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“As a "sporty dress watch" this large all-gold...”

Written on: 07/04/2009 by Ricochet2009 (1 review written)

Good Points
Excellent unique design, not a copy of anyother brand.
Easy grip ratcheting bezel.
Fold-over, bracelet clasp with two-button release.
Surprise diver's "extension link", very easy to deploy.
Very smooth bracelet.

Bad Points
Crown should have been "screw down" type for added water resistance.
Diver's extension link has only two positions, although room for more.
Ratcheting bezel is unidirectional (anti-clockwise) only.

General Comments
As a "sporty dress watch" this large all-gold ion-plated timepiece is second to none. I got compliments from complete strangers, and that's saying something for a 2nd rate watch brand. Despite the lofty $325.00 MSRP, you'll often find this watch at $200.00 (USD) or below. It is a bargain! The gold ion-plating is very thorough over the stainless steel, no silver poking through even between the links where other brands often miss it. The top surface has a "brushed" gold tone but has a lustre that makes it look genuine (photos don't do the look justice). The sides are polished gold tone and subtly enhace the overall look. If the thing was all brushed, it would look old but if it was all polished it would look fake. This watch is very large (41mm or 44mm with crown), with a curved crystal that is slightly raised from the bezel on purpose to show thickness. The black bezel with the black face is just right for an all-gold bracelet (in my aesthetic opinion). There are a lot of diver's watches that all copy the look of Rolex's Submariner; some good companies and some not-so-good. This is the only diver's design that looks good and functions in the same way, but is clearly not a copy. The design is distinctly Bulova, and you don't have to worry whether you bought a fake or not.

As a "divers" watch this functions very well, although it is only rated at 100m (330 ft.). It has a very large dial and it is easy to see the markers in low light. The glow-in-the-dark markers are fine and last about an hour in near/total darkness (not as good as Seiko's markers) after being charged with sunlight or a sun lamp. ***One thing I discovered after receiving this watch is that the official ads and even the manual do not explain this watch has a diver's extension link.*** After opening the clasp, pull the clasp body away from the bracelet link and a smaller hinged link pops out. There are only two positions that the hinged link can take (a Rolex has at least 6) but it quickly enlarges the bracelet by under an inch so you can put your watch over your neoprene suit sleeve without tools. I don't know why Bulova doesn't advertise this slick feature.

In addition there are more models that use the same bezel/case/bracelet design in case gold is too flashy. I wanted an all-stainless steel everyday watch and turned to the 98H35 (the only variant so-far sold in Canada). American shops sell both plus the 98H25 Chronometer (Stainless steel and black face), 98H37 Chronometer (Stainless steel, blue face and gold accents), 98B005 Chronometer (Stainless steel, gold bezel, white face and gold accents) and the 98E101 Chronometer (Stainless steel, diamond set bezel, white face and gold accents). The last two are a bit over-the-top IMO.

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