Bulova Precisionist = poor man's spring drive? - Seiko & Citizen Watch Forum Japanese Watch Reviews, Discussion & Trading
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Old 01-23-2018, 11:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bulova Precisionist = poor man's spring drive?

I recently bought a Bulova Precisionist. I wasn't going to because I'm kind of picky on the brands that I collect, but then I discovered that Bulova is owned by Citizen, so I felt better about it. The real reason I wanted it is because the second hand is the smoothest sweep I've ever seen. 16 beats per second!! The thing is like butter. It is very similar to the spring drive movement, actually. So similar that I wonder if it is just the poor man's spring drive. Very poor man's spring drive, actually. Considering you can get a precisionist for around a hundred bucks if you shop around, that is a way good price for a really fast beating watch. I know it isn't an automatic, but neither are any of my Citizens, so I'm not worried about that. It is actually nice to not have to worry about finding space on my winder for another automatic or a spot in the watch box to keep the solar watches charged.

Anyone else have a Precisionist? What are your thoughts?
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Old 01-23-2018, 11:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Never had a Precisionist (or a Spring Drive...but there's still time ), but I had a vintage Bulova Accutron and a Longines Ultronic (Accutron movement made under license), and I will admit there's something wonderfully alluring about that smooth sweeping second hand and quartz-like accuracy all in one watch.
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Old 01-23-2018, 11:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Accuracy hasn't ever been a huge priority for me. The way I figure it, I am going to lose a few seconds every other month when I have to adjust the date. Then I lose more seconds when I have to adjust for daylight savings. I live near a time zone border, so I have to adjust for that three or four times a year as well. So movements that claim +/- 1 second a year don't really matter much to me. As long as I'm not losing or gaining more than a minute every other month, then I probably won't notice how accurate the watch is to be honest.

However, with that being said I have read that the Precisionist movement is supposed to be one of the most accurate non-internet connected time keepers out there. I would love to have a spring drive just so I could have one, but everytime I save up enough money for one, something else comes along for a really good deal that I have to have. I very nearly bought one last month, but then my jeweler got a watch in on trade that I absolutely had to have and it blew the spring drive budget. Oh well.... Maybe next year. lol
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Old 01-23-2018, 03:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I had a nice Bulova Precisionist 98B143 model number, too big and heavy for me as it clocked in at 230 grams (that's over 1/2 pound on the wrist!)

Mine ran more like 5 to 10 seconds a month off of true, I'll bet there's a trimmer in there somewhere but it was a tad disappointing given the hype but really who's checking anyway?

Under a loupe you can see it uses a 16 step per second stepper motor. Nice and smooth to the eye, just barely less smooth than my SpringDrive but eye-cacltching and very pleasing.

Congrats !
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Old 01-23-2018, 05:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I had a used Accutron II Moonview for a while, but it was too blingy for my tastes and Citizen/Bulova wouldn't supply a crystal (mine had some scrapes) so I flipped it. I much prefer my vintage Accutron - even if the movements are a bit fragile.


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Old 01-23-2018, 08:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grammarofdesign View Post
I had a nice Bulova Precisionist 98B143 model number, too big and heavy for me as it clocked in at 230 grams (that's over 1/2 pound on the wrist!)

....

Just curious, what makes it so heavy? Shouldn't it be lighter because the circuits don't weigh much versus a mechanical watch? Does it have an oversize case? What's its diameter?
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Old 01-23-2018, 10:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Just curious, what makes it so heavy? Shouldn't it be lighter because the circuits don't weigh much versus a mechanical watch? Does it have an oversize case? What's its diameter?
I think it was 46 or maybe even 47 mm. Thick flanged case and bracelet.
Look at the photo it is HUGE !
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Old 01-23-2018, 11:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I was actually gifted a Bulova Precisionist by my eldest son. Boy is it a handful, not to mention a wrist full as well, whew. That said, for all it drawbacks regarding size and weight it is amazingly accurate ! It is also a real mixture of tool watch and a significant visual statement and boasts quite the WR a 300m. Those who love them, love them with abandon. To each his own.
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Old 01-24-2018, 11:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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This is the one I have on the way. I've got a variety of straps that will fit this watch and I think it would look good on a black leather strap. It wasn't the most expensive Precisionist I could buy, but I really just wanted to see how I felt about it before diving in with both feet. It is inexpensive enough that I won't cry a river if I destroy it trying to take it apart to replace the crystal. I'm not sure if I'll try to do that or not, but we'll see.

I'm used to heavy watches. I've got a Breitling that feels like it weighs 5 pounds with the bracelet. I bought a leather strap from Breitling to shave some weight off it, but it is still a chunk of steel. Fortunately I don't wear many watches over 42mm, so weight isn't a huge issue for most of them. The ones that do have a bracelet are titanium, so that helps too. It is interesting that people mention the weight of the Bulova though... I'm really curious now. I guess I'll find out on Thursday when mine arrives.
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Old 01-24-2018, 12:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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To clarify, I liked mine just too heavy and loved the carbon fiber look and details. Great clasp, too.
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Old 01-24-2018, 02:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Bulova Precisionist = poor man's spring drive?

I've got this one, running within specs at approx 10 secs per year.

