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New Bulova Accutron II UHF Sport Watches For Baselworld 2015

New Bulova Accutron II UHF Sport Watches For Baselworld 2015 Watch Releases

Simple, satisfying, good value proposition, and timeless… these are some of the things Bulova is doing a good job at becoming known for over the last few years, especially when it comes to their quickly developing Accutron II collection with their UHF movements. “UHF” stands for Ultra High Frequency and refers to their extra-high frequency quartz movements. These are to be differentiated a bit from Bulova Precisionist movements – which are similar but larger in size. Battery life for each is about two years.

Bulova will release a lot of new Bulova Accutron II UHF-powered watches in 2015, and these three sport models are good indicators of what to expect. You can see that a new design element (which is actually a little bit of a retro throwback) is to place the quartz frequency value on the dial itself. This is a lot like mechanical watches that say “Automatic” on the dial. On each of these new Bulova Accutron II watches, Bulova prints “262 KHz” which is the frequency of these UHF quartz movements. How does that compare exactly? Well your standard mechanical watch operates at between about 3-5Hz – which is good for accuracy of just a few seconds a day. Your standard electronic quartz movement operates at 32,728 Hz (32.728 KHz) which offers accuracy of a few seconds per month. The Bulova UHF quartz movements operate at 262 KHz, which offers accuracy of a few seconds per year.

New Bulova Accutron II UHF Sport Watches For Baselworld 2015 Watch Releases

Bulova Accutron II Military 96B229

New Bulova Accutron II UHF Sport Watches For Baselworld 2015 Watch Releases

Bulova Accutron II Lobster 96B232

The UHF movements also offer sweeping seconds hands similar to those in mechanical watches and they have a battery life of about two years. All that is nice and good, but what I appreciate the most is that they offer all this for a reasonable price of no more than about $200 – $300 to start. Bulova Accutron II watches top out a few hundred dollars more depending on the model.

Speaking of entry-level, the lowest price watch in this group is also one of the most attractive, with its simple vintage military styling inspired by 1940s Bulova watches. I am talking about the Bulova Accutron II Military 96B229. The 42m wide (10.8mm thick) steel case looks to be thematically like an original Rolex Oyster watch from 1926 – only bigger with its cushion shape and coined-edge bezel. Water resistant to 100 meters, the Military is matched to a green fabric strap and is easily the most mainstream and fashionable of the bunch. The black and white dial has just a hint of red and looks to be really legible (even though it appears that the minute and hour hands are a bit too similar in size). I like that the date window has been integrated into 6 o’clock with a matching color disc!

New Bulova Accutron II UHF Sport Watches For Baselworld 2015 Watch Releases

Bulova Accutron II Sea King 98B243

New Bulova Accutron II UHF Sport Watches For Baselworld 2015 Watch Releases

From there, you have the vintage diver-style Bulova Accutron II Lobster 96B232. This builds on the Bulova Snorkel watch from 2015 with an Omega-style case and internal rotating bezel. The 43.5 wide steel case connects to a Milanese mesh metal strap that really offers that retro dive watch feel. This color variation has a metallic blue dial with orange accents and is pleasantly legible. Having said that, like the snorkel before it, while you can go swimming with the Bulova Lobster, it is not a serious diving watch, with 100 meters of water resistance.

Bulova’s serious diving watches for 2015 will be the reintroduction of the Bulova Sea King collection. You can see a fun vintage ad for a Bulova Sea King here. At least one of the Sea King models will exist in the Bulova Accutron II collection with a UHF chronograph movement. The Bulova Accutron II Sea King 98B243, here, has a 48.5mm wide IP black-color steel case with a rotating diver’s bezel and rather masculine design. The case is 15.3mm thick and water resistant to 300 meters. There will also be a similar Bulova Sea King model with some different features, 1000 meters of water resistance, and an automatic mechanical movement that we will cover elsewhere.

New Bulova Accutron II UHF Sport Watches For Baselworld 2015 Watch Releases

For the Bulova Sea King Chronograph, Bulova seems to use a new UHF movement that I haven’t seen before which measures 60 minutes with a 1/10 of a second indicator (even though the movement theoretically can be a lot more precise in what it can measure). If you want more chronograph precision, then I suggest you look at a Bulova Precisionist Chronograph that tracks down to 1/1000 of a second.

