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Overview of Bulova Clocks and Its History

Founded in 1875, The Bulova Corporation is headquartered in New York and is part of the American-owned and operated Loews Corporation.

The Bulova Story

The realization of a great American dream began in 1875 when Joseph Bulova, a 23-year-old immigrant from Bohemia, opened a small jewelry store on Maiden Lane in New York City. This modest enterprise was to evolve into one of today's preeminent watch and clock companies. In 1911, Bulova began manufacturing boudoir and desk clocks, along with fine pocket watches, which he made and sold in unprecedented numbers. During World War I, wristwatches were issued in the military for their greater convenience. Returning veterans brought home the new fashion--and a new market emerged. Bulova already had sufficient production facilities and a mastery of jewelry design, so his company introduced the first full line of men's jeweled wristwatches in 1919. It was followed by the industry's first full line of ladies' wristwatches and the first line of diamond wristwatches. America ran on Bulova time, beginning with radio's first commercials, broadcast nationally in 1926: "At the tone, it's 8 P.M., B-U-L-O-V-A Bulova watch time." Two years later, Bulova introduced the world's first clock radio.

In 1931, Bulova conducted the watch industry's first million-dollar advertising campaign. And through the Depression years, Bulova supported retailers by offering Bulova watches to buyers on time-payment plans. As the next decade began, Bulova aired the first TV commercial. A simple picture of a clock and a map of the United States, it preceded a Brooklyn Dodgers baseball game on July 1, 1941, and proclaimed, "America runs on Bulova time." By then, ArdT Bulova, Joseph Bulova's son, was also producing timepieces for the military. With the U.S. entry into World War II, the Bulova factories immediately put their perfected mass-production techniques and skilled craftsmen to work on precision military equipment. Bulova provided the U.S. government with military watches, specialized timepieces, aircraft instruments, critical torpedo mechanisms and fuses. At the war's end, the Joseph Bulova School of Watchmaking opened its doors to help disabled veterans become self-sufficient. At the opening of the school, ArdT Bulova made the following statement:
"For the purpose of aiding war veterans who are physically handicapped, the Bulova School of Watchmaking has been founded to teach the art and trade of watch, clock and instrument making and repairing, including the use of tools, machinery and equipment necessary in carrying on such a trade. Graduates of the school are expected to be placed in positions in jewelry stores throughout the country and thus be assisted in finding a place in life in a useful and happy occupation. This is but a small measure of the gratitude that can be shown to these men for their service to our country in this greatest of all wars."

The school was supported entirely by the Bulova Foundation. No financial aid of any kind was received from any government agency or the students. Equipment at the school included magic-eye doors, wide two-way elevator entrances and exits, special workbenches, non-slip cork floors and other features so that disabled men could move about at no physical disadvantage. Complete medical facilities and a well-equipped recreation room provided treatment and relaxation. Graduates of the school were assured employment since over 1,500 positions were pledged by American Jewelers.

A new era in timekeeping dawned in the 1950s. Through persistent and dedicated research, Bulova developed Accutron, the first electronic watch. Keeping time to within two seconds a day, it was the first breakthrough in timekeeping technology in over 300 years.

During the 1960s, NASA asked the company to channel its Accutron efforts into making computers for the Space Program. As a result, Bulova's Accutron timing mechanism became an integral and vital part of space technology from the 1958 launch of Vanguard I to the first moon walk on July 21, 1969. A Bulova timer was placed on the moon's Sea of Tranquility to control the transmissions of vital data through the years. When Accutron precision became available to customers, Bulova was the first watch brand to offer a written guarantee of accuracy-in-use to within a minute a month. Another significant Bulova breakthrough occurred in the 1960s with the introduction of the Phototimer clock. Today, all Bulova watches contain the finest quartz-crystal movements, accurate to within three minutes a year.

In recent decades, Bulova timepieces have kept official time aboard Air Force One, and Bulova products have repeatedly been awarded to visiting dignitaries as Presidential Gifts of State. Bulova has also served as America's official watch to the U.S. Olympic Team.

In recent years, Bulova has presented a number of design innovations. Whether the customer prefers a high profile diamond watch, an heirloom quality 14-karat gold watch, a sporty elegant Marine Star watch, a day/date calendar watch or a contemporary career-style watch, Bulova offers a style for every taste and occasion. Each one is reminiscent of Joseph Bulova's demand for unique quality and beauty.

