Throughout its long history, Bulova has established itself as one of the major American watch brands and made its stamp on American culture.
Having dressed soldiers and astronauts, the brand may be quieter than at its peak, but it still runs strong and provides watch collectors and novices a great deal of intrigue and value.
Is Bulova a good watch brand today? It is a disputed issue. Bulova may not be a luxury brand, but its timepieces are of outstanding quality within their price ranges.
Let’s take a deeper look at this company and learn more about its history, timepieces, and some of the best Bulova watches to help you decide if Bulova is a good watch brand.
Is Bulova a good watch brand?
Bulova has a great history and is an excellent watch brand with a great background. The Accutron is one of the most notable Bulova watches. In terms of history, it rivals the Omega Moonwatch. While Omega won the contract for the first Moon watch, Bulova’s Accutron also rode aboard the lunar module unofficially. The Bulova Accutron was taken aboard Apollo 11 by Buzz Aldrin.
Like other watch companies, Bulova was a victim of the Quartz issue. Instead of fighting back, they built their technology on Ultra High-Frequency Quartz technology. Unfortunately, history did not favor them, as mechanical watches ruled the luxury market.
Unlike other quartz watches, their UHF quartz offers the timepieces a smooth sweep. If you don’t know Bulova, it may even fool you into believing it’s automatic.
Bulova has a long history of producing high-quality timepieces. It’s an excellent brand to consider if you’re looking for a new watch.
Let’s now go further to learn more about this brand and help you decide if this is the brand for you or whether you should search for something else.
In 1875, Czech immigrant Joseph Bulova started what would become the Bulova Watch Company. In 1912, he built the industry’s first factory specifically for the standardized mass manufacture of timepieces.
Their first men’s line
After waiting another seven years, the company debuted its first full line of men’s Bulova watches. Bulova’s fame may be largely attributed to its fashionable design, but the company’s founder also placed a premium on accuracy and innovation, which led him to construct an observatory on the building’s roof at 580 Fifth Avenue in 1927.
Their first ladies’ line
After opening a shop in the heart of New York City, the company continued to make waves with its groundbreaking designs, such as the first collection of women’s wristwatches and diamond watches. “At eight o’clock, it’s Bulova Watch Time”, they said on the first radio commercial ever aired, which they made in 1926.
Because of Charles Lindbergh, a famous aviator, they gained even more recognition across the globe. As the first man to fly nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927, he was awarded a $1,000 watch prize from Bulova and featured on the company’s Lone Eagle timepiece. The Lone Eagle, priced at $37.50, was their most popular timepiece.
It was Bulova who created the first-ever television commercial in 1941. It aired before the July 1 baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies, marking the first-day commercial television advertisements could be displayed.
Further establishing their reputation in the 1940s, they introduced the intricate “sports time” analog game clock, utilized in various sports like ice hockey and basketball. They were taken out of service in the 1970s and replaced with digital displays after being used at several indoor sports venues, such as the Detroit Olympia and the Chicago Stadium.
Bulova was a frontrunner in producing high-precision military watches and other devices to support the war effort during World War II. The Joseph Bulova School of Watchmaking was established after World War II ended to provide injured soldiers with an opportunity to gain employment and participate in civilian life.
The Bulova Accutron: Their best
The Bulova Accutron, Bulova’s most groundbreaking innovation in the watch industry, debuted in the 1960s.
The Spaceview 214 was their first timepiece and the first digital wristwatch ever produced. The 360-Herz tuning fork within the watch made it the most precise timepiece available, accurate to within a minute every month.
For the 50th anniversary of the original Spaceview’s debut, Bulova introduced a limited-edition replica in 2010 that used a more up-to-date mechanical system.
Bulova in space
The first spacecraft to the moon used Bulova Accutron for its timekeeping devices, demonstrating the company’s importance to NASA’s space missions during the 1960s. Although Omega beat them to the moon, Bulova nevertheless made quite an impact; when the mission commander of Apollo 15’s Omega watch broke, he used his own Bulova Chronograph, which later sold at auction for an astounding $1.6 million.
They kept innovating during the 1970s and 1980s, debuting the Accutron Quartz and a series of watches with digital LCD time displays. In 2008, Citizen Watch Company of Japan purchased Bulova, and under its new ownership, the Bulova Precisionist was introduced as the “world’s most accurate quartz watch with a constantly sweeping second hand.”
In 2016, Bulova introduced the Bulova CURV at Baselworld, proclaiming it the first curved chronograph watch worldwide, continuing the company’s tradition of world-first innovations. The company took its ultra-high-frequency quartz chronograph mechanism, twisted it, and inserted it into a spherical, thin casing. The firm has been around for more than 140 years and shows no signs of slowing down. Innovation and craftsmanship remain at the company’s heart.
