Classy Understated Automatic That Should Last A Very Long Time,
This review is from: Bulova Gents Mechanical Watch 98A130 (Watch)
I had taken a shine to Bulova's range of watches from photos and got this watch from a high street jeweller because it was the style I was looking for in stock at half the RRP, and I was able to try it on in store.
The colour is important, because the photos show the watch to have a deep black plated case and a black leather strap, however in reality the case seems to be a very deep bronze, and the strap a very deep walnut brown. The face does appear to be black. I really love the richness of the colour but it might not be what you expect from the photos. The mechanism is visible through a round window at the 7 o'clock position on the dial. A design issue is that the silver steel coloured surround to this window which extends in a thin band along the whole lower quarter of the face makes it more difficult to pick out the silver hands when they are in the sector between 4 and 9 on the face. It is actually easier in the dark as the hands and hour markers (but not the second hand) are luminous. There are easier to read faces out there but few of them belong to chronograph or skeleton/exposed mechanism watches. For me this watch oozes style, is very solidly constructed and beautifully finished, to a premium standard. There is no date or day marker, and the face has a square "waffle" pattern providing a non reflective background . A nice touch is that the second hand which sweeps quite smoothly has a tiny Tuning Fork, which is the Bulova logo, on the short end, like on vintage Accutron models. A large proportion of the mechanism is visible through a round glass window on the back of the otherwise steel coloured case back. The strap is very sturdy good quality matte leather with a croc skin texture and a matte black/bronze metal buckle and pin fastening. Even though this watch is big at 6cms x 4.5 cms it feels really comfortable on my skinny 19cm circumference wrist.
A couple of points to note:
1. The watch case is not suitable to submerge in water or get too wet. It is rated at 30m water resistant which means just that....it is water resistant, not water proof. True waterproof watches are rated at 100m or more.
2. The Miyota mechanichal movement is old fashioned clockwork mechanical, not quartz., made in Japan by parent company Citizen. It is a very reliable mechanism and keeps good time FOR A MECHANICAL WATCH. You cannot expect to get quartz (battery) type accuracy from a mechanical watch. Mine is very good and is accurate to about 5 seconds during 24 hours, wheras most decent quartz watches will be accurate to about the same in a month. However, with careful handling and regular servicing I would expect this watch to outlast me, as I have mechanical watches passed down through the family from as early as 1909 that still function well. I doubt whether any quartz devices will last as long.
The watch needs to be manually wound (about half a turn counter clockwise on the winder then back clockwise by the same amount 5 times (to avoid overwinding). You should feel a little mechanism resistance as the ratchet winds up the main spring. Thereafter, as long as the watch is worn, the movement of your wrist in everyday activity moves a balance weight about automatically keeping the mechanism wound up. You can see this quarter circular weight moving freely through the window at the rear of the case.
I think this watch looks every bit as classy as my unreliable and now useless quartz Tissots, and has its own style, in that I don't think it tries to copy the style of a more expensive brand or type. It has a 3 year guarantee, and I will not get fleeced for a battery that needs specialist fitting. I adjust mine against the computer clock every couple of days so can vouch for the consistency of around 5 seconds a day time loss, and expect this may change depending on the temperature. If you are in the market for an automatic mechanical watch I can highly recommend the Bulova 98A130, just make sure you shop around and get a good price on a style you like, because I reckon you will own it for a long time.