Service + Repair: Buler / Baumgartner BFG 158

IMG_4517From the heady days of highly jewelled pin-pallet movements, we have this Buler watch here that Richard sent in. The lume on the hands is breaking off, and the watch doesn’t work any more.IMG_4520

With the rotor removed, you can see that there is no lack of jewels.IMG_4522

The dial is glued to the case …IMG_4523

No lack of gunk and glue!IMG_4528

The well constructed bottom plate with date changer.IMG_4530

The auto winder is bi-directional.IMG_4536

The wheel train with the typical pin-pallet escape wheel.IMG_4544

Re-applying luminous compound to the hands.IMG_4545

All clean and ready for reassembly.IMG_4801

The base movement is back together with a new mainspring.IMG_4803

I start off with a beat error of 3.1ms, and get it down to 1.5 in two attempts. As this is collet adjusted, I will leave it there.IMG_4808

Rather nice looking again!

7 thoughts on “Service + Repair: Buler / Baumgartner BFG 158

  1. Hi … I am currently working on a LATOR watch ie BFG 158….the hairspring is
    wrecked, so I have been looking for a complete balance, but there appears to be
    about 4 variations of balance for this movement…this particular one has the roller
    jewel set into the hub of the balance wheel….can,t seem to find one anywhere,
    any ideas…..Regards DAVE ALLMAN

  2. Very good work! Worked on a few of these 158 movements years ago,they had a rather low beat with a rather long pallet fork resulting in an almost jolting swing of the pallet fork.When cleaning by hand one had to make absolutely sure that all components were absolutely clean and well oiled on re-assembly.Because of the long pallet fork and its long jolting swing these movements were rather notorious and sometimes just stopped working despite ones best effort.Because of this tendency to stop working after a few days, many watch makers just refused to work on the 158 as it simply was not profitable to work on a watch with this type of qwerckyness.They gave good service until the case was opened for the first time,after this many ended up in drawers not working any more with the owner hoping to find a watch maker capable of restoring it back to life later.Unfortunately later much changed in the watch making world and it became harder and harder to find some one with the skills to work on mechanical movements. Many watch makers left the profession because of the electronic watches coming in,some left because of deteriorating eyesight,and others simply because thy could no longer charge for their services,it simply made no sense to spend time on a cheap watch.Rather buy a replacement it is cheaper than repairs.Fortunately things changed in the meanwhile and many younger guys now again acquire the skills to work on mechanical movements.I must congratulate you on restoring a 40 odd year old rather notorious 158 movement back to life,this is a good testimony of your ability.Congratulations and have a lot of fun!

  3. The amplitude is impressive… I like the military look, vintage style chrome case, hands and above all the old T on the dial…. Great with a nylon black braided strap vintage

  4. It’s a bit tatty, but solid and still looks pretty cool on a NATO… by my definition of cool 🙂

    Does the relatively high jewel count actually contribute anything vital on a low beat, pin pallet movement? It does seem to run a fairly long time when unworn… I guess that is one part of it.

    The relumed hands I was particularly impressed with – it helps to have a decent amount of it I think, but still it is nice to see it glowing away in the wee small hours!

    Many thanks Christian 🙂

    • Heh – just discovered you can roll the date wheel backwards as well as forwards. I quite like that as a feature… it doesn’t seem to be common in the watch world 😉

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