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Watch Guide / History of Bulova

History of Bulova Watches

The history of the Bulova Watch Company by The Watch Co

The most successful of American watch manufacturers, Bulova has been able to maintain its status as one of the world's leading watchmakers, while other American watch companies have come and gone.

Bulova was established in 1875 in Woodside (Queens), New York by an immigrant from Bohemia named Joseph Bulova. Bulova was acquired by the Loews Corporation in 1979, and then again by Citizen in 2008, but continues to operate independently from the same New York location.

Very much like Seiko's Kintaro Hattori, Joseph Bulova started out in his early 20s with as a jeweler working out of a storefront. Although Bulova would not begin manufacturing its own lines of watches and clocks for many years, it would gain valuable expertise and knowledge repairing and servicing timepieces.

It was around 1911 that Bulova began selling Bulova branded clocks and pocket watches. They were an almost immediate success and roundly appreciated for their accuracy and fine workmanship.

The wristwatch was beginning to make inroads in the watch market during the first couple of decades of the 20th century, but was viewed initially as a luxury item, probably because of the greater expense of producing smaller movements. Bulova helped to change this perception however when it introduced lines of good quality men's and women's wristwatches for the masses at reasonable prices in the mid 1920s.

Among Bulova's early devotees was Charles Lindbergh who was awarded a Bulova watch after his historic crossing of the Atlantic and later appeared in Bulova advertising. Bulova ran the first national radio ad in 1926 and the first television ad in 1941.

Perhaps Bulova's most important achievement has been the Accutron watch. The original Accutron watches were truly revolutionary. Although the electronic tuning fork movement of the Accutron watch was made obsolete 10 years later by the introduction of the quartz movement, it does not diminish the importance of the technology in the evolution of timekeeping. To this day, Bulova still includes a tuning fork in its logo. Here is a great vintage Bulova Accutron TV ad from the early 1960s.

Today, Bulova continues to please millions of customers every year with high-quality, affordable watches. Bulova men's watches as well as Bulova ladies' watches are well designed, tasteful and affordable. We hope you find a Bulova watch you like and can enjoy it for years to come.