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1975 Elektronika 1st Soviet Digital Watch

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quietman

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1975 Elektronika 1st Soviet Digital Watch

Post27 Jun 2015, 03:18

I spent a few years researching these watches, buying examples and gathering LOTS of photos from the internet. There seems to be consensus amongst Russian and English language sources about the basic facts around the B6-02 movements used in these first Soviet DIgital watches. Piecing together the history and design evolution of these watches is significantly aided by having dates on all major module components (Power IC / Controller IC / Xtal / LC Panel / earlier models also have date codes on the plastic chassis) - and by having a clear sequence of different case designs employed over the years.

The module and electronics were first developed by Pulsar in Moscow. Development began in 1973 and was completed during 1974. The initial chip variants were (two chips) К512ИК2 and К512ПС2 together with the ЦИЖ-2 display panel. The earliest date that I have seen on a module component is November 1974 - whether complete watches were actually available for sale in 1974 is not clear. Most watches of this type seem to have been made during early -> late 1975.

The design and responsibility for mass production was transferred in late 1975 to Integral in Minsk. Production dates of the high volume Integral modules seem to start in about the middle of 1976. When production was moved to Minsk, the chip numbers were changed to К2СД004Б and К2ДЧ002. It is not clear if significant changes were made as the designations were changed. By 1976 the module design had been simplified to one PCB, accommodating both new Integral ICs, and an new LC panel ЦИЖ-IV (ЦИЖ-4). This new module variant is easily recognisable from the outside by the new look of the LC panel - the old model has upright square numbers, the new model has slightly rounded italic numbers. This new module variant was then produced with relatively few changes until 1978 (the LC panel was incremented to ЦИЖ-VI (ЦИЖ-6) / the metal LC panel spring contacts were replaced with conductive rubber / the level of finish on the board changed a bit / the plastics changed a bit)

The original 1974/75 watches are quite hard to find amongst the many later models - they are out there though if you know what to look for... 1975 version on the left, 1976 and later version on the right -
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A few more photos of the dated parts from the two module versions -
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A couple of general shots of the inside of the 1975 module -
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A few notes on case styles....
The case style shown in the photos above (and here again below...) was the earliest type and was used until late 1976.
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A common design that was introduced in 1977 was the 'big block' -
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The latest case design, commonly used in 1978 was the 'big round' -
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A rare case design in Stainless Steel c1976 (all the others are plated base metal) was produced for continental european markets under the name Electronika (one 'c' and one 'k') - this version is pictured in Doensens book -
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Another rare and early case style was perhaps the first export version (...before the late 1976 Sekondas). It is unbranded and the one that I bought had a strange early 1976 movement with one pulsar chip, on integral chip and a ЦИЖ-IV (ЦИЖ-4) LC panel... I have seen others for sale but they're not common and also not usually described properly by sellers - can be mistaken for an early Nepro or Microma -
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:amen:
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Re: 1975 Elektronika 1st Soviet Digital Watch

Post27 Jun 2015, 12:35

Very interesting and thorough review! I've got some early stepper motor analog USSR quartz watches (perfectly working) and some lcd watches that are more or less working, time to take a look at them again :)
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Andrew Babanin

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Re: 1975 Elektronika 1st Soviet Digital Watch

Post18 Jan 2016, 14:07

One of the first Russian serial watches produced approx in 1974 - beginning of 1975. There was a short period when these watches produced at ZIM factory (before eve of Minsk factory).
This watch is made in proto case with no info about gold plating. Very early number 0175

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Just a few B6-02 in my collection (not all timepieces)

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I would like to correct topicstarter - almost all most famous cases produced all the time from the beginning.
As to date of production

Here there are two samples:
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first one - date of production 31 January 76, another one - July 76 (on module june 76).
So for the fist type - numbers after 25000 were produced in february 76. There was approx 1 month lag that time between module and watch production.

Here's on of the earliest timepieces of second generation 3049 (serial 4633 march 76, components of late 75th).

