The Fascinating History of Bulova

Bulova are one of the world's most popular watch brands; a recognised leader in high-performance sport timekeeping, with a wide range of watches and an extensive selection of styles. Built on an ethos of delivering the highest quality possible at the best value, Bulova are the official timekeeping sponsor of Manchester United, combining modern innovation with classic Swiss timekeeping. 

I've been familiar with the brand for a while, but until I came across this phenomenal guide to the Bulova brand, I had no idea just how interesting their history was. Founded by 1875 in downtown Manhattan by Joseph Bulova, the brand would grow to become one of the most innovative and forward thinking timepiece manufacturers in the world. Let's take a look at a brief history of one of American's most iconic brands: 

1875: Bulova is founded by Joseph Bulova, who set up his own jewelry store on Maiden Lane in Manhattan when he was just 19 years old. 

1912: Due to the growing popularity of his product, Bulova established his first plant in Bienne, Switzerland. Fabricating fine watches utilising an assembly line, Bulova established a standardisation process that have never before been seen in the world of horology. 

1920: To ensure they could accurately measure astral time, the brand build and opened the Bulova Observatory in midtown Manhattan - the first facility of its kind. 

1926: Bulova airs the first advertisement broadcast on radio, with the phrase 'At the tone, it's eight o'clock, Bulova Watch Time' being heard by millions of Americans. 

1941: On the 1st July, Bulova aired the world's first television commercial, running with the slogan 'American Runs on Bulova Time'. 

1945: Following the end of Word War II, the Bulova School of Watchmaking was opened. The institution offered disabled veterans a means of tuition-free rehabilitation and entry into a brand new labour market. 

1958: NASA's Vanguard I satellite utilised Bulova's Accutron technology, the first collaboration in what would become a decades-long partnership. 

1967: Accutron is used aboard Air Force One, and Bulova timepieces were given as official Presidential Gifts of State. 

By the 1960's, Bulova had become involved in a Space Age rivalry with Omega Watches, as they competed to be selected as the 'first watch on the moon'. Although Omega's Speedmaster Professional Chronograph wristwatch was eventually chosen by NASA for use by astronauts, all of the panel clocks and time-keeping mechanisms in spacecrafts (for all manned missions) were Bulova Accutrons. 

In 1971, Commander David R. Scott took a Bulova chronograph aboard Apollo 15 and wore it during his third excursion to the moon's surface. This specific watch would later be sold for an eye-watering $1,000,000. 

By the late 2000s, Bulova was bought by Citizen for $250 million, making them the world's largest watchmaker. Today, you'll find the Bulova headquarters in the iconic Empire State Building in New York City. 

Not too bad for a company founded by a 19 year old immigrant hoping for a chance at the American dream!