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Yesterday, a good friend of mine posted his concerns to Instagram about the way Bulova chose to flip both their middle fingers at their own collectors. And it is bad. Read the whole story here:

In January 2018, @reviewspeed bought what was supposed to be a special collector’s edition Bulova watch: The Bulova X Analog/Shift ‘666’ Devil Diver. Marketed as a true copy of the legendary Devil Diver from the 70s, it was going to be produced in an edition of 666 watches, with a special Analog/Shift edition of 30 watches. Deliveries were scheduled for September the same year.

In November 2018, the customers who had bought this special edition received a letter, from the Marketing VP of Bulova, stating that they had some “issues” with production. They had to drop a very essential feature, the day window, to ensure the watch would pass ISO 6425 and be a true divers watch.

Letter from Bulova to collectors regarding Devil Diver 666

By dropping the day window, and thus abandoning the idea of a true replication of the Devil Diver, Bulova stuck their customers with a lesser watch. A Sellita 220 movement was announced for the new limited edition at launch. My guess is that Bulova replaced this movement with an already ISO certified Sellita 200, and this may be the reason for the way in which this watch changed. I would also reckon that “production problems” may actually have been ISO problems with the Sellita 220.

What is even worse

Apart from this blunder, what is even worse as far as I am concerned, is that Bulova, with open eyes it would seem, conceals this fact, and even falsifies their own history in ways that are very obvious.

In their Assouline published book “Bulova – A History of Firsts” there is a picture on pages 166-167 referencing both the original Devil Diver, and the new reedition of the watch.

The original photo for the book was taken by the infamous @Atommore and used for the “2018 Gala and Charity Auction” hosted by Horological Society of New York.

Left: New limited edition. Right: Original 1972 edition
Page 166 and 167 from the book Bulova History of Firsts
Page 166-167 in Bulova – History of Firsts

Below you see a photo from the same shooting that was published in WatchTime.

From WatchTime article, Photo by Atom_more

So what is the problem here?

Well, there are several. First of all Bulova chose to misrepresent the remake of the watch by using their prototype with a day window. The book may have been published before the change was made, but the end result is that the watch that eventually hit the market looks different than the watch in the book. Second, and more problematic, is that they photoshopped new hands onto the original 1972 Devil Diver in the book. 

Left: 1972 version as seen in Bulova History of Firsts, after Photoshop. Right: Exact same watch in original picture before Photoshop.

Books, especially those published by the brand itself, represent the most accurate source of knowledge for serious vintage collectors. Why Bulova would choose to forge the history of such a significant watch is beyond me. They took a perfectly nice looking vintage watch with matching lume and changed it for the worse. The hands now stick out like a sore toe. It is time that Bulova starts taking pride in their collectors instead of giving them the shaft.

Get a grip Bulova!