It’s been interesting watching the modern evolution of Bulova in the last handful of years, especially when looking at their commerce and distribution model. Being a high-volume entry-level brand, the traditional retail game can be a tough one, which has led the brand to making some fairly drastic changes when compared to the more traditional approach we continue to see from most of the legacy Swiss brands.
The launch of these two new variants of the American Clipper—a watch that that has been in the brand’s collections for some time—just hit the market this week, launched exclusively through Macy’s. The retail giant has recently become a bit of an interesting resource when it comes to deals on entry-level affordables; a while back we reported on a pretty solid sale they were running on Seiko and Citizen watches. Between this and the fact that Bulova (and its parent company, Citizen) have their own direct-to-consumer Amazon stores, it’s clear that the brand is embracing the world of e-commerce with impunity—a model we hope to see embraced by more brands as time presses on.
Both quite classic in execution, the Macy’s duo come as either a stainless steel cased example with a rich blue dial, paired with a black leather strap, or as a yellow gold plated variant with matching indices and hands set over a black dial, and fitted on brown leather.
These new pieces are said to be limited editions, though there’s a good chance they are simply limited by time on the market rather than a set limited number produced. Drawing essence clearly from Bulova’s archives from the ’50s, the choice of hands, indices, dial font, and even the use of “selfwinding” on the dial are all period-correct. At 39mm across, these cases are a touch more contemporary in size, though still aligned with current market trends. Powering each piece is a Miyota automatic movement (hard to tell from available imagery whether it’s a 9015 or other spec), which is pretty much devoid of any elaborate finishing. That said, with a sticker price of $395 in steel and $425 in gold casing, we can’t get particularly fussy.
One thing we will start getting fussy about is the lack of detail found on the Macys.com pages. As they start trying to reach more of us in the enthusiast sect, more specification is required. For example, a skim of this page fails to reveal whether or not its domed crystal is mineral or sapphire. Not having strap width, case thickness, or other details we can skim over, but crystal spec would be helpful (as would knowing how “limited” the production run is, for that matter). (Ed. Note — Confirmed the crystal used is Mineral, not Sapphire)
Gripes about their retail partner aside, it’s been a real solid year for Bulova. Between these releases, the much loved (and super freaking weird) Computron reissue, the Joseph Bulova collection, and the funky new colors of Devil diver (watch for a review soon), it’s been great seeing an affordable brand with proper history embracing its roots and doing the whole “vintage reissue” thing tastefully.