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Budlet brand watches

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October 04, 2012 03:32AM
Shanghai Watch Factory produced Budlet/Chunlei watches as an export brand beginning in the mid-1970s. Throughout the history of the brand there were a number of distinct ways in which their movements were marked. For example, early movements were signed with the Budlet logo.



Some decorated movements were used within the first year or two of production, marked with the Budlet logo first, and subsequently with SS7.



Sometime later the brand name appears to have been changed from Budlet to the pinyin Chunlei. Then in 1979, the SS7 designation was changed to ZSH.



Later, undecorated ZSH movements were used.



Beginning sometime in the 1980s, tongji and other movements from Hongqi (later Hudie) Watch Factory in Xian supplanted Shanghai-made movements. For example, this automatic:



A few others were used over the years, including ladies, quartz, imported, and Shanghai B movements. In models of the brand’s recent revival, more modern ones are used.

As can happen from time to time, however, something unexpected appears.



I’ve never seen a movement decorated like this before. Under the balance is AL SS7 above 中国 上海. The watch otherwise looks like an early Budlet. Sorry, no crown photo, but it’s signed with the Budlet logo.





Not long ago a Budlet with a similarly, but completely, decorated movement appeared for sale on Taobao at 37 times the price of this one. Its dial is different, but the batch number is the same.

Another Budlet, purchased from the same seller:



As the listing didn’t include photos of the back or movement I was prepared for something to be amiss, but I think the reason I bought it is clear.



It has the same 201 batch number, but I thought dials with Shanghai China printed in cursive didn’t appear until the 301 batch. I might be mistaken though, as the expensive Taobao watch I mentioned has it printed in cursive. The movement, however…



…is marked ZSH, a designation which didn’t appear until years after the 201 batch number on the caseback. The date code, HU, doesn’t make sense to me, as the second letter of SWF date codes indicates the month of production and ranges from A to L. I think I read it correctly. Maybe it’s a misprint? If it is one it’s ironic because Hu is a short-form name for Shanghai.



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saskwatch620October 04, 2012 03:32AM

Awesome post as always! SmileThumbs up! (n/t)

Need_Omega171October 04, 2012 03:00PM

I agree with Need_Omega, Jon...

AlbertaTime175October 04, 2012 05:26PM

Thanks! You are both very kind Smile (n/t)

saskwatch152October 08, 2012 06:34PM

In fact... You should put out a coffee table book Laughing I'd buy that in an instant! Thumbs up! (n/t)

Need_Omega128October 04, 2012 07:04PM



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