There is no question that Bulova has really been making really good watches lately, and have really caught up with the class that brands like Stauer and Stuhrling have made with their Men's automatic watches. This one is definitely no acception with this classic Bulova Leather Strap Watch. It is a delightful and classic watch in a rectangular face and leather strap that shows and definitely displays absolute class and style in the design and distinction of the watch. Also, it is also a nice change of pace, especially with so many watches being absolutely overdubbed with the skeletal face on the watch for the past several years. I definitely like the easy winding and automatic watch for anyone looking for a everlasting watch to wear for anything you wear it with.
on June 13, 2014
Bulova has outdone itself with this timepiece. Cartier looks at a Casio price. Okay, that may be a bit of a stretch in both directions, but purchase it and you'll see my point.
The face of this watch is simple, elegant, and classic. It is relatively easy to read. The open heart design is flashy but not too distracting. Skeleton watch faces get a lot of attention and compliments from non-aficionados, but after the glow fades they are less functional as a timepiece. I personally would have preferred this watch only have the back exhibition window but it does look cool.
The mineral glass is curved and limits viewing angles. It does, however, have a relatively wide viewing angle allowing you to see the time without necessarily looking at the watch. If you've never had a curved glass watch face, you won't know how important that is until you have to suffer through a meeting or an interview while trying to subtly scope out the time with a curved face watch...you'd be surprised how often you want to check the time without moving your wrist. This watch allows it to an extent.
The watch is large but not obnoxiously so. The watch is thin enough to not excessively bother the dress shirt wearer by constantly hanging up on cuffs. I'm generally a fan of thin, small watches but this watch is fine. If you are a gentleman who likes wearing Big Ben on his wrist, this may not be for you. In a world of obnoxiously large men's wrist watches, this is a healthy "medium" sized watch.
The Japanese Miyota movement is great...but my one complaint is that the second hand does not hack rendering it impossible to synchronize. Considering the relatively poor accuracy of this watch, that feature is not critical. Still, it is fun to track the long term accuracy of the watch. I have observed a drift of about 10 seconds per day (but it's hard to measure without a good hack). It's what I call "good enough" accuracy. I don't wear the watch every day, so I'll set the time if necessary and give it a healthy wind.
Another comment on the whole accuracy thing: if you want an accurate watch, buy a quartz. They are cheaper anyway. You can buy a Bulova Precionist for less than this automatic and it's accurate to within a few seconds per YEAR (and has a really slick movement). At first not having a second hand hack drove me nuts...but after calming down I realized there are virtually no practical implications for an automatic watch (especially one this inaccurate) to feature this. A watch that drifts by a few minutes a month needs constant attention. Buy this watch expecting to nurse it. And let such maintenance serve as a reminder of humankind's ingenuity...breathing life into lifeless components...and then being able to mass produce and sell them internationally at relatively low costs.
Off the soapbox and on with the review...I observed about 38 hours of power reserve after fully winding the watch. That is more than enough for most wearers and pretty close to advertised specs (40+ hrs) according to various online sources. I haven't really tested the automatic's ability to store power because I find it too easy to wind the watch when I wear it, usually because it's out of juice. But the automatic spins very freely and smoothly. Cheaper Chinese movements have not perfected the automatic like the Japanese have.
The leather band is thick but supple. It looks excellent with the watch. Nowadays, most affordable watches with leather bands look cheap (e.g. patent leather, embossed alligator, etc.), are too stiff, or don't last. This band feels very high quality for the affordability of this watch.
A quick complaint about the GEM Products (fulfilled by Amazon) delivered product. This is actually the 2nd watch I purchased. The first arrived in terrible condition. The face was horribly scratched. There was a 1 cm long very deep scratch across the mineral glass. My first thought was "this doesn't bode well for face durability". But I don't know if this was a manufacturing defect or a handling error. The concern is that the watch arrived looking very "factory-esque". It had the token tags and stickers along with two protective plastic covers on the front face and back exhibition window. Of course it was wrapped on a pillow and nested in several boxes and well protected in the Amazon package. The scratch was below the plastic protector but not through it. The scratch was obvious. Perhaps QA at Bulova missed it, or someone at GEM mishandled it. Either way, I don't see how it could have arrived in such bad condition unless someone, somewhere, in the supply chain messed up. It's not a big deal. I exchanged it with no problems and the replacement was in excellent condition.
All in all, this is an excellent watch for the money. I see that the price has fluctuated significantly since I purchased it last week. I would certainly buy the watch again for the bill and a half I paid. I took off a star for the inability to synchronize the second hand and the annoying return due to the damaged face (I realize this is not necessarily the fault of the watch, but it degraded my watch buying experience and I felt it necessary to disclose this to future buyers).
I will continue to post updates as I see fit.
Update after 1 week:
This watch keeps impeccable time for the money. Since my initial review, the watch seems to gain only a few seconds (i.e. two to three) per day. That is very reasonable for an automatic, and amazing for the price I paid - a bill and a half.
No complaints so far, the watch looks and functions great. I'm very happy with this purchase and would buy again. Stay tuned...
on July 9, 2012
This is a great watch for the price. It is pretty accurate, and in my experience only loses 3-6 seconds a day which is great for an automatic of it's price. Wish it had a sapphire crystal instead of a mineral one, but that is my only complaint.
on September 19, 2013
Tank-style watches are still a relevant style, although you don't see too many these days. This one is a classic tank style, but "updated" in size; about 33mm in width (without the crown)...i.e. its bigger and chunkier than the slim, tiny-sized tanks were in the past. But its not overwhelmingly large either. Construction and finish seem to be very good to excellent. A Swiss movement would have been great, but the Japanese Miyota is fine and keeps very good time. The second hand does not "hack" but most vintage tank watches didn't hack either. The "open heart" is a litte distracting and it does obscure the hands when they are in the 6 to 8 o'clock positions, but it adds an interesting look to the watch--it brings a smile to see the balance wheel whirling away. Water resistance is minimal, but this is not a dive watch--so it should not be submerged or worn swimming anyway. 24mm strap is a solid, thick gator-grained leather. Price was very reasonable. Its a classic and very well done for the price.
Update July 2014:
Somehow I managed to lose this watch a couple of months after I wrote this review. I figured, "oh well"; I have enough watches so I can live without it. A few months later and I realized that I truly missed this one. So I finally bit the bullet and bought another. I just got it and I am glad to have it back. The new one is just as high-quality and nicely finished as the original one. I've found that NOT to be the case with some items I've replaced in the past. So now I'm enjoying it again and I'll try to keep better track of it this time.
on June 26, 2013
It is just the watch I wanted. Mechanical, with see thru screen, square and with the elegance of a leather strap. I am grateful with Amazon because helped me to get this wrist watch from my country (Colombia), in short time and with a great discount.