Year after year, having satisfied customers for over a century, Bulova continues its tradition of growth and innovation. Today, Bulova remains a totally U.S.-owned company, enjoying the financial resources and management support of Loews Corporation. As a result, Bulova now offers the widest range of styles in its long history. With over a century of technological leadership and service, Bulova is among America's most recognized names.

Bulova Clocks and Watches

Bulova timepieces use only the finest materials, precision craftsmanship and state-of-the-art technology for enduring quality and performance.
˛     At the heart of each Bulova watch is precision accuracy. From the finest quartz movements to alternative technologies such as solar or mechanical energy, each Bulova watch is guaranteed to be accurate to within one minute a year.
˛     Every Bulova is anti-magnetic, shock-resistant, and features our unique distortion-free and scratch-resistant Dura-Crystal®.
˛     Bulova uses only the finest materials for its bracelets and straps. Many of Bulova's bracelets are solid stainless steel. Some are plated with Bulova's unique 23-karat hard gold process, which is tempered to give an extra durable finish. Other bracelets are ion plated with a patented gold process for an ultra-resilient finish. The straps are made from the finest leathers to resist wear and maintain their elegant look.
Only Bulova offers the range of styling and the scope of products to meet everyone's needs:
˛     The Marine Star Collection represents elegance in a sport look. With stainless steel bracelets, screw backs, ratchet bezels and water resistance up to 200 meters (660 feet), Marine Star watches provide enduring performance with superlative style.
˛     Bulova diamond watches use only genuine faceted diamonds for lasting quality and ultimate brilliance. With both classic and contemporary styles to choose from, it is easy to see why Bulova leads the industry in diamond dial, diamond case and diamond bracelet watches.
˛     Bulova 14 Karat gold watches are heirloom quality timepieces. All styles have Swiss movements and either European or American bracelets. These sophisticated watches offer breathtaking styling and outstanding value in 14-karat gold as well as 18-karat gold and stainless steel.

From classic and contemporary straps and bracelets, to specialty chronographs and advanced technologies, Bulova offers several hundred styles to choose from.

Caravelle is today's lifestyle brand, offering a wide range of styles to fit all the varied roles of today's busy consumer. Tailored career, classically traditional, stylish fashion and contemporary sport watches fill these needs with dependable quality and truly affordable prices.
˛     Precision quartz movements that guarantee accuracy.
˛     Superior plating using a 23-karat hard gold process that tempers the finish for added durability.
˛     Genuine leather straps, or finely made bracelets, including stainless steel for maximum wear.
˛     Genuine diamonds or fine Austrian crystal.
˛     Caravelle offers several hundred timepieces to satisfy the multiple needs of today's consumers.
Career Segment
Sophisticated designs for everyday wear. Perfect for the office, school or wherever tailored styling makes the best statement.

Classic Segment
Timeless, traditional designs that provide enduring style.

Fashion Segment
Contemporary designs for a modern look, in line with today's fashions.

Sport Segment
Performance and elegance. Bracelets and straps, water resistance up to 100 meters (330 feet).

Designed in America and handcrafted in Switzerland, each Accutron combines exceptional styling with the most advanced timekeeping technology. In the world of luxury watches, Accutron stands alone by offering:
˛     The finest Swiss quartz movements available.
˛     Solid stainless steel construction.
˛     Solid-link, stainless steel bracelets and top-quality leather straps, many with hidden deployment clasps to provide a seamless look on the wrist.
˛     23-karat gold finishes applied with the most advanced plating technology.
˛     Superior scratch-resistant sapphire crystals.
˛     Water resistance from 30 meters (100 feet) to 200 meters (660 feet).
For hundreds of years, precision timekeeping was strictly mechanical. Then Bulova transformed the course of time forever with the world's first fully electronic watch . . . Accutron. A vital component of the U.S. space program from the 1958 launch of Vanguard I through the first moonwalk in 1969, Accutron revolutionized the watchmaking industry by bringing its state-of-the-art timing mechanism directly to consumers. Today, building on this extraordinary legacy, Accutron remains at the forefront of watchmaking technology, combining the most advanced Swiss quartz movements with the finest of contemporary styling.

