Timemachine.fi made a review from Bulova 98A156 which has the first curved chronograph watch caliber in the world

Background of review and Bulova 98A156

Even though I have watches and watch accessories for sale and Im running online store, I sometimes like to buy new intresting watches. I mainly love vintage watch and that is why I rarely buy any new watch. This time I made exception because I found a good offer from a intresting watch. I bought Bulova 98A156 from Bulova´s CURV collection. Bulova watch brand has been familiar for me even before this purchase. Few years ago I owned Bulova Sea King automatic vintage from 1969. Bulova is famous USA based company which has established by Joseph Bulova in 1875. Bulova started to sell watches in 1911 and wristwatches in 1919. Nowdays Bulova belong to Citizen Corporation.

Bulova introduced intresting new CURV watch collection at Baselworld in 2016. Once again Bulova made history by CURV watch collection. Bulova bends the rules with the ground breaking debut of the world’s first curved chronograph movement. Called the Bulova CURV, the collection is a marvel of technical engineering with a sleek ergonomic design and a slim case never before possible in a chronograph movement. Five-hand chronograph in titanium and stainless steel case, dark grey exhibition dial with rose gold-tone accents, exhibition screw-back case, curved sapphire glass with black metallization on the outer crystal, black rubber strap with 3-piece buckle closure, and water resistance to 30 meters. Bulova CURV is engineered to perfection with a high-performance quartz movement that vibrates at 262kHz frequency for precise accuracy and it is the world´s first curved chronograph movement features high performance quartz.

Box/papers and first impression

Bulova 98A156 is delivered in silver coloured cardboard box. Box has Bulova logo on top of the box. Construction of box seems to be pretty robust and quite well-made. Of course wooden box would give better impression and more of “WOW” effect, but considering the price of the watch, I can understand why this watch is not delivered in wooden box.

Watch is delivered with user manual and it has about 80 pages. Manual is translated for several languages like English, German, Italian and Russian. Bulova gives 3 years warranty for original owner, which is nice. There were also plastic tag attached to strap.

When took watch itself from the box first time, it gives great impression. The design of frame is unique because of curved frame design. Rose gold-tone frame, grey bezel, dark grey dial with red hands looks good combination. Watch has also curved sapphire glass which is super nice from user point of view, because sapphire is highly scratch resistant. Alligator grain black matte leather strap is thin and it does not feel very quality product. Buckle has Bulova logo and is partly brushed and mirror finished.

Review after usage

Bulova has 43mm case diameter, but it feels a bit smaller in your wrist. The reason for this is the shape of the case. Watch frame and case back has curv shape and watch fits very well for your wrist. For this reason watch accommodate almost perfectly your wrist and it has better fit to your wrist than other watches. This better fit to your wrist has been probably reason for design. Another engineering achievement is Bulova’s high-frequency quartz movements which operate at 262kHz for accuracy above and beyond “standard” quartz movements. Normal quartz watch has the frequency is 32768 Hz so Bulova´s curv movement works at higher amplitude. This feature is seen when following ticking of subdial. It operates more constantly than normal quartz watch movement. Bulova is very famous from their tuning fork movement (Bulova Accutron) and if compared CURV movement to Accutron, Accutron movement runs much more smoothly almost without ticking effect.

Another distinctive feature of this movement is that this one does not have center second hand. It has only chronograph sub-second, minute counter and hour counter hands. Some of users maybe would like to have second hand function. It took a moment to get realize that second hand is missing so maybe second hand is not necessary function in this watch because you can use sub-second to cover this function. Unfortunately the original strap is not the best. It is very thin and not even padded. It seems to be the weakest point in this model. Strap is not very well made and does not give reliable feeling. This watch deserves much more better handmade leather strap. Otherwise brown alligator grain like original one looks great with rose gold-tone case. Water resistant of watch is 30m. This means that watch is not suitable for swimming. It just splash and rain resistant. When watch has chronograph function, it promise you more than normal quartz watch. It should be able to use in sports or racing etc. Now when watch has 30m water resistant, part of the fun is missing, because you can not use this watch in some cases.

Technical specification

Brand: BULOVA
Band Color: Black
Band Material: Leather
Case Diameter (MM): 43
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Clasp: Buckle
Collection: CURV
Crystal: Curve Sapphire
Dial Color: Black
Display: Analog
Gender: Men’s
Style: Dress
Warranty: 3 Year Bulova Limited Warranty
Watch Movement: Quartz
Water Resistance (M): 30

Summary

Overally Bulova chronograph CURV collection 98A156 watch is a nice watch. You can purchase it by reasonable price, it has unique and recognisable design, and most important it looks good in your wrist and it´s comfortable to use. It is also nice to have 3 years manufacturer´s warranty. Detail and finishing level of the watch is great compared the price of the watch. Probably any watch is not perfect, so neither do this one. It has only 30m water resistant which means that you can not use this watch for example in swimming. Watch deserves also better quality strap than original one. Otherwise watch is highly recommended. Bulova 98A156 seperates positively from other watches on the market.


