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In 1875, Bohemian immigrant Joseph Bulova moved to New York and opened a small jewelry shop in the heart of the city. More than a century later, the Bulova Watch Company is recognized as one of the longest-standing and historically important watch brands in the industry. There is a wide variety of automatic pieces from Bulova, with everything from relatively affordable, Miyota-driven offerings to higher-end pieces with Swiss-made Sellita movements. Regardless of the execution, it’s safe to say that all of Bulova’s pieces offer a strong value-to-price ratio. Recently, Bulova expanded their Aerojet, Sutton, and Surveyor lines with some fresh new automatic pieces. Let’s take a look.
Taking cues from the watches of the jet-set era of the 1960s, the Bulova Aerojet sports a charming, vintage-inspired aesthetic marked by a gradient dial that starts as a light, powdery blue at the center of the dial and grows darker as it extends toward the bezel. The dial is further distinguished by a stark white crosshair marking, as well as gold-tone indices and hands. The Aerojet features a GMT complication, with an offset subdial at 9 o’clock indicating time on a 24-hour scale. The hands and dot markers on the chapter ring are coated in luminescent material, allowing for low-light visibility.
The Aerojet’s stainless steel case measures approximately 41 mm in diameter and 12 mm thick, though wears a bit smaller than its specs might indicate, thanks to a short lug-to-lug distance of just 48mm. Completing the look is a supple black leather strap with a stainless steel tang buckle. Powering the Aerojet is a modified version of Miyota’s tried-and-true Caliber 8217, which features approximately 40 hours of power reserve on a full wind. In addition to the blue dial, the Aerojet GMT is also available with a golden brown dial and stainless steel bracelet (reference #96B375).
The newest addition to Bulova’s popular Sutton collection, reference 9SA268, features a rectangular stainless steel case measuring 33 mm wide, a silver machined guilloche dial with rose accents, and an open heart aperture displaying the balance wheel in the bottom left corner of the dial.
Inspired by the Bulova “Presidential” watch that was popular in the 1940s, the new Sutton Classic is a well-executed blend of traditional and modern. Its design has a mid-century feel thanks to its rectangular case, silver stamped dial, and applied Arabic numerals, but its larger case proportions and open heart aperture position it firmly as a contemporary timepiece. It is powered by a modified variation of Miyota’s Caliber 82S0, which beats at 21,600 VPH and has a power reserve of approximately 42 hours. The Sutton Classic is also available in a sleeker, black-dialed variation, which sports silver accents and a black alligator grain strap (reference # with a stamped black dial and silver accents (reference #9SA269).
Featuring a two-tone 42 mm stainless steel case and a comfy oyster-style bracelet with polished center links, the Surveyor Open Heart is a great everyday option for those who enjoy sporty dress watches. The silver sunburst dial of reference 98A284 is marked by mirror polished, faceted gold-tone indices and gold-tone hands coated with a thin strip of luminescent material.
The clean and classic dial design is offset by an open heart aperture between 6 and 7 o that displays the escapement and balance wheel. With its smooth lines, classic profile, a lug-to-lug under 50 mm, and a relatively svelte thickness of 12 mm, this case is particularly comfortable on the wrist. The Surveyor is powered by the tried-and-true, capable automatic Caliber 82S0, which is visible through a mineral crystal exhibition caseback.
With prices ranging from $350 to $500 USD, The Aerojet, Sutton Classic, and Surveyor represent prime examples of Bulova’s penchant for producing well-designed, approachably priced timepieces that suit a variety of styles. Learn more on the brand’s website.
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