Is Bulova A Luxury Watch Brand


Nowadays, there are many watch options on the market offering different benefits. If you are looking for a fantastic watch to add to your repertoire, you might have come across the brand Bulova. Here is where the question about the luxe of this brand arises.

Bulova is not considered a luxury watch brand despite its sophisticated designs. Starting at $100, its models struggle in comparison with the high-end watches of other brands. However, Bulova offers a strong quality-price relation in most of its series.

Bulova enjoys a long history on the watch market, making it a formidable manufacturer. There are many things to take into consideration when classifying this brand as luxurious or not. Keep reading to have all the insights!

Is Bulova Considered To Be A Luxury Brand

To classify a brand as ‘luxury’, some aspects such as high-end materials, in-house movements, manufacturing process, and price need to be considered. Bulova does not fill in these requirements in all its series. In this sense, it is not a luxury brand.

The luxury classification of a brand can be subjective. To know more about what makes a watch brand “luxury” you can check my article about the topic here.

Bulova is a famous brand that has been on the market since its foundation in 1875 in New York. Throughout its history, Bulova has created some reliable watches.

Let’s take a closer look at the performance of Bulova watches in the categories previously mentioned.

High-End Materials

Not all Bulova watches use the same materials. Depending on the series, they are built in different places, using other materials. Something to bear in mind is that Bulova watches are mass-produced.

Most luxury brands use gold, diamonds, silver, platinum, and many other high-end materials. Most series of Bulova don’t use these luxurious materials opting for cheaper stainless steel instead. The difference in the materials leaves Bulova shorthanded in comparison with other luxury brands.

In-House Movements

The movement is considered the heart of a watch. Therefore, having a well-crafted one can highly increase the value of a model. An in-house movement is a heart crafted by the manufacturer itself. This in-house crafting means that there are no third parties involved in the manufacturing process.

Having an in-house movement in your watch can really impact the quality of the timepiece you own. However, it is not the case for Bulova, as all its movements are ordered from different companies overseas.

With this in mind, there is a remarkable difference between Bulova movements and those from other luxury watch brands. Having an in-house movement is seen as a prerequisite for a watch to be a luxury watch, and Bulova falls short here.

Manufacturing Process

Some of the best watches you could find on the market are handcrafted. This process gives the timepiece unparalleled attention to detail. Luxury watch brands detach themselves from others for their handcrafting.

Bulova does not handcraft its watches, but mass produces them for the market. Mass production implies less attention to detail since the process is done by a machine. There is a significant difference between having an expert handcraft the watch and having a programmed robot produce it.

As mentioned before, the manufacturing of Bulova watches is not in-house. For the cheapest series, the movement, the casings, and many other parts are built in Hong Kong. In contrast, the mid-tier series are manufactured in Japan. Ultimately, for the high-end watches, the pieces come from Switzerland.

The manufacturing process of Bulova watches takes place in the countries where the parts are produced. The cheap series, for example, is entirely built by the manufacturer in Hong Kong.

Price

The price is also a noticeable feature when it comes to defining a luxury watch brand. Having an expensive piece can make you feel that you are separating yourself from the watches anybody can have. This feeling increases the idea of luxe.

All the above-mentioned characteristics add up to the relatively accessible price of a Bulova watch. Bulova watches range from $100 to $1000, making them relatively cheap when compared to Rolex, Hublot, and other luxury brands.

After having looked at Bulova in-depth, saying that it is not a luxury brand wouldn’t be a mistake. 

As mentioned before, the “luxury” denomination is not a fixed thing since there is room for many opinions on the matter.

Bulova is known for crafting great watches, but they probably fall short to reach the “luxury” denomination as a brand.

Are Bulova Watches Worth It

The fact that Bulova has been on the market for more than 100 years is an easy giveaway of their worth. Bulova watches stand out for their quality, design, durability, and precision. The overall reviews for this brand are positive, so it is safe to say that Bulova watches are worth it.

If we are more squeamish about this question, we would need to look deeper into the different series. The quality of the Bulova watches manufactured in Switzerland is first-class. For those produced in Hong Kong, the answer could be different.

Yet, the price to quality ratio is hard to match. 

In the table below, you will find a closer look at some aspects that make Bulova worth it. I graded them from F to A.

CriteriaBulova Watches
Quality-Price RelationsA
DesignB
DurabilityB
PrecisionB+

Quality-Price Relation

One of the principal appeals of Bulova is the possibility of having a quality watch for an accessible price. Even for a 100$, you could buy a great Bulova watch. That is without talking about the benefits and high-end quality of the top-tier models.

Although you might not have all the features and the expensive-looking design with the low-tier watches, you can still benefit from the high quality of the product for an affordable price. 

In all tiers, Bulova represents the quality in the price. With this brand, you get what you buy. There will be no surprises with Bulova watches because their timepieces deliver. 

Design

In many cases, Bulova has designs that make their watches look much more expensive than they are. Their stylish design is one of the reasons why the luxury debate even started. Their wristwatches are beautifully made and draw attention.

Many Bulova models feature the Art Nouveau style, which is an ornamental style that blossomed in the late 1800s. The many swirls and details stand out and give an attractive look to these watches. 

Durability

Bulova has always stood out for its durability. This characteristic is an added benefit of their quality manufacturing. Since the watches are overall quality pieces, they have a long lifetime. 

As with most of these classifications, the higher the tier, the more durable the watch. High-tier Bulova watches have higher quality, allowing them to be enjoyed for a longer period of time. 

Precision

Bulova watches are trustworthy timepieces. Bulova’s design, quality, and precision will not disappoint, but neither will their precision. Although on the cheaper end, Bulova watches are very precise. It will always depend on the tier and the model, but in general terms, Bulova watches are very precise.

As you can see, Bulova watches have many benefits to offer. Whether you want to consider them luxury or not is up to you, but I can tell you they are definitely worth it. 

At the end of the day, the best part of them, and the highest-rated in this classification, is the value they offer with their quality-price relation.

High-End Bulova Watches

The two high-end series of the Bulova are the Accutron and the Preciosinist. These two series can go head-to-head with many luxury watches on the market thanks to their quality. 

Bulova Accutron

The Bulova Accutron is one of the insignia models of the brand. The accuracy of this model struck the timepiece world from the very beginning. The Accutron is one of the best Swiss watches among its peers.

Bulova introduced a groundbreaking 360-hertz tuning fork technology that highly improved the Accutron’s accuracy. Instead of the known ticking, the Accutron produces a humming. This sound derives from the vibration of the tuning fork.

The first Accutron was the Spaceview 214. Thanks to the innovative technology of the Bulova Accutron, NASA reached out to use the tuning fork for the timekeeping devices of all their machines, satellites included.

After the Apollo 11 mission, Bulova debuted its Accutron Astronaut inspired by their collaboration with NASA and the involvement of their technology in the success of the space missions. The Bulova Astronaut was Buzz Aldrin’s signature watch.

The prices of these vintage models range from $800 to $2500.

Bulova Precisionist

This unique watch is a much more modern model compared to the Accutron. The Bulova Precisionist is a quality watch that uses smooth sweeping seconds. As its name says, precision is one of the main features of this watch.

The sweeping seconds are one of the attractive qualities of the Precisionist. Yet, the brand also debuted a Chronograph version. The Bulova Precisionist Chronograph can keep time with a precision of up to 1/1000th of a second.

The design of the Precisionist is not shy at all. It is a very robust watch with a weight of around 260 grams. The face of the watch also presents an imponent design. All in all, this watch comes in at about $800.

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