1875Joseph Bulova, the company's founder, emigrated from Bohemia, in what is now the Czech Republic, at the age of nineteen, arriving in Manhattan in 1875 to a world brimming with opportunity. Opening his own jewelry store on Maiden Lane in Lower Manhattan, then the nucleus of NYC's jewelry industry, he called it J. Bulova, and quickly distinguished himself from the hundreds of jewelers in the district with its quality and innovation in technique and artistry.
1912Due to the demand of watches throughout America, Joseph Bulova established his first plant committed to the total production of wristwatch components. Manufactured in the plant's central building in Bienne, Switzerland, the jeweled movements were fabricated via assembly line, allowing mass production and closer toward a standardization never before seen in the world of horology.
1919In 1919, Bulova debuted the first ever complete line of men's jeweled wristwatches - advertising to the masses across America with an iconic visual style that matched its product.
1920To support the accurate measure of sidereal time, the Bulova Observatory was constructed in Midtown Manhattan, the first facility of its kind atop a skyscraper. On the top floor of the Observatory an expert mathematician took readings that were simultaneously and electrically recorded on a chronograph located in the lower floors of the building. There, the Setting and Timing units used the data to set the time on all of the company's timepieces in the most accurate way possible.
1926Focusing its energy on future sales, Bulova also devoted substantial creativity to expanding marketing and advertising efforts. In another groundbreaking moment for the company, Bulova broadcasted America's first national radio commercial in 1926, signaling the hour with, "At the tone, it's eight o'clock, B U L O V A Watch Time", an ad heard by millions.
1927An early champion of Bulova watches was an American original himself, Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh, the first man to fly nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean. By doing so, Lindbergh won the Bulova Watch Prize and a $1,000 check. Later, he became the face of the company's "Lone Eagle" watch, a commemorative timepiece that celebrated Lindbergh's accomplishment while also linking Bulova to the world of aviation and exploration.
1941July 1, 1941, Bulova fundamentally transformed the field of marketing with the world's very first television commercial. Shown at the start of a Brooklyn Dodgers - Philadelphia Phillies game, it was a simple, silhouetted map of the country centered with a Bulova clock and captioned, "America Runs On Bulova Time." The cost — $9.
1945Bulova's commitment to the soldiers who fought for the freedom of all U.S. citizens did not expire with the end of the war. Awaiting their return from Europe and the Pacific was the Bulova School of Watchmaking, located near the company's headquarters in Woodside, Queens. The purpose of the tuition-free school was to offer disabled returning soldiers a means of rehabilitation, combined with specified job training and dedicated job placement, ensuring that they would not be left behind after returning from their great sacrifices abroad.
1960Years before Accutron became available to the public, the Bulova-developed technology was requested by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for various timing instruments on satellites. Bulova initiated its decades-long collaboration with NASA by contributing the Accutron technology to the Vanguard 1 satellite in 1958, later continuing with the first Moon walk on July 21, 1969.
1967Immediately recognized as an invention of genius and superb craftsmanship, Accutron was quickly adopted as the standard-bearer in accuracy and elegance, used aboard Air Force One, and given as an official Presidential Gift of State. In addition, railroad workers the world over embraced Accutron after it was endorsed as the first wristwatch precise enough to be authorized for general use by personnel.
2011Sir Richard Branson
Bulova Accutron proudly announces Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, as its newest ambassador. The face of Bulova Accutron's "Swiss Made. Self Made" campaign, Branson's entrepreneurial and worldly spirit is the perfect fit for Bulova Accutron.