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Think of American industry. What springs to mind? Do those words conjure images of an assembly line churning out hundreds upon hundreds of Ford Model Ts a day, or an arc furnace pouring forth tons of molten steel?
Whatever image comes to mind, we’ll bet that “watchmaking” would be one of the last… if it ever comes up at all.
And yet in the mid-19th century, the rise of mass production meant that there were watchmaking brands scattered across the Continent, making watches in numbers rivaling even Ford and its Model T.
There were giants on the Earth in those days, and in the world of American watchmaking, Bulova’s shadow loomed the largest.
The story of Bulova is deeply entwined with American manufacturing. Its founder, a Czech immigrant named Joseph Bulova, was inspired by the advances that Ford made in his factory in Highland Park, Michigan. Starting in 1912, Bulova built a factory in Biel, Switzerland, using Ford’s principles of mass production. The brand was among the first to offer a wide range of wristwatches for men, with a distinctive visual style that—thanks to its innovative adoption of advertising and a relocation to Astoria, Queens—became fixed in the American imagination. Bulova took over offices in the Empire State Building and installed an observatory on the roof, in order to measure universal time.
And in the workshop down below, watchmakers timed the watches they were working on to readings taken in the observatory.
The watches that Bulova produced were varied, from handsome three-handers to divers and even chronographs. Bulova produced its first chronographs in the 1940s—single-button affairs with screw-on bezels. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Bulova honed its mastery of chronographs, with versions from the latter decade being perhaps the most desirable.
This particular chronograph, with its cushion case and bright blue dial, simply screams 60s. In the latter years of the decade, brands like Heuer brought out chronos with cases in shapes that widely deviated from the norm. Visually, the case of this chrono calls to mind Heuer’s Camaro, particularly the brushed finish on the top of the case.
Powered by the workhorse Valjoux 7733 movement, this Bulova chronograph is perfectly at home on the modern wrist, and its sprightly sunburst dial makes it stand out from the rest.
Stainless steel case is approximately 40mm (excluding the crown). Valjoux 7733 hand-wound chronograph movement. Circa late 1960s.
Overall Condition: case is in great condition with light, even wear from from age and use. Small nick on the outer edge at approx. 9:30. Blue sunburst dial is in excellent condition with crisp printing as is the handset. Screw-down caseback shows light tool marks. Signed crown.
Includes one 20mm light brown leather strap.
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options