Bulova Chronograph C 'Stars & Stripes'

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Manual-winding
44 MM
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SKU AS08610
Article Number 40991368
case size 44 MM
movement Manual-winding
approximate age 1970s
dial color Blue
material Stainless Steel
style Chronograph
category Vintage
bracelet Metal
lug width 20 MM
Includes Stainless steel woven bracelet with signed blade clasp. Also includes inner and outer boxes and booklet.
overall condition The case is in fantastic condition overall showing light signs of wear from age and use with no signs of refinishing. Navy blue Tritium dial with white hour track, white subsidiary registers, and white outer tachymeter scale is in equally fantastic condition, showing even patination across luminous elements with matching 'firework' handset. Unsigned crown.
Manual-winding
44 MM
– Show less
SKU AS08610
Article Number 40991368
case size 44 MM
movement Manual-winding
approximate age 1970s
dial color Blue
material Stainless Steel
style Chronograph
category Vintage
bracelet Metal
lug width 20 MM
Includes Stainless steel woven bracelet with signed blade clasp. Also includes inner and outer boxes and booklet.
overall condition The case is in fantastic condition overall showing light signs of wear from age and use with no signs of refinishing. Navy blue Tritium dial with white hour track, white subsidiary registers, and white outer tachymeter scale is in equally fantastic condition, showing even patination across luminous elements with matching 'firework' handset. Unsigned crown.

Why We Love it

In the world of horology, the late 1960s and early 1970s were a strange time. 

To be sure, the ‘60s was a decade of horological milestones, such as the production of the first automatic chronograph (an honor hotly disputed by Heuer and Zenith). The ‘70s also saw the introduction of some innovative and interesting designs, with brands seeming to vie against each other to see who could incorporate as many colors in their dials as possible — or come up with the most funky case shape.

Brands from all over the world experimented with obtuse, asymmetric, and innovative case designs around this time for both sport and dress watches alike. 

Bulova was one such brand. Thriving in the 1960s-1970s, the American company had a seemingly endless catalog of funky sports watches, particularly in the dive and chronograph categories.

Enter the Bulova Chronograph C. A home run in both the stand-out dial color and funky case shape department. It's bright, unusual dial combined with its 'firework' handset soon garnered it the nickname ‘Stars and Stripes,’ which has confounded collectors ever since.

While most likely not released in 1976 for the Bicentennial Celebration of the United States — as is commonly believed by collectors on many forums — the vibrant red, white, and blue dial certainly resembles the stars and stripes of Old Glory. 

Even by today's standards, this is a big piece, coming in at 44mm in diameter with perfectly round case with hidden lugs, making it sit easily on the wrist, much like Seiko's ‘Tuna’ divers. And as with dive watches, Bulova designed the case of the Chronograph C for maximum water resistance, utilizing a front-loading case. With hooded lugs, an acrylic crystal, a knurled bezel, and barrel pushers, this example features a matte, navy blue and white Tritium dial with white subsidiary registers, an outer tachymeter scale, and a matching ‘firework’ handset with red chronograph hands.

Powered by a reputable, hand-cranking Valjoux 7736 drivetrain, this Bulova has the brawn to back up the looks, and comes paired to a stainless steel mesh bracelet with a signed blade clasp.

It would be enough to enjoy this excellent piece on its own, but this piece comes compete with its outer box, booklet, and wildly cool inner box.

When you consider that demand for these watches has picked up momentum in recent years, it makes it almost a patriotic duty not to let this one pass you by!

Brand Story

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The story of Bulova is deeply entwined with American manufacturing. Its founder, a Czech immigrant named Joseph Bulova, was inspired by the advances that Ford made in his factory in Highland Park, Michigan. In 1912, Bulova built a factory in Biel, Switzerland, using Ford’s principles of mass production.
The brand was among the first to offer a wide range of wristwatches for men, with a distinctive visual style that — thanks to its innovative adoption of advertising and a relocation to Astoria, Queens — became fixed in the American imagination. Bulova took over offices in a skyscraper on 5th Avenue in Manhattan and installed an observatory on the roof in order to measure universal time. In the workshop down below, watchmakers timed the watches they were working on against readings taken in the observatory.
The watches that Bulova produced were varied, from handsome three-handers to divers and even chronographs. Bulova produced its first chronographs in the 1940s — single-button affairs with screw-on bezels. Throughout the 1950s, 60s, and 70's, Bulova honed its mastery of such watches.

However, perhaps the brand’s single most important innovation was 1960’s Accutron, a timepiece that used an electric tuning fork in place of a traditional balance wheel. Following on the heels of the Hamilton Electric of 1957, the Accutron featured a guaranteed accuracy of two seconds per day — much better accuracy than that of a contemporary mechanical watch. (The Accutron line was later spun off and relaunched as its own brand in 2020.)

In 1971 a Bulova chronograph accompanied the crew of Apollo 15 into space. When the crystal on astronaut David Scott’s Speedmaster popped off, he strapped on his Bulova, making it the only privately worn watch to ever have been worn on the Moon. (It was subsequently auctioned off for more than $1.625M.)

Currently owned by Citizen Group and headquartered in New York City, Bulova continues to make watches inspired by its long American heritage.

A:S Guarantee

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Our Pledge

Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.

Condition

Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.

Warranty

We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.

International Buyers

Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

Shipping & Returns

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All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.

Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.

We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.

Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.

We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

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Bulova Chronograph C 'Stars & Stripes'

Bulova Chronograph C 'Stars & Stripes'

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Bulova Chronograph C 'Stars & Stripes'

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