The new Bulova Marine Star models reframe a mish-mash of influences into bombastic new looks The new Bulova Marine Star models reframe a mish-mash of influences into bombastic new looks

The new Bulova Marine Star models reframe a mish-mash of influences into bombastic new looks

Fergus Nash

Some watches play to a faithful template, while others prefer to try something more imaginative. These new Bulova Marine Star models are definitely in the second category, pulling influences from seemingly every direction and frankly it’s difficult to know what to make of them. All that said, if you’re looking for something with unashamed character and bombastic looks, Bulova definitely have you covered.

The cases

The first consideration of the Bulova Marine Star is its style, as the Series “A” and “B” categories within the collection are quite distinct from each other. Both are aiming to be hefty divers, however the “B” variants take on more of a ‘60s chronograph influence while the “A” watches are a blockier, industrial beast. With thick and harshly bevelled corners on the lugs, the “A” type Bulova Marine Star is like a tank on the wrist. A small shelf juts out between the lugs too with a deep brushing, allowing straight-end straps or bracelets to achieve a near-integrated look easily. There are two layers of bezel, with the outer layer being almost octagonal and the upper bezel circular with indents and a blue coating.

The “B” type Marine Star case retains a sense of sophistication with its sloping lugs, although it doesn’t shy away from making a powerful impression in other ways. The outer bezel also has some thick indentations, and the case’s flared “ears” help to protect the crowns and balance the symmetry. Typical chronograph pushers and the crown are on the right hand side, while the second crown for operating the internal diving bezel can be found at 10 o’clock. Neither of the watches are for the faint of heart nor wrist, as the 45mm (Series “A”) and 44mm (Series “B”) don’t mess around. The lug-to-lug lengths of both watches hover around 49mm however, taking a little bit of the edge off, as do the respective thicknesses of 13.45mm and 11.8mm.

The dials

Starting with the Bulova Marine Star Series “A”, there’s definitely a lot going on with this dial. Within the blue-coated bezel a firm base of near-regality is established, with an octagonal sector of guilloché that holds the hour markers. The Bulova tuning fork acts as the 12 o’clock marker, while Roman numerals occupy the even number spaces and Roman ones for odds. Minute markers with Arabic numerals line the perimeter, and the centre enjoys a deep blue sunburst finish. All this is punctuated by bold sword hands that denote the diving inspiration, as well as the 200m water resistance surrounded by stars. The small seconds subdial and open heart window to the balance wheel are asymmetrically cut from the dial, adding complexity and intrigue that will entertain lovers of automatic movements.

The Marine Star Series “B” is not necessarily a simpler dial in execution, but it is so in concept. The quartz-powered chronograph displays a running seconds subdial, a 60-minute timer, and a subdial for measuring twentieths of a second. A date display is neatly tucked in at 4:30, and the hour markers are easily legible with big blocks of luminous paint. Although it’s unlikely many will use this watch for scuba diving, there is an inner timing bezel available with markers for the first 15 minutes, and then at 5-minute intervals. All of this is just detail on top of a blaring orange colour, reminiscent of the Bulova Devil Diver.

The movements


Bulova have a proud American history, but they have actually been owned by the Japanese watchmaker Citizen since 2008. Citizen’s movement manufacture is called Miyota, and they are often used by brands looking for reliability, serviceability, and affordability. Powering the Bulova Marine Star Series “A” is the automatic calibre 82S5, which is specially designed to display its balance wheel. It has a power reserve of 42 hours, and a beat rate of 21,600 vibrations per hour. While the 82S5 is visible through a mineral crystal display caseback, the quartz movement of the Series “B” chronograph is hidden behind a solid one.

The straps

Quality of affordable watches has skyrocketed in the two decades, and cost-cutting methods such as folded-link bracelets are mostly a thing of the past. Both of the Bulova Marine Star new releases are available on solid steel bracelets, with the Series “A” given an engineer-style with a butterfly clasp and the Series “B” granted a more traditional 21mm three-link design with a fold-over clasp. The Series “A” also happens to be available on a blue rubber strap if you want a cheaper option, as the 23mm lug width may be difficult to shop for.

The new Bulova Marine Star watches pricing and availability:

The new Bulova Marine Star Series “A” and “B” watches are now available from Bulova retailers. Price: AU$650 (Series “B) / AU$750 (Series “A” on rubber) / AU$850 (Series “A” on bracelet)

Brand Bulova Bulova
Model Marine Star Series “A” Marine Star Series “B”
Case Dimensions 44mm x 13.45mm 45mm x 11.8mm
Case Material Stainless steel Stainless steel
Water Resistance 200m 100m
Crystal(s) Mineral crystal Mineral crystal
Dial Blue Orange
Strap Blue rubber or steel bracelet Steel bracelet
Movement Miyota 82S5 Miyota quartz
Power Reserve 42 hours Battery life
Availability Available now Available now
Price AU$750 (on rubber) / AU$850 (on bracelet) AU$650