Let’s get this out of the way right now – Bulova is doing a lot of things right these days. Yes, it will take a lot more work to bring back the true glory days of the brand, when the “Devil Diver” was exploring the ocean depths and the Accutron was putting men on the moon (yes, Bulova Accutron chronometers were part of both Mission Control and Apollo spacecraft instrumentation), but they’ve been busy of late with their innovative CURV chronographs on one hand and their new Archive Series pieces on the other, the latter of which are making significant new inroads into the collector community.
They’ve also been busy making partnerships, and this year marks their second working with the GRAMMY Awards, of which they’re the official sponsors. To this end, the big winners this year (hello, Bruno!) didn’t just go home with with an award and bragging rights, they also went home with a very special limited edition watch that hides a lot of musically-related easter eggs in its idiosyncratic design.
A true legend
We were introduced to the timepiece during an intimate Q&A session and performance with legendary singer/songwriter/mega producer, Nile Rodgers, a man who’s influence on modern music spans multiple decades and genres. If anyone embodies the spirt of the Grammys more than Mr. Rodgers, we’d sincerely like to meet them. (Really, we’re as starstruck as the next guy). There’s a lot that can be said about press events and their influence on the folks who cover them, but for now we’re content to say that there’s nothing quite like listening CHIC’s classics by the man who created them, or even Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”, both of which Mr. Rodger’s help craft into the hits that they ultimately became.
So, what of the watch? Well, it’s definitely an acquired taste, but if you look closely, a number of clever elements are revealed, which make this a fitting tribute to the “Oscar’s of music”. For starters, there’s the unique case shape, which we’ve seen before in the limited edition pieces that Bulova created the previous year. Meant to evoke the design of a snare drum, it has four “screws” around the side that appear to hold the bezel, mid-case and caseback in place, a la Royal Oak. On the dial side, there’s a sound wave that hides the New York City skyline in its spikes and troughs, but the real story is in the material used – Grammium, a proprietary alloy used to create the iconic Grammy “gramophone” awards. The details don’t stop there, however, with the indexes meant to evoke guitar stocks and the arabics at 12 o’clock, mimicking the Grammy’s official logo for their 60th anniversary.
On the flip side are dueling sapphire and polished steel inserts that proclaim the partnership and the individual number of the piece. Under the hood is their Precisionist high accuracy thermocompensated quartz movement, which is accurate to an astonishing 10 seconds per year.
While the aesthetics of this watch will definitely polarize the pundits, there’s no questioning Bulova’s commitment to the show, or to the city that the Grammy’s recently returned to. Throughout it’s 143 history, Bulova’s connection to NYC has never wavered. Their original headquarters near LaGuardia airport remains standing to this day, while their new HQ occupies the entire 29th floor of the Empire State Building. Citizen may have acquired Bulova, but there’s no question that they’re taking charge their history.
The Bulova Limited Edition 60th GRAMMY watch will be produced in a series of 60 pieces (not including the watches presented to this year’s Grammy winners), which are retailed exclusively through Macy’s Herald Square location. MSRP: $1,150.