Some very interesting watches have been revealed at Baselworld 2016 but perhaps the most innovative of all came from none else but Bulova. The brand which is known for its risk-taking ethos presented the world’ first curved chronograph movement when it launched its CURV collection two years ago.
The Bulova Curv 96A205 has, barring the obvious bent structure, some very exciting things going on about it, including the company’s own Precisionist quartz caliber providing unparalleled battery-powered accuracy. Let’s have a closer look.
At first, I was skeptical about the whole curved design. I feared the watch might look abnormal on the wrist, with light bouncing off the glass right, left, and center. Boy was I wrong. The watch sits perfectly on the wrist, allowing for a more comfortable wear and the legibility is in no way jeopardized.
I have more concerns with the use of exhibition caseback on the Curv. I understand the whole buzz around the watch is the domed movement but keep in mind this is quartz after all. Therefore, don’t expect to see anything fancy; at least nothing more than solenoids and transistors. Bulova cleverly hid the battery with a gold turning fork logo but that’s about it.
The overall look of the case is stunning, though. The titanium matches gray stainless steel fantastically to deliver a very sophisticated, futuristic look. Covering the dial is a curved sapphire crystal, providing the watch that additional impact resistance and security.
Deep Blue Dial
I have to say the face of the watch looks incredibly stylish. The lovely exhibition dial comes finished in a few shades of gray and provides depth and a multi-layered look which gives the timepiece a much more expensive appearance.
Three subdials grace the face, laid out in a standard symmetrical scheme. The six o’clock one measures seconds, while the other two are in charge of minutes and hours. Bulova’s ultra-high-frequency Precisionist movement will keep these ticking with superior accuracy.
The brushed aluminum hands and hour markers on the 96A205 come in polished stainless steal and fit into the affair very well. In my opinion, it’s just the right amount of flashy and gives the watch that vitality it needs. There are no issues with legibility, even when trying to read the time in the wild. The only imaginable trouble would happen if the light bounced off the aluminum gold hands to match the black dial.
Have a peek through the exhibition glass on the caseback and you’ll find Bulova’s revered Precisionist movement. This in-house quartz chronograph movement is one of the most reliable movements out there, and collectors and Bulova enthusiasts alike will be drawn to its new curved design.
Let’s talk numbers. Bulova claims that this variation of the Precisionist has a loss/gain of 10 seconds. Per year, though, not month. I know, it’s ridiculously precise. It’s mostly due to the skyrocketing oscillating frequency of 262 kilohertz. To put it into perspective, your typical quartz movement will tick at around 32 kilohertz, amounting to a 15-second accuracy per month.
If you’re concerned about the need of a frequent battery replacement, bear in mind you are able to pull the crown out to stop the motor and thus reduce the energy output and prolong the battery’s life.
Bulova released several strap and dial options with the Curv. We have reviewed the more exciting, modern-looking model, but it’s worth noting there are Curv models which fit the more traditional, Bulova style.
That being said, you can choose from either a strap or a bracelet. There is nothing wrong with the stainless-steel bracelet versions on the Curv, after all, Bulova is known for producing high-end, solid-link bracelets. But where’s the kick? The black rubber strap simply looks amazing on the titanium Curv and provides some beautiful patterned detailing. In addition, the 3-piece buckle closure will hold the watch secure on your wrist regardless of the environment you’re wearing the Curv in.
Speaking from a technical standpoint, I’d never place the Curv 96A205 in the price range it retails for. Sure, there’s the trendy, curved, design, the mighty, futuristic appearance, and the incredibly precise movement. But, even with all things considered, I would have expected a slightly lower price for a timepiece like this.
For those looking for a high-functioning, innovative chronograph with exceptional built quality, Curv is a solid choice. But, even with the three-year warranty from Bulova, the price just appears a little steep to me. For a true Bulova collector, however, this is a must-have timepiece.