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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are not a lot of Bulova specific threads on watch forums out other, so I'm surprised that there's not a lot of discussion about the Precisionist line of watches here. My collection ranges from beater Casio quartz watches that I used while doing yard work to high end Swiss automatics and I've been very happy with my recently purchased Bulova Catamount (98B167). Smooth sweeping second hand and super accurate movement at a reasonable price. The Catamount even looks good, bold and unique. I consider the Precisionist movement to be a game changer.

Sure the initial style direction wasn't for everyone, but that could easily be changed and improved. The movement is really the heart of any watch. Why isn't the Precisionist line of watches getting more attention and discussion? Is this reflected in sales. I know that watch enthusiast are a different set of buyer than the general public, so is Bulova still selling a ton of Precisionist even though it doesn't get much attention here?

Can someone explain this to me? Thanks.
 

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Some members of this forum have Precisionists and seem to like them so this subject has been addressed before so I'll let them chime in. For myself, it's basically just another quartz watch.
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I own a longwood in silver and rose gold. I like the design and the look but it doesn't get much wrist time. The dial is beautiful! For some reason it just doesn't speak to me when I am picking out my watch for the day. Maybe it is because it is another quartz watch. I don't want to part with it although I have thought about it a few times. It is a first generation so I'll hang on to it and see what happens down the road.
 

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I like the watch and have asked Santa to bring me the divers model. I happen to like quartz and own other HEQ quartz so I am looking forward to comparing...
 

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The Precisionist has been discussed some here and elsewhere. One common complaint has been with its accuracy. Numerous owners have observed erratic accuracy in their watches with the movement being right-on for a while but later found to be running fast or slow. Others have not achieved the accuracy advertised by Bulova. There does not appear to be any way to calibrate the movement if it is not accurate. Earlier this year I bought a lightly used Claremont which I later sold to buy a new Diver. To-date, the Diver is 5 sec. fast in 4 months, an acceptable accuracy.

The style and size of the first offerings put a damper on sales as well as the high price. If you paid MSRP, the price could go over $1,000 and all you got for those extra dollars was a fancier case. The movements are the same in all versions. There is now a Chrono version of the movement, though. My watch collector friend and I have spoken with a few dealers and they all have said the watches are not selling well in stores. One local jewelry shop stocks many Bulova models but no Precisionists. he said even the regular quartz and mechanical Bulova models aren't selling well. Many have appeared on The Bay now at very deep discounts. For my $525 MSRP Diver I paid $239 shipped. My Precisionist is the only new Bulova I have and will most likely remain so. I bought it because of the unique nature of the movement but Bulova, now owned by Citizen, just isn't the company it once was.
 

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One common complaint has been with its accuracy. Numerous owners have observed erratic accuracy in their watches with the movement being right-on for a while but later found to be running fast or slow.
Unlike some of my Swiss quarts watches that run consistently fast by a second or two month after month, my Precisionist is just as you describe. 361 days have passed and it is running fast again but five seconds fast for the year is "A-ok" in my book.
 

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I don't have one myself, but my wife does and she has been happy with hers so far. She was originally looking for a mechanical watch that was cheaper than her Raymond Weil, but couldn't find a ladies mechanical that she liked in the $300-$500 range. She liked that the Precisionist was at least something different than a typical quartz watch, so thought she'd give it a try.

It has been very accurate so far, but I can't say whether or not it's any better than a regular quartz watch.

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for everyone's response. I know that there are other threads that have commented on Precisionist movements, but there just didn't seem to be many, considering this is a relatively new product and new technology.

I agree with some critism that the "first gen" Percisionist were not blessed with attactive styling. This is also the reason why I hadn't pulled the trigger on one until the "second gen" (?) Catamount was release. It was the first model that caught my eye, thought I'm considering a Champlain Chronograph. I especially like that they didn't make it with a sub-dial second hand.

I got my Precisionist for about half off MSRP including shipping which is a steal for such a unique piece. I could've done a little bit better but still satisfied with the deal considering this was an AD.

I understand that one's view of quartz as inferior or not as interesting as mechanicals is a personal choice and I won't knock on that position, but among quartz watches the Precisionist movement is very exciting to me. Sweeping second hand, the hallmark of a mechanical watch but better due to the smoother 16 hz pace compared to most mechanicals at 3-4 hz. On top of that, super high accuracy without thermalcompensation or high cost.

I have both kinetic and Eco-Drive watches and the Precisionist is way more interesting. Some of the super high tech Casios and Eddiface watches are way too complicated and I consider Radio Controlled movements as cheating and relying on the different source for accuracy. My standard for accuracy is that the watch should be less than a minute off by the DLS time change so I even the worst Precisionist should meet my accuracy needs.

