Looking back at last year’s Bulova x Marc Anthony 2023 Collection Looking back at last year’s Bulova x Marc Anthony 2023 Collection

Looking back at last year’s Bulova x Marc Anthony 2023 Collection

Tom Austin

In September 2022 Latin musical artist Marc Anthony and American watch brand Bulova came together to form a major partnership that will span over four years with a series of watch and jewellery lines. Each collection is to feature a core line, branching off with limited and special editions, each with its own intersection between Bulova’s design language and Anthony’s signature themes. Following a successful initial four-watch launch collection, Marc Anthony’s returned for 2023 with a more diverse line of 7 watches, created with 3 themes in mind, STAGE, CLASSIC, and PLAY, with each theme carrying its own mood-board of design elements. Each watch in the collection features touches and details specific to Mr Anthony’s design input, such as the numbers 1, 3, and 5 being represented differently on each dial, as these are numbers he holds close to his heart. Alongside this, each watch features case back engravings of Marc’s songs or important quotes that have inspired him throughout his life. “Inspired by the rich tapestry of Bulova’s beautiful watchmaking, I tried to integrate elements of design that are symbolic to my life such as specific colours, numbers, and motifs,” says Marc Anthony. “These watches are the result of a very close collaboration where history and innovation are at the forefront.”

Icon Sapphire Limited Edition

Bulova Marc Anthony Icon Sapphire Limited Edition

The Bulova Icon Sapphire Limited Edition is a rare find, limited to just 13 pieces it’s the most scarce piece in the collection, and it’s easy to see why. Part of the STAGE theme, the 40mm rose gold-tone stainless steel case catches the eye with its unconventional, angular design. The bezel, complete with a hobnail outer rim, is adorned with an array of 52 colourful 1.5mm rainbow sapphires, totalling 1.04 carats. This watch isn’t just a fashion statement; it’s built to withstand the elements too, with a water resistance of 100m and a robust curved sapphire crystal. Although it’s clearly not a likely exploring companion. The dial is visually quite impactful, designed specifically to evoke the texture found in Marc Anthony’s music. It boasts an inner ring adorned with a spectrum of more rainbow sapphires, a practical date display, applied rose gold-tone hour markers, and rose gold-tone hands that glow in low light conditions. If you look closely, you’ll notice three-hour markers at 1, 3, and 5 o’clock, plated in blue for a personal touch, the numbers chosen by Anthony for their unique personal significance to him.

The sweeping seconds hand features the signature ‘P’ counterbalance, representing the Bulova Precisionist High-Performance Quartz movement that powers this timepiece. The Precisionist movement is renowned for its impeccable accuracy, keeping time within a 5-second range per month, and its exceptional resistance to temperature changes. Complementing the vibrant sapphires is a pearlised blue crocodile grain leather strap, secured with a convenient push-button deployment clasp. The watch features numerous touches specific to Marc Anthony’s character, interests, and inspirations, making for probably the most personal watch to the man himself. Inspired by the distinctive taste of Mr Anthony, it will certainly be a unique and divisive piece, but with only 13 available they won’t last long with Marc’s fan base wanting a piece of his inspiration.

Price: US$1,950, limited to 13 pcs.

Maquina Men’s Performance Automatic

Bulova Marc Anthony Maquina Mens Performance Automatic

If the Icon Sapphire perhaps puts out a bit too much bling for you, the Bulova Maquina Men’s Performance Automatic tones things down a little, but still manages to be a solid statement piece. At 46mm it’s certainly not a small watch, so it’s probably better suited to the larger wristed amongst us. It manages the heft well with a uniquely shaped, angular stainless steel case which is finished in gunmetal grey. A unique feature I don’t think I’ve seen this side of a Nautilus is the bezel with integrated crown guards, it’s an unusual feature that really stands out with the contrasting gold-toned finish, The case is completed with mineral crystals front and back, and is water resistant to 50 meters. Offering the watch a stylish and technical appearance is the skeletonised, layered dial, with a floating Bulova logo and sub-dials.

