What happens when a heritage brand and a vintage-watch expert team up?
Pictured above: The Limited Edition Analog/Shift x Bulova Oceanographer (left) and the original 1972 model.
Wednesday, January 10, Analog/Shift announced an exciting collaboration with Bulova on the of the re-issue of the Bulova 1972 Oceanographer “Devil Diver,” including 30 Special Edition A/S branded pieces offered exclusively to Analog/Shift clientele.
There’s been a big push in recent years by many brands to woo the vintage-watch crowd with reissues and tributes to historical designs, with overall reception mixed across the board. Collectors are rarely moved when a reissue comes out with quirky exaggerations or modernized features that betray the look and feel of the original model. The team-up between Bulova and Analog/Shift, however, resulted in a gorgeous, well-made watch with a whole lot of vintage personality.
Limited Edition Bulova Oceanographer with Analog/Shift customized caseback
Bulova is one of those “Old New York” companies with a strong sensibility when it comes to appeal of vintage and heritage. Not only is it a brand of “firsts” — Bulova was the first company to advertise on television — but they are champions of historical preservation, boasting one of the most impressive interactive archives in the industry.
Beginning in 2015, the American manufacture launched its Archive Series, a revival of their classic designs, kicked off with the Lunar Pilot Chronograph and followed up by the Chronograph C in early 2017. In the fall of last year, Bulova partnered with Analog/Shift to collaborate on its third Archive Series watch, crowdsourcing the revived model through a public vote of vintage-watch enthusiasts. The overwhelming winner was the Devil Diver.
The Original Bulova Oceanographer “Devil Diver”
In 1972 Bulova plunged headfirst into the world of dive watches, so to speak, with the creation of the Oceanographer. After years of supplying waterproof watches to the U.S. military as well as producing a line of durable sport watches, developing a specialized dive watch came naturally. With competition from the likes of Tudor and Rolex Submariners, Bulova’s Oceanographer, or “Devil Diver" as it's known, held its own with details like the curved, wrist-hugging case, lucite hour markers, high-visibility rotating bezel and its distinct '666-feet' depth rating.
The Archive Series Reissue
Limited Edition Analog/Shift Bulova Oceanographer with exclusive A/S nylon strap
We were thrilled to learn that the reissue watch stayed true to the original design — and it's mechanical! With a 40.5mm waterproof case and automatic SW-220- 1 AIG5 movement, you'd be hard pressed to tell it apart from the original; the bright orange dial further underscores the 1970s dive watch aesthetic.
Movement: SW-220-1 AIG5
Water Resistant: 20 ATM
Case Diameter: 40.5mm
Case Construction: 3pcs
Opening Diameter: 28.0mm
Bracelet/Strap size: 18.0-16.0mm
Bracelet construction: Multiple link
Buckle: Foldover with safety lock
Luminous: Grade A BG-W9
Ultimately, watch collecting is a hobby of fun, much like diving. Horological geekery aside, we love a good throwback, and this watch recalls a model you can’t help but dive head-first in love with.
Pre-orders of the Limited Edition Analog/Shift x Bulova Devil Diver will begin Thursday, 1/11/18 at 12:00 EST. Check it out, here.
Photos by Atom Moore