Riding the Vintage Wave: Bulova Expands Archive Series with Chronograph A “Surfboard”

Bulova’s recently released Chronograph A “Surfboard” is a modern re-issue that takes its inspiration from a vintage watch from the 1970s (pictured below, courtesy of Watchteez) with the same nickname. This latest release includes one new, limited-edition mechanical model and three similar quartz editions, each featuring the historical model’s recognizable, horizontally oriented “surfboard” motif that stylistically brings together the watch’s two subdials and bestows it its nickname.

The mechanical model features a 38-mm steel case, with a red-and-blue bezel, and an off-white-and-blue dial with orange accents; the quartz editions use a 40.5-mm steel case and offer a red-and-blue bezel with white-and-blue dial; a red-and-black bezel with off-white-and-black dial; or an orange-and-blue bezel with off-white-and-blue dial. Each of the models includes pump-style chronograph pushers, a signed crown, and a vintage-style rotating bezel with a contrasting color on one of its quarters and topped with a small circle at the 60-minute position.

On the dial of the Chronograph A, you’ll find an outer tachymetric scale, with applied steel square and rectangular hour markers at each position, except the 3 and 6 o’clock markers, which are covered by the watch’s two subdials. The watch with the mechanical movement features running seconds on its left and a 30-minute counter on its right, while the quartz editions are slightly different, hosting a 60-minute counter instead at the 3 o’clock subdial. Each of the subdials on both the quartz and mechanical models feature line-tipped rectangular hands. Both subdials are connected by the watch’s central “surfboard” oval, in a contrasting color to the rest of the dial. The color-tipped rectangular hands pass over the bicolor dial, determining hours and minutes, while a triangular hand matching the colors of the tips of the hour and minute hands stands ready at the 12 o’clock mark to count off the chronograph seconds.

Inside the limited-edition model is the mechanical Sellita Caliber SW510 BH b, an automatic movement based on the SW500-1 and capable of a 48-hour power reserve. The non-limited models use the Miyota Caliber 6S21-00A, a quartz mechanism produced by Bulova’s sister brand, also owned by Citizen Watch Co. of Japan.

The new mechanical Chronograph A “Surfboard” model will be limited to 250 pieces and will retail for $2,950 on a vintage-style steel bracelet; the quartz editions will be available as part of Bulova’s permanent collection, and will be priced starting at $695 on perforated silicone straps with deployant closures. Both the quartz and mechanical models will be available at Bulova retailers later this year, though all are also available directly through the brand’s website, here.

Aesthetically, there doesn’t seem to be much difference between the limited-edition model and the three quartz editions, other than a few millimeters in size, a vintage-style metal bracelet rather than a rubber strap, and different color choices. Whether the decision to equip the limited edition with a Sellita movement and a bracelet warrants an additional $2,300 on its price tag might provoke debate, but die-hard fans of the original may be happy to pay the premium to get the more authentic re-creation of the 1970s model, especially since it’s available in limited numbers.

The Chronograph A “Surfboard” debuts as the latest in Bulova’s recently expanded roster of archival watches, which includes the Military Collection pieces launched just last month. It also comes on the heels of other vintage-inspired Bulova models that have garnered significant attention, including the Oceanographer Devil Diver, Computron LED, Chronograph C “Stars & Stripes,” and, perhaps most notably, the Moon Watch. The new Chronograph A displays the brand’s continued willingness to draw upon its extensive history of watchmaking to offer interesting “neo-vintage” models. With that trend continuing throughout the watch world, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Bulova expand the Chronograph A as a collection in the months and years to come.

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