The chronograph complication in the movement measures up to 12 hours and is attractively laid out. Because of the high frequency of the movement, measuring precision of 1/1000 of a second isn’t a big deal for the Bulova Precisionist Chronograph. The system works a bit differently than most chronographs because the second seconds hand is used for the chronograph as well as running seconds (and it is a sweeping seconds hand). The subdials at 6 and 9 o’clock are to measure chronograph hours and minutes respectively, and the upper and lower dials are there to measure fractions of a second. Thus, you need to use three different dials to know the full chronograph measurement down to the third decimal point. The chronograph in total has six hands that it uses, which is pretty impressive.
I discuss how to use the chronograph on the Bulova Precisionist Wilton Chronograph watch more in the video above. It is rather straight forward, but it does take some counting. For example, once you stop the chronograph, you need to look at the two hands on the top subdial for the 10th and 100th of a second numerals, and then to the lower retrograde-style subdial to read the 1000th of a second reading. Overall, the dial is rather legible, though with the domed mineral crystal and some reflective elements on the dial, legibility is not optimal in all lighting conditions. Having said that, the hands are the right size. As a dress watch, this piece further doesn’t have any luminant.
Water resistant to 50 meters, the Bulova Precisionist Wilton Chronograph is (once again) not a sport watch, though it should fare well in most areas of life. The one sporty design element you will find, however, is the crown – which is a neat touch.
Being accustomed to high-end watches priced at many thousands of dollars, I will no doubt find things about a watch at this price point which are different. Then again, for the money, there is a lot to love here. It is difficult to get over how cool the Precisionist movement is, and with the 1/1000th of a second chronograph you have even more functionality to enjoy over the basic three-hand Precisionist movements. In many ways, the Bulova Precisionist Wilton Chronograph is a nice model, given the mixture of size and design. Overall, I like it and always look forward to seeing how Bulova will continue to evolve its Precisionist collection and add new members to its family. Retail price for the ref. 97B122 Bulova Precisionist Wilton Chronograph is $650. bulova.com
>Model: Precisionist Wilton Chronograph (ref. 97B122 as reviewed)
>Price: $650 USD
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Gadget guy who can pull off a large timepiece and doesn’t like ultra-modern or futuristic designs.
>Best characteristic of watch: Great price for what you get. Attractively conservative design with highly functional and useful movement.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Rather large case design can be difficult for some to pull off. This version has slightly reflective hands and numerals that, along with a lack of luminant, effect legibility.