Bulova's award-winning collection of classic and contemporary clocks is produced with strict adherence to Bulova's quality standards. Each clock features:
˛     A one-year warranty.
˛     A state-of-the-art precision movement. The quartz, battery-operated chime and standard movements are guaranteed to be accurate to within three minutes a year. Bulova keywind mechanical movements are produced in Europe to the exacting standards of master clock makers.
˛     The finest quality materials including carefully selected woods, solid brass, lead crystal, imported marble, porcelain and leather.
˛     Attention to design and engineering details. Bulova Clocks are distinguished by their precision movements, painstakingly assembled wood cases, engraved dials, flawless finishes and unique designs.
Bulova clocks span a range of styles and forms with unmatched artistry and technological excellence.

Licensed Products
Combining Bulova's reputation for technological excellence with the proven charm of cherished trademarked designs gives the Licensed Products Collection truly unique market appeal. Instantly recognizable, the Frank Lloyd Wright®, and Harley-Davidson® make particularly memorable gifts, while attracting both budding connoisseurs and established collectors.

Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) is recognized as one of the greatest architects of the twentieth century. Using innovations in design and engineering made possible by newly developed technology and materials, his work heralded a new thinking in architecture, stressing "organic" structures in harmony with their natural surroundings.

Bulova's award-winning Frank Lloyd Wright® Collection honors this American genius with an exceptional group of clocks including tabletop and wall models, as well as a number of uniquely stylish watches. Each style is part of the Frank Lloyd Wright Decorative Designs Collection®, certified by The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona.

These products are part of the Frank Lloyd Wright Decorative Designs Collection®. A portion of the sales of these products supports the design and education programs of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona. ©1999 - 2003 The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, All Rights Reserved.


Joseph Bulova, a 23-year-old immigrant from Bohemia, opens a small jewelry shop on Maiden Lane in New York City.

Bulova begins manufacturing and selling boudoir and table clocks as well as fine pocket watches. These pieces are sold in unprecedented numbers.

Bulova sets up its first plant dedicated to the production of watch components and their assembly into jeweled movements in Bienne, Switzerland.

During World War I, the convenience of wristwatches (as opposed to pocket watches) is discovered. In 1919 Bulova introduces the first full line of men's jeweled wristwatches.

Bulova Watch Company, Inc. moves to 580 Fifth Avenue and builds the Bulova Observatory on top of the building for the taking of sidereal time. This is the first Observatory ever built atop a skyscraper. The Observatory is under the direction of a mathematician whose readings are electrically recorded, instantaneously, on a chronograph hundreds of feet below the observatory, guiding the Bulova watchmakers in the Setting and Timing unit of the Company.

The name Bulova Watch Company, Inc. is adopted. Bulova perfects a new concept in the watch industry with total standardization of parts. Every part of a Bulova watch is made with such precision (standardized to the ten thousandth part of an inch) that it is interchangeable with the same part in any other Bulova watch. This revolutionizes the servicing of watches.

Bulova unveils the first full line of ladies' watches, including diamond-accented pieces. In the same year, President Calvin Coolidge presents a Bulova watch to Stanley "Bucky" Harris player-manager of the World Series-winning Washington Senators. Bulova designs a new watch in honor of the occasion and names it the "President."

Bulova produces the nation's first radio commercial, "At the tone, it's 8 P.M., B-U-L-O-V-A, Bulova watch time."

Ard+© Bulova, JosephĂs son, offers a prize of $1,000 to the pilot who first succeeds in a nonstop flight across the Atlantic.

In honor of Charles Lindbergh's transatlantic solo flight from New York to Paris, Bulova ships 5,000 Lone Eagle watches, packaged with pictures of Lindbergh. The supply, which is available the day after the landing, is sold out within three days. During the next few years Bulova sells nearly 50,000 of these commemorative watches. Also in 1927, Bulova Watch Company goes public on the American Stock Exchange, and Bulova Canada is established.

Bulova introduces the world's first clock radio.

Bulova engineers and patents a new principle in the construction of automobile clocks.

Bulova begins manufacturing the first electric clocks. The collection includes wall and mantel clocks, and clocks for use in stores, windows, office buildings, train stations and airports. Also, Bulova becomes the first watch manufacturer to spend more than $1 million a year on advertising. Throughout the Depression years, Bulova supports retailers by offering Bulova watches to buyers on time-payment plans.

Bulova runs a "Name the Watch" contest for its new $24.75 timepiece, with cash prizes totaling $10,000. The top prize of $1,000 would be equivalent to about $12,500 in the year 2000.

Joseph Bulova, founder of Bulova Watch Company, dies.

