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Bulova vs Fossil: Which Brand Is Better?

Bulova and Fossil watches have adorned the wrists of people all around the world for decades on end.

The impeccable style, reliability, and affordability of both of these brands have helped bring them to the top of the game.

Just about any watch enthusiast out there will bring up either of these brands when discussing mid-range watches.

But while these two brands are definitely on top of the game, the question still remains.

Is one better than the other?

We try to answer that exact question in this Bulova vs Fossil head to head matchup!

(Read my Bulova watches review to see my top list of the best Bulova watches)

A History Of Both Brands

One of the reasons these brands are among the best in the game is the rich history that both these companies have.

Both brands have immense histories that span over decades, and we take a brief look at these histories in this section.

A Brief History Of Bulova

Bulova vs Fossil

Top-rated Bulova watches on the market today

Bulova was founded all the way back in 1875 by Joseph Bulova, a Bohemian immigrant who moved to New York towards the latter end of the 19th century.

The company was a bit different from what we know it as now as it began as a small jewelry store in New York, and it was named the J Bulova Company.

Soon after the store opened, the brand began producing its own clocks and pocket watches, and by 1912, the company put up a plant in Biel, Switzerland solely dedicated to the manufacturing of watch components.

From that point on, Bulova became a standard name in the watch world, constantly innovating and pushing the horological world forward.

This love for innovation is seen in most Bulova pieces released throughout the years, with the Accutron (the world’s first fully electronic watch) in 1960, all the way to the Precisionist in recent years, which is arguably the most accurate quartz movement available today.

See more: Bulova and Citizen, which brand is better?

A Brief History Of Fossil

Bulova vs Fossil

Top-rated Fossil watches on the market today

Fossil is a relatively recent brand, considering that most popular watch companies have been around for over a century, but in a couple of decades the company has been around, they have established themselves as a quality and trustworthy watch group.

Who Makes Fossil Watches

Fossil Watches are part of Fossil Group, Inc., a publicly traded company. Their ticker symbol is FOSL and they are traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

The company was founded in 1984 by Tom Kartsotis under the name Overseas Products International.

The company was originally an importing company that brought products from the Far East to the west.

They mainly imported watches, and by 1990 they were offering watches under the Fossil name. Fossil also introduced the Relic brand of watches in 1990.

Are Relic Watches Expensive? Are Relic Watches Good?

The Relic line was introduced specifically to be a great value for consumers; a blend of excellent prices and higher than expected quality. Are Relic watches expensive? No. Are Relic Watches good? In general, and at their price point, they are excellent watches.

The brand reached its peak however in 2001 when they acquired Zodiac watches, a watch company that’s been around since 1882.

By acquiring Zodiac, Fossil was able to establish themselves as strong players in the game as Zodiac was a Swiss brand with a strong presence and solid reputation.

And from there, Fossil only grew in popularity until it reached the heights which the company comfortably sits at today.

See my detailed Fossil watches review for more info.

Notable Series & Technologies Of Each Brand

Both of these brands have developed technologies that helped push the watch world forward, and we take a look at a couple of them in this section.

Bulova Accutron

In the 1960s, Bulova revolutionized the world of watches by releasing the Accutron: the world’s first fully electronic watch.

At the time, the majority of watches used mechanical movements that tend to lose a couple of minutes every day, resulting in inaccurate time readings.

To counteract that, Bulova developed a technology that was more accurate than any other watch available at the time.

By using a resonating tuning fork, Bulova was able to create a watch that only lost a couple of minutes a month.

This opened the doors for quartz watches to take the world by storm.

Bulova has always been an innovative brand, and this is arguably one of its most influential innovations in the history of the brand.

See more: Bulova and Seiko – Which brand comes out on top?

Fossil Hybrid

This is a recent development by Fossil, and it’s perfect for anyone who wants the capabilities of a smartwatch while maintaining the look of a classic timepiece.

The Hybrid smartwatch developed by Fossil looks just like a regular timepiece, with the smart features hidden perfectly.

With the Hybrid, one can receive notifications, set presets, control music, and track your physical activity.

All these features are perfectly designed to blend with the watch, making this model a truly unique one.

