When Joseph Bulova, the creator of Bulova watches, came to America from Bohemia, it was to enjoy everything that the Land of Opportunity had to offer. Freedom, prosperity, and world-renowned innovation are what attracted the 23-year-old immigrant to the country where anyone can be almost anything, as long as they put their mind to it. With a little creativity, and a lot of heart, Joseph’s dream came true with the creation of Bulova watches in 1911. After a century of quality craftsmanship, Bulova watches are still among the preeminent brands in the world today. But like many American success stories, that of Bulova watches began modestly.
It was on Maiden Lane in New York City that Joseph opened a small jewelry store where he offered self-manufactured boudoir clocks, desk clocks, and fine Bulova pocket watches. They sold in record numbers. And as the world moved closer to its First World War in 1919, Bulova drew closer to a cutting-edge new line; the milestone that would change the brand forever. Wristwatches were a fast-growing market, the convenience of which was invaluable to soldiers on the field, and captivating to their family and friends at home. In that same year, the first full line of men’s jeweled wristwatches was born, followed closely by a similar line of Bulovas for women. And the innovation continued.
Bulova watches became an American icon through which an entire country kept the time. “At the tone, it’s 8 P.M., B-U-L-O-V-A Bulova watch time.” Those were the words that marked the brand’s first national radio broadcast in 1926, just two years before inventing the world’s first clock radio. Then in 1931, the company ran a multi-million dollar advertising campaign for Bulova watches, an industry first. Their success, it seemed, had no limit. In the decade that followed, Bulova aired the first TV commercial, and forged a long-standing union with the U.S. government. They produced military watches, specialized timepieces, aircraft instruments, critical torpedo mechanisms and fuses. Bulovas are also known for having kept official time on Air Force One, and for the U.S. Olympic Team.
There is no question that Bulova watches are a proud example of what the American dream is all about. As their story offers boundless inspiration, their collections continue to be inspired. Each unique and elegant in their own way, the Marine Star and Dress collections of Bulova watches do have a few things in common. They are anti-magnetic, shock-resistant, and incredibly resilient. Nothing illustrates their durability more than the story of an Automatic Bulova watch that was lost by a sailor in 1941. After 67 years on the seabed, it was recently found and returned to its owner. The watch still works today. What could be more American, a symbol of freedom and strength, than that?