Goddess Of Time: An Appreciation Of Bulova’s Elegant Rubaiyat Moonphase
A contemporary, female-focused take on this classically romantic complication.
It’s interesting to see how brands are evolving their women’s watches. Most importantly, the modern woman can buy her own damn jewelry — she isn’t looking to wear her mother’s hand-me-downs or wear a simply scaled-down version of her boyfriend’s timepiece. At the same time, she can rock a vintage cocktail watch or a man’s timekeeper if she chooses. It’s her prerogative.
The Bulova Rubaiyat Moonphase is one of those rare women’s watches that can be all three.
A MATTER OF TIME
The Rubaiyat was the name of Bulova’s first-ever ladies watch, introduced back in 1917. It was revived 100 years later in 2017. The line was named after a popular translation of a 12th-century book called the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam — a writer hailed as "the Astronomer-Poet of Persia.” So, it makes sense that a moonphase should be the crown jewel of this collection.
This modern moonphase fuses contemporary design cues with time-honored watchmaking techniques.
Today the collection fuses both current design cues with vintage watchmaking codes. And the Rubaiyat Moonphase is perhaps the best expression of this contemporary mood.
First off, it’s a little quirky. The moonphase aperture sits tilted at 3 o’clock. The stainless steel case also has Rubaiyat signatures like the parenthesis-shaped outer ring. Plus, it’s topped with a synthetic blue spinel cabochon crown at 12 o’clock. Finally, the whimsical nature of these individualistic touches is balanced by subdials at the 6 and 9 that indicate day and date.
The watchmaker’s craft is on display with the fully-functioning, four-hand moonphase movement, powered by a Swiss-made quartz caliber. But the real wonder of this watch lies in the jeweler’s art.
Joseph Bulova, a 23-year-old Czech immigrant, started his business as a small jewelry shop on Maiden Lane in New York City. He laid the foundation for a company that continues to have a deep sense of importance for decoration in watchmaking.
For example, while the Rubaiyat measures in at 35mm, a size that’s more appealing to today’s tastes and gives the watch a strong wrist presence, the refined finishing touches make the strongest impression.
The dial is fashioned from Mother-of-Pearl. The version set on a stainless steel bracelet has eight diamond hour markers. Another model features diamonds on the lugs and the case parenthesis. There’s also a domed Sapphire crystal and case back that’s dye struck with the Rubaiyat’s "Goddess of Time" logo.
And if this watch doesn’t provide enough celestial sparkle for you, there’s also a non-moonphase version available with 386 diamonds (2.3 carats) pavé set across its case, case parenthesis, lugs, and dial.
Of course, women who buy their own watches will also appreciate the value proposition of the Rubaiyat Moonphase as a couture piece. The use of stainless steel and the quartz movement make owning a complicated, diamond studded watch quite accessible (this new collection is priced between $650 and $6,500).
It looks precious but, with 30m water resistance as well as the strength of steel, it is quite practical. Because seriously, what 21st-century woman has time to go home and change watches between gigs?
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)