Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Where has the Bulova Tuning Fork gone?

Would you by a Mercedes without a three pointed star?  How about a Jaguar without a leaping cat or cat face?

The Jaguar Leaper

That's why I don't like reading a paragraph like this -

"Due to a recent redesign by Bulova, recently manufactured Bulova watches, including all watches sold and shipped by Amazon, will not feature the Bulova tuning fork logo on the watch face."

According to a post I read on the blog, Bulova is removing the Tuning Fork logo from most of their watches.  In the future, it will only be used on Bulova Accutron II watches. I like the tuning fork logo.  It sets Bulova watches apart from other watches made by Seiko family companies.  Now, to be fair, not every Bulova Watch has had a tuning fork logo.

Vintage Bulova Ambassador watch photo by Dnalor 01 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

But still?  Shouldn't most Bulova watches sport tuning fork logos?  It's such a recognizable part of the brand identity.  I'm really glad that my Bulova watches have the tuning fork!


  1. "Due to a recent redesign by Bulova, recently manufactured Bulova watches, including all watches sold and shipped by Amazon, will not ...

  2. Yeah I don't understand that business decision. I don't think it will increase sales of their higher-end (with tuning fork on dial) lines enough to make up for the decreased sales of their lower-end (without tuning fork on dial) lines.

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  4. Not every Bulova with the tuning fork on the dial had a tuning fork inside as the beat generator, and apparently somebody hired lawyers to push the point, or, Citizen Corporate saw it coming and was proactive in preventing it.

    Bulova was purchased by Citizen, who Bulova used to distribute in America since the 1960's. Having just purchased a BL5295 Chronometer it surprised me to see the distinctive subdial selecting "CHR-TME-ALM-L-TM' on a Bulova model. Same module, the E81/E82. Basically, we get Citizen movements in Bulova styled cases at Bulova prices. If you were buying Rolexes with Tudor movements there would be some serious outrage, but the watch buying community is so entranced with dials and finishes they simply don't care. Goes to many of the "high end" Swiss watches retailing for %500 up using the same ETA movement sold for less than $100 retail. In Switzerland the price in Swiss francs being 51% of the cost determines "Made in Switzerland" and nobody is looking at where the case, dial, hands, bezels, and bracelets are made. China. Take a long look at Heimdallr and others on youtube, look at all the Seiko "homages," and you quickly understand who is being subcontracted. Like autos, many of the parts are not made in a factory with the Brand Name Plant sign out the front door. Makers don't want the hassle of all the overhead and there are more creative ways of writing off expense and capitalization to prevent it impacting their golden parachutes deferring it all to a sub corporation.

    So, Bulova being sourced out of Citizen parts and not having a tuning fork in the dial? Really small potatoes. It's no longer Bulova USA any more than a dozen other retread Swiss brands started in the last 20 years are the "real" thing. They shut their doors, a holding company bought a filing cabinet of corporate paper, and it was resold when the market got hot again. IE Winchester is now Japanese (and arguably better for it albeit the high prices. It is NOT an US product any more than Bulova is, just getting played on the market because Boomers (I'm 68) will shell out big coin for the provenance. And that is exactly how the watch market works.