When looking at the sub-$500 categories of watches, you’ll find an immense collection of well-designed and reliable timepieces from a multitude of brands.
But if there are two brands that will always be on the top of the list of mid-range watches, it would be Bulova and Invicta.
Both of these brands have spent the past couple of decades releasing watches that look and perform like a top of the line luxury timepieces while keeping the price range accessible to all.
But does one edge out the other?
We try to answer that exact question in this Bulova vs Invicta matchup.
Related: The best Bulova watches your money can buy right now!
A History Of Both Brands
Both of these watch companies have rich and immense histories, and before comparing them head-on, we take a brief look at the stories of Invicta and Bulova.
A Brief History Of Invicta
Invicta has been making watches for over a century.
The company was founded all the way back in 1837 by Raphael Piccard.
Piccard’s goal in creating the brand was to make high-quality Swiss watches available at a price range realistic for the average person.
The company was created in Switzerland, one of the most popular watchmaking countries in the world.
The term “Invicta” traces its origins to Latin, and when translated to English, means “invincible,” which is a pretty accurate name for the brand.
Throughout the decades, the brand has stayed solid in the conversation of best inexpensive watches, and it seems like it’s gonna stay like that for more years to come.
See more: Bulova vs Citizen
A Brief History Of Bulova
Bulova, on the other hand, began a bit later than Invicta, as the company was founded in 1875 by Joseph Bulova in New York.
It was founded under the name of the J Bulova Company and had its humble beginnings as a jewelry and clock store.
Soon after, however, the store began producing pocket watches and clocks which grew in popularity.
It only took a couple of decades for Bulova to turn into the watch brand we know today as they put up their first plant dedicated to manufacturing and mass production of watch components in Biel, Switzerland.
In 1923, the company changed its name to the Bulova Watch Company, and as the saying goes, the rest is history.
See more: Bulova vs Movado
Notable Technologies Of Each Brand
Over the years, both brands have developed technologies that have pushed the world of horology forward; we dig into two of them in this section.
All it takes is one look at the Transatlantic model of Invicta to see some innovation.
The watch features two dial and two movements: a feature that’s incredibly unique.
You’d be hard-pressed trying to find another watch with the same level of innovation.
By adding two movements to the watch, Invicta was able to create a timepiece with superior timekeeping capabilities while also presenting it in Invicta’s incredibly designed cases, which is something they’ve been known for since the company’s inception.
Any watch aficionado will gladly vouch for anything from Invicta’s reserve line, which is where the Transatlantic model can be found.
Having two active movements allows the watches to have a plethora of functions.
From incredibly high-quality chronographs to a perpetual calendar.
The reserve line is a testament to Invicta’s ability to combine innovation and style seamlessly, and that is most evident in the Transatlantic model and the flagship watch of the line, the Reserve Moon Phase.
See more: Bulova vs Seiko
The Precisionist is a technology that Bulova created with the Accutron as their inspiration.
The Accutron was the world’s first fully electronic watch released in the 1960s.
It can actually be considered one of the first quartz watches ever released.
The Accutron was able to keep time way better than any mechanical movement at the time, which is the movement that was used by most watches in the era.
Building on that, Bulova created the Precisionist, a movement that has a three-pronged tuning fork that resonates at a much better frequency than almost any watch out there.
Bulova has said that the Precisionist can keep time three times better than any quartz watch, but that can actually be a bit of an understatement.
The watch only loses about a minute a year, while a standard Quartz movement loses around a minute a month.
That makes the Precisionist technology perfect for anyone who needs accurate timekeeping in a watch.
And there’s no mid-range line of watches that can do it better than Bulova’s Precisionist line.
See more: Bulova vs Tissot
Strengths and Weaknesses Of Each Brand
Each of these brands has its own unique characteristics that make them stand out in the crowd, but with that also comes a couple of weaknesses.
We dive into them in this section.
The strength of this brand lies in its expertly crafted quality watches.
Throughout the years, Invicta has designed nice watches that can easily compete with designs from top-of-the-line luxury brands such as Rolex and Patek Philippe.
Scroll through Invicta’s wide range of watches, and it would be close to impossible to find a timepiece with a less than stellar design.
All of Invicta’s designs feature a proper use of colors, styles, and size, which all complement each other resulting in a cohesive and standout timepiece.
Fashion-conscious individuals may really enjoy looking through Invicta’s selection to find a timepiece.
And this is how it is for their dress watches, utility watches, and sports watches alike.
While Invicta may be well-respected and well-known within the watch community, it flies a bit below the radar with the general public.
This is where the brand’s biggest weakness lies.
While it’s far from a reason not to go for Invicta, those who want a bit of brand recognition in their timepiece may not exactly get it with this brand.
That being said, their great designs definitely make up for that.
While Invicta lacks brand recognition, one of its biggest strengths is its popularity.
All around the world, people know about Bulova watches with their wild designs and innovative technologies.
Wearing a Bulova timepiece on your wrist will definitely turn heads of watch snobs and casual wearers alike.
One of the reasons Bulova is so popular is because of its ability to experiment, which is how the Accutron came to be.
However, no one can ever have a 100 percent success rate when it comes to their experiments.
Bulova has fallen flat a lot on their designs because of wild experiments that don’t really sit well with most people.
Some of these designs have color combinations that don’t really work or proportions that are off, which is why some people see Bulova as an over-ambitious brand.
While a lot of these experiments weren’t well-loved and accepted by the general public, they still have a niche market of watch wearers who are absolutely in love with these designs.
That being said, Bulova’s experiments may not be for everyone.
Now that we’ve gone through strengths, weaknesses, and innovations, it’s time to compare two timepieces from each brand.
While the featured technology of Invicta in this article was one that utilized loud designs, the watch we’re looking at is much more laid back.
It features a classic dive watch frame but with Invicta’s signature details.
The watch is made of two-toned stainless steel, with a great mix of gold and silver tones along with the bracelet of the case, while the bezel features a royal blue shade with real 23k gold details on top, giving the watch a bit of flash.
The design on the watch is classic, classy, and loud.
It’s bound to get you compliments whenever you wear it.
On top of that, it has a high-quality swiss automatic movement, date window, and 660 feet of water resistance.
A great dive watch for those who want a loud and stylish timepiece.
Bulova is known for creating watches with large dials and stellar designs, and this piece is no exception.
The Marine Star features a large, 45mm case which makes reading time very easy in any lighting conditions as the dial also has full lume.
The mix of bronze, silver and blue tones on the watch is reminiscent of old dive watches that have adorned the wrists of many people throughout the years.
The watch can also perform underwater, as it has 660 feet of water resistance, allowing you to wear this watch on your next dive trip for quality timekeeping and easy time reading underwater.
It also has three sub-dials that display the chronograph of the watch, which can measure up to 1/20th of a second and up to 59 minutes.
This is a great timepiece for anyone looking for a more low-key watch, which is actually a pleasant surprise from Bulova.
There isn’t any clear-cut winner in that battle, but it’s pretty evident that both these brands have their place.
For those who need more brand recognition and more experimental designs, Bulova is the obvious choice.
However, if you’re on the hunt for pure class in a watch, then Invicta is the way to go.
Either way, as long as the watch on your wrist is one that you’re comfortable with, rest assured you made the right choice.