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.
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 5 of their best timepieces.
$499 / £499
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
Marine Star Chrono
$264 / £199
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
Lunar Pilot Chrono – Special Edition
$400 / £355
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
Devil Diver Oceanographer – Limited Edition
$411 / £399
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
$500 / £499
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
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 the luxury timepieces.
If you liked the exhibition feature of the CURV, you’ll love our article on skeleton watches, which you can read here.