March 23, 2019
One of the most fun aspects of Baselworld every year is the surprises. And this one, if anything, is definitely a surprise. Transport yourself back to the 1980s. Imagine walking into your boss’ office. What’s that on their wrist? Boom. There it is. A gold Bulova Computron, a futuristic fever-dream. In those days, it spoke of a man or woman with their eyes trained forwards. This was a brave new world. And owners of the Bulova Computron had no intention of being late to the party.
Thankfully, for those of us who missed the boat (and most of the ’80s), it’s back. Bulova has announced the rerelease of its Computron digital LED watch, and boy is it wild.
Model: Computron reissue
Water Resistance: TBA
Case Material: Gold-plated steel, stainless steel, and black ion-plated (IP) steel
Power Reserve: N/a
Strap/Bracelet: Gold-plated bracelet, stainless bracelet, or rubber strap
Price & Availability: $395 for gold-plated, $295 for black IP and stainless steel
This watch employs many supposedly outdated design elements, and yet, thanks to its conviction, comes away cool as hell. Vintage reissues have, no doubt, been one of the largest trends in the last couple of years, so I suppose we should have expected at least one brand would bring back something “out there” like this. The Computron reissue still features the same trapezoidal-style case, and the front-facing, angled LED display. Bulova has added some modern technology into the mix, expanding upon the Computron’s functionality by adding in a dual time zone feature, as well as month, date, day, and seconds, all of which can be cycled through by pressing the crown/button mounted on the right side of the case.
Bulova is offering three color variants here. There most striking is the gold-plated watch. That one, and the one with a black IP case (on rubber strap), both feature red LED screens. The stainless steel model is the only option to boast a blue display. Further details on dimensions and other technical specifications have yet to be released, but this is certainly a head-turner. The style of these 1980s-era digital watches was meant to be futuristic at the time, and they were the perfect vehicle for the new digital technology within. Digital, of course, faded in desirability, but these make for an interesting release, in that Bulova is still proud of the design, and happy to bring it back. And that maybe the world has softened somewhat to the style of watch that very nearly buried mechanical watchmaking.
Aesthetically, these are esoteric. The style is not going to be for everyone, and I would even argue it isn’t going to be for most. However, for those interested in not only Bulova history but also watch history as a whole, the rerelease of the Bulova Computron should be welcome. The all gold-plated Computron is priced at $395, and the black and stainless steel variants are both priced at $295. While I’m not sure if I could pull off the all-gold (I’m not that cool), I could definitely be into the steel finish at that price, if only for the fun-factor it provides. Learn more at bulova.com.