On top of all that, it uses a classic watch battery that doesn’t require constant charging like with most timepieces.

While it may be an old-school looking timepiece, it’s one that truly rides with the times.

Strong And Weak Points Of Each Brand

Both of these brands have soared to the top of the mid-range watch world with all the strengths that the brands bring with them.

However, these companies also have their weak points, all of which we dive into in this section.


Bulova’s biggest strength lies in its ability to experiment.

The brand has experimented with different technologies and designs over the years that have made Bulova a great pick for those who aren’t afraid to go out of the box.

All one would need to do is take one quick look at the Bulova catalog to see how they experiment.

There are a multitude of timepieces that Bulova has designed that experiment with colors, shapes, and overall look.

Aside from that, the company also has a bunch of different technologies such as the Accutron and the Precisionist which have shaken the watch world up twice over.

However, this may also be Bulova’s biggest weakness.

It’s impossible to have a one hundred percent success rate when experimenting, and Bulova has definitely fallen short with some of their experiments.

There exist a couple of Bulova designs that can be considered a bit “too experimental” for the majority of watch wearers.

That being said, there are obviously still some people who these designs are great for, but they are obviously not for everybody.


Fossil is an incredibly accessible brand.

The watches produced by this brand are affordable, stylish, and functional.

They are perfect for the average watch wearer, which is probably their greatest strength.

This goes the same for their smartwatches and wearable technologies.

They perform just as good, if not better than the top of the line smartwatches out there while still remaining accessible to the everyday person.

However, Fossil is far from a luxury brand, which can be a weakness for some connoisseurs.

If you’re looking for a bit of prestige and luxury in your timepiece, this may not be the brand for you.

But that doesn’t mean that the brand isn’t good, but they are made for everyone, so if you want that air of exclusivity with the watches you own, you might need to look away from Fossil.

Notable Watches

In this section, we take a look at two great timepieces from both brands.

Bulova 96B104

Bulova vs Fossil

This watch comes from Bulova’s classic collection, a line of watches with that old-school look, a great combination of class and style.

The dial of this watch is very simple, with a simple black background and silver stick markers.

This not only gives the dial a great look, but it makes for really easy reading of the time.

While Bulova is known for their wild designs, this watch keeps things very minimalist, from design all the way to technology.

Aside from the calendar function, the watch doesn’t have any extra complications, which may actually be a plus for those looking for a simple, everyday timepiece.

The watch runs on Japanese quartz, which is known for its great accuracy while also being very affordable.

Fossil FS5151

Bulova vs Fossil

For those looking for a classic everyday watch with a great color combination, then this Fossilil model might be the one for you.

It features a deep blue dial with white markers, a contrast that looks great while also being very easy to read.

The watch also comes with a brown leather strap that contrasts the dial very nicely, adding an air of class to the timepiece.

The face features three-subdials, which are the displays for the chronograph, giving the watch a bit of extra function, while the 50m of water resistance allows you to wear the watch in the shower, or even when going for a swim (as long as you don’t go diving with it).

Powering the watch is a Japanese quartz movement, which is not as prestigious as its Swiss counterpart, but it’s just as accurate while also being much more affordable.

While the watch is very affordable, the components are still of the highest quality.

The leather band may take some breaking in, but once its broken in it feels very comfortable on the wrist.

On top of that is a large, 44mm stainless steel case which gives the watch a nice shine while also protecting the components very well.

This isn’t the most luxurious watch on the market, but it surely gets the job done.

Official Bulova Video

Official Bulova Video Bulova x Apollo

Official Fossil Video

Official Fossil Video Welcome To The Fossil Heritage Collection


There is clearly no winner when it comes to comparing the two brands.

Each of these companies serves different purposes.

Bulova watches are more the people who want an accurate watch with a unique and sometimes flashy design.

Fossil pieces, on the other hand, are much more straightforward and are great from anyone looking for a watch that’s straight to the point.

The only way to choose a clear winner is to take your own opinions in mind, meaning it’s impossible to have an objective answer to the question, “Which watch is better?”.

However, as long as you’re comfortable and confident in the watch your wearing, you’re surely wearing the best brand for you.