Bulova is today owned by the Japanese conglomerate Citizen Watch Co., but the brand traces its founding to 1875, was once one of the most prominent American watchmakers, and remains headquartered in New York City. Bulova was a culturally significant name for much of the 20th century, even airing the first ever television commercial, and its history includes everything from interesting military watches to quartz technology innovation.
Each of the vintage Bulova watches below, with a WW2 military watch, a classic cushion-shaped 1970s chronograph, and a dive watch that has since become a cult favorite of collectors, shows a different side of the brand’s personality. The best thing about vintage Bulova watches is that they can still often be found for reasonable values.
Bulova Oceanographer 333ft. Dive Watch
What We Like: As improvements in technology made professional and recreational diving easier, dive watches gained a lot of popularity in the 1960s and 1970s. Watches like the Bulova Oceanographer represent the period perfectly, and the brand makes a modern homage to a similar version of it today. At 37.5mm in steel and water-resistant to 333 feet, with a manually wound Bulova mechanical movement inside, this vintage model will wear perfectly on the modern wrist.
From the Seller: Original dial and hands all in great condition. There is some wear on the edge of the bezel near the crown. The Bulova manual-winding movement is accurate after a very recent cleaning.
Bulova Chronograph Watch
What We Like: From around the same era as the Oceanographer above, this Bulova chronograph is a great example of the style of chronograph watches popular at the time. The cushion case shape and mesh bracelet are just the type of stylish traits that modern watch companies are bringing back today. Here, a wonderful radially-brushed bezel matches the finish of the blue sunburst dial. Inside is the Swiss Valjoux 7733 manually-wound movement, and the 38mm steel case is perfectly sized.
From the Seller: All original with its unpolished case, clean dial, and workhorse movement. Some minor scratches on case & crystal.
Bulova 10-AK Watch
What We Like: Reaching a bit further back to WW2, this little Bulova watch shows another side of the brand. Bulova was one of the major American brands that produced watches to military specs for use by Allied soldiers. This particular watch dates to circa 1944 and features the robust Bulova 10-AK manually-wound movement. Its measurements of 32mm wide and 10mm thick might seem small for modern wrists accustomed to larger sizes, but if that doesn’t sound macho enough for you, tell that to the badass soldiers who wore these watches.
From the Seller: Natural patina on original dial. Case and original movement are in excellent condition. This watch has been recently serviced.