This was a brief overview of Bulova’s history. Let’s learn more about these Bulova watches.
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Now that you know about the fascinating history of the brand and its numerous firsts and inventions, we can talk about the timepieces they produce now. What makes them so excellent, and where they may fall short, is something we’ll examine.
The widespread misconception is that more-priced things are always of higher quality.
The effectiveness of an item’s marketing has a far larger impact on its price than the product’s functionality. Pricing watches increasingly depends on their brand name. This is why horology connoisseurs justify the high prices of “premium” brands.
In terms of quality, Bulova watches are not high-horology jewelry pieces, but they are as excellent as any and better than most (including Fossil, Timex, and others) for what they are (entry to mid-fashion quartz watches).
So, for the price, it seems that the quality of their timepieces is satisfactory.
Since Citizen took over in 2008, most of the movements inside the Bulova watches have been made by Miyota, whether quartz or automated. There is a possibility that some of the watches that are more easily available locally use low-cost movements imported from Asia.
Miyota motions are known for their reliability and lifespan. Though you shouldn’t count on them as precise as a high-end watch unless you’re wearing a 262khz, they’re still rather accurate. Furthermore, some watches seem to have inferior quality materials and craftsmanship than other brands that sell for the same price.
Bulova watches have been in production since the late 1800s and are noted for their classic design. These timepieces are ideal for those seeking a classic style. Bulova manufactures both men’s and women’s watches, with a wide range of designs. Bulova provides something for everyone, whether you want a formal or casual watch.
In some cases, the bright and flamboyant styles are unlikely to appeal to some watch aficionados.
Many Bulova owners appreciate the brand’s innovative technology, such as the Precisionist movement, a very high-accuracy quartz movement recognized for its sweeping hand movement comparable to automatics.
However, since Citizen took over in 2008, Bulova watches have generally been powered by Miyota quartz or automatic watch movements, which are known for their robustness and endurance. However, don’t expect it to be as accurate as a higher-end watch.
In general, water resistance varies depending on the case construction, crystal, seals, and other factors. Bulova is no exception; some of their watches are more water resistant than others, so, as with any other watch brand, you must become acquainted with the various levels of water resistance and keep in mind that even a 1000-meter watch can fail under certain conditions. Be cautious and keep an eye on your time. Bulova or no Bulova.
The Bulova watch company has been making good-quality, shock-resistant watches since the early 1900s. Today, their watches are still some of the most durable and dependable.
In fact, their watches are so tough that they’re often used by military personnel and law enforcement officers.
A new Bulova watch typically costs between $50 and $15,000. Bulova offers a diverse choice of models at various pricing ranges. So, whatever your budget, Bulova has something for you.
The value of a vintage or antique Bulova watch depends on several factors, including its age, the kind of metal used for the case (gold or platinum), the presence of any additional stones (such as diamonds), and the rarity or limited production of the model in question.
Bulova isn’t always the ideal option if you’re searching for your new watch as an investment. Bulova is not a brand where you can buy a watch and then resale it for more or at least most of what you spent. Most of the time, you will not be able to sell your old Bulova.
Most antique Bulova watch prices are not much more than $200, depending on the condition of the watches and the quality of the materials used to create them.
That was a detailed review of Bulova watches to help you know more about this watch brand and whether Bulova is a good watch brand or not.
Best Bulova watches
Bulova has been mining its rich archive of vintage timepieces for several years to create new versions of some of its most cherished classics. What follows are examples of some of Bulova’s finest timepieces.
Bulova Marine Star Chronograph
If you are seeking a diving watch with a chronograph that is both reasonable and of great quality, the Bulova Marine Star checks all the boxes.
The current lineup of Marine Stars from Bulova has a bezel with three sub-dial chronographs that resemble the Rolex Daytona in appearance.
This watch offers several amazing features that are uncommon for a product of this price range, but of course, they had to save money on things like the glass.
The Marine Star dial is thoroughly contemporary with its dark blue dial, white markings, and text.
Using a Quartz movement with a mineral crystal to reduce the price is a compromise, but this is not a deal-breaker for most of us.
This is the kind of watch you can wear as a daily beater and get it all scratched up, or you can wear it to work or dinner, and no one will know it costs less than $500 but less than $1000.
Bulova Precisionist Chronograph Men’s Watch
This impressive-looking chronograph watch is one of the finest Bulova Precisionist watches.
This men’s hefty watch is constructed of two-tone steel with PVD gold plating and has a 44mm case diameter and 18mm thickness. The strap maintains this two-tone pattern and is secured with a deployment clasp, including a safety catch.
