Bulova Precisionist X Sport – $995
Almost a year ago to the day our man Ibis reported that Bulova is Having a Moment. Post Citizen Group-buyout, the brand started selling a wide range of handsome timepieces. This is not that. The average human reaction time to a visual stimulus is 0.25 seconds. The ten year anniversary Precisionist is a 1/1000th of a second chronograph. That’s how much time it takes to see that this watch is pug ugly. And big (45mm). But then there’s a lot going on . . .
The 45mm PXS’s hexagonal dial measures both 1/10 and 1/100 seconds. The retrograde half-moon subdial at the 6 tracks thousandths of a second. The half-transparent dials at the 3 measures minutes; the one at the 9 measures “normal” seconds. Wait. So what does the pusher on the left do? Luckily, the PXS’ skeletonized date wheel is distracting enough to make the entire layout moot. Let’s try again . . .
Bulova Accutron 521 LE – $1450
This is the watch worn by Elvis Presley. Well not this watch. The new 521 is a modern recreation of a Bulova worn by The King before he met his maker on the toilet in Graceland. The 521 2.0’s got the exact same funky asymmetrical case in the exact dimensions (32.8mm x 32.5mm). It differs from its ancestor in two important ways. The ’60’s version was 14ct gold. The redo is made from “gold toned steel” – which shows you just how far the brand has fallen. More importantly . . .
The 521 2.0’s powered by a Swiss automatic movement, on display behind a transparent caseback (saves gold toned steel). The original Accutron – indeed all first gen Accurtons – ran off a combination of a 360 hertz tuning fork (hence the Accutron logo) and a transistor circuit. Bulova’s revolutionary electronic watches were famous for their humming sound as its second hand swept seamlessly around the dial. If you want a next gen actual Accutron, there’s the pricier, fully skeletonized Spaceview. It’s not as ugly as the Precisionist, but close.
Bulova Gemini Futuro – $550
Now we’re talking! Sure the new Gemini Futuro is a retro design without historical precedent – other than other versions. But this timepiece is a class act, from its mixture of gold tone steel and black, to its subtle logo placement, to its curved mineral crystal glass. As you’d expect in these Panerai pimping times, it’s no shrinking violet. The 40mm three-hander’s bracelet says if I was a rich man, I’d be real gold. But it may be gold enough to pass. How great would that be?
The Gemini runs off a Miyota GL34, a $9 quartz movement that has the good grace not to show its face to owners. Just like the slightly more exclusive Vacheron Overseas, the Gemini’s bracelet uses a deployant buckle with pushers. Keep in mind that Bulova discounts the f out of their watches; J.C. Penney is selling this model for $420 (no commission on link). The watch press has ignored the Futuro’s introduction, but it’s a watch that’s bound to get attention on-wrist. In a good way.
I wish that helical cut crown on the Precisionist has something to do with anything. That date window reminds me of old Looney Tunes cartoons where they’d have a freestanding doorframe and door out in the open that characters would knock on when they could just step around it.Oh, what’s on the second hand counterweight? It looks like the Ben Casey intro inifinty (not Infiniti) symbol.
I would love to get a Bulova precisionist, but man are they fugly.
I was drawn to the high frequency quartz movement (262 kHz). But, I agree… the Precisionist line is to barf for, esthetically.
I’m really not a fan of black and gold, but the side profile of the Gemini Futuro is fantastic. Not only is the crystal curved but “edge to edge” which must means it’s somehow glued on like a car windshield?
Anyway it comes in blue on stainless too, and the old black which really highlights the asymmetric case with that extra curve of color on the right of the case.
[…] prices are often nothing more than marketing. There are plenty of watches (e.g., Bulova) where MSRP is never the actual price. Also worth noting: this Graham is “shopworn” – a […]
I checked out the Curv. Pretty nifty design. I would consider one that ISN’T a chronograph. I’d love to see a 3-hander version. I love the 262 kHz quartz movement. I just picked up a 262 kHz Sea King… review forthcoming.
You might enjoy my review of the Bulova Lunar Pilot.