Bulova at Basel: Curves and Space

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Bulova came to Baselworld 2016 packing a couple of new, interesting quartz chronographs that left quite an impression. Bulova is very much trying to reinvent themselves these days, looking back at their history of innovation (think Accutron and the world’s first televised ad), adding a new and exciting spark to their design direction. Though they had a lot show at Basel this year, we have two offerings to look at today; one taking a step forward and one a step into the past.

Bulova CURV

Though they dabble with mechanicals, Bulova mainly produces quartz movement watches. The brand became well known for its Accutron line, which contained the famous tuning fork movement, that lead the way for the quartz technology we have today. Still pushing innovation, they now focus on High Accuracy Quartz (HAQ) movements that few other brands compete with. Now Bulova is looking to make quartz history again with the first curved quartz chronograph movement. The CURV collection of watches boast curved cases, dials and hands that are powered by the curved 262kHz frequency movement which allows for accuracy in the seconds per year. The curved movement provides the ability to have slim and ergonomic cases that are not normally seen in a chronograph. The watch quite literally wraps around your wrist.

BULOVA_CURV_5

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The CURV collection will consist of at least 12 pieces in a mix of dress and sport styles. The design of the flagship of the line has a titanium steel case, a see-through dial and an exhibition case back (not normally seen on a quartz). While it is naturally more interesting to see a mechanical movement via a display back, Bulova has done a decent job of making the view of the quartz movement as interesting as they can. More information should be forthcoming throughout the year and it will be interesting to see what Bulova is able to do with this curved movement in future designs.BULOVA_CURV_4

Bulova Moon Watch

If the CURV shows where Bulova is headed in the future, this next watch pays respect to their past. Though they aren’t the first brand that comes to mind when space travel is concerned, Bulova’s history with the space program runs very very deep. In fact, just about every time telling instrument but the wristwatches worn on Apollo XI were Bulovas… Watches worn in space are a fascination to most any watch collector.

BULOVA_MOON_WATCH_3While most people obsess over the Speedmaster or Pogue (for example) there was also a Bulova space watch. During the ninth manned mission of the Apollo program. Apollo 15, Commander David Scott wore his personal Bulova prototype chronograph during the 1971 mission and on the surface of the moon (which sold later in 2015 for an astonishing $1.625 million). Bulova has now released a faithful recreation of this watch with an updated 262kHz high frequency quartz movement.

BULOVA_MOON_WATCH_1The re-release is very true to the original, from the elongated chronograph pushers, stick hands, case shape and dial layout. There are some subtle differences to the indices, and while the sub-dial layout is the same two of the dials are swapped. Bulova also added a “262kHz” to the 6 o’clock sub-dial to indicate the movement frequency (think of it akin to brands putting “automatic” on their dials). The watch ships with two straps, a textured black leather and a black nylon with a patch commemorating the date of the Apollo 15 mission. There will also be a bracelet version available. What makes the watch really enticing is the entry price of $550 MSRP. If you can’t swing a Speedmaster it’s a good way to get into the space-watch game on a budget.

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Residing in North Idaho, James has been wearing a watch for over 35 years. With growth of the internet in the late 90s watches as an interest turned into an obsession. Since that time he has been a watch forum moderator, watch reviewer, contributor to Nerdist, and operates Watches in Movies in his spare time.
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