The vintage Bulova Deep Sea Chronograph A “Surfboard” was a beloved classic that was only produced for two years, 1970 and 1971. The retro style, cushion-shaped case, and that definitive “surfboard” oval on the dial made for a fun and timeless chronograph that Bulova has reissued in two distinct versions and price points. Bulova’s Archive Series has brought back some of the iconic brand’s most popular and important pieces for the modern watch buyer, and it’s obvious to anyone that the Surfboard would join the ranks of other archive reissues like the Oceanographer “Devil Diver,” the Chronograph C “Stars and Stripes,” Moon Watch Chronograph, and others.
First is the very special limited-edition Bulova Chronograph A “Surfboard” Ref. 98A251, which is designed to be as close to the original as possible. It’s done in a stainless steel case measuring 38.5mm-wide and 16.7mm-thick and outfitted on a matching steel bracelet. The centerpiece of the off-white dial is the blue oval “surfboard” housing the running seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock and 30-minute register for the chronograph at 3 o’clock. The orange-tipped hour and minutes hand match the bright orange central chronograph hand, both echoing the dash of color from the vintage Deep Sea Chronograph A.
The rotating countdown bezel (aluminum in red and blue), tachymeter scale on the dial, and the 200M water resistance are all carried over from the original. These also serve to reaffirm that the Chronograph A will hold up just as well as the vintage models that are still ticking along to this day. The lumed hands are highly legible through the double-curved sapphire box crystal that is done with AR coating.
The limited-edition Chronograph A “Surfboard” uses a Swiss Sellita Caliber SW-510 Bh b that operates at 28,800 vph and has a 48-hour power reserve. The functionality of this movement is true to the original with the same dial layout and 30-minute register.
Finally, the limited edition comes in a wooden presentation box inspired by 1970s design and has a plaque and numbered serial card.
The second Bulova Chronograph A “Surfboard” reissue is a trio of more accessibly priced versions that use a Miyota Caliber 6S21-00A quartz movement and come on a very comfortable and stylish silicone strap. The case sizes are a bit different from the mechanical Chronograph A, measuring 40.5mm-wide and 14.5mm-thick. What’s not different is the 200M water resistance, dial layout, and functionality, or the AR-coated double-curved sapphire box crystal.
The Chronograph “Surfboard” A Ref. 98A252 has the same off-white dial as the limited edition but has a red and black bezel matched with a black silicone strap. The Ref. 98A254 sticks to this dial while matching the orange and blue bezel to an orange silicone strap. Finally, the Ref. 98A253 changes things up a bit by having a blue dial with the surfboard oval done in white and the chronograph hand/dial accents done in red. The red and blue bezel is matched with a blue silicone strap.
The Bulova Chronograph A “Surfboard” reissue watches revive a beloved design and make it accessible regardless of budget. The mechanical Bulova Chronograph A “Surfboard” Ref. 98A251 comes in a special presentation box and is limited to 350 pieces with a price of $2,950. Each of the three quartz Chronograph A “Surfboard” watches is priced at $695. You can learn more at bulova.com.