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proto case:
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Re: 1975 Elektronika 1st Soviet Digital Watch

Post18 Jan 2016, 18:42

New to this forum and collecting these watches so this post is so very informative and helpful to me. Some excellent watches and rarely found with papers and boxes. I'm always on the lookout for them myself
Thanks
Brian
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Re: 1975 Elektronika 1st Soviet Digital Watch

Post20 Jan 2016, 13:32

impressive...just love the history behind it all. :-D
Hey you all...this board is FREE and without ADS, so at least post something every now and then to show your appreciation.


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Andrew Babanin

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Re: 1975 Elektronika 1st Soviet Digital Watch

Post21 Apr 2016, 06:36

fantastic success. Had found three NOS Elektronikas of mid 1975. Very early serial numbers. The first one I've bought one year ago. For now it is the fact, that first components of these watches produced in december 1974. Maybe there were more recent components.

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Re: 1975 Elektronika 1st Soviet Digital Watch

Post22 May 2016, 02:33

ummm....I like this watch.
The number is 2553 - one of the earliest electronic watches, produced in the USSR. Yesterday had worn it in Tsaritsino museum (the palace built for Ekaterina II in 1775-1796). Nice and very accurate watch 41 years old...

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Re: 1975 Elektronika 1st Soviet Digital Watch

Post29 May 2016, 20:36

These are very interesting and informative posts! Thanks!
Personally i dont feel any attraction to these Russian models and/or their build quality. But for historical reference and to other collectors your very clear pictures and information is most helpfull
I enjoy reading your posts
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Re: 1975 Elektronika 1st Soviet Digital Watch

Post26 Jun 2016, 02:52

I know. They are a bit ugly and funny - the first attempts of soviet engineering. Anyway it was a good time of research. From the end of 1973 (just a task), when there was a beginning till the late 1974 (the first working serial watches) - approximatedly a year had spent for growing up the new production from the scratch till the modern watch fo that period.
I like this period - the best in soviet micro electronics.

Fidel Castro used two Rolexes for GMT function. I do not like Rolex, but like this combination of nice wathces (Zurich and Moscow time :) )

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BTW a new interesting watch had come into my collection.
Here's a pic of qte interesting calendar (for 1977), printed in 1976.

Here's a calendar:
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Here's the watch:
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The parts are made in the November of 1974 - one of the earliest watches

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Re: 1975 Elektronika 1st Soviet Digital Watch

Post26 Jun 2016, 10:29

Super nice!
I've kinda resurrected this one, never seen this faceplate design before?
(insides are cobbled together from various parts)

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Re: 1975 Elektronika 1st Soviet Digital Watch

Post26 Jun 2016, 13:44

Wow! Very interesting face. I had never seen it before. For the first time almost all Elektronikas had plastic or mineral transparent glass and normal metal dial. Later appeared more common masks - glass with paintings on the back surface.
Maybe this one is one of the earliest types of this type of glass.
The watch is called B6-202 or 30350, appeared approx in april-may of 1977. The display had a few designs- wide and narrow digits, days of week in frames or not, Sunday - in red and in black, english version. Your display is one of the earliest - wide digits, days of week in frame. The very first displays had also seconds in frame. It is very hard to find display.

Here's my 202 with english type of display (with small defect)

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Re: 1975 Elektronika 1st Soviet Digital Watch

Post26 Jun 2016, 16:20

Interesting!
Here's the display that came out of the above watch:
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And another dead one :(
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Then I dug this one out of the drawer :) Never took the time to really investigate it, I only removed the batteries.
Older than I realized!
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frontplate removed, plastic looks clean.
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Yikes! :eek:
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some emergency cleaning was needed!
Not very much thankfully.
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Starting up for the first time in a long while
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And I managed to set the time :)
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:dwf:
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Re: 1975 Elektronika 1st Soviet Digital Watch

Post26 Jun 2016, 23:18

Nice watches!
Your 3049 is quite rare version - combinatoin of satin (brushing) and polishing.
Very strange number of 3049. According to my data sheet it should be 239449 (not 293449) then 08.77 - month and year of module production. In the beginning of 1977 another line of production 3049 had started - there was a year of 60th anniversary of October revolution, so USSR tried to make mass production of 3049.
First version of these watches produced in 1974-1976 (till march) - only 31000 pieces. In 1976 started 3049. There was prodused about 100000 pieces during the year. In 77-79 had been produced almost 1 500 000 pieces.
Also in 1977 began 202 series, in 1978 - 203 (ladies) and 204.

