Among the finest medium-priced watches brands for men and women, there are two notable names: Bulova and Fossil. There is no ending to the debate about whether one of these two is better, in terms of price, model, or style, for their distinguished characteristics within each product.
In this article, we will conduct a full analysis of the matchup of Bulova vs. Fossil and find out whether the watches of Bulova or Fossil outperform the other. Both contenders are fierce rivals, in addition to having certain traits in common. Continue reading for more!
As a well-known American watches and lifestyle brand, Fossil’s main products are watches, leather items, and clothes. They are recognized for fashionable yet reasonably priced watches while also providing a series of hybrid digital watches. In general, Fossil is more popular for women’s wristwatches due to its compact, elegant design.
Bulova also has a long history of manufacturing near-luxurious watches. Its watches offer a sense of durability and powerful sensations for the wearer; therefore, most of its products are for men. Despite the bulky model, Bulova watches will not wear down your wrist like most men’s watches.
Let’s take a closer look at the two brands and decide whether Fossil or Bulova takes the crown.
The History Of Bulova
In 1875, Bulova was founded by Joseph Bulova, a Bohemian immigrant in New York City. It started as a watch shop on Maiden Lane of the current-time Financial District, offering high-quality American pocket watches.
As World War I appeared, the watch shop shifted from selling pocket watches to wrist-worn watches, in Joseph’s belief that wristwatches would be the future of watches. His fearlessness for innovation was right, and the first series of men’s wristwatches was introduced in 1919.
From then on, Bulova’s manufacturing line was moved to Biel, Switzerland, to expand to mass production. It was also one of the first mass-production watch lines of the industry, including other “first” activities throughout the years, such as radio advertisement, television advertisement, and Joseph Bulova School of Watchmaking.
From the 1950s onward, Bulova made a name for itself as a household watchmaker with fantastic watches and amazing advertisement strategies. It was also around this time that the first electric watch was made, and Bulova did not miss this opportunity.
In 1960, it introduced the “Accutron” electric watch lines, which was a breakthrough in the watch-making community at the time, including a 360-hertz tuning mechanism that can vibrate 360 times per second. Bulova’s achievement is still amazing by the present day’s standards.
In 2008, Citizen, a big player in the watch-making industry, bought Bulova for $250 million and expanded its manufacturing to Japan and Hong Kong. Despite being under new ownership, Bulova remains one of the best watch brands in the world.
Pros Of Bulova Watches
Despite being a near-luxurious watch brand, Bulova’s prices are significantly reasonable compared to other watches of the same quality. Compared to other Citizen watch lines, it stands out with its affordability and manufacturing capabilities.
Bulova’s prices range between $300 and $3000. A decent Bulova product costs from $300 to $700, while the best ones are higher than $1000. For such prices, another brand may cost three times as much, but you wouldn’t get the same level of precision and quality.
The greatest strength of Bulova lies in its innovative nature. Bulova’s tradition of experimenting allows it to crush the barriers of standard watches and be creative with various designs and new technologies.
The Bulova manufacturers also listen to their customers and always strive to improve their watches. It is also why Bulova watches are more suitable for men who enjoy challenges and do not hesitate to seek new possibilities.
Cons Of Bulova Watches
As stated, Bulova’s experiment with design is a strength, which also comes with a trade-off. Their flashy looks might be attractive for non-watches enthusiasts, but social elites and experts can tell the smallest flaws within its structure according to watch standards.
The majority of Bulova watches are significantly bigger than common watches because their lineup is usually over 44 millimeters. In addition, the lug-to-lug size is about over 50 millimeters, which can be too big for some people.
Best Bulova Candidates
Bulova 96B158 Precisionist
The Bulova 96B158 Precisionist is one of the best products belonging to the Precisionist line. Featuring leather straps, 9.3 millimeters thick stainless steel case, and a stylish design, this watch is an elegant choice for both casual and formal occasions.
Bulova Classic Automatic 96A187
The most significant feature of Bulova Classic Automatic 96A187 is its attention to detail. It includes a 43 millimeters case with mineral glass for water resistance, beautifully polished Roman numerals, and a transparent case back. What an outstanding choice with a classic, sporty look for daily wear!