Bulova is a sponsor for all of the top 20 radio shows, including Charley McCarthy, Jack Benny, Fibber McGee and Molly and Major Bowes Amateur Hour.

Continuing its tradition of advertising firsts, Bulova airs the first television commercial: a simple picture of a clock and a map of the United States, with a voice-over proclaiming, "America runs on Bulova time." The 20-second spot costs $9. 1941 also marks the year that the Bulova Board of Directors, chaired by JosephĂs son, ArdT Bulova, adopts a resolution to sell products for national defense at actual cost. Throughout World War II, having perfected the skill of creating precision timepieces, Bulova works with the U.S. government to produce military watches, specialized timepieces, aircraft instruments, critical torpedo mechanisms and fuses.

25% of all radio advertising was used to promote the sale of War Bonds and Stamps: ˘B-U-L-O-V-ÓBulova Watch TimeÓTime to Buy United States War Bonds and Stamps.÷

The Joseph Bulova School of Watchmaking opens its doors to help disabled veterans learn watchmaking skills. Entirely supported by the Bulova Foundation, the school is equipped with state-of-the-art accessibility features, including automatic doors and extra-wide elevators. Graduates of the school are assured employment with over 1,500 positions pledged by American Jewelers.

Bulova begins developing the Phototimer, a unique combination of photo-finish camera and precision electronic timing instrument.

Bulova begins developing Accutron, the first breakthrough in timekeeping technology in over 300 years. Accutron, the first fully electronic watch, promises to keep time to within 2 seconds a day.

Recognizing new trends in the watch industry, Bulova adds more self-winding and shock-proof watches to its line. Also added this year is the Bulova Wrist-Alarm, an entirely new kind of watch.

Bulova introduces the Bulova 23, a self-winding, waterproof, 23-jewel watch with an unbreakable mainspring, made entirely in the United States. Omar Bradley, World War II general and retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, joins Bulova as Chairman of the Board of the Bulova Research and Development Laboratories.

An independent A.C. Neilson Company survey reveals that Americans see more national advertising for Bulova products than for any other products, in any other industry, in the world.

Bulova completes negotiations to cosponsor the ˘Jackie Gleason Show" a one-hour live television show airing Saturday nights from eight to nine o'clock. This is the first time in history that any watch or jewelry-related company has made a sponsorship commitment of such magnitude.

Omar N. Bradley becomes chairman of the Bulova Watch Company, a position he remains in until 1973, when he retires at the age of 80.

Bulova offers an unprecedented 1-year warranty on all of its clock radios.

NASA asks Bulova to incorporate Accutron into its computers for the space program. Bulova timing mechanisms eventually become an integral part of 46 missions of the U.S. Space Program. Also in 1960, Bulova reintroduces its redeveloped Phototimer clock for track and field, improved with updated photographic and electronic technologies. It features an infrared sensing element patterned after those used on heat-seeking missiles. Mounted on the starter's pistol, the Phototimer senses the flash of the gun and starts a timer clock at the same instant that the runners leave their marks.

October 25, 1960
Accutron, the first watch to keep time through electronics, is introduced. It is the most spectacular breakthrough in timekeeping since the invention of the wristwatch. This revolutionary timekeeping concept of a watch without springs or escapement is operated by an electronically activated tuning fork. The Accutron watch goes on to become a presidential gift to world leaders and other dignitaries. President Johnson declares it the White House's official Gift of State.

The Accutron Tuning-fork watch becomes the first wristwatch certified for use by railroad personnel. 1962 is also the year that Bulova introduces its Caravelle line of jeweled watches. Designed to retail at $10.95 to $29.95, Caravelle competes with non-jeweled watches in the same price range.

Bulova runs national commercials for Accutron on many popular television shows including the Dean Martin Show and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Accutron clocks are the only clocks aboard Air Force One.

The Bulova Satellite Clock, the world's first public clock regulated by time signals from orbiting satellites, is inaugurated by Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, President of Mexico. The clock is installed atop the Torre Latino Americana, Mexico's tallest skyscraper. 1968 also marks the year that Caravelle becomes the largest selling jeweled-movement watch in the United States.

An Accutron watch movement is part of the equipment placed on the moon by Apollo 11 astronauts, the first men on the moon. A Bulova timer is placed in the moon's Sea of Tranquility to control the transmissions of vital data through the years.

Bulova introduces the Accuquartz, the first quartz-based clock.