Talking of sub-dials, did I mention this is a GMT watch? Yes, that’s right, the automatic Miyota 82S7 movement which is visible through that dial features an additional 24-hour hand at 3 o’clock and no, I didn’t notice it at first either. This additional functionality goes down very well indeed at this price point, much like Bulova’s more traditional GMTs. Marc’s signature 1, 3, and 5 are denoted on the lumed hour markers in gold tone, as opposed to the rest which are black. The watch is finished on a textured black silicone strap with a conventional buckle. Overall the Maquina Men’s Performance Automatic is a well-designed watch as part of the PLAY-inspired designs, with some really unique details that are sure to grab some attention. The only thing to criticise would probably be the size, at 46mm it’s somewhat on the large side, something the watch industry is beginning to lean away from these days, which is a shame because the overall look of the watch is pretty awesome if only it was about 4mm – 6mm smaller.

Price: US$695

Maquina Men’s

Bulova Marc Anthony Maquina Mens

Moving into the contemporary sports watch in the collection with the Bulova Maquina Men’s. It’s a 46mm beast of a chronograph that appears to be more directed toward an active lifestyle, with the bright colours and timing functions, ideal for something like timing your lengths of the pool while swimming. The stainless steel case features integrated bracelet-style lugs, with a taper that stretches down each end of the watch down to the bright orange silicone strap. Finishing is taken care of with fine brushing all around the facets of the case, with the circular bezel polished to a high shine. There’s also an anti-reflective sapphire crystal, helping to give the watch a 100M water resistance to add to the underwater functionality. Powering the watch is the Miyota 6S11/12 quartz chronograph movement, which can be easily operated via the subtle rectangular chronograph pushers. A major eye-catching part of the watch is the dial, finished in a layered, vibrant blue that gives it a fair amount of depth, and the unusually placed chronograph sub-dials which actually seem to make a tonne of sense. Again like the other watches in this collection the hour markers feature Marc Anthony’s personal touch, along with the orange accents which is his favourite colour.

The Maquina Men’s is certainly the sportiest watch in the collection, with a design and functionality that says it’s ready for fun and will be able to sustain whatever kinds of activities you throw at it. It feels like the perfect watch you’d take with you on a summer holiday. It features some unique design elements such as the interesting dial finish and layout, but again like the Performance Automatic, is perhaps let down a little by its oversized look. 46mm watches aren’t for everyone, and it’s hard to not say that if they’d gone slightly smaller with the Maquina it would be better suited to a wider audience.

Price: US$550

Marine Star Men’s

Bulova Marc Anthony Marine Star Mens

The Bulova Marine Star is the rugged tool watch in the collection, as part of the PLAY theme, it combines traditional tool watch styling with elegant touches provided by Mr Anthony. The Marine Star has been a prominent figure in Bulova’s catalogue since the 1980s, and as such it makes sense to be selected for the collection. With chunky case proportions, it’s certainly a strong look at 44mm in diameter, with a brushed stainless steel case, bezel, and multi-linked bracelet. Marc Anthony’s inspiration is clear in the dial, finished in a vibrant blue with a layered sunburst effect, and mixing Roman numerals with set diamonds for his signature 1′, 3′, and 5′-hour markers. So far so good. Now onto the slightly confusing part, the balance wheel of the Japanese Miyota 82S5 automatic movement is visible through a circular window on the dial, placed next to a small seconds sub-dial, resulting in an awkwardly unbalanced look for the dial overall. The random positioning of these can make the dial seem rather busy, and it would perhaps have been more favourable to move the small seconds to 6 o’clock and remove the “open heart” window completely, considering you can still view that through the exhibition caseback anyway. It’s a minor criticism, but the dial may have benefited from some balancing out.

Quirky dial features aside, the Marine Star Men’s is a capable tool watch, boasting 200 meters of water resistance, a flat mineral crystal, and beefy proportions. The applications of Mr Anthony’s design touches are well executed and the finishing and detail on the dial, despite its quirks, is excellent. There are plenty of things to like about the watch, especially if you’re looking for a large, unique-looking piece that won’t be out of place at the office or the pool bar.

