Bulova, an American watchmaker, is credited with industry firsts such as the first electronic watch and the standardisation of watch components. Today, we’re going to compile a list of the top 15 Bulova watches for guys.
Bulova is a well-known brand in the business, but it doesn’t receive a lot of press. This might be by design, given the brand’s reputation for being understated. However, the respect it receives as an American watch brand in a Swiss-dominated sector is not to be overlooked.
Bulova isn’t a new player on the watch market. They were founded in 1875 and have so much heritage behind them. They don’t make luxury watches on par with Rolex. Their sweet spot is the $100 – $500 range.
Bulova has been owned by Citizen since 2007.
If you do like brands such as Rolex and Omega but don’t have the readies to buy one, you’re really going to love what Bulova do at this price bracket.
The watches they make aren’t considered to be high-end (luxury starts at $500), but, they are very good quality.
Above all, they’re known for their accuracy. Bulova provides a variety of movements, including unique quartz movements with high frequency and accuracy.
They make P102 calibres, which are 8-jewel quartz movements that are among the world’s most precise.
The NN50 calibre, a patented three-prong quartz crystal with a vibrational frequency of 262kHz, is eight times faster than the ordinary quartz watch.
They also create automatic watches with movements from Sellita, a Swiss company recognised for producing movements that are similar to Swiss heavyweights like ETA, and Miyota, a well-known Japanese company known for its dependable workhorse movements.
Bulova has a wide choice of designs to choose from without sacrificing recognizability. They create classic sport watches, for example, but are noted for giving them a dressier makeover; the Marine Star, for example, is thinner and less effervescent than the Orient Ray II or Submariner.
They also use antique designs from their vaults (which is one of my favourite things about them), as well as experimental patterns with dramatic cut-outs and unusual materials and colours.
Is it a decent brand?
To judge if Bulova is a decent brand you need to look at their movement and quality.
A lot of watch connoisseurs look down on the likes of Fossil and Guess and anyone else producing Japanese quartz movement timepieces. Granted, it used to be a cheap alternative to Swiss-made quartz, but these days it’s a sign of quality. It depends on who you ask.
Bulova has been making fantastic watches for many years and they offer precision and accuracy.
Are the watches worth buying?
The simple answer is yes. Bulova is all about innovation. They’ve made a few splashes in the industry which has pushed competition.
Let’s look at 10 of their best timepieces.
1. Precisionist Chrono
This is a thickset watch, at 47mm by a huge 17.5mm. The case is made of stainless steel, as is the band (which is a width of 23mm). The dial is protected by a scratch-resistant mineral. The face that sits underneath that is a glorious mix of silver, black and deep blue. The hands and markings are both luminous so there’s great readability in low-lit conditions.
This is an incredibly accurate watch that belongs in the Precisionist collection. You get their signature Japanese quartz movement that is accurate to one-one-thousandth of a second.
If you’re a keen water sports enthusiast you can rest assured that this watch has a water-resistance of 300m, which is great for snorkelling, showering, and maybe a shallow dive.
If you like the look of luxury with a sporty edge, this one’s yours.
- Analogue display is good
- Second hand gliding movement is enjoyable
- Fantastic design
- If you have less than perfect eyesight then you might find it tricky to read in low lighting conditions
2. Marine Star Chrono
This is a sleek chronograph within the Marina collection. It makes for an attention-grabbing dress watch.
The case is 43mm by 12.22mm with a 22mm case. The whole thing is stainless steel. The dial is blue and offers up Roman numerals for an elegant feel. It has a stainless steel bezel to make the blue really pop.
It has a water resistance of up to 100m, which is OK and has a 6 hand calendar chronograph feature. No diving in this.
It runs on that Japanese quartz so you know you’ve got accuracy on your side.
There’s also a date window that sits between the 4 and 5 positions. There’s also room for the date.
If you have a slightly bigger wrist, this will proportion it out.
- Excellent price for what you get
- Incredibly durable
- The luminosity of the hands add to the design as well as the function
- Great design with blue/silver contrast
- If you need the band adjusting, you’ll need some watchmaker help
3. Lunar Pilot Chrono – Special Edition
There’s some history here. It’s a replica of the second timepiece ever to be worn on the moon. Back in 1971, Dave Scott wore this during the Apollo 15 mission.
The stainless steel case is 45mm by 13.5mm, so no hiding from this beast. The strap is made of black textured leather and is 22m in width. The dial protecting the face is made of sapphire crystal which is both incredibly scratch-proof and anti-reflective.
It has Bulova’s famous UHF quartz Chrono movement inside. This has yet to be beaten for its accuracy.
The second hand offers a smooth glide. It has luminous markers and hands, as well as a calendar and tachymeter.
The strap might be the best part. It’s supple and the texture is almost layered. Not that you’d want to, but you can swap it for a nylon version that pays homage to the Apollo 15.
- Stunning timepiece layered with history
- Satin finish on the case looks incredible
- Incredibly high-performance
- Unbeatable value
- Water-resistance is only up to 50m
4. Devil Diver Oceanographer – Limited Edition
Another tribute watch with only 666 released. All individually stamped with their number. The 666 is how many feet you can take it diving.
The case is smaller in comparison to the above at 41mm by 14.5mm in stainless steel, as is the bracelet. The dial is protected by an anti-reflective, anti-scratch sapphire crystal.
