BULOVA 242 QUARTZ 1977

This 1977/78 Bulova Quartz 242 calibre is one rare mystery watch that is hard to come by. It features a top quality modular construction with large stepping motor and nice mechanics (very similar to Universal Geneve White Shadow that also cooperated with Bulova). This 242 movement is stamped Swiss but IMO (many might  argue) this is not a Bulova but Citizen produced by the joint-venture Bulova Citizen Company of Japan. Most of these 242 watches were sold on eBay from the Far East what somehow proves their origin. So despite stamping this watch as Swiss it is more than likely that parts were made by Citizen to be assembled in Switzerland - btw. "Swiss Made" indicates that only some 50% of a product is made locally.

 

So far I have never seen a Citizen with a movement of similar build but a later version of this watch in the same year of 1978 was already fitted with a Citizen Crystron 8565 calibre renamed to Bulova 245. To be honest... Bulova never made a pure inhouse Quartz watch. After the short lived combination (work-around) of a tuning fork with quartz crystal in the Accuquartz the company outsourced its products or bought movements from other manufacturers (this strategy is followed until today). For instance Hughes and CTC made their LED modules, Citizen made most of their LCDs, the first limited Accuquartz was fitted with a Beta21 and the last generation with mass-produced ESA 9362 quartz movements.

 

The 242 has an intriguing recessed button located at 4 and one would think that it is used for correcting seconds. It's true but it doesn't just stop seconds while waiting for a time signal. Based on hints from Watchuseek this synchronization procedure is called AccuSet. At first the crown has to be pulled out for setting when the seconds reach 12. This will stop the seconds and by pressing the button the user can inform the circuit where zero is located. Afterwards the watch can be set and used as normal. When time synchronization will be required all you will have to do is press the button at any required moment (what will stop seconds) and release the button at an exact time signal. The next steps will be magic... as the seconds hand will either move slow or fast until it is synchronized precisely.

 

A rare version of the 242 came with a "Tz" timezone setting feature which allows to move the hour hand only in a similar manner as the Omega MegaQuartz 1310 or 1510. This solution is however far simpler and does not use any magnets. The same effects is achieved with a click spring underneath the hour wheel and an additional small intermediate setting wheel.

 

 

 

 

 

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Keywords: bulova quartz, 242

Market value: 50$-150$ (model, condition)

 

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