Bulova Watches

Written by Sarah Provost
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Bulova watches have a long and fascinating history. Joseph Bulova founded his jewelry company in New York City in 1875 and began producing timepieces in 1911. In 1923, Bulova instituted the first standardization of parts, precise to 1/10,000th of an inch, a process that revolutionized the industry.

In 1924, Bulova watches produced the first line of watches for ladies. They also produced the first radio commercial in 1926 and the first clock radio in 1928. In 1931, Bulova invented the first electric clock. By 1940, they sponsored all of the top twenty radio shows, and in 1941 ran the first television commercial.

Bulova Watches in Wartime

Bulova was a very active supporter of U.S. forces in World War II, supplying watches at actual cost, devoting one-quarter of their ads to selling war bonds, and manufacturing aircraft instruments, torpedo mechanisms and other military applications. After the war, they set up a school for disabled veterans, where they could learn watch-making and be assured of employment. This school also developed state-of-the-art accessibility for the handicapped.

In 1960, Bulova introduced the Accutron, a watch powered entirely by electronics rather than springs. Accutron soon became the standard for NASA, and was sent into space on the first mission. Quartz movements, self-winding watches and other innovations have continued through the years, making Bulova watches an icon of American industry.


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