I was drawn to the Bulova 96A102 for a few reasons: It has a seconds subdial, it can be found reliably for under $100 and its looks, though military, are from a very different era and it stands out amongst the current crop of military inspired watches.
Turns out that this watch is a reissue of the hack watch that Bulova made for the US armed forces during World War 2. For those who don’t know, a hack watch is a mechanical watch where the seconds hand can be stopped for exact setting of time, which is very necessary for synchronizing soldiers. This reissue is a quartz movement, so the second stops as well, but it is technically not a hack movement. Regardless, the history of this watch adds authenticity to its design, and makes it a more interesting piece.
So far, I find the watch to be a great purchase. It is well built, but on the lighter side, making it very comfortable to wear, especially in the warm weather. It measures 40 x 11mm with a lug width of 20mm, so it is a nice medium size. That being said, lug-to-lug is 50mm, which is longer than expected, so it might overhang smaller wrists. The face is beautiful and very easy to read, and the lume on the hands and numbers, though not super strong, does add some extra visibility in the dark. The lens is made of acrylic and has a slight bubble shape, though it is not domed, which adds to the retro feel. The strap that comes with it is really nice. It is a faded olive green canvas with leather backing, that seems to patina buy fading at wear points. The sizing holes are riveted, which guarantees that they don’t fray or stretch, which is a smart and attractive touch. I want to try a brown leather NATO with it as well, since that will add a little dressiness to the watch.