This Bulova Precisionist watch’s dial had a black textured backdrop with gold accents for the hands and chronograph subdials. The hands and hour markers are coated with lume for enhanced legibility in low-light circumstances.
This Precisionist watch has a UHF 262 kHz movement for exceptional precision and a sweeping second hand, as you are fully aware.
The sapphire crystal glass in the Bulova 98G228 provides some of the highest scratch resistance available. This premium glass may be found in several pricey timepieces.
It also boasts an excellent water resistance rating of 300 meters, which is guaranteed to gratify a large number of individuals.
Bulova Lunar Pilot
The Bulova Lunar Pilot is known as “the other moon watch.” It is a tribute to one of just two watches that have ever been worn by men who have walked on the moon, and the Omega Speedmaster receives the greatest respect.
The Lunar Pilot is a great watch with an exquisitely ageless antique appearance. In addition, it is equipped with Bulova’s high-performance quartz technology for unmatched accuracy to seconds every year.
It was inspired by the Bulova chronograph worn by Apollo 15’s mission commander in 1971. Therefore, it is no surprise that it resembles the first watch worn on the moon. It is an “official” commemorative version of the original chronograph; the case back has information about the voyage to the moon.
In addition to having the ideal combination of masculinity and elegance, the Lunar Pilot style is renowned for replacing Captain David Scott’s Omega during the Apollo 15 mission in 1971. In addition, it has Bulova’s Ultra High-Frequency quartz movement. It costs around $500.
The maxim “less is more” should be used when explaining field watches. They should be small, resilient, and simple to read.
The Bulova Hack Watch Archive Series is an almost exact copy of vintage military timepieces from the 1960s and 1970s. As expected of a modern automatic watch, it also has a contemporary movement and a few other modern features. Despite this, Bulova has maintained relatively low pricing.
This is an infantryman’s watch, not an officer’s, and its design prioritizes functionality above aesthetics. However, many individuals like a planer dial’s “striped” appearance. I fell into this group. Thus, I was delighted to get one of these clocks.
The dial of the Bulova Hack Watch is straightforward, which is the first thing you will notice. There are no subdials or date windows to divert your attention from the time. As this is a genuine military watch, 24-hour time is essential.
The Bulova Hack Watch is powered by a Miyota Caliber 82S0 movement. This is a straightforward, 21-jewel movement with a 42-hour power reserve.
The design is a traditional NATO, with a portion of the strap flowing behind the watch’s back. This not only makes the watch look thicker, but it also offers a cushion for comfort. It is available for less than $400 on Amazon
Bulova Curv Chronograph Black and Titanium Watch
The CURV collection from Bulova comprises very precise clocks. They are curiously the first curved chronographs in the world.
It has a futuristic gun-metal and rose-gold color scheme. The watch’s skeleton dial gives it an opulent appearance. Its rubber strap also attracts your attention since you wouldn’t expect to see it on a gadget of this kind.
You need not be concerned about denting its display. It contains sapphire, which is the hardest glass available. Its sapphire is curved to complement its casing. Additionally, it is anti-reflective, so you do not have to worry about the sun dazzling your eyes.
It has the brand’s ultra-precise 262 kHz quartz movement. It produces vibrations that are up to 10 times greater than those of ordinary quartz. It is Japanese if you are curious. In addition to the Bulova Accutron ii, the brand’s other gadgets also have the precisionist movement.
Choose a wristwatch from the CURV range if you want an accurate watch.
Those are some of the top Bulova watches that might be a great fit if you get one.
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Frequently asked questions
Is Bulova a luxury brand?
Although the Bulova brand is not necessarily considered a luxury brand, the timepieces sold under this umbrella are of a high enough quality to warrant consideration. Their price range often falls between $100 and $600, which means that there is an option for individuals who are shopping on a budget and those who are buying something special for themselves.
Why is Bulova so expensive?
Bulova watches are cheap for an entry-level luxury brand. Bulova watches range in price from a little under $500 to well over $1000 for their most high-end versions. But most of their best-selling products fall between $300 and $600.
Where are Bulova watches made?
Even though Citizen Watch Co. owns Bulova and the company’s headquarters are located in New York, the company’s timepieces are made in Japan, Switzerland, and Hong Kong.
Does Bulova make smartwatches?
If you’re looking for a smartwatch, you might not want to consider Bulova. The company doesn’t make smartwatches, so you’ll have to look elsewhere if you’re interested in that type of wearable technology.
Do Bulova watches hold value?
As we said above, Bulova is not the best option in terms of the resale value. Bulova watches are a bit of a sleeper hit in the watch world. They don’t get as much attention as other brands, but they offer great value.
I hope this guide helps you to make your decision to the question: is Bulova a good watch brand?
If you have your point of view about this brand, let’s know in the comments section.