The Buler company was founded, in 1945, by the SSIH group. (Société Suisse de l'Industrie Horlogère).
The Buler-watch factory, being a child of the second half of the 20th century, was - fortunately - not bound by old traditions. Indeed, it was a young firm which, in regard to technical, structural as well as social issues was no longer applying yesterday’s approaches, but embracing pioneering methods. This was one of Buler’s strong aspects on which the company has built the world-famous reputation of its products.
In 1954 the founders, Charles and Albert Buhler, withdrew from the company and Walter Rufli took over the management of the firm. At that time 15 workers were occupied in a rather small atelier at the Oelestrasse. However, after only a short time under the new management, the premises used no longer responded to the needs for expansion and the new management took a bold step forward in the search for a solution.
In 1956 Buler moved into a new and modern factory situated at the foot of the Jura-mountains at the Solothurnstrasse in the nice village of Lengnau. There, many new opportunities came into reach, which, thanks to an excellent organization, could be completely seized. From this new factory no less than one million Swiss watches would be delivered yearly to 65 countries spread out all over the world.
Further Milestones in the development of the firm were the foundation of an extensive pension fund for the staff and the increase of the share-capital in 1957.
At that time watch-manufacturers produced mechanical watches. Buler watches offered a real alternative to those of its competitors in the same price range, and the company soon became one of the leading mass producers of pin-lever-watches.
Due to growing demand for Buler-watches, the production capacity became insufficient, so that, again, a new important step had to be undertaken, namely, a second enlargement of the Buler-factory, by adding a new big wing turning to the Jura-mountains. This new building, divided in working-halls, offices and a storeroom also contained special technical ateliers and leisure-rooms for the staff and was completed in the summer of 1960 and production begun after the Watchmakers’ holiday.
To celebrate this further development of the Buler factory, a nicely arranged inauguration was held on 29th October 1960 and the doors opened to the population in the area who took an extensive view into all departments of the new factory.
The new construction fell into a period of new technical inventions for the watch-industry and Buler invested into new manufacturing equipment matching the latest developments. By applying entirely new methods of fabrication, Buler was able to keep offering a really up-to-date service.
Indeed, at the advent of quartz watches, which replaced the mechanical watches, Buler started to build up their image as a streamlined brand in the middle and upper price range. This was an essential step on which Buler built its present worldwide reputation.
Buler was also a leader in some other aspects. Owing to remarkable social accommodations and thanks to a special choice in skilled labor an excellent working atmosphere was prevailing in the company. The entire staff was working under the motto: “Teamwork above all!” Under the capable management of Mr. Walter Rufli, it became possible to attain a high working standard within an amazingly short period of time. This was the cornerstone that ensured the prosperity and constant growth of this young and dynamic company.
In 1971, Buler launched the CENTURY automatic watch, an original design with hours and minutes displayed by disks.
Changes in the top management affect the otherwise smooth business policy of Buler which was finally taken over by a private entrepreneur in 1990.
A new and dynamic management immediately started to re-establish the balance between the well-defined concept the company had and the brand’s worldwide reputation, launching some new and very successful models such as the Ocean Conqueror, Sea Legend… etc.
A renewed determination of the new management combined with attractive new Buler collections caught the interest of emerging new markets such as the Far East.