Bulova is remarkable in many ways. Horologically, it has been the flagbearer of American-born watchmaking for over a century (143 years, to be exact). Culturally, the brand’s silhouette reaches even further, having been a touchstone for how corporate America presents itself in countless ways. It’s this history that the latest timepiece-centric book from publisher Assouline, Bulova: A History of Firsts, is focused on.
The 176-page volume doesn’t follow the traditional guideline of brand-centric biblio-pursuits; instead, it reads more like a classic literary journal, focused on the events themselves rather than the decade they occurred in. It tells the story of Bohemian-immigrant Joseph Bulova as an “iconoclastic industrialist” who built up his eponymous company from scratch into a watchmaking powerhouse that has had a dominating presence on the wrist, and in the minds, of Americans throughout the 20th and 21st century.
This was achieved in a myriad of ways which, in a sense, provides the new book with its title. In 1926, Bulova produced the world’s first radio advertisement. This marketing prowess continued in 1941 when the world’s first television ad ran before a Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies game featuring Bulova timepieces.
Other stories from Bulova’s past and historical details found in the book include a look at the brand’s role in the space race, its partnership with Charles Lindbergh, the introduction of the legendary Accutron, and Bulova’s influence in the feminist movement by introducing the world’s first full line of ladies’ watches.
Bulova: A History of Firsts is edited by luxury specialist Aaron Sigmond and features the writing and horological expertise of leading watch industry specialists Jack Forster, Jason Heaton, and Roberta Naas; style pundits Kate Betts, David Coggins, and Matt Hranek; and musician Nile Rodgers. The coffee table book was released on April 2 and is priced at $175. You can pre-order your copy here.
Click here to read more about Bulova’s remarkable history.