As to displays of 202. I found 7 types - 5 - result of evolution, one - in english (could be also in Spain), one trasparent with no reflector - for models with light bulb (very hard to find).

I've put english version before.
For now the first one with seconds in frame (photo of Oleg Arkhalov). Another pic - four types in time: wide digits, days of week in frame, three other with narrow digits, first with frames, two last with no frames. The latest (approx 1985) with black Saturday.

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Unfortunately do not have time to investigate properly history of 202 - till march 1978 were produced 100 000 pieces, them systen of numbering had changed - the first digit of the personal number means the last digit of year.

Here's a part of my collection of 202-s - avaiting for historical facts :)

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Re: 1975 Elektronika 1st Soviet Digital Watch

Post04 Jul 2016, 01:13

another pic of nice watch... Still one of the first, still works perfect...


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Re: 1975 Elektronika 1st Soviet Digital Watch

Post12 Jul 2016, 06:23

Wow! It's a real sussess!!! NOS gold plated Elektronika, produced in January 1978.
Hard to find in good condition.

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Re: 1975 Elektronika 1st Soviet Digital Watch

Post14 Jul 2016, 17:06

Very nice! I like the square case :)
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Re: 1975 Elektronika 1st Soviet Digital Watch

Post13 Sep 2016, 23:29

I had found two samples for foreign market. Two Sekondas of 1976 and 1978. The first one came back from GB.
I have no idea about printings - seem to me ugly, moreover russian version is much more pretty nice... But... anyway I like these pieces of history.

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Re: 1975 Elektronika 1st Soviet Digital Watch

Post15 Sep 2016, 17:13

Interesting. Maybe the importer/seller made the ugly faceplates?
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Re: 1975 Elektronika 1st Soviet Digital Watch

Post25 Sep 2016, 00:29

I think that there were at leat three types of DSM LCD watches in USSR in 1973-1974th.
The first one I found in the watchmaker's book. Inspite of the fact it carries onboard american quartz resonator and a few other components (capasitor for example) it has soviet style of operation (three hidden pushbuttons), chips look like soviet, used in first mass LCD watches (see the first topic, The initial chip variants were (two chips) К512ИК2 and К512ПС2). The second one makes 64 Hz for the first one chip.
Another one - is very common to Microma watch, but still carries on soviet chip К512ИК2. I can not find the full module, on the pic just an upper part.
The third one I showed here. It has more common for B6-02 design and manner of connecting display to board. But has not mass chips.
I also add a pic, made on the wrist in June 1974 (this watch had won a medal during exhibition at VDNH in Moscow 1974), I improved this pic in graphic edithor.

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Re: 1975 Elektronika 1st Soviet Digital Watch

Post25 Sep 2016, 10:50

Very interesting, I wonder if any working examples survived? Probably not, dead displays I think.
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Re: 1975 Elektronika 1st Soviet Digital Watch

Post25 Sep 2016, 21:59

in the last one display is in the good shape - the digits are real. The problem is with contacts in electronic components. The solderings are not so good for 43 y.o. watch.
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Re: 1975 Elektronika 1st Soviet Digital Watch

Post15 Dec 2016, 14:19

ZiM - is very famous factory in past in Kuibyshev (now Samara). Watch production was a small drop in all production of this factory. Electronic watches was a small drop in watch production. The most popular watches are based on Pobeda 2602 - hand winding watches with small seconds.
Anyway, supplied by Minsk factory ZiM produced quite interesting watches. A few ones from the first, produced at ZiM.

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a NoS watch with instruction and batteries of September 1977, module produced in December 77, watch passed quality control in August 78

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