The History Of Fossil
Compared to Bulova, Fossil entered the market relatively later, having been around for only a few decades. They began as a member of Fossil Group, which was founded by Tom Kartsotis in 1984 as an importing company from the Far East to the West.
In general, their main imported products are watches, and since 1990, they have been distributing watches under the Fossil name. One of their most popular series is the Relic line, a combination of reasonable prices and exclusive quality.
In 2001, Fossil acquired a watch brand, the Zodiac, from the finest essence of Switzerland – the home of luxury watches. This business venture has established a strong reputation among the watches community and helped Fossil reach new heights in the industry.
Nowadays, Fossil offers a wide variety of watch collections, such as Fossil Nate, Fossil Grant, Fossil Modern Machine, Fossil Townsman, and Hybrid Smartwatches.
Pros Of Fossil Watches
What Bulova and Fossil have in common is the prices. Fossil is the perfect option for an average watch lover on a budget, thanks to its low cost, between $50 and $800.
Despite the price, Fossil watches are durable, water-resistant, and perform much better than their peers, with their batteries lasting for approximately 2 years (for smartwatches).
The reasonable price levels of Fossil watches come from many factors. Not being a luxury brand and convenient manufacturing lines in China or Hong Kong are two notable contributors. At the same time, the design studio is located in Biel, Switzerland. Nevertheless, the Fossil product’s quality is undeniably good.
Unlike Bulova, Fossil watches are significantly more elegant and compact; therefore, many of its products are geared toward women. One of Fossil’s best products, “The Minimalist,” is characterized by its thinness, with only 44 millimeters case and 53 millimeters lug-to-lug long.
In addition to traditional watches, Fossil smartwatches are also worth looking at. Their performance is great, in terms of modern smartwatches standards, while offering a sense of elegance for the wearer. Fossil watches will make a great present for your beloved ones on casual occasions.
Cons Of Fossil Watches
If you are looking for something unique and prestigious, Fossil might not be the best option for you. Their performance is as good as an average watch brand, but exclusivity is not included in the list of features. Nonetheless, their styles are more eye-catching than most watch brands.
Notable Fossil Products
Jacqueline Navy Leather Watch – ES3843
Thanks to its simple and charming outlook, this elegant timepiece was designed for ladies. It has a case size of 36 millimeters, 14 millimeters band size, and quartz movement with a three-hand analog display. Its durable lens was made of a hardened mineral crystal lens that can resist scratches.
Fossil Smartwatch Q Explorist – FTW4002
Featuring an activity tracker, smartphone notifications, and a variety of face recognition styles, this Fossil wristwatch is compatible with iOS and Android devices. The case is 12 millimeters thick, finished with rose & gold-colored stainless steel, and attached to dark navy genuine leather straps.
Final Verdict: Which One Is Better?
After careful evaluation, though it is difficult, we came to the conclusion that there is clearly no winner in the battle between Bulova and Fossil.
Bulova was born from the skilled craftsmanship of generations of watchmakers, with relentless experimental innovation over history to enhance its quality and style. It is a nice in-between watch brand.
On the other hand, Fossil watches are not a bad choice for those who are straightforward with the purpose of the product and want to save money. Fossil offers exactly what their client needs: A simple and elegant timepiece to express themselves and manage time.
Obviously, the choice is yours to make. Your watches define your personality and style no matter what brand you choose. As long as you feel confident wearing the watches you desire, it is the right choice for you.
With the analysis of the Bulova vs. Fossil matchup, we hope that you have learned the pros and cons of the two popular watch brands and decided on the best option for you.
Keep in mind to purchase from authorized stores to avoid fake products, as well as protect your watches from electromagnetic waves from phones, electronic devices, etc.
- History Bulova Luxury Watches: https://www.bulova.com/us/en/collection/explore-history/
- Fossil History: Founding, Timeline, and Milestones: https://www.zippia.com/fossil-group-careers-4672/history/
- Return of Accutron’s Watch Icons: https://coolhunting.com/design/return-of-accutrons-watch-icons/
John is a passionate enthusiast of watches, smartwatches, and wearables who has been exploring the world of horology since childhood. He contributes articles to magazines and websites dedicated to horology and teaches classes on watchmaking at local community centers.