If you have been a follower of the Bulova timepieces for some time now you are likely to be experiencing some déjà vu now. The Devil Diver which finds the inspiration for its name from the triple 6 (six hundred and sixty six) foot water resistant rating.
I enjoy the cushion design of the case. It has the look of an elongated curve edge which finished off flat at the end of the lugs. The enlarged size of the case is neither here nor there since it will be down to personal preference. I do believe the size of the limited edition version is better suited to the majority of people out there.
The non-limited edition Oceanographer is the one I have and it has a 44mm stainless steel case which feels pretty big on a regular sized wrist. There is a combination of brushed and polished finishes with more of the front facing surface sporting the brushed finish. The coin edged crown is signed with the full Bulova name on top. The screw down crown ensures that this diver doesn’t let you down when putting it to the test.
The caseback is well polished and has all the regular disclaimers printed on. The bezel is identical to the original piece with the first quarter red and the rest a dark blue. The bracelet is stainless steel and the links have a slightly rounded shape. You could do well with a black nato or rubber strap on this piece if you don’t want to be too flashy.
Crosshair Devil Dial
The black dial has a red crosshair right in the middle of it which is prominent on the older piece and the limited edition but seems to shrink a bit on the newer model. This is down to the case being expanded but the dial being left the same size which is a bit disappointing.
The elevated hour markers that made this piece so noticeable in the past are obviously back and their pearly white colour stands out strikingly on the black dial. At 3 o’clock is the date window with a magnifying crystal. The watch hands are inflated baton hands with a generous lume in the middle and the second hand has a small luminous ball at the end of it. There is a sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating with a blue hue which sometimes makes the dial look a bit blue in certain light.
The Bulova logo on the Devil Diver is at 12 o’clock and looks a bit strange in all honesty. The design team went with joined letters which look a bit scrappy. Down at 6 o’clock is the famous 666 foot water resistance rating which gives the Oceanographer its commonly used nickname, Devil Diver.
The black dial edition comes with a Japanese automatic movement which is possibly the Miyota 8215 but that information is not shared with us. Due to the price point I find it quite likely. If you are looking for a piece with higher quality Swiss movement then you would need to look at getting your hands on the limited edition which in turn means sacrificing almost double the asking price.
Miyota movement is however still reliable and you could expect reliable time keeping with perhaps a slightly louder mechanism. The Miyota as a 40 hour power reserve and runs at 21,600 bph.
Overall I am happy with the movement and the fact that I can get a reissue of this quality for this price and not have quartz movement is enough for me.
As reissues go the Bulova team have done well, and the Oceanographer represents the classic version well but I sometimes worry if it means that the watchmakers are running out of ideas. The black dial edition that I have is a hardy watch and I have no doubt that it will handle diving swimmingly but I mostly wear it as a casual piece, and for that the size is not always ideal.
The rest of the watch I am a big fan of. I really like the dial. The red crosshair, white indexes and black dial come together just right. The lume is strong and the watch hands and indexes are all pretty big so you won’t have any trouble seeing them in the dark or under water.
If you are getting the non-limited edition then the stainless steel bracelet will probably suit you because you would need to have some big wrists but you can lighten the weight with a black leather, rubber or nato strap. I would lean to a nato or rubber strap. I look forward to more reissues in the Archive series but I am holding thumbs for new, original ideas instead.
To have a look at the full range of Bulova watches you can visit their official website here.