For not a lot of money, Bulova has been offering an exciting and useful movement, pretty solid designs, as well as inspiration from their past. For watch lovers on a budget who want something that still has a refined look to them, Bulova is increasingly offering a lot of good options. Prices are $375 for the Bulova Accutron II Military 96B229, $550 for the Bulova Accutron II Lobster 96B232, and $750 for the Bulova Accutron II Sea King Chronograph 98B243. bulova.com

Keep up with our pre- post- and live Baselworld 2015 coverage here.

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Comments

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  • SwissMatic

    Not sure if I’m sold on the date indicator location on the military model. A 6 o’clock position is fine for dials with Roman numerals or stick indicators, but if the dial uses Arabic numerals it looks a bit weird (like on the example above it looks like there’s two 5 o’clock indicators). That said, I really like the idea of a highly accurate quartz movement with a sweeping seconds hand; usually I find the sharp ticking of a quartz seconds hand to be a bit jarring. Price can’t be beat either. Nice watches.

  • Bulova has been all over it recently, and I’m totally a fan. I still think that Precisionist (and these ‘baby precisionist’) movements represent some of the best watch technology available to the common man (and yes, I’m lumping smart watches into that category), and while my levels of taste, understanding, and willingness to spend higher amount into watches certainly surpasses that of the common man, I’m not ashamed to admit that I own (and wear) 4 different UHF Bulovas. And as they introduce more models, I’m ready to buy more. I really want to like the Military model, but I think it might suffer from a bit of stubby hand syndrome. The Lobster doesn’t seem to suffer from this, but I generally don’t prefer lugless watches… so I’m torn. Love that electric blue dial and sunburst brushing on the case though.
    I’m really happy to see Bulova stick with this technology and evolve the offerings that contain it.

  • I_G

    What movements are they using? ETA? Seiko?

  • Fraser Petrick

    I have a number of Bulova watches all of which are good looking, honest, clean, sturdy and, most importantly, accurate. Sure, I have a wish-list of much pricier time pieces, but then that sensible protestant angel on my left shoulder keeps muttering $400 or $4000? Bulova is a quality product that deserves to do well.

  • vmarks

    aBlogtoWatch Bulova is coming around!

  • I_G Bulova is owned by Citizen, so perhaps Miyota is involved (also Citizen owned).

  • WimadS

    Nice quality watches and good value, but it doesn’t do a lot to me.. 

    quote:  “(…) 32,728 Hz (32.728 KHz) (…)”
    Ehh.. yeah, Ariel, was it really necessary to translate Hz to kHz, when it comes down to replacing the comma with a dot…? 😛

    • Gianfranco

      And, as Watch Trainer, I can tell you it’s not 32’728 Hz but 32’768 🙂
      Gianfranco

  • egznyc

    I really like the first two designs.  I must admit, the third one looks like a watch on steroids, and I understand that it’s a dive watch and it should be a bit bolder.  But it just looks too chunky to me.  The military one is really nice, and while the minute and hour hands are not as distinct as they could be, I suspect this is because the hands (while very different in style) were similarly similarly (that’s not a typo) sized in the original Rolex oyster, to which this Bulova model is an homage.  

    Well, they are not mechanical watches, and I wish they were.  But given their unusual quartz movements (and sweep second hands), it’s hard not to like them — assuming they have better than just decent luminosity where they’re supposed to.

  • Astronuts

    …still can’t beat the hum (and sweep) of my 1967 Astronaut 360Hz x 45+ years and still going strong.  Bulova came close to its looks with the AccutronII Moonview, but the “deep sea 666” was a better representation of a vintage styled watch.  Overall, they make great (accurate) beater watches.

  • 5803822

    Chrono looks good – pityt it’s not a mechanical ………………..

  • marbstiu

    Iif u receive this watch on your graduation day, your parents don’t love you..

