Ask just about any watch enthusiast out there about American watch brands and they won’t hesitate to mention Bulova and Movado.
These two brands have been releasing beautiful and varied watches since their inception, which is what helped propel the brands to the summit of the American watch world.
These two brands have everything, from utility watches with a lot of functions to bejeweled dress watches that’ll turn heads at any formal event.
But how do they stack up against each other?
These two brands go head to head in this Bulova vs Movado comparison.
A Brief History Of Bulova
Bulova had its humble beginnings as a jewelry store in New York in 1875.
Back then, it was known as the J Bulova Company, named after the founder Joseph Bulova, and in 1923, the name was changed to the Bulova Watch Company.
The name was changed as the company slowly began making clocks and pocket watches, and in 1911 the company put up a plant in Switzerland solely for the manufacturing of watch components.
Since then, Bulova has only grown in prestige and popularity, adorning the wrists of people all around the world, releasing innovative watches such as the Accutron back in the 60s, and breaking even more ground recently with the release of their Precisionist line that built on the foundations of the Accutron.
See more: Read my Bulova watches review to see the best watches the brand has to offer right now!
A Brief History Of Movado
Movado is currently a company based in the United States, but that wasn’t always the case.
All the way back in 1881, the company was founded in La-Chaux-Des-Fonds, Switzerland under the name LAI Ditescheim & Freres SA by Leopold Achille Isidore Ditesheim.
However, in 1905 the company changed its name to Movado, which simply translates to always in motion, a testament to the company’s innovation.
The company remained a Swiss company up until 1983 when it was purchased by the North American Watch Corp.
Throughout the years, Movado has gained popularity because of its minimalist yet beautiful designs that are seen in most of their watches, especially the Museum Watch line.
A Movado watch would be really easy to distinguish from other brands out there, which is one of the reasons the company has become one of the most popular American Watch brands today.
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One of the reasons these two brands have soared to the top of the watch world is because of their innovations that helped push the limits of horology.
And we take a look at some of these innovations in this section.
Origin of the WatchOrigin of the WatchBulova Accutron
Ask any watch enthusiast about Bulova and they’ll probably bring up the Accutron, the watch that put quartz on the map.
Because of that, it would be a sin not to mention this model when talking about Bulova.
Instead of using a balance wheel to keep time like most watches at the time, Bulova used a tuning fork that vibrates at a frequency of 360 kHz to keep time.
The result of this was a watch that was accurate up to a minute a month, which has become the standard for most quartz watches but was almost unheard of in 1960.
For comparison, mechanical watches at the time would lose up to a minute a day, meaning you had to adjust the watch almost every day to assure accurate time is being displayed.
The world of horology would definitely be different without the Accutron, which is the reason this model deserves its own section.
Related: Bulova vs Tissot
Without a doubt, this is a watch that defines Movado.
Instead of having a set of markers and details on the dial of the watch, Movado chose a single dot at the 12 o’clock position, which the watch community instantly fell in love with.
This minimalist approach made the watch look sophisticated and classy, without being too flashy to wear.
Aside from having a truly unique look, having minimal elements on the face made reading time very easy, especially when you get used to the watch.
Influential figures from all around have worn one of Movado’s Museum Watches, from Elizabeth Taylor back in the day, to more recently famous people such as Jaden Smith and Kerry Washington.
The Museum Watch isn’t monotonous either.
The watch comes in a bunch of different variations, all designed for different tastes.
Which is one of the reasons why so many people have come to love the Museum Watch because there’s a variation for almost everyone.
Strong And Weak Point Of Each Brand
Every product out there has its highs as well as its lows, no matter how prestigious.
We dive into some of these highs and lows in this section.
Bulova’s Strong Points
One of Bulova’s biggest selling points is its accuracy.
In its price range, you’ll be hard-pressed finding a watch that can keep time as a Bulova piece does.
This is because the company has built on the foundations laid out by the Accutron and brought the technology even further with collections such as the Precisionist.
