Modern History: A Closer Look At Bulova’s Surveyor Collection

Modern History: A Closer Look At Bulova’s Surveyor Collection

Inspecting two new models – the Classic Heartbeat Automatic and Classic Ladies Quartz – in the metal.

By Rhonda Riche

We thought we had a good grasp on the history of Bulova watches. After all, we’ve written enthusiastically about the relaunched Computron and Devil Diver. In fact, we, ourselves, own new and vintage Bulovas (and have even visited the museum).

It says something about the depth of the brand when we are still discovering new collections within the Bulova family. Case in point, the Surveyor line. Last summer, Bulova released four new iterations of the Classic Heartbeat Automatic and Classic Ladies Quartz watches. All are grand examples of accessibly priced timepieces that offer elegant design and detail and deserve a thorough survey.

In a Heartbeat

One of the reasons the Surveyor is not as celebrated as other Bulova collections is that the name has bounced around a bit within the brand. For example, before Accutron went off on its own, Surveyor was one of five different families within the Accutron II lineup.

But the clean, 1960s-influenced dress-sport design codes of the Surveyor have made the collection a survivor. Now, these timepieces live within Bulova’s Classic Collection of heritage-inspired timepieces.

These watches are not reissues; but instead a reimagining of fan favorites, featuring elevated movement techniques. The Surveyor Classic Heartbeat Automatic features an updated self-winding movement – the three-handed 82S0 calibre with hacking seconds. It displays the balance wheel and escapement (the heartbeat) through an aperture on the dial. You can also admire the mechanism through a mineral crystal exhibition window and screw-down caseback.

The version we examined has a stainless steel case and integrated bracelet, paired with a rich black dial with silver accents (a sunray finished, silver-tone dial with gold-colored accents is also available). It strikes the right balance between sporty (luminous hands) and formal (an uncluttered display), which makes it look much more expensive than its actual, sub-$500 price tag.

Other luxe touches are plentiful. The screw-down caseback is topped with a mineral crystal exhibition window to showcase the automatic movement. While the case diameter is 42mm, the watch wears comfortably and sits squarely on the wrist thanks to the flexible three-link bracelet. And, for extra peace of mind, it is water resistant to 30 meters.

Women Who Watch

The Classic Surveyor line has also been updated with two dress-sport watches for women. Available in both a rose gold tone and stainless steel with rose gold accents, these timepieces offer the same 60s feel, but with the added opulence of diamonds.

Available in either a sunray grey or mother of pearl dial, the indices are made up of 11 handset diamonds. Wrist presence is also provided by the not too big, not too small 31mm case.

Again, not only does it look super high-end, but the 2035 quartz calibre provides precision at an accessible price point. A piece of advice that all enthusiasts are given is that you should buy the best watch you can afford; and if you are looking for a timepiece that feels rich without leaving you penniless, then the Bulova Surveyor more than meets that standard.

The Bulova Classic Heartbeat Automatic and Classic Ladies Quartz watches are available now and priced at $450 and $395, respectively.

Visit Bulova’s website for more information.

(Photography by Kat Shoulders)

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