Regarding reliability, between my wife and I, we've had several quartz watches fail and they all have been Swiss movements (mostly Rondas). I've never had a Japanese quartz movement die on me. I'll reserve judgement on the Precisionist's reliability, but my expectation is that it will last a long time.
 

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You can just imagine the monday morning product development meeting. 'Accutron'. How do we top that? And some young twerp in the corner pops up with "Precisionist"!!!! "It kind of sounds the same but newer!!!!"
 

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Max_stirling,
I'm not one who considers the quartz movement to be inferior or second rate to mechanical movements or to the tuning fork movement. Just like mechanical watches in the past, there are cheap, low quality quartz movements and there are high quality, jeweled quartz movements. The Precisionist - I actually like the name - has a six jewel movement and a metal bridge, if memory serves. So, the Precisionist movement in far from a cheap quartz movement. I do find it amusing that none of my three quartz Citizen watches have a jeweled movement and had prices at or above the $300 MSRP Precisionists.
 

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I believe a watch design or a 'series' many times mimics the rest of the industry and what is 'popular' today or yesteryear. It really depends on personal preference. I looked over the Precisionist line and many of them look similar to the Citizen and Casio and even new Seiko lines and design. Just a different name. For myself, I buy and enjoy old school watches for uniqueness, size, and design and in some cases family keep sakes.. Also there is a nice history to Bulova and many other watch makers for that matter. I don't buy old school watches for accuracy although I own a few that are pretty good and others....not so good. Besides wearing one of my 39 different watches out and about, my daily work watches are Casio WaveCepter( WVAM490D-2A) & (WVA470DJ-1ACF) and Citizen Eco drives(AT4004-52E). I have three different ones, all atomic and solar. The Citizen weighs a ton!!!! the casio's aren't bad. They keep exact time to my home computer and also and more important, exact time to our 'finger print' matching work clock where we clock in every morning. Its nice to have a watch that updates itself everyday. I never have to set them. Low maintenance reliable daily wearable items.
 

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For myself, I buy and enjoy old school watches for uniqueness, size, and design and in some cases family keep sakes.. I don't buy old school watches for accuracy
Spot on.

If you want accuracy go to K-Mart and put $49.99 across the counter and walk out with something that will be as accurate as an atomic clock.

Casios and Seikos are a very accurate watch. They have both always done electronics very well. My first calculator was a Casio, and it still goes. And that was 35+ odd years ago.
 

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I was really excited when I heard about the Precisionist line. The overall design really didn't pique my interest. But what really turned me off to owning one was the fact that the movement was so "puny". I have seen many nice higher end quartz movements at my watchmakers shop while waiting for him to finish a watch for me. They were Swiss movements and were very robust. They looked substantial and everything about them looked heavy duty and well made. The Precisionist didn't look well made. I was a small plastic movement that looked average. If the movement were made to look good as well as be very accurate then I think I could have lived with the case designs and made a purchase.
 
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But what really turned me off to owning one was the fact that the movement was so "puny".
Microscopic was my first thought after removing the back. I couldn't even see the P102 movement that was hiding under that huge 3 volt battery. It wasn't the movement so much but rather that ugly white plastic spacer thing that turned me off. The movement is reminiscent of the Accutron 221 and could easily fit in a 25mm case.
Yesterday was the one year anniversary for me and my Precisionist and I have had time to get over a heavy dose of buyer's remorse. Looking at the positive aspects, the movement has eight jewels and that is seven more that the Victorinox that was twice the price. My last Swiss Army watch also had that ugly white thing inside. It did come on a very nice leather strap and I love the rich chocolate brown color of the dial. The nearly 46mm case looks large but is lighter than it looks and is definitely more comfortable on the wrist than just about anything by Invicta. Accuracy is the big issue and an adjustment screw probably wouldn't help correct the real problem. My Precisionist runs fast then slow for no apparent reason and from what others are saying, you get a good one or you don't. Consistent it is not but at +6 seconds for the year, I should complain?
P102 movement photos:
www.BestofWatch.com • View topic - Bulova Precisionist Movement Pics and Info - P102, 8 jewels
 

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Some of their appeal for me is because they are big and gaudy. They represent the current styling trend. In the past, I would not have purchased a watch looking like this but my tastes have changed to include representatives of present styles.

The model Sam2 has was my choice when I first heard of the Precisionist line at their introduction. I am partial to brown dials - even though I only have 2. For my first I ended up with the black dial version as I bought it used for a good price.

I can get past the use of the plastic spacer ring as this is just what is done today and can be seen on many watches. They probably didn't want to design a large movement as they wanted the flexibility of the movement being small for ladies watches and, perhaps, for smaller cased men's watches. As Sam2 said, there are 8 jewels and metal parts to the movement, unlike some cheap quartz watches.

Buying the early version may pay off down the line with increased value - if we live long enough! :lol:
 
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