March 23, 2019
by Kenny Yeo
It doesn’t take a genius to know that vintage-inspired dive watches are hot. Bulova jumped onto the vintage-inspired dive watch bandwagon last year when it released the Oceanographer “Devil Diver” watch. Now, they are expanding the collection with two new models in two new colorways.
Model: Oceanographer Devil Diver
Dimensions: 44mm diameter, 14.55mm-thick
Water Resistance: 200 meters
Case Material: Stainless steel
Movement: Miyota 821
Frequency: 3 Hz
Power Reserve: 42 hours
Strap/Bracelet: Stainless steel
Price & Availability: $795
Apart from new colors, these two watches are identical to last year’s Oceanographer “Devil Diver” watch. The case design is highly similar to the Seiko Turtle but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It just means it’s rugged and it has good wrist presence. The dials are surrounded by uni-directional timing bezels with a 15/45-minute color split. There is one with a green and black bezel and matching green dial, and another that has an orange and blue bezel and a matching blue dial. Personally, I find these new colors attractive — particularly the orange and blue model.
The dial remains the most interesting part of the Oceanographer “Devil Diver.” It has a crosshair-style dial with large hour indices that appear to be lume plots housed within elevated plastic tubes. Adding vintage flavor to the dial is the choice of font, as well as the depth rating that says “666 feet.” This is how the watch got its nickname of Devil Diver. But what I really love about the watch is how faithful it stays to the design of the original Devil Diver from the early 1970s.
Inside, the new Oceanographer “Devil Diver” beats the Miyota 821D. Given that Bulova is now owned by Citizen, the choice of movement is not surprising. It’s a basic but effective movement used in countless watches around the world. The key things you need to know are that the movement is self-winding but has hand-winding capability, it beats at 21,600vph (3Hz), and it has a power reserve of 42 hours. Its main downside is that it doesn’t hack.
I really enjoyed last year’s Bulova Oceanographer “Devil Diver,” and I welcome this year’s new additions with similar enthusiasm. More colors mean more options for watch-lovers, and that can only be a good thing. That said, I don’t see too many of them around, and that’s a real pity. My only guess is that their similarity to the cheaper but aesthetically similar Seiko Turtle is hurting them. If you take a closer look, however, you’ll see that the Oceanographer “Devil Diver” has a much more interesting dial. The new Bulova Oceanographer “Devil Diver” watches are priced at $795 each. Learn more at bulova.com.