Thursday, May 15, 2008

Vintage Bulova Oceanographer

Today I'm wearing another watch that my father acquired sometime in the last decade or so, a Swiss-made Bulova Oceanographer from 1969. I don't believe it's been serviced at all but it is in very good condition and runs strongly, if a bit fast (a couple minutes a day.) It's all stainless steel with a not-to-be-trusted-on-a-vintage-watch depth rating of 333 feet. Today this would not be considered a diver's watch (200m is generally accepted as the minimum depth rating, typically along with and one-way adjustable bezel or dive timer) but Bulova did advertise this and similar watches to be guaranteed to operate at the rated depth. They also made the Oceanographer Snorkel which seemed to be more of a full-on diver's watch. I'll definitely keep my eye out for one of those as I quite like the look of it. This watch is nice as well, if a bit plain in comparison. The slightly aged off-white dial has unique red and black hour markers with tritium dots that have long lost any glow. The cushion-shaped caseis only 34mm wide, but doesn't feel excessively small, probably because of the 40mm length of the watch. Most of the word "Bulova" is still visible on the original signed crown. It's currently on a somewhat plain (but practical) waterproof leather strap, but would look great on a vintage Tropic strap, although I would prefer a modern reproduction since that authentic "new old stock" one costs about $100, which is probably more than the watch is worth.

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