The Bulova Accuquartz men's calendar wristwatch becomes the first quartz-crystal watch sold at retail in the United States. Made of 18-karat gold, it retails for $1,325.

Three specially designed Accutron portable alarm clocks are placed on board NASA's Skylab, the world's first space laboratory, launched from Cape Kennedy. Also this year, Bulova wins the world's first design competition for solid-state digital watches at the Prix de la Ville de GenFve watch-styling competition, the world's most prestigious international watch-styling competition. Bulova also wins two of the three honorable mentions awarded at the competition.

Bulova introduces its line of Accutron Quartz movement watches for men. Also this year, the Smithsonian Institution's newly opened National Air and Space Museum features a replica of the NASA Skylab. It includes an Accutron "space alarm" clock identical to the ones mounted onboard the actual Skylab.

Bulova introduces its line of Accutron Quartz movement watches for women.

Bulova runs a magazine ad campaign featuring Walter Cronkite, with the slogan ˘Good News from Bulova." The company also places national commercials on many television shows including All in the Family, CharlieĂs Angels, Starsky and Hutch, The Dukes of Hazard and Hawaii 5-0.

Bulova becomes a subsidiary of Loews Corporation.

Bulova heightens its profile by targeting young consumers with a television and magazine advertising campaign featuring Muhammad Ali, Morgan Fairchild, Cathy Lee Crosby, Bernadette Peters, Johnny Cash and Roger Daltrey.

The Bulova Dimension is unveiled. It is the worlds thinnest wall clock, measuring just 5/8 of an inch.

Bulova introduces its first miniature clock. Creating a new category of timepieces, Bulova goes on to produce entire collections of miniature clocks, including limited-edition pieces and themed groupings.

Bulova becomes the official supplier to the U.S. Olympic team, providing watches for both the winter games in Calgary and the summer games in Seoul.

Bulova changes its corporate name from Bulova Watch Company, Inc. to Bulova Corporation. This move reflects the companies growth into new and different product markets. Bulova produces an ad in record time. At the Winter Olympics in Calgary, a photograph is snapped on Saturday morning. Eight hours later an ad incorporating the photo is on the press in time to be in millions of copies of Time magazine on Monday.

This year, with its new line of Swiss quartz watches, Accutron is relaunched as the premier brand of the Bulova Corporation.

Bulova enters into a distribution agreement in South America and extends licenses in the Far East and Europe.

A Gallup survey and the Fairchild 100 report rank Bulova fourth in consumer awareness in the combined watch and jewelry industries.

Bulova introduces the Millennia Collection, a group of watches featuring innovative technology or materials. The collection includes a solar group, watches powered by light; motion quartz, watches powered by the motion of the wearer's arm; and vibra-alarm, watches featuring two alarm mode options: sound or vibration.

Bulova adds World Timer and Perpetual Calendar watches to the Millennia Collection.

On October 4, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani proclaims Bulova Day in New York City, in recognition of BulovaĂs 125th anniversary.

Bulova acquires the Wittnauer trademark and some of the assets of Wittnauer International. Bulova also acquires the license for Harley-Davidson watches. Also, in 2001, WomenĂs Wear DailyĂs Luxury Survey, which measures American womenĂs perception of the most luxurious apparel and accessory brands, ranked Bulova #14 in the watch and jewelry category.

Bulova acquires certain assets of Heirloom, a custom woodworking company specializing in the manufacture of grandfather clocks. Operating as a Bulova subsidiary under the new name, Art of Time, Ltd., the Kitchener, Ontario-based facility begins producing high-quality, custom-made Bulova grandfather clocks for sale in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Bulova also launches a comprehensive international operating strategy to enhance its global positioning while protecting the integrity of the Bulova name by reasserting control over development and marketing worldwide. A key component of the program is the opening of European headquarters in Fribourg, Switzerland, marking BulovaĂs return to full proprietary operations in Europe after nearly a quarter of a century. Made in Switzerland, with product development at both Bulova Swiss, S.A. and BulovaĂs home office in New York, the Bulova European Collection is set to begin distribution on January 1, 2003.


Bulova timepieces use only the finest materials, precision craftsmanship and state-of-the-art technology for enduring quality and performance.
Bulova uses only the finest materials for its bracelets and straps. Many of Bulova's bracelets are solid stainless steel. The straps are made from the finest leathers to resist wear and maintain their elegant look.

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