Bulova has for almost a century and a half been at the forefront of innovation and watch technology. The visionary who started Bulova was known to take chances when it came to creating a brand that was different but still dependable. The classic watches set the standard but with our high-speed, ever changing world something more needs to be done to stand out from the rest of the field.
True to the risk-taking ethos of the Bulova, the team of watchmakers have produced a marvellous piece for us to talk about. The modern 96A204 Bulova men’s watch is a pleasure to look at but is also reliably accurate.
This 96A204 model has put itself out there in terms of unique design. It is a perfectly round stainless steel bezel with a blue finish. At 42mm it isn’t too large but because it is holding a 21 jewel automatic systems it does come across on the thicker side. The 21 jewel calibre has a 40 hour power reserve and a screw-back case that also allows us a look in to the intricate designs of the mechanism. The dark blue colour is a pleasant shift from the typically silver stainless steel cases and will look good with most style of dress. That being said it isn’t a watch for every occasion in that it won’t suit casual clothing and you will have to put a certain amount of planning with the colours you decide to go with.
It has a sturdy look and thanks to the brush finish it isn’t overly flashy or shiny. The case also has a water resistance rating of 30 meters which won’t bode well for fishing trips but will safely keep your Bulova safe from harm through unexpected encounters with water and dust.
The silver on blue really does look special, particularly with the silver 21 jewel calibre in the background. There is a slight dash of gold/yellow as one of the cogs in the automatic mechanism. The rest of the dial is also a brushed dark blue with line markers in place of the number hour markers. At the 12 o’clock we have the standard Bulova logo that we have become accustomed to seeing carefully placed on the Bulova timepieces.
The 96A204 automatic mechanical system running in the background can sometimes be a bit mesmerizing to look at because of all the different things that need to work together for the engine to keep working. The Bulova name has been placed at 9 o’clock and there are a few screws that can be seen on the dial to hold everything in place. Around the outer edges are some engraved rings that match the darker blue of the bezel.
The sword hands have a lumo line on them and the same next to each hour maker.
96A204 Bracelet and Crown
The bracelet and crown are a matched silver stainless steel and also have a brushed finish. A regular flat top crown is in positioned on the side of the case and it has an intricately stamped Bulova logo on the top. The Bulova logo might seem like a common addition to their watches but in the past this was one of the signs of true craftsmanship and even though it is much easier to place the logo there now it is still an ode to the talented watchmakers that made Bulova what it is today.
The bracelet has a fold-over double press release clamp that lets the bracelet keep its consistent look with no break in links. The bracelet is not very wide if you take the width of the case into consideration which places more attention on the case.
The price for the 96A204 Bulova can come off as a bit steep at first which is also a bit surprising considering they have gone with mineral glass instead of sapphire crystal. The $ 371 price tag doesn’t come without merit however. The design of the dial is done with such attention to detail and the mechanical movement that runs it also plays a big part in determining this price tag. Bulova’s commitment to making timepieces that will draw attention is commendable and the fact that they are not opposed to doing something that other watchmakers haven’t yet tried has my intrigue.
The bracelet is tasteful and I really like the way the double press clasp gives the bracelet the look of it being one unbroken chain once it is fastened. In my opinion not enough attention is given to the complex automatic mechanisms that power some of the watches that we wear and Bulova has designed a watch here that displays the mechanism constantly.
It is unique and will always be a piece that will be uncommon among common watches.
To have a look at the full Bulova range visit their official website here.