It's another big heavy watch!
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Old 01-24-2018, 03:15 PM   #12 (permalink)
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got the Bulova Moonwatch when it came out. A homage version with the 262sskhz mvt.
Not an accuracy freak but i do have the Omega prebond 1441 rated at 10sec/year.
Here is a good article https://watchesyoucanafford.com/bulo...ionist-review/

outside on rail by toypoodleKimi, on Flickr[url=https://flic.kr/p/UazB84]
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Old 01-24-2018, 05:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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This one is as light as a feather. So far it is tracking +20 seconds a year.

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Old 01-24-2018, 07:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
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This one is as light as a feather. So far it is tracking +20 seconds a year.

Pretty good! When the moonwatch came out, Bulova seemed to be silent on its claim of 10 secs/year....but 20sec/year is quite decent for the price!
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Old 01-26-2018, 12:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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This is definitely a good one. Not heavy at all. I put a black leather strap on it and that lightened it up even more, but I really like the bracelet too. I'll probably go back and forth between them. I'm a fan for sure. It's a sharp watch.
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Old 03-06-2018, 02:16 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Just a quick update on the timekeeping of my precisionist, it's coming up to the springtime clock change here in the UK and the last time i set my watch was at the end of October last year so 6 months ago.

I've just checked and it's sitting at plus 3 seconds...that's not bad!
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:01 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OCDetails View Post
I recently bought a Bulova Precisionist. I wasn't going to because I'm kind of picky on the brands that I collect, but then I discovered that Bulova is owned by Citizen, so I felt better about it. The real reason I wanted it is because the second hand is the smoothest sweep I've ever seen. 16 beats per second!! The thing is like butter. It is very similar to the spring drive movement, actually. So similar that I wonder if it is just the poor man's spring drive. Very poor man's spring drive, actually. Considering you can get a precisionist for around a hundred bucks if you shop around, that is a way good price for a really fast beating watch. I know it isn't an automatic, but neither are any of my Citizens, so I'm not worried about that. It is actually nice to not have to worry about finding space on my winder for another automatic or a spot in the watch box to keep the solar watches charged.

Anyone else have a Precisionist? What are your thoughts?
I would love a presionist, but in the UK they are considerably more expensive
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:38 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I think calling it "poor man's" makes it sound more negative then it actually is. Last year I bought a Bulova Accutron 214 Spaceview (the grand dad of the Precisionist) and it's a blast to see that watch in action. The hum it makes is the personification of retrofuturism.
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Old 03-15-2018, 01:34 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorfmeister View Post
I think calling it "poor man's" makes it sound more negative then it actually is. Last year I bought a Bulova Accutron 214 Spaceview (the grand dad of the Precisionist) and it's a blast to see that watch in action. The hum it makes is the personification of retrofuturism.
Well this is a slightly younger grandfather, a 218 Astronaut. (1971) Recently repaired.
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Old 03-15-2018, 04:27 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I would go for the CURV line, original and good looking chrono
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Old 03-15-2018, 07:35 AM   #21 (permalink)
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From a technology standpoint, the 262Hz is not anything like the Spring Drive. The 262 is simply a conventional quartz with a higher frequency and a 3-pronged quartz oscillator. Circuitry is designed so that 16hz movement instead of 1hz (hence, smoothly sweeping ss hand due to interpretation of 16hz frame rate by the human eye/brain).

Spring drive is a mechanical train driving a rotor which produces an electrical current which is monitiored and regulated by a quartz circuit which delivers magnetic braking to the same rotor to modulate rpm. The rotor does not start/stop, but turns continuously. Great technology...but cannot resolve owning a $2000+ watch which bears the consumer name, "Seiko" (even if "Grand" has been tacked on).

Regards, BG
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Old 04-02-2018, 08:10 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I saw my first precisionist in person a week ago and the sweeping hand was stunning. I'd completely agree that it is a poor man's spring drive. Better yet, I prefer some of Bulova's designs to the majority of spring-drive Grand Seiko watches out there!
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Old 04-03-2018, 11:48 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I've had my Langford for several years now, since 2012, and have replaced the battery once. I love the smooth sweep.

I think it's only comparable to a Spring Drive in that it has quartz accuracy and a smoother sweep (compared to typical quartz or even a 36,000bph Hi-Beat), which I think is a pretty huge feat, for a 10th of the cost.

My biggest issue with the Precisionist line is the big, somewhat gaudy designs. The Langford was the simplest design I could find at the time of purchase. I believe the Accutron II line is a smaller, less accuracy focused version of the Precisionist, which would have been exactly what I wanted, if it existed at the time. I would have liked the Surveyor model. I did, however, buy one of the Spaceview re-issues on a whim.

Funny, that Accutron II Surveyor is listed as a mid-size at 41mm.
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Old 04-07-2018, 11:17 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Bulova has changed alot over the years
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Old 04-11-2018, 08:59 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I own one, but you certainly can't get them as cheap as the OP stated in the UK. Mine is pictured below, and it would appear that a few others on here have the same one. 300m WR, weighs a ton, but is incredibly comfortable considering the size. In fact, it's one of the most comfortable watches I own. I love the way the second hand sweeps, and mine appears to keep up with the manufactures claim regarding accuracy. To be honest, I can't fault it.


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