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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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.
 

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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.
 

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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
 

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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!
 

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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.
 

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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 ;-)
 

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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.
 

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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...
 

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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
 

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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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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.
...
I believe it is a very good thing that some of the people with a passion for high accuracy will write to the companies trying to sell such watches - and in this case I applaud both your observations on accuracy and those on the size (it might be telling that right now the most tempting model for me is an elegant ladies model - if it was 3-4mm bigger I would have probably got it but that size tendency is completely absurd :roll: :roll: :roll: ).

That being said:

- the Precisionist was from the start making very unlikely claims - 10 s/y (in large-scale industrial production) is not that easy as it might sound and 20s/y like in the Seiko 8F would have been a much more accurate description;

- that being said I believe a negative value at 28C is not that bad - it might be interesting to also see a rate around 22-23C or similar (and many HAQ watches are specified with some "wearing pattern" - like wearing it for 12 hours and leaving it for 12 hours on room temperature);

- also over one entire year the rate will most likely change due to aging and it IS possible to achieve in the first year around 10 s/y - but it would be very hard to say if the same could be possible in the 2nd or 3rd!
 

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I only own one HAQ and that is the SBCM023 which I actually wear in rotatation and correct the time at DST, which does limit my viewpoint on this subject.
I, too, have owned "lucky" quartz watches.

I have followed the Precisionist since launch, and other than a couple of proud owners proclaiming outstanding accuracy, the claimed accuracy is not there.
Where are all the claims of trend setting accuracy?

In my opinion the Precisionist is a marketing disaster and is viewed as "bling" by most purchasers. Those that have bought on technical specs are left disappointed.
It is wishfull thinking to hope that Bulova would improve next build generation to adhere to specs. Why would they, the smooth second hand still works.

Walter
 

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Sync the watch with an atomic clock, then try actually "wearing" the watch every day for several months; don't compare the watch to the clock for a few months, no matter how tempted you may be. You'll likely find that the accuracy to be acceptable at that point. A watch will NOT run within the specified parameters if it's just left alone in a watch box at a constant temperature for days or weeks on end.

Take the grand seiko quartz for example. I read one account where a person left it in a watch box for a year and it was +20 seconds after 12 months, which is way off from the +/- 10sec/year claim. However, another person who wore his every day for 12 months was +4 seconds.

Watches are meant to be worn, and they are designed with that in mind. They aren't designed to be +/- 10 seconds just sitting alone.


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.
 

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This thread prompted me to send an email to Bulova UK asking 2 questions.

I asked:

1) Does Bulova recommend any wear pattern for Precisionist models?

Ans) "you do not need to wear it every day to maintain the accuracy"



2) Does Precisionist have an eol batt indicator?

Ans) "the precisionist does not have a cell indicator to warn you when its dying."




........Sigh !
:-(
 

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Clueless people, since you have them on the line, ask them what happens if the accuracy is not the guaranteed 10 spy ? Can it be sent in be adjusted ? If it gains 5 seconds in a month, can it be sent it after two months ?
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
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
==========================

Dear Gaijin,

Thank you for your comments. It would seem from your experiments you have a 'lucky' watch with timekeeping qualities within standard quoted, and which I was rather hoping to obtain when I bought mine.

The watch I have is marked B1 on the back. I can time it to about a tenth of a second from radio time signals. And I have a Racal frequency standard available which is similarly accurate. The 'continuous' second hand is actually a fast impulse drive of what appears to be tenth second pulses.
-----

What I find particularly annoying about this business is that Bulova appear to have conned me into believing them. I did believe them, which is why I bought the watch.

One does not expect a world-wide known watch company to introduce a new design with a fanfare of publicity about it being within ten second per year if it clearly is not going to be upheld in practice and to subsequently have this claim demolished by a number of people. They have no right to make unsubstantiated claims of that nature in this business of precision timekeeping, and worse: even having the cheek to name the watch "Precisionist". It is NOT up to standard as claimed - period. It is NOT "precisionist" at all.

It is further annoying when they fall back on denying there is a problem and effectively saying go away for a year as you can't tell until then - nonsense! If like any other timekeeper, it is kept in a stable temperature it will have a constant rate for that particular temperature as far as the temperature compensation goes. Any variation is then due to other causes: air pressure variations, gravity direction, crystal ageing.

There is an excellent article I believe on this forum with all the technical details of the various precision watches produced so far, and that points out the difficulties of producing a watch movement accurate to ten seconds a year very clearly indeed. It is a very difficult standard to reach.

Crystal quality in purity and manfacture, cutting and ageing is all vitally importent, as is the temperature control / compensation method used.
Yet there is no information forthcoming by Bulova on their 'precisionist' movement. Why? In my experience of life, a company that will not give out technical data has something to hide. Making extravagant claims they cannot substantiate in practice, or even shown to be possible with the technical detail of design is very suspicious. Perhaps they know it is not up to standard and won't say if the sales are continuing well.

It also seems they are relying on the wearing of the watch to maintain a constant temperature, and random gravitional directions to even out variations. If so - why don't they say so?

I think the bottom line is they have made a completely unrealistic claim of ten SPY, are now caught out, and are closing ranks to fend-off people like me who are not satisfied and have the cheek to complain to them.

They should have said in the beginning their watches are only capable of around thirty SPY and be done with it instead of being duplicitous.

Bulova made great use of publicising the exact details of the revolutionary 'Acutron' movement in the 1960s - why are they so reluctant to give technical details of this 'precisionist'(-not) movement now?

I wanted a stand-alone watch of superb timekeeping accuracy over long periods to use as a standard timekeeper, at reasonable cost, and ten seconds per year as promised by Bulova was the attraction. I am now severely disappointed.


Douglas Denny.
 

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even having the cheek to name the watch "Precisionist"
They can't possibly be that brazen!

Yes they can. The marketers know that people will stumble over a small lie yet happily accept a massive one.
Just be sure to make the lie so large that its beyond expectation of ordinary folk.

What can you do now?

Complain, and you'll get another one with the same defects.

On the other hand, people here struggle to get a respectable rate from watches that cost ten times as much.
Bulova isn't the first whose claims are a bit 'enthusiastic'.
 

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Clueless people, since you have them on the line, ask them what happens if the accuracy is not the guaranteed 10 spy ? Can it be sent in be adjusted ? If it gains 5 seconds in a month, can it be sent it after two months ?
I wouldn't expect them to regulate it. Even Seiko says that although they anticipate 10spy out of their GS quartz models, they won't regulate it under warranty just because of an accuracy issue.
 

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You have the Bulova explanation as well as the warranty and instructions. In essence the watch will likely perform within specs if you wear the watch as specified. If you want higher short term accuracy off the wrist then you will probably have to pay more. Or raher than fighting a losing battle with the service department you should ask for a replacement from the selling dealer.
 
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