In one respect, this is a hard question to answer since quality can be subjective. What constitutes “good quality” to one person can seem like junk to another, and vice versa. This can be down to needs as much as taste – if you enjoy the outdoor life, you’ll require rugged, durable watches, making other, more delicate watches more suited for luxury antithetical to your needs.
But where does that leave us on the subject of Bulova watches?
On the one hand, reviews for these watches have been consistently positive, both from professionals within the industry as well as more amateur assessments online. The big divide seems to stem from what was alluded to above – the differing definitions of what constitutes “good.” If “good” for you means “luxury” or “valuable,” then you’re likely to be disappointed, as Bulova watches are typically not grouped with the “luxury watch” category. If, on the other hand, “good” for you means well-designed, affordable, and reasonably durable, then most users would tend to agree Bulova watches are “good.”The most common comparisons for Bulova watches online are to some other good-if-not-luxurious watch brands, including Tissot, Movado, and Seiko.
One of the big things in Bulova watches’ favor here is that almost everyone agrees that they are priced according to their performance. You aren’t likely to be “cheated” with a Bulova watch – what you see is what you get, and what the price tag says should be a pretty clear indication of its quality.
Is it going to match the four- or five-figure prestige of Rolexes and similar luxury watches?
But is it going to deliver consistent performance at a way more affordable price than those brands?
Almost certainly yes.
Who Makes Bulova Watches?
On January 10, 2008, Bulova was bought by Citizen Watch Co., Ltd. They are a Tokyo-based electronics company known for producing smaller electronics such as calculators.
What Movement Does Bulova Use?
One of the big points in Bulova watches’ favor has been its watch movement. For example, the Gemini and Accutron options make use of ETA 2892-A2 movement.
Another favorite used by Bulova models is Precisionist movement, which makes use of quartz movements in such a way as to provide a great deal of timekeeping accuracy.
That being said, not everyone is completely happy with every movement option offered by Bulova. For example, some of their watches make use of automatic movement done in a Japanese Miyota style. If you are buying a Bulova expecting other types of movement instead, you might be disappointed to find this style included instead, since it does not have the same degree of prestige as other models.
Juliet famously asks Romeo “What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
True and poetic as that romantic lament may be, the fact of the matter is things such as that question over movement types does matter, and shows that when it comes to watch brands, names do too – to an extent. You shouldn’t expect a Bulova watch to deliver the same kind of movement as you’ll get from a high-end quartz-powered Swiss watch.On the other hand, as stated above, Bulova watches tend to be of good quality overall, automatic movement aside, so in that respect they do live up to Juliet’s declaration.
Even among its defenders, however, there are still voices who say that these watches still have room for improvement with respect to their movement capabilities. For example, while the aforementioned ETA movements are overall well-received, others use ETA-2824 movements, which some see as being more in line with lower-end Swiss watches, and criticism of the implementation of that Japanese-style automatic Miyota movement could be seen as strengthening the brand.
At the same time, that once again depends on what you expect with this brand – in short, what you think is “in a name.” If you’re buying this expecting better than average movement, you should be fine.If you’re buying Bulova watches expecting a specific kind of movement, however, you should probably check the specific model you are considering to make sure you’re not getting a version that uses automatic movements if you are expecting quartz or ETA instead.
Is Bulova a Luxury Watch?
As noted above, Bulova is not a luxury watch on the same par as Rolex. You aren’t likely to see them advertising at Wimbledon or on the wrists of Jennifer Aniston, Roger Federer, or Queen Latifah. At the same time, as mentioned above, Bulova has carved out a niche for itself within the industry as an affordable midrange option. Within that tier, at least, it has consistently remained at the high end.
This is down to the brand’s reputation for accuracy, quality, durability, and style.
In short, if you are looking for a watch brand that is on par with those worn by millionaire and billionaire celebrities, you’ll have to keep looking – and spending. However, if you want a watch that’s at the high end of what most of us mere mortals can afford, a Bulova is a good starting point that (depending on the model and type of movement) can offer great upside. If you’re in position to upgrade to one of those celebrity-caliber watches someday, so be it – but if you’re looking for a starting or everyday option, it’s hard to beat the combination of affordability and quality offered by Bulova.
How to Spot a Fake Bulova Watch?
Maybe you’ve made it this far and are still skeptical as to the overall claims to quality made by Bulova. Perhaps you’ve even purchased a Bulova yourself and have found it lacking. If so, you might want to question what you know – and if that watch was actually a genuine Bulova.
One of the biggest problems plaguing the Bulova brand is that, unlike Rolex or Longines, it is far easier for fraudsters to try to create counterfeits. Rolex and Longines are both high-end luxury watches. If you see prices for those brands from sellers promising their wares are “authentic,” chances are you’d be savvy enough to think twice.You don’t have to be a watch expert to know a “super cheap Rolex” is a contradiction in terms.
However, Bulova is both not at that same level of luxury or brand recognition worldwide. Sure, it’s a recognized brand within the industry, but an everyday person just looking to buy “a good watch” probably hasn’t heard of it the same way they’ve heard of Rolexes, which are far more ubiquitous. As a result, it’s easier to trick people into thinking a fake Bulova is the real thing – even if it’s a subpar imitation. What’s worse, if you don’t know what to look for and purchase a fake, it may seem fine for a few weeks, only to suddenly break down when it’s too late to do anything about it.
You should, therefore, be on the lookout for these telltale signs of fakery:
- All Bulova watches should have the name “Bulova” on the watch face or metal exterior. However, if it says “Bulova Movement” instead, it is a fake or imitation because real Bulova watches aren’t branded that way. On the other hand, the “Bulova” name can sometimes be accompanied by other brand names such as Accutron, Caravelle, and Wittenauer, and these are typically legitimate.
- Recent Bulova models tend to have a serial number on the back, which you can check on the brand’s website to make sure the one you have is a legitimate Bulova watch.
- Many Bulova watches are made with an Art Nouveau or Art Deco style, and often feature swirls along with a bit of austerity in their design.
- Check the back to look for a symbol or code near the stem-set screw, which should indicate the year the model was made.
- If you have questions, call 1-800-A-BULOVA to speak to Bulova representatives who can help you determine if you have a legitimate watch or not.