The company that first introduced mass production of watches in 1912 is still going strong over a century later. Founded in 1875, Bulova has throughout the duration of its lasting history created some truly distinctive watches that suited everyone’s budget. Today owned by Citizen, the brand continues to excel in the field and keeps surprising us with new, exciting models. Today we are having a look at the 96C107 men’s watch from their Classic Collection.
The 96C107 features a striking design that is a fusion of classic and bold elements. The black, groovy-patterned dial sports day, date, and 24-hour dials, finished in shiny silver overtones which match both the bezel and the metal strap. This contrast between the black-textured face of the watch and shiny bracelet gives the watch a brilliant look. The pattern isn’t too obvious and only shows when the light hits from the right angle. I imagine this is what gives the watch its expensive feel.
The face itself is fairly easy to read. You may find yourself having an additional glance every now and then when the light doesn’t reflect off the hands properly, but the overall legibility here is decent at worst. One thing that is lacking is lume and while some people can overlook this easily, for others it will be a deal-breaker. It all depends on your preferences. For me, a dress watch shouldn’t necessarily pack this feature, but it would still be nice to have it.
The color balance of the elements on the face is right and everything is very discernible. I also appreciate the little details like the hour markers being embossed and the red-accented sub dial hands. The hands are appealing as well, with the chopped-off sword design giving off that edgy, modern look.
96C107 Three Sub-dials
Changing the sub-dials can take some time to get used to. The function on the left indicates the day of the week and requires pulling the crown down all the way to the second position in order to make a change. The sub-dial on the right shows the day of the month. Keep in mind there are 31 days on the wheel which means the watch doesn’t have a perpetual calendar and requires changing every so often. This can, however, be easily done by pulling the crown out to the first position and rotating it.
The 96C107 dial is glassed in mineral crystal and encircled by a fixed, screw-accented bezel. It would be fantastic to have a sapphire window across the dial but this is simply not the case with lower-priced watches. Besides, this isn’t a sporty watch expected to go through a lot of bumps in its lifetime.
I’m confident that even with mineral crystal, the 96C107 withstands impacts with ease. Everything about this watch looks and feels well-built, with all components tightly in place. I’m a big fan of solid watches and this one doesn’t disappoint.
The stainless-steel strap looks great and has a hefty feel to it. At 6.4 ounces, it is far from light, but this is what seems to be trendy at the moment. The fold-over clasp with double push-button safety mechanism is a nice touch, too. Overall, a sturdy and good-looking strap with a practical folding mechanism. Classy and durable.
The 96C107 is equipped with a battery-powered Japanese-Quartz movement. Quartz movements are usually deemed less attractive because of their vast presence on the market. This watch is powered by a power cell and will provide maximum reliability for roughly a year. This is not very long, especially when you consider there are solar-powered quartz movements out there that are able to keep the time precisely for almost a decade without a battery replacement.
For best performance, make sure you replace the exhausted cell as soon as possible to reduce the chance of leakage. Here’s a power-saving trick: if you plan on not using your 96C107 for a prolonged period of time, pull the crown out and the motor (and subsequently hands) will stop. The quartz crystal will continue to vibrate, but its operation uses minimum amounts of power.
All in all, the 96C107 Multifunction is a great-looking, sturdy watch with a few minor drawbacks, which for under $200, you cannot hold against Bulova. The black dial harmonizes with the stainless-steel shine of the bezel and bracelet and features hands and hour markers in the matching tones. The wavy pattern spreading vertically across the face gives the watch a unique, elegant character. There are other fancy details such as the screw-accented ornaments on the bezel and the red mini-hands on the sub-dials.
Bulova has over the years been one of the world’s leading providers of highly-attractive watches at affordable prices. It somehow creates watches which make your jaw drop – first at the sight of their design, then at the sight of the price tag.