to task myself on the claimed 10 spy accuracy but I feared I was going to waste my time, it seems I was right. Mine is currently ticking at a very poor +65spy.

    Other than gaijin (yes we've established with 100% certainty that B0 stands for 2010, B1 for 2011, etc...not for hardware revisions of the movement) I'm not aware of anyone finding their Precisionist to be within the +/- 10 spy rating and as Hans points out, how could it since it's a "simple" HF Quartz without TC and that "serious" HAQ manufacturers like Seiko or Citizen explain you need a wearing pattern, even with a sophisticated TC movement.

    This thread should be of interest to you : Bulova Precisionist Aging - both dwjquest's and my Precisionists were initially within spec before speeding up considerably, since yours is slow, that "feature" might help actually

  8. #7
    v76
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    Re: BULOVA PRECISIONIST - TIMEKEEPING NOT TO STANDARD QUOTED

    I can attest to gaijin's claim of accuracy for the B1 hardware revision of the Precisionist. Mine is running about 0.2 seconds fast after 11 weeks.
    Collection:
    A few of this and some of the other ...


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    Re: BULOVA PRECISIONIST - TIMEKEEPING NOT TO STANDARD QUOTED

    Good, but see how it goes over time (re the aging) and AGAIN, B1 is NOT the hardware revision, B1 is the year of manufacture, B1=2011, B0=2010, B2=2012, A6=2006, M9=1969, N4=1974, etc...

  10. #9
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    Re: BULOVA PRECISIONIST - TIMEKEEPING NOT TO STANDARD QUOTED

    Quote Originally Posted by webvan View Post
    Thanks for sharing your exchange of emails with Bulova, I'd been meaning to take them to task myself on the claimed 10 spy accuracy but I feared I was going to waste my time, it seems I was right. Mine is currently ticking at a very poor +65spy.

    Other than gaijin (yes we've established with 100% certainty that B0 stands for 2010, B1 for 2011, etc...not for hardware revisions of the movement) I'm not aware of anyone finding their Precisionist to be within the +/- 10 spy rating and as Hans points out, how could it since it's a "simple" HF Quartz without TC and that "serious" HAQ manufacturers like Seiko or Citizen explain you need a wearing pattern, even with a sophisticated TC movement.

    This thread should be of interest to you : Bulova Precisionist Aging - both dwjquest's and my Precisionists were initially within spec before speeding up considerably, since yours is slow, that "feature" might help actually
    Other than myself and v76, I know of no other accuracy reports for B1 (2011 manufacture) Precisionists. And both of us are tracking at <+1second/year.

    Are you implying in the underlined statement above that even if I accumulate a year's worth of data showing <+10seconds/year accuracy it would still not be possible?

    My hypothesis still stands pretty solidly supporting the performance of B0 Precisionist models is not up to expectation, but it also supports the performance of B1 model Precisionists as being very good.

    I would really like to have more data. If you have any other performance data for B1 Precisionists, please share.

    HTH
    "So?"
    -Andrew Breitbart 1969-2012

  11. #10
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    My B0 Claremont was tracking to COSC limit 25.5 SPY over a 10 month test period.

    It is conceivable that in the B1 models they are pre-aging the crystals better, and possibly spending more time pre-adjusting the calibers before installing in the watches. After all continuing to advertise 10 SPY performance when the watches clearly aren't achieving that is a recipe for trouble, so they may be trying to fix things.
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