Diving into the Archives with Bulova at the Windup Watch Fair

The Windup Watch Fair always has an enormous variety of brands in attendance. You might think of the fair as a showcase for small, upstart brands, and that’s certainly true. But Windup also plays host to brands like Bulova, with nearly 150 years of history. 

We had a chance to explore that history during the recent Windup Watch Fair in New York City with Carl Rosen, Bulova’s brand historian. Carl has a long history with Bulova, working for the company over the course of 30 years, including a stint at the Chief Operating Officer. In his retirement, Carl was pulled back into the fold to set up Bulova’s archive and serve as their in-house historian. Clearly, he’s the right person for the job. His enthusiasm for the brand and deep knowledge of Bulova’s history is unmatched. 



According to Carl, the purpose of the archive is to honor the past, celebrate the present, and inspire the future. To that end, it has directly inspired many new designs across the entire Bulova catalog. The “Devil Diver,” for instance, is an enthusiast favorite that was inspired not only by archival materials, but by input from the Bulova collecting community. Another source of inspiration is Bulova’s long and proud history of working with the military. The A-11 Hack Watch, sometimes known as the “the watch that won the war,” is a great example of a historic design that has resurfaced recently in the Bulova collection.

Visiting the Bulova booth at Windup is like stepping into a time machine – the space is decked out not only with watches that recall every era of Bulova’s history, but plenty of vintage ads and ephemera that tie everything together. It’s all part of Carl’s mission to tell the complex story of the brand, which has touched nearly every aspect of American culture over the course of its history. 

Be sure to check out the entire Bulova catalog here.

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