  • DanW

    SwissMatic, I totally agree with you, at first glance I thought there were two 5 hour indicators also! Ariel, nice to see reviews of a few high quality quartz movements. I have a Bulova chrono with a black dial and black leather strap which I wear quite a bit. It’s a solid, attractive watch. Of the three above, the military watch is my favorite.

  • Tekky

    marbstiu These days, if the kid graduates at all, his parents will love him.

  • Ulysses31

    The first one looks vintage Omega-ish, which is a good thing.  Bulova designs seem to be getting better. Improved accuracy is always welcome too.

  • spiceballs

    I’d suggest that Bulova needs to start using the Citizen ecodrive coupled to these high frequency movements, and so get away from the annoying necessity of 2 year battery replacement.  Then they might be better able to justify the higher price than the (almost equivalent) Citizen watch offerings?

  • spiceballs Oddly when Ariel and I were speaking with Greg Thumm (CEO of Bulova) last year at Basel, I asked him how much cooperation vice competition they had with (their parent) Citizen. He said that at the time they were more like competitors in terms of selling watches. But you have to wonder if they can ‘reach’ into the corporate tool chest for things like eco-drive or Miyota movements.

  • joshgraves

    I like these designs and I could stomach the quartz movement since these are at least conversation starters.  Where Bulova will loose me is that these will likely be mineral glass crystals versus sapphire.  I would gladly pay more for the scratch resistance.

  • Tekky

    joshgraves Same here.  I generally don’t buy mineral crystal watches.  Although I say this with a Swatch Sistem 51 (green) on my wrist, which is more like petrol-crystal. 😉

  • egznyc

    That would indeed be a welcome improvement. Nonetheless, I know it isn’t as popular as the ecodrive system, but I really like the idea of powering the battery on a quartz watch — if you’re going that route — with a rotor, much like the rotor used to power the mainspring on an automatic.

  • I_G

    MarkCarson I guess what Bulova won’t ever get is the crown jewel, the A660 movt. from “The Citizen”.

  • spiceballs

    egznyc  You mean like the Seiko Spring Drive, which might be patented?

  • egznyc

    spiceballs egznyc Actually, I meant more like the Seiko kinetic direct drive watches, which are also patented, no doubt, but another manufacturer could probably come up with a similar system that didn’t infringe.  I think, for example, that Tissot has done this on a number of models.

  • Ulysses31

    egznyc spiceballs Swatch group has “Auto Quartz”.

  • egznyc

    Thanks. Must be what tissot has used, then. Not sure how different it is from Seiko’s version but enough to avoid litigation. Any idea if they are equally effective?

  • somethingnottaken

    Standard quartz movements rarely appeal to me, but I do find high
    accuracy quartz movements interesting, and the Bulova UHF / Accutron II /
    Precisionist movements are the most affordable and readily available
    high accuracy quartz movements. Affordable watches with Miyota and
    Sellita mechanical movements are already available from a plethora of
    brands, so I think it makes sense for Bulova to concentrate on their
    proprietary quartz technology.
    For a long time the Bulova brand was seemingly in death spiral with watches that had major aesthetic flaws and/or were based on design concepts
    with limited appeal. So, I’m very happy to see last year’s resurgence
    of the Bulova brand continuing. These new additions to the Accutron II line, like last year’s debut models, are well designed watches – some appeal to me, others don’t, but they
    all look like solid implementations of design concepts with reasonably
    wide appeal.
    Last year’s Alpha, and this year’s Lobster, both have a place on my wishlist.

  • LapYoda

    When I saw this article, I knew I had to have the Bulova Lobster (96B232).  I’ve been desiring a 1970’s looking watch like the Omega Speedmaster Mark II or Oris Chronoris, but I haven’t saved up enough for either (the Omega being my number 1 choice).  The fact that the Lobster has a dual-crown case was icing on the cake.  Very nice watch, though the mesh bracelet is much flimsier than my Staib mesh.  At $550 it seems a little pricey, but I got it on sale at Macy’s for half that and couldn’t be happier with my new acquisition.

  • Altex lan

    I only fancy Bulova with the Accutron logo. in fact I order one from ebay,picture showing with logo. but on arrival there is no logo ! so I sold it off. my best and the most admired watch is Bulova Lobster. I keep my 2 Rolex and Omega.