Last week, Bulova, the distinctly American watch brand founded in 1875, released three new models inspired by the historical watches it produced for the U.S. military in the early-to mid-20th Century. With the new Hack and A-15 Pilot watches, Bulova kickstarts its Military Collection, thus expanding its range of heritage offerings.
The two Hack models take their stylistic cues from Bulova’s vintage 3818-A military model, produced in the 1950 and ‘60s, and are named for those watches’ well-known hacking seconds mechanisms. The third new timepiece, the A-15 Pilot Watch, is another vintage-influenced model which finds its inspiration in an interesting military-issued A-15 “Elapsed Time Watch” from 1944, also known for its various internal rotating bezels and multiple crowns.
The Hack watches are time-only field watch-inspired models available in either a black or white colorway; the black model is accented with red and luminescent material, while the white version uses luminescent and black accents. Both watches use a 38-mm steel case with a prominent, boxy crown. On the dial of the watch you can find a common ‘60s-style field watch design, with a simple outer minute ring, large Arabic numerals from 1 to 12 marking each hour, and inside this outer scale, smaller numerals from 13 to 24 to assist in telling time more efficiently throughout the day using military time. Sweeping over the dial are a vintage sword and arrow-style combination of hands for the hour and minute, with a simple pointer used for the seconds hand.
The Hack watches are powered by the Miyota Caliber 82S0, which carries a 42-hour power reserve and is protected by a solid caseback.
Taking a look at the A-15 Pilot Watch, we find a larger, 42-mm steel case and a dial with a distinct vintage look. On the watch’s right side you find some of the most dominant features, with the top and bottom crowns operating the two inner rotating bezels, while the center crown helps adjust the main timekeeping mechanism inside. The dial’s minute counter is on the outermost rotating bezel, which is something of a super-compressor-inspired design to help in keeping track of minutes passed from a specific moment. Within this bezel is a 12-hour bezel, which with some skill and practice can help the wearer both to track elapsed times from a certain moment, but also to read the time in a different time zone if need be. On the flat center of the dial we find white and yellow accents, with an outer railroad track minute ring, large Arabic numerals from 1 to 12, and smaller numerals for 13 to 24 similar to those on the Hack; the A-15 also uses the same vintage-style hand configuration. The A-15 Pilot Watch is powered by the Miyota Caliber 82S6, though details on this movement are scant. Like the Hack — and true to its vintage predecessor — the A-15 also uses a solid caseback.
The Hack watches will begin retailing at $395, and the A-15 Pilot Watch will be sold at $695; each watch will be available at Bulova retailers worldwide later this year.