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Is Bulova A Good Watch Brand? We Breakdown the Pros & Cons In 2023

by Charlotte Davies
Bulova Watches

Founded in 1875 by a Bohemian immigrant, Joseph Bulova, the brand has earned its place as one of the great American watch companies, leaving a significant cultural mark over the years​.

The Legacy

Bulova has a rich history, having outfitted soldiers and astronauts, and is known for its significant contributions to watchmaking technology. The brand’s logo originates from its 1960 Accutron tuning fork-based technology, an innovation that has set Bulova apart from many other brands​​.

Modern Bulova: Pros and Cons

In today’s market, Bulova produces a considerable volume of watches often aimed at a budget market. However, it’s not just the budget-friendly aspect that makes Bulova watches appealing. Their portfolio includes models that cater to watch enthusiasts with features like high-accuracy quartz movements and a variety of designs inspired by their historical models, such as the Lunar Pilot and the Oceanographer​​.

Despite its American origins, Bulova is now owned by the Japanese conglomerate Citizen, and some models are produced in Japan or Hong Kong, with higher-end models having the Swiss-made designation​.

Pros:

  1. Historical Significance: Bulova has a long history, having been founded in 1875, and is one of the great American watch companies. They have a significant historical presence and a number of notable watches in their back catalog. They have outfitted soldiers and astronauts, and their watches continue to be of interest to watch collectors and newbies alike​​.
  2. Range of Models: Bulova offers a variety of models that cater to both budget buyers and enthusiasts. From basic quartz and mechanical movements to high-accuracy quartz movements, Bulova has a wide selection of watches to choose from. Their Archive Series, for instance, brings back popular or notable watches from the brand’s catalog, with prices ranging from a few hundred dollars to some of Bulova’s most expensive models​.
  3. Innovation: Bulova is known for its innovative watches. The Precisionist, for example, is notable for its high-frequency quartz movement that provides impressive accuracy, and its second hand that moves in a smooth sweep, just like a mechanical watch. The brand’s own quartz technology in collections like the Precisionist and Curv is also interesting and impressive​​.

Cons:

  1. Not All Made in the USA: Despite being an American brand, not all Bulova watches are made in the United States. Some models are produced in Japan or Hong Kong. However, higher-end models do have the Swiss-made designation​.
  2. Some Models are Expensive: While Bulova offers a range of watches at different price points, some models can be quite expensive. This could be a potential drawback for those on a budget​.
  3. Perceived Quality: Some of Bulova’s watches with quartz and basic mechanical movements might seem more mass-market-oriented than collector-oriented. This could impact the perception of quality for some buyers​.

Please note that this is a general overview of the brand. Individual models may have their own unique pros and cons. For example, the Lunar Pilot offers a lot of value for its cool look and talking points it packs in with the brand’s high-performance quartz movement​, while the Oceanographer recreates a vintage watch from the 1970s and boasts an automatic Miyota movement​.

Notable Models

The Archive Series is a notable collection from Bulova that brings back popular or significant watches from the brand’s catalog, with a focus on the 1960s and ’70s. These watches range from being relatively affordable to some of Bulova’s most expensive models​1​.

  1. Bulova Lunar Pilot: The Lunar Pilot watch is an iconic piece from Bulova’s collection, known for its history with lunar exploration. The watch features Bulova’s high-performance quartz movement and comes in several different configurations. You can purchase it directly from Bulova’s website for $775.00​.
  2. Bulova Oceanographer: Also known as the “Devil Diver,” this watch is water-resistant up to 666ft (200m). It’s a recreation of a vintage Bulova watch from the 1970s, and it comes with an automatic Miyota movement. This watch is available on Bulova’s website and is priced at $562.50 (discounted from $750.00)​.

The Lunar Pilot model, sometimes referred to as the “other Moonwatch,” packs in a cool look and high-performance quartz movement that offers a lot of value​​. The Oceanographer, also known as the “Devil Diver,” is a 200m water-resistant dive watch that recreates a vintage watch from the 1970s and boasts an automatic Miyota movement​.

Where to Buy Bulova Watches

You can purchase Bulova watches from a variety of online and physical retailers. Some of the most common places include the official Bulova website, Amazon, and department stores like Macy’s.

Bulova Lunar Pilot:

Bulova Oceanographer:

Conclusion

Bulova’s history, its contributions to watchmaking technology, and its diverse range of models make it a brand worth considering for both newbies and watch collectors. Whether you’re after a timepiece with a story like the Lunar Pilot or a dive watch like the Oceanographer, Bulova offers value and interest.

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