Price: US$695

Marine Star Ladies

Bulova Marc Anthony Marine Star Ladies

Okay, now we’re talking. It’s not often a ladies’ version of a watch that seems to get the design closer to perfection than the male counterpart, but the Marine Star Ladies does it very well indeed. Carved from highly polished white ceramic, the case features the same proportions as the men’s piece, scaled down to a very wearable and flattering 36mm package with a full ceramic bracelet. There are some additional stainless steel accents around the bezel to break up the brightness, and this model also benefits from a sapphire crystal up top, with 100 meters of water resistance. The dial on the ladies’ piece is much more balanced than the men’s, with a simple 3 handed centre seconds setup and the inclusion of a date, connected to a simple quartz movement. Finished in all white to compliment the ceramic case, the dial is finished with Roman numerals and the same diamond-set 1′, 3′, and 5′ layout as the larger model, and large luminous sword hands.

Overall the Marine Star Ladies is a smart and well-thought-out watch, with consideration taken to ensure it looks good whatever the occasion. The white ceramic is a welcome look that manages to keep things classy while also standing out in the crowd, and the simplicity of the dial makes for an appealing package, especially with its conservative 36mm size.

Price: US$750

Modern Integrated Quadra Duet – Men’s & Ladies

Bulova Modern Integrated Quadra Duet

The Bulova Modern integrated Quadra Duet finds its DNA deep in Bulova’s history, where they were producing four-sided Quadras as far back as the 1960s. In more recent times, due to the ever-growing popularity of a certain French brand responsible for rather iconic, rectangular dress watches, we are seeing a resurgence of attention to designs from the 60s, of course including the four-sided variety. The Modern Integrated Quadra Duet is a pair of men’s and ladies’ watches combining two on-trend design features, the rectangular shape with the integrated bracelet, a recipe seldom seen in modern wristwatches. Both watches feature bright gold-tone finishing over stainless steel cases, perfectly blended into sophisticated multi-link bracelets, sized at 30mm and 21mm respectively. These are both rather dainty pieces and will likely be reserved for those black-tie events, where the wearer needs to wear the watch, not have the watch wear them. The dials are both identically finished in a rich black with gold-toned accents and hands, along with those ever-present 1, 3, and 5 markers set with diamonds to contrast against the gold. Finishing the watch is the signature Quadra edge-to-edge crystal, covering the entire top face, which helps to emphasise its sleek lines and allows it to easily slip under that tuxedo sleeve.

The Modern Integrated Quadra Duet are a pair of strikingly cool dress watches which would uniquely fit very well with contemporary formal dress. They would perhaps make an excellent “his & hers” pairing for a wedding for example, both able to stay “under-the-radar” enough but also draw in that “what is that on your wrist?” attention for those who are looking. Overall they are a duo of elegant, modern dress watches that pick off elements of Bulova’s history well, and express Marc Anthony’s inspirations perfectly.

Price: US$595

Modern Ladies Bangle

Bulova Marc Anthony Modern Ladies Bangle

The final watch in the CLASSIC style is the Bulova Modern Ladies Bangle. At first glance, it’s a simple time-only, 26mm dress watch, but look closer and there are some subtle details that make the watch really stand out. Reminiscent of the vintage Bulova ladies’ pieces, such as the American Girl “K”, featured in The Queen’s Gambit TV show, it’s highly polished in stainless steel, the circular case is connected to the hinged bangle with articulating lugs, to ensure a close a comfortable fit. Completing the bangle is a series of removable links for finding that perfect size. The silvery-white dial is complimented with gold-toned hands, and a gold Bulova logo at 12′ which contrasts well, along with diamond set 1, 3 and 5’s on the hour markers. If that’s not enough of a Marc Anthony reference for you, there’s an engraving on the caseback that says “Valió la Pena” (It was worth it), chosen by Anthony himself to represent his eighth studio album and title track of the same name, which won a Latin Grammy in 2005.

The Modern Ladies Bangle is an elegant, timeless dress watch, featuring a sophisticated and modern design, combined with subtle details from Marc Anthony’s influence. It will be more than enough to attract the super-fans to grab a piece of Anthony-inspired horological jewellery and is priced attractively too.

Price: US$395

Bulova x Marc Anthony 2023 Collection availability

The Bulova and Marc Anthony Collection was released on October 10th 2023 and is available directly through Bulova.