While researching my latest acquisition of the rare Bulgarian brand electronic watches Buletronic, I discovered that the available information about the brand on the web is quite scarce. I decided to attempt to summarize the known for watches produced under this name in the 70s and 80s. Except the specimens in my collection, I used pictures of Buletronic from the net and tried to organise a systematic review about models and modifications.
In 1972. American brand Hamilton Watch Co. in partnership with Electro Data Inc. launches world’s first electronic digital clock screen under the brand Pulsar.Electro Data was lead by a Bulgarian – Petar Petrov (1929-2003) . Born in Brestovitsa in the family of the priest Dimitar Petrov, the young man visited Seminary, but afterwards emigrated and was recrueted in the French Foreign Legion. Back in Bulgaria, he became an officer in the Royal Bulgarian Armmy. In 1944 Petrov went to Germany to study engineering. After the war, he emigrated to America, where he participated in a number of developments, including projects for NASA. In 1972. as head of Electro Data Ink. Petrov was involved in creating the first digital watch – Pulsar, trademark of Hamilton Watches Co. In 1978. Seiko Watch Corporation of America (SCA) acquired the brand Pulsar.
In 1973. Moscow factory „Pulsar“ (coincidence?) started producing LED – clock Elektronika-1, based on reverse engineering of the Pulsar (disputable topic)
Probably in 1975 Bulgaria started producing LED watches. There is a discussion, weather Buletronic is a bulgarian reverse engineered project, or a licence of Elektronika, but branded Buletronic. Production is organized in Pravets – hometown of communist leader Todor Zhivkov, where large-scale production of electronics (Pravets Computers) is planned to develop.Soon after the start of production, LED technology gives way to the LCD. The first LCD models of Buletronic use case and covers of the LED models. Later, new models with the traditional form of digital electronic watches appear.LCD-models use mechanisms produced in the Far East. It is believed that practically there is no difference between Buletronic and Sanyo from that time.Characteristic of LED watches from the 70s is that they are rarely branded. This makes the differentiation of the first models Buletronic from the other LED watches a hard job. However, comparing the known data, batteries, covers and cases, which repeats the branded LCD- models, we can try to make some basic classification.
Buletronic M10 model is probably the first Buletronik
picture from eastern-bloc-watches2
Another LED model – square with rounded corners is probably derived from the Soviet Electronica
The most popular LED model is with circular glass and two buttons – one convex and one concave. Occurs in yellow and white metal. On the same basis was made and a round LCD model with two convex and one concave button.
picture from here: Ð’Ð¸Ð¶ Ñ‚ÐµÐ¼Ð°Ñ‚Ð° - Ð‘ÑƒÐ»ÐµÑ‚Ñ€Ð¾Ð½Ð¸Ðº LED - Strelki.info
Model with oval glass – also in LED and LCD option – with two convex and one concave button.
LCD with hexagonal case with 4 knobs. Various modifications are known. High-performance is considered the model Chronograph.
The next generation: Buletronic-20 Chronograph repeats the appearance of the previous chrono ,but the case is rectangular, and one of the 4 button is concave. Can be seen in black and silver.
At least two Buletronic models for ladies exist, with 3 and 4 buttons.As mentioned in the assembly of mechanisms used in Buletronic, cans and lids from different manufacturers are used.
Lids - inscriptions:
Buletronic-Quartz – Bulgaria
Buletronik – 20Made in Bulgaria
Base Metal Bezel Stainless Steel Back Antimagnetic Swiss Case
Base Metal Case Stainless Steel Back
100% Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel Hong Kong
LED – models and their LCD-derivatives are powered with two round batteries
or one oval battery.
Later LCD models have a round battery, some have a separate screwable cap for the battery.
Manufacture of electronic watches Buletronic is basicly for propaganda and image. In communist societies clock prize is a common form of incentive for. Modern technology should show the progress of socialist science and industry. Buletronic watches with LCD screen are distributed to the delegates of the Communist Party Congress.
At the XI Congress in 1976. delegates were granted watches branded Pravets Quartz
picture from here: Buletronic chronograph with inscription
At the XII Congress in 1981, all delegates were awarded Chronographs Buletronic – 20. It is noteworthy an orthograph mystake: The mask logo is Buletronic, and the lid Buletronik
On the occasion of the first joint space mission with Bulgarian participation – cosmonaut Georgi Ivanov ( Soyuz 33) in 1979, a special series devoted to Intercosmos program was created.
picture from here: commemorative-space6
Buletronic watches were sold on the domestic market as a luxury and upscale merchandise. Export was limited.This review of Buletronic brand is not exhaustive. It is possible that the text contains inaccuracies. There possibly are models and modifications, that are not familiar to me. If you have a different Buletronic, do not hesitate to send information and photos to email@example.com to be included in the text.
The review is from my collector's blog http://clockwiser.wordpress.com/2011...tronic-review/