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This watch is a museum piece!  It is that rare as most did not survive the new technology within the watch.  So happy to have this in our stock and thrilled to help it find a new home with someone who loves this kind of unique technology.  It's like the De Lorean sports car - miles ahead of its time but did not have commerical success but then became very collectable and rare.

In the 1970's Bulova patented the Thermatron as a “thermoelectrically powered wristwatch.” In simple terms, this was Bulova’s attempt to create an alternative to the solar-powered watch that the Japanese Citizen watches were promoting.  They worked on the watch for nearly a decade before launching in 1982.

Bulova was trying to miniaturize the established idea of the Seebeck effect, which is the basis for a thermoelectric generator. Basically, if you have a flux (mixture) of hot and cold thermoelectric materials, the temperature gradient can release electricity in a way similar to the photoelectric effect. In principle, thermoelectric generation is a cousin of photoelectric generation which is the basis of light-powered (photovoltaic) watch movements. Thermoelectric motors require a regular and constant difference of temperature between the “hot” and “cold” end. If there are issues with this element of the generator, it will not properly generate electricity.

However, it did not work!  Not enough temperature differnece lead to the watch not working and too much meant the batteries coroded the watch from the inside.  Hence not many survived.

Bulova Thermatron

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