Bulova claims the Precisionist models to be the most accurate quartz timepieces in the world, and they definitely have the evidence to back it up, but more on that later.
Aside from that, Bulova’s watches stay in the middle of the pack when it comes to price.
This makes the watches available for almost everyone, as they have cheaper low-end models that still function great, while they also have watches in the upper tier of mid-range for those willing to shell out a bit more for a higher quality timepiece.
Bulova’s Weak Points
One of the biggest complaints Bulova has received throughout the years has been their designs.
While most of their designs aren’t bad by any measure, some are definitely not for everyone.
Bulova has a knack for designing loud watches, which can be seen in watches in their Rubaiyat collection and or some of their Marine Star models.
These designs experiment with jewels on the watch face, which is what gives the Rubaiyat a pretty loud design.
Some Bulova models also play around with colors, which are definitely subject to preference.
While some people absolutely love the unorthodox and bright combination of colors on some Bulova models, it’s understandable why some people aren’t a fan of certain Bulova designs.
Movado’s Strong Points
Without a doubt, Movado’s strongest selling point is its minimalist designs.
There’s just something about the way a stripped-down dial looks that can catch anyone’s eye.
Movado truly broke ground by putting a single dot on their Museum watches, which has evolved to be their signature collection.
Since these watches have a minimalist look, they are also incredibly flexible timepieces.
They can be worn with any casual outfit easily, with a lot of styling options.
People have worn them with modern streetwear a lot since their dials look great without demanding too much attention.
But the watches also work great with formal wear, as they can easily pass as a stylish and sophisticated dress watch.
Movado’s Weak Points
While Movado’s designs are incredibly classy and unique, they do lack variety, which is one of the brand’s weakest points.
If you’re on the hunt for a complex utility watch, you may not exactly enjoy Movado’s collection.
The timepieces that aren’t a part of the Museum collection, tend to keep that minimalist feel.
This isn’t a bad thing at all, but this lack in variety has a tendency to limit your options with Movado.
That being said, this is still the go-to brand for those looking for simple and classy timepieces.
In this section, we take a look at some of the best that these brands have to offer.
The first watch to be worn on the moon was a Bulova timepiece.
It was called the Moon Watch and is one of Bulova’s biggest points of pride.
And decades later, the company has updated the watch with modern technologies while keeping its iconic design.
The watch takes its design from pilot watches, with a slide rule bezel to assist pilots with calculations while flying, giving the watch a professional and functional look.
However, Bulova updated the timepiece by using a movement that vibrates at a frequency of 262 kHz, which is superior to most other quartz movements, which makes this watch more accurate than most of its competition.
Aside from the watch’s iconic look and functionality, this is a collector’s edition timepiece, which makes it that much more valuable to enthusiasts out there.
It should come as no surprise that this is the Movado timepiece selected for this section.
This is the watch that put the brand on the map and is also the design that most people associate with the brand.
This specific model features an all-black dial, save for the signature museum dot and the dauphine hands.
The beauty of this simplistic design has been talked about time and time again, and will probably stay relevant for many years to come.
But aside from the design, Movado also used high-quality materials in making the watch.
It has a sapphire crystal, which is about as good as is gets.
On top of that is a leather band that’s incredibly comfortable once it’s broken in.
There aren’t any real complaints with the Museum Watch, which is probably one of the reasons it remains incredibly popular up to this day.
Official Bulova Video
Official Bulova Video Bulova – 98A291 Millennia Ceramic
Official Movado Video
Official Movado Video Movado SE
Bulova vs Movado: Which Is Better?
There isn’t a definite winner in this battle as everything is subjective when it comes to watches.
Those who prefer utility, functionality, and loud designs might be inclined to choose Bulova, while those who appreciate minimalist and stripped-down timepieces may prefer the watches that Movado has to offer.
Neither of these answers is wrong because everyone has their own unique set of tastes and preferences.
But as long as you love the watch on your wrist and you’re comfortable wearing it, then there’s no reason to worry about the choice you made.