Bulova doesn’t offer you less design finesse on their lower-priced watches. This watch offers you the date, luminous hands and a bright orange face. There’s also a uni-directional bezel that rotates.
It runs off a self-winding auto-movement and offers the trademark reliability.
If you’re into retro, you’ll love this 70s throwback.
- Rejuvenation of a timeless classic
- Solid case
- Solid bracelet
- Well priced
- The power reserve isn’t great
5. CURV Chronograph
Here have another chronograph. You’ll notice instantly that the design is a knockout. The name Curv comes from its uniquely wonky structure.
The case is 44mm by 10.1 and the band is 25mm in width, all of which come in stainless steel. On top of the dial lives a curved and anti-reflective/scratch sapphire crystal.
Inside, you get the UHF quartz movement.
It’s a 5-hand Chrono, with an intense deep blue dial that shows the workings of the watch. It has silver hands and matching markers. The back of the case is also an exhibition.
It doesn’t tell you the date, but with the exhibition feature, you’ll be glad of the dial being clutter-free.
If you need something that’ll look good in the office but won’t make your boss think you get paid too much, here you go.
- Endlessly cool look
- Curved crystal is protective and unique to look at
- Very comfortable fit
- A really unique watch at an accessible price
- It won’t tell you the date
6. Lunar Pilot
If the special edition isn’t within reach, fear not. The case is 45mm wide, 13.5mm thick, 52mm lug-to-lug, and features a 20mm lug width in coated stainless steel. It’s a large watch, and I wouldn’t ordinarily contemplate buying anything so big for myself. The Lunar Pilot, on the other hand, does not wear as large on the wrist. This is mostly owing to the black casing, which draws everything together. I don’t remember feeling the same way about the watch’s original bead-blasted incarnation. That one seemed and felt more like its 45mm counterpart. It’s amazing how much of a difference a black case can make.
The undulating contours of the lugs contrast well with the tall, cylindrical bezel and flat sapphire on the case shape in profile. The case’s overall fit and quality are also excellent. It’s a matte black steel that contrasts well with the face.
The watch is powered by an interesting mechanism. Bulova calls the 262 kHz calibre a high-performance quartz with high-frequency quartz movement. These movements, as their name implies, work at a far higher frequency than traditional quartz and mechanical movements, resulting in narrower accuracy tolerances. The 1/10th second counter at three stops operating after 30 seconds of operation to save battery life.
- Truly stunning design
- Substantial and durable
- 50m water resistance
- Very hard to pick a downside to this watch
- Might be too large for some wrists
7. Aerojet Open Heart
The design of this Aerojet Open Heart is based on a popular model that was introduced in 1966.
This timepiece is part of the Classic Automatic Collection. Water resistant to 30 metres, stainless steel case with rose gold-tone crown at the two o’clock position, open aperture grey dial with rose gold-tone hands and markers, exhibition case back, self-winding movement with 40-hour power reserve, boxed mineral glass, croc-embossed black leather strap with three-piece buckle closure. The open heart, which is a circular window on the dial that shows the movement’s balancing wheel, gives the watch both a scientific and “macho” feel.
- A unique design compared to others on the list
- Water resistance isn’t as high as others here
Bulova and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation collaborated to manufacture timepieces inspired by the late architect’s groundbreaking work. The Exhibition is a colourful, casual watch, and it’s the only adult watch I’ve seen that uses rainbow colours well.
The typeface of the numerals on the face is the same as that used in Wright’s show drawings from the 1930s. Water-resistant to a depth of 30m, meaning it can withstand rain and water splashes.
The typeface of the numerals on the face is the same as that used in Wright’s show drawings from the 1930s. The hour and minute hands are lined like a ruler, and the second hand is fashioned like a t-square, in addition to the multi-colored numerals.
The case is black stainless steel, and the strap is silky black calfskin, which helps to balance off the youthful face.
- An entire step away from the classic Bulova look
- Hard to find
9. Classic Surveyor
Bulova’s iconic Surveyor series has been refreshed with a sporty watch for women. The stainless steel case and strap of this two-tone watch in rose-gold and silver tones have an exquisite flare. For a feminine appeal, the white mother-of-pearl dial is manually set with 11 diamonds. This clock is exquisitely crafted and would be a lovely addition to any collection.
It has a three-hand day/date function, silver-white dial with gold-tone hands and markers, domed mineral glass, and a gold-tone and stainless steel band with a short fold-over double-push clasp are all included.
It offers a 3 hand movement driven by quartz, including the date on the display. The case itself is 39mm and water resistant to 30m.
- A timeless look you can keep in your collection for years
- Perfect timekeeping for a reasonable price
- Most suited to smaller wrists
- Does not display the day of the week
10. Crystal Octavia
We thought we’d finish this list on a bang. Check out this unmissable showstopper.
This incredible timepiece is part of the Men’s Crystals Collection. A gold-tone stainless steel 41.5mm case with 308 crystals on the bezel, bracelet, and pavé dial, a analog-quartz movement, a gold-tone stainless steel band with a deployment clasp, and water resistance to 30 metres.
- Look at it! If you want attention, this will do it
- Can’t be worn to bathe or swim
It’s hard to beat the sensational quality you get with a Bulova and rare to see materials like sapphire crystal being used on a sub-$500 watch. It’s usually reserved for luxury timepieces.
If you liked the exhibition feature of the CURV, you’ll love our article on skeleton watches, which you can read here.
Last Updated on December 10, 2021
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