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Bulova Hack - Stunning Remake of an Iconic Military Watch

Posted on April 13 2021

Bulova Hack Cream Military Watch

The best watches have a story. It's part of what makes them so appealing.

They're more than simply tools to tell the time. The watch on your wrist could have sentimental value or sport the colours of your favourite football team.

With the most desirable watches, you're buying more than the physical product. There's the brand's heritage to consider. Often that is an intriguing story. But sometimes it's the individual model. Great watches can have a compelling history.

And this is as true at the affordable end of the market as it is with luxury watches.

That is why I had to get my hands on the Bulova Hack. It's a watch with a story.

Bulova Hack Field Watch

Bulova Hack Automatic 96A246

  • 38mm Diameter
  • 13.5mm Thick
  • 18mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Automatic movement
  • Domed Mineral Crystal
  • 30M Water Resistance


Bulova Hack Military Watch Review


The Hack is a modern remake of a classic field watch from Bulova's back catalogue.

And I'm a big fan of remakes and reissues. When a brand takes a proven design and remakes it - with modern materials and production - the results can be captivating.

What is not to like about an authentic watch, with a successful track record, being reissued?

Timex did it with the Q model and Bulova have already given us the Lunar Pilot and the colourful Devil Diver.

In each of those cases, the manufacturer took strong and bold designs and gave us new reliable versions.

The Hack was the next classic Bulova model to be reissued.

Why Was the New Bulova Hack Released?

Because the Hack and watches like it are iconic. Bulova built the original watches for the US military to use in WW2.

They are a part of our history and remind us of sacrifices made by previous generations. These are the watches that the courageous wore.

But original examples can often be expensive, tatty and in need of repair. That's a shame. These watches were famed for their functionality, ruggedness and simple design.

Bulova Hack 96A246 Watch

It's why I was so excited to get this new version. It was created for a very specific job. And I'm going to keep hammering away at this point.

Military and Field watches are purpose-built.

You don't need a blogger sitting on a laptop in the UK to tell you this. You know. There are real-world consequences to going into battle with a crappy watch.

And that was even more true 70 years ago.

I love that these watches were designed for use in life or death situations. It's even better to know that they excelled at the job.

The original Bulova Hack was created to be legible and reliable. To sum up the design in one word? It had to be effective.

The fact that it was attractive was a bonus.

Bulova Hack Cream Field Watch

The Bulova Hack Watch in Detail


Let's not get too bogged down in the specs. Instead, let's look at what the designers set out to achieve and what the results were.

This watch had to be easy to read. That was a must.

So the dial is simple and clear. Like most military watches it's utilitarian. There are a prominent 12-hour track and a smaller 24-hour track. Along with the cathedral hands, this makes timekeeping easy.

The hands are lumed and there are lumed dots at the hour on the outer dial.

Field and military watches were designed to be discreet, and the Hack is no exception. In practice that often means that they are compact and uncomplicated. It's the antithesis of many modern watches.

For the Hack, this means that it is 38mm wide.

That may sound small, but it wears very well. It doesn't feel or look small on my wrist. It's quite thick - 13.5mm - and that helps. The crystal is domed and adds to the vintage charm. It even distorts the numbers when viewed from an angle. That's either annoying or authentic depending on your viewpoint.

Bulova Military Watch

But the big question is, does this watch Hack?

You bet it does.

If you're not familiar with the term, it means that the second hand can be stopped by pulling the crown out. Soldiers could use that feature to synchronise their watches to the second.

The new Bulova Hack uses a Miyota 82S0 automatic movement with this hacking feature. It's a Japanese movement that gives the vintage-inspired watch a trusted and reliable engine.

Bulova has finished off the watch with a beautiful leather NATO-style strap. I'm not the first to mention the high quality of the leather.

Bulova Watch Leather Strap

It's surprisingly comfortable and a perfect choice for the watch.

You'll have to bear in mind that it does add to the overall height of the watch. If you want it to sit a little lower on your wrist, you could swap it for a standard leather strap.

Where to buy the Bulova Hack


There are two variations of this watch. A black dial version and this cream model. Of the two, I preferred the cream dial.

Bulova Hack Cream Field Watch

It was cheaper for me to buy this watch from Jomashop in the US and have it shipped to the UK than pay full RRP from a UK dealer.

 


This elegant watch was around £200. I'm more than happy with that. It's a classic design, with a great backstory and built to high standards.

It's authentic and recreates the WW2 aesthetic that I find so appealing. It has a strong look. And due to the height, it feels substantial. That's important because the smaller diameter may be off-putting when you're used to modern 45mm dive watches.

For me, this watch is a winner. And the modest case size is a pro, not a con.

Conclusion


Watches with stories are always going to be desirable. More so when the story involves the military and the watches proven track record.

That is why the Bulova Hack is so appealing. It's from a US brand that has a history of supplying American soldiers with watches. And this is a remake of one of their most iconic watches.

The finished product is authentic to the watches of WW2 but has the reliability of a modern mechanical watch.

That gives you the best of both worlds. Vintage chic and a two-year warranty.

I've had this on my wrist for a few weeks now and it's a keeper. I was right to think that I'd love this watch.

Is it too small?

For me, it's not. What I would say, is that it's not a dainty piece. It's reasonably thick and has a domed crystal. The NATO strap adds height too.

I guess the only way to find out is to try it on. But of course, like me, you might not want to take it back off.

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