Bulova watches have a long and storied history dating back over a century. The company was founded in 1875 by Joseph Bulova, a Czech immigrant who opened a small jewelry store in New York City. Today, it is owned by the Citizen Watch Company. From the beginning, Bulova was known for his innovative approach to design and his commitment to precision. Let’s take a look at some of the key moments in this company’s fascinating history.
In the 1910s, Bulova introduced his first line of men's wristwatches, which were a radical departure from the pocket watches that were the norm at the time. These early Bulova watches were among the first to be mass-produced and were marketed as affordable, accurate timepieces that could be worn on the wrist.
In the 1920s, Bulova began using a new manufacturing process that allowed the company to produce watches more quickly and efficiently. This innovation, combined with Bulova's focus on design and craftsmanship, helped the company to become a leader in the watch industry.
In 1927, Bulova set up an observatory on the rooftop of 580 5th Avenue to determine universal time, and broadcast the first radio advertisement saying, "At the tone, it's eight o'clock, Bulova Watch Time.”Also in 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first man to fly nonstop across the Atlantic, earning him the Bulova watch prize and the opportunity to be the face of the Lone Eagle wristwatch.
In 1941, Bulova produced the world's first television advertisement, which aired before a baseball game. In the same decade, Bulova introduced the "sports time" analog game clock used in various sports, including hockey and basketball.
During World War II, Bulova produced a range of military-grade watches for the US Armed Forces. These rugged and reliable timepieces were used by soldiers, sailors, and pilots and became an integral part of military life.
In the post-war years, Bulova continued to innovate and expand, introducing new lines of watches for both men and women. The company also began to branch out into other areas, such as clocks, jewelry, and even television advertising. Bulova also opened the Joseph Bulova School of Watchmaking to help disabled veterans learn a trade and reenter civilian life.
In the 1960s, Bulova introduced the Accutron, a revolutionary timepiece that used a tuning fork as a means of oscillation instead of a traditional balance wheel. This innovation made the Accutron the most accurate watch on the market and helped to solidify Bulova's reputation as a leader in the industry. The Accutron was used in all the timekeeping mechanisms on the first spacecraft to reach the moon.
In the decades that followed, Bulova continued to produce a wide range of watches for both men and women, with a focus on design, craftsmanship, and innovation. This included the Accutron Quartz, and a line of watches with digital LCD time displays. The company was acquired by Citizen in 2008, and in 2010 it released a limited edition replica of the Spaceview 214, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Accutron.
In 2016 Bulova introduced the CURV, the world's first curved chronograph watch, at Baselworld, and in 2018 it released the ARIA, a watch with a built-in microphone and speaker that allows the wearer to make phone calls and access voice assistants like Siri and Google Assistant.
Today, Bulova is still known for its high-quality timepieces and is a respected brand in the watch industry. From its humble beginnings in a small jewelry store in New York City to its current status as a leader in the watch industry, Bulova has always been at the forefront of design and technology. Whether you are looking for a timeless classic or a cutting-edge timepiece, Bulova has a watch that will suit your needs.