Bulova Makes a Stronger (and Smaller) Case for Why You Should Add the Lunar Pilot Chronograph

The history of the Bulova Lunar Pilot Chronograph is a nebulous one. Sure, its claim to fame is that it was worn on the moon’s surface by astronaut Dave Scott during the 1971 Apollo 15 mission. As the story goes, Scott’s issued Omega Speedmaster malfunctioned during his second moonwalk, which opened up the door for his personal Bulova Lunar Pilot to get some action. But there were always questions to be answered in regards to where its design came from, what movement it used, and how it got into Scott’s possession in the first place. If you’re an Apollo enthusiast, moonwatch enthusiast, or both, then I’m sure these queries already have the gears turning. But before you move that cursor over to your browser search bar, I strongly suggest you stay right here and check out this editorial piece written back in 2016 by W&W contributor, Hung Doan, as he covers all the bases in this interesting piece of investigative journalism.

Alright, welcome back! Interesting bit of history, right?

Dave Scott’s Bulova Worn On The Moon During The Apollo 15 Mission

Fast forward to today, Bulova has announced that they are expanding their Lunar Pilot Chronograph line with two brand new models – a black dial and accompanying subdials harkening back to the traditional steel case special edition model and a cream textured dial with navy blue accents. Both variations get a new and improved case that’ll be more suitable for a wider range of wrist sizes, as well as a cleaner dial layout, and all of which still come with the same distinct case design and high-precision quartz movement.


The main gripe with the original reissued Bulova Lunar Pilot Chronograph was the 45mm case sizing. Now on paper, that may seem like a daunting number, but in most online anecdotes from those who own the watch, the Lunar Pilot Chronograph wore smaller than the stated case width specification on the wrist. The latest Lunar Pilot Chronograph sees a welcomed reduction in case size, slimming down to 43.5mm in width. If its larger predecessor at 45mm wore like a 42mm, then this new 43.5mm iteration of the Lunar Pilot should wear closer to 41mm.

I can actually vouch for that as I was able to have a few moments of wrist time with Bulova Lunar Pilot Chronograph while I was in the office. The case sports a flat steel finish akin to vintage sport watches from the late 60’s and early 70’s, paired with a fixed bezel displaying a tachymeter scale. The short lug case design makes this Lunar Pilot Chronograph all the more wearable. I’m a big proponent of a pusher design that strays away from the traditional pusher style. The slim pushers on the Lunar Pilot chronograph almost span the entire case side and slightly fan out as if they’re a tail wing on a space shuttle.

Both dial variations keep the same dial layout save for one minor feature, and that’s the elimination of the date window between the four and five o’clock markers. The Bulova Lunar Pilot Chronograph 50th Anniversary model in titanium with a gray dial and gold accents did not include a date window as well, but its aesthetic didn’t really match with what you would see strapped outside of a space suit. The dial sans date looks that much simpler and cleaner. And as far as legibility, the navy blue accents against the cream dial are just as easily deciphered as the stark white markers against the black dial.

The most distinct feature of the Bulova Lunar Pilot Chronograph is not immediately visible, as it’s found within the case via the brand’s proprietary NP20 high precision quartz movement. The chronograph movement is accurate to 1/20th of a second and that’s thanks in large part to its three pronged quartz construction and 262 kHz frequency, which is 8 times faster than your traditional 2 pronged quartz movement. Activating the chronograph will initiate a series of moving hands on the dial including a buttery smooth center seconds hand and a hypnotizing 1/10 of a second subdial that rapidly spins at three o’clock.

Both models will deliver on a multi-link stainless steel bracelet and a dial matching fine leather NATO. The Bulova Lunar Pilot Chronograph is currently available directly through Bulova and retails for $895. Bulova

Images from this post:
Related Posts
Thomas is a budding writer and an avid photographer by way of San Diego, California. From his local surf break to mountain peaks and occasionally traveling to destinations off the beaten path, he is always searching for his next adventure, with a watch on wrist, and a camera in hand. Thomas is a watch enthusiast through and through; having a strong passion for their breadth of design, historical connection, and the stories that lie within each timepiece.