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There are lots of Super Compressors out there, but few are truly exceptional.
The JLC Deep Sea Alarm is one. The Universal Geneve Polerouter is another. While Bulova's take on the distinctive dual-crown diver doesn't command the same kind of value, it manages to stand head and shoulders above other Super Compressors from other brands.
The Super Compressor name refers to the innovative case design which utilizes a "compressor" system designed to increase watertightness the deeper the watch went under the water. As the atmospheric pressure increases, the case back in compressed, pushing on the gaskets and creating a tighter seal.
Despite the logic of the design, the compressor case wasn’t any better at preventing water intrusion than the garden variety screw-down crown (in fact, it was less effective in many models), but due to their good looks, compressor cases proved to be wildly popular during the 1960s. Eager to get into the burgeoning dive watch market, many of the best Swiss brands turned to EPSA (Ervin Piquerez, S.A.), the leading manufacturer of compressor cases at the time, for cases to upon which to build their divers.
So what’s so special about this Bulova?
We’ve sold other Super Compressors (HERE and HERE), but like 99% of examples out there, they were 36mm, the typical size for the era. Bulova produced a very small number of Jumbo Super Compressors, and they’re extremely rare (and sought after) today. The Jumbo's 42mm case feels appropriately hefty compared with the 36mm models, making the watch feel like the tool watch it was always meant to be. We've searched high and low for one of these for years, and we're excited to offer one up for the first time - don't sleep on this one, gents.
For more information on the history of compressor-cased diving watches, click over to Scubawatch.org, HERE.
Stainless Steel case is approximately 42mm (excluding crowns). Automatic Swiss movement.
Overall Condition: The case is in good condition over all, with a handful of light wear marks to the outer case and case back. The original dial has original lume with numerals printed at 3, 6, 9 & 12 o'clock, and shows some light discoloration and spotting near the center. Original hands are in good condition with heavy patina to the luminous material. Original inner rotating bezel is clean with crisp printing, rotating fully as designed. Original signed top crown and crosshatched lower crown. Original signed case back
Includes two 22mm nylon straps by Crown and Buckle.