Bulova Watches: Always The First

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Joseph Bulova, a poor Bohemian immigrant who in 1875 opened a small jewelry store on Maiden Lane, New York City, probably never foresaw the watchmaking empire he was starting. From Europe, Joseph brought old world craftsmanship and skill. In the new world he used his creativity and entrepreneurial skills to build a world class enterprise. From making Bulova watches, to inventing new ways to keep track of time, the history of the Bulova Watch Company is a fascinating study.

No one can dispute the excellent reputation of the Bulova Watch Company and the brand recognition of their name. Perfecting the art of time keeping by introducing dramatic new watch works, they simply redefined the art of watch making. Today Bulova watches can be found in stores and bazaars around the world.

Expanding their gallery of brands and styles from the simple and inexpensive to include exquisite and expensive designs for the elite among us, Bulova has produced sophisticated and bejeweled examples of art with a functional side. Whether it is a stunning boudoir clock or a huge public electric clock on the wall of a train terminal, the name Bulova is immediately recognized.

The contemporary, yet sophisticated, styling of the Accutron line of watches is a splendid example of how function can improve while maintaining classic beauty. The Accutron was the first watch mechanism to replace the springs with tiny electric batteries. It was an industry changing moment! Almost all watches today are battery powered. It was so admired by President Lyndon Johnson that he named it a "gift of state" and began presenting it to visiting heads of state. A special piece was made for General Omar Bradley.

The Accutron Bulova watch was certified by the railroad industry as the watch to be worn by all railroad personnel. This was due to its amazing accuracy in time keeping. NASA, the National Space Agency, used the Accutron technology into their space computers, using it in 46 missions to outer space. And Air Force One would only allow Accutron watches to be installed in the President's airplane.

Not only did Bulova fly to the moon, but it stayed there! It was Bulova's technology that allowed the equipment installed in the Sea of Tranquility to transmit vital data back to the United States for several years. It is hard to tell what valuable lessons were learned from this data, but the reliability of the Bulova engineering was never in doubt.

Joseph Bulova never imagined that his early watches would lead to a clock whose internal workings were directed by signals sent from orbiting satellites. In 1968, the first in the world public clock was installed atop a skyscraper in Mexico. The Mexican President took great pride in this event. A clock run from space! What an achievement.

The years between 1875 and 1975 were years of war and peace, of terrible depression and great uncertainty. Those years presented us with new inventions that allowed man to fly and then to fly into space. Inventions that allowed us to listen to music and speeches from around the world and then to see these speeches, and singers and entertainment. But through the upheaval and new discoveries the one thing we could always count on was the reliability of the Bulova mens watches.

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