I had seen the ad for this machine, glancing at it a few times during the week it had been up before I contacted the seller. It was a great price and I thought that surely someone had already made arrangements to buy it. Sure enough, when I finally did ask whether it was still available, the seller replied that a lady was coming over to see it but that she would contact me if she decided she didn't want it.
It's inconceivable to me that someone responding to a Bernina ad would decide not to buy a very highly regarded computerized model made in the mid-'90s. I certainly don't need another machine and I was slightly relieved it wasn't going to be mine. I'm in the process of getting rid of much of my collection and not adding to it has been the matter of personal resolve.
Several days later the seller wrote to me saying her prospective buyer never showed up to take a look at it. Was I still interested? I replied that I could be there in about an hour.
Although it was filthy, the machine is in really excellent condition and cleaned up beautifully. A couple of the plastic panels have yellowed somewhat but the painted surfaces are pristine; this machine has seen very little use. Though some parts are missing (knee bar, a few feet, quilting guide, screwdriver, bobbins, etc.), much of it is here including the bobbin case, case/cover, bed extension, foot controller, accessories box, most of the feet. Even the warranty card and Bernina introduction cards were included. No manual could be found, although I don't need one. This is a straightforward machine with simple controls, yet with the host of features Bernina-philes love.
This model doesn't have loads of stitches: 14 utility and 14 decorative, selected using a rocker switch that changes the display, each being a forward or reverse version of another stitch. The options of instant and continuous reverse are here as well as one of my favorite Bernina features, that being the ability to change width and length very minutely for a high degree of stitch granularity. With the heel tap needle up/down feature as well as the FHS knee system, it's got it all plus the speed of a thoroughbred and the strength of a work horse. This is a really nice machine. And it's in such good condition, too! Not bad for the price of a Benjamin.
It appears to be suffering from some sort of blockage -- as if thread has wound itself around one of the moving mechanisms inside the machine. I will investigate, clean and oil it, and update this post as I make my discoveries. This 1090 has been sitting unused for about 15 years.