Bulova is one of the great American watch companies that dominated the industry throughout most of the 20th century. The brand was founded in 1875 by Joseph Bulova, who established his business in New York City with the goal of creating high-quality timepieces that embraced technology and innovation. Bulova is credited with numerous contributions to horology, including pioneering a standardized production process and even creating the world’s first fully-electronic wristwatch, using the company’s proprietary tuning-fork movement technology.
Bulova is inextricably connected to American history, and in addition to producing watches that were issued to members of the United States Military, Bulova has also created timepieces that have been used on 46 different NASA missions, and a Bulova watch was even worn during a spacewalk on the surface of the Moon. Since 2008, Bulova has been owned by Citizen Watch Co. and the company still operates out of its New York City headquarters, creating high-quality timepieces that honor its remarkable legacy.
To introduce Bulova to the Windup Watch Shop, we are kicking things off with two different lineups from the iconic American brand’s catalog: the Military Collection and the Archive Series. Bulova’s Military Collection pays tribute to the purpose-built timepieces that the company produced for the United States Military, while the Archive Series revives important designs from Bulova’s history to celebrate the company’s most important models and achievements.
Up first is the Bulova Hack Watch, which pays tribute to the brand’s classic military-issued field watch design, with the “Hack” name being a reference to the hacking seconds feature that permitted soldiers to synchronize their timepieces for coordinated missions. With a 38mm stainless steel case and the option of either a black or ivory-colored dial, the Bulova Hack represents a modern take on the classic mil-spec field watch design, and it is powered by the reliable Miyota 82S0 automatic movement.
A-11 Hack Watch
Also part of Bulova’s Military Collection is the A-11 Hack, which reimagines the legendary A-11 field watch that was issued to Allied soldiers during WWII, and that earned the nickname “The Watch That Won The War.” The modern Bulova A-11 Hack reimagines the iconic A-11 field watch design in a slightly larger 37mm stainless steel case that is fitted with a striking blue dial and a bright red seconds hand. Internally, the new Bulova A-11 also benefits from an updated movement, and it is powered by the same Miyota 82S0 automatic caliber that can be found in the standard Bulova Hack model.
A-15 Pilot Watch
While the original A-11 watch is a simple time-only model, the Bulova A-15 Pilot is based on the design of the military-issued A-15 “Elapsed Time Watch” that Bulova produced for the United States Army back in 1944. Featuring a larger 42mm stainless steel case and powered by the Miyota 82S6 automatic movement, the signature feature of the Bulova A-15 Pilot Watch is its pair of inner rotating bezels, which can be used to either display a secondary time zone or to measure the duration of events up to 12 hours.
Although it certainly has military heritage, the Bulova MIL-SHIPS-W-2181 is actually part of the brand’s Archive Series because it is based on a 1950s prototype that was originally designed for the United States Navy. Featuring a small split-color strip on the dial that will change color should moisture ever enter the case, the Bulova MIL-SHIPS-W-2181 faithfully recreates the size and appearance of the original model, but reimagines it with a number of modern enhancements, such as a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, 200 meters of water resistance, and the automatic-winding Miyota 82S0 movement.
Lunar Pilot Chronograph
Also part of Bulova’s Archive Series is the Lunar Pilot Chronograph, which is based on a historic Bulova model that made it into space aboard the Apollo 15 mission, and that was worn on the surface of the Moon on August 2, 1971. The modern Bulova Lunar Pilot Chronograph reimagines that famous timepiece with updated materials and an advanced 262 kHz high performance quartz movement, which offers an incredible timekeeping accuracy of just seconds per year. While the classic example features a stainless steel case and a black dial, Bulova also produces a 50th Anniversary limited-edition model in grade 5 titanium with gold-colored accents and a matching gray dial.
Chronograph A - “Surfboard”
Nicknamed the “Surfboard” due to the long, horizontal oval that connects the two registers on its dial, the Chronograph A is Bulova’s funky retro-themed sports timer that is based on the famous chronograph watches the brand produced during the 1970s. The 40.5mm stainless steel case includes a rotating timing bezel and features a screw-down crown to offer users an ample 200 meters of water resistance. While the original model featured a mechanical caliber, the new Bulova Chronograph A ”Surfboard” is powered by the Miyota 6S21 quartz movement for convenient grab-and-go timekeeping.
The Computron is Bulova’s retro-inspired LED watch that has a trapezoid-shaped case and oozes vintage appeal. Designed in collaboration with the lifestyle metaverse marketplace D-Cave, the Bulova Computron D-Cave reimagines the brand’s classic LED watch and updates it to feature design elements inspired by the world of online gaming. The 31mm wide stainless steel case receives a black IP coating with luminous green accents, and all functions are displayed on a bright green LED screen by pressing a button located on the side of the case. Additionally, as the movement powering the Bulova Computron D-Cave is a digital quartz caliber, it is capable of displaying both the day and date, along with a secondary time zone and even the option of either 12-hour or 24-hour time formats.
Oceanographer - “Devil Diver”
Nicknamed the “Devil Diver” due to its depth rating of 666 feet, the original Bulova Oceanographer is one of the brand’s most distinct sports watch designs from the 1970s. Featuring a 44mm cushion-shaped case made from stainless steel, the new Bulova Oceanographer diver features the same charming and inherently-retro styling as the original. However, the Bulova Oceanographer “Devil Diver” is a proper ISO-certified dive watch with 200 meters of water resistance, a unidirectional timing bezel, and the durable Miyota 821D automatic movement.