In partnership with Bulova

Tux or Ducks, the History and Evolution of the Bulova Regatta

Bulova has been a mainstay in American watchmaking for nearly as long as there has been American watchmaking. As the premier entry-level-luxury watch brand based in America since the early part of the 20th century, Bulova has been a pioneer on a number of fronts. From its dynamic style, to new mass manufacturing techniques, to impressive high-tech quartz technology, Bulova has often found itself on the cutting edge of the watch industry, and along the way they’ve been responsible for producing some truly iconic timepieces. 

The new Bulova Regatta collection draws a clear line from the present day to Bulova’s rich history. The line is inspired by the classic and elegant “23 Jewels” signed Regatta pieces from the 1960s.

“Bulova always represented the style of the times,” says Carl Rosen, Bulova Historian and former COO of the company.

With “Tux or Ducks,” the Regatta collection advertised versatility.

The early advertisements for these watches featured a great deal of nautical imagery. Ships and sophisticated people, something aspirational but also attainable for the Bulova customer. The watches were elegant without being out of touch. Rosen describes these pieces as transitional watches, made to go from an elegant evening out to more adventurous daytime activities with absolute ease.


The distinctive T-bar lugs on the early Bulova Regattas are another important hallmark. This was seen as a nod to the popular French style of the time, and gave Bulova a chance to offer their American customers something unique in the American watch market, setting them apart from their competitors. The radial patterns on the dials were another attempt to add a fancy and distinctive flavor to these timepieces. They were made to stand out in a crowd but also remain incredibly approachable and easy to wear.

The Regatta collection featured watches of varying case and dial designs.
Many featured classic dials paired with more ornate cases…
…like this specific model…
…and this one here.
And others took a more traditional approach.

The modern Regatta collection is a modern spin on Bulova’s old approach to a sleek and classic style. Offered in a variety of sizes and color variants, there’s a Regatta appropriate for any watch lover. The collection includes pieces with spare white dials and Roman numerals, imparting a classic and dressy tone, as well as a deep and robust blue, staying true to the nautical theme that has been a part of the Regatta aesthetic for 60 years.

The cases are highly polished and the dials are glossy, creating constant opportunities for these watches to play with the light. The use of Roman numerals on select references adds a dressy flair, just as it did on the heritage models. And dial design has been given a great deal of thought, with multiple finishes being used, and deep radial patterns providing many of the same dramatic effects seen on the vintage pieces.

Watches in the Regatta collection feature Bulova’s signature and much loved open heart design, allowing the wearer to see the movement beating away from the dial side when checking the time. As Carl Rosen reminds us, this creates a real emotional connection with the watch, and your own personal history. “Once you get involved with Bulova,” he says, “you can’t let go.”

Perhaps the most notable design element in the new Regatta collection is the way in which Bulova has updated the T-bar lug design. It’s every bit as distinctive now as it was then, and in the current climate of oversized sports watches that all tend to look the same, the fancy lugs in the Regatta collection and their unique geometry present an alternative for a watch lover who really wants to make a statement with their timepiece.

With the Regatta collection, Bulova is consciously reaching back to the past to honor their history, while also looking forward, bringing in a new set of customers. With modern mechanical movements in contemporary case sizes, the new Regattas are making a play for the refined elegance that has always been a huge part of the brand’s identity.

Click here to shop the new Regatta Collection

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