Introduction of Watch That Sweep blog

Timemachine.fi did collaboration with UK based Watch That Sweep watch blog. Watch That Sweep watch blog is mainly focused in the affordable category, so most of his articles will focus on wristwatches in that range, both new and sometimes vintage. Man behind Watch That Sweep -blog is 25 years old James. James is fellow blogger and watch enthusiastic. James has started his blog in March 2018 as a way of expressing his creativity and sharing his hobby for horology. James tries and gives a balanced view of whatever his is writing about. Too many of the mainstream blogs just write sponsored adverts, rather than real reviews, these days.

James has always been interested in watches. “Having seen them on the wrists of my favourite characters as a kid, James Bond being a prime example as the film’s draw such attention to them. Three years ago was when I started to get into watches seriously as I got a job in a jewellers.” James says.

James owns currently 10 watches. His first serious watch was a Christopher Ward C60 Trident. He owns also a CW C65 Vintage as he is a big fan of the brand, their quality and the designs they create. His other favourites are the new Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical and a 1988 Tudor Prince Oysterdate, which was a present from his girlfriend.

Review of Bergeon 7767-F by Watch That Sweep

Timemachine.fi sent Bergeon 7767-F spring bar tool for a review for Watch That Sweep. Bergeon is a very well-known Swiss horological tool manufacturer. Bergeon is founded in 1791 at La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland and company is manufacturing the finest watchmaking tools in the world.  

“If you compare the Bergeon spring bar tool against a cheap equivalent you’ll see an immediate difference in quality. It’s easily twice the weight, as the main handle is stainless steel (not aluminium), and the knurling across its length provides better grip than the cheap alternative. The heads at each end are better made too, being stronger and much better machined. Overall the Bergeon tool just feels so much nicer, a true tool rather than a cheap gizmo off eBay. Of course the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the Bergeon tool is a joy to use. Whilst the forked end of a cheaper spring bar tool will struggle to get a good grip down the opening left by a steel bracelet, the Swiss tool manages with ease. My Christopher Ward Trident, which is notorious for being tricky to change its bracelet, had its straps swapped with ease. says James from Watch That Sweep. 

James says also about tool: “It might seem like a lot for a tool as simple as this, but the old axiom that “you get what you pay for” applies here. Having had a go with Bergeon’s spring bar tool, there is no doubt in my mind it’s easier to change straps with it, than with my cheap knock-off version. And if your still in doubt, then look at it this way – the easier it is to change the strap, the less likely you are to scratch the lugs of your beloved pieces!”. Timemachine.fi offers a range of Bergeon products: spring bar tools, screwdrivers and dial protectors etc. Bergeon 7767-F spring bar tool can be found here: https://timemachine.fi/product/bergeon-7767-f-spring-bar-tool/

Thank you for Watch That Sweep for collaboration. If you are intrested to get more information about affordable watches, you should visit Watch That Sweep watch blog: https://www.watchthatsweep.co.uk/


The story behind the review

We made collaboration with Relojes Asequibles watch blog. The man behind Relojes Asequibles watch blog is nice and charm watch enthusiastic Juan. Our collaboration started by change. Timemachine.fi have some spanish followers in Instagram and one of them contacted me because this follower has Finnish wife. We discussed about watches and other nice things, and later on he mentioned that by the way: “I know man who writes watch blog in Spain”. Of course I was curious to know more and then I contacted to Juan personally. After few emails we decided to make collaboration and I sent watch review to him. We decided to donate watch after review to person who contacted me in first stage. 🙂

Relojes Asequibles watch blog is located in Spain so if you are able to understand Spanish, you can read original review in link here: https://relojesasequibles.wordpress.com/2018/11/16/review-neckmarine-vintage-crono-nkm935j02/  ,but if not, you can find free form English translation here.

Review of Neckmarine Vintage Chrono NKM935J02 by Relojes Asequibles

First of all, Neckmarine is a new brand for Relojes Asequibles for a review. Neckmarine is a Spanish watch brand and brand a relatively large catalog where you can find mostly affordable quartz watches. Neckmarine credits includes that brand is the Official Sponsor of the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation andofficial watch of the Spanish Olympic Sailing Team. Fans of water sports may have a reason to purchase Neckmarine because some models wear the shield of the federation. As mentioned Neckmarine have several collections in their catalog and this reviewed watch belongs to the Vintage series. Let’s make a review and see main features.

In Spain there are unfortunately very little watchmaking tradition as compared to other European countries. It is very interesting that there are national brands today try to open a gap in this complicated world. The vast majority of them do not produce the product within national borders, but watches are designed in specific country and then the manufacturing process is outsourced. We have to take this into account when buying a watch of these national brands, but it is better to be this way that there is no Spanish brand of watches, so if you see a watch that fits you with design and price do not dismiss it for the simple fact that it is from here and so you will be contributing to our industry being developed further.

When the watch received, the first thing that draws our attention is that in the packaging of the watch. Package has xxternal carton part labeled the name of the brand and the claim of sponsorship of the national sailing team. Once we put a side this cardboard box, we found watch box itself. It is not a very elegant presentation but it fulfills its purpose. Perhaps another presentation would have been better solution because of nature of the watch. The watch comes with typical tag, instruction manual and documentation.

Once tag is removed from the watch, we can see how light it is, because it has quartz movement and with a NATO strap. Weight is more than 50g which makes it very comfortable to wear and almost does not notice it on the wrist. The material of the strap is of good quality and laser engraved logo of the brand in buckle is looking great. Since we are talking about this type of straps, they give us an almost perfect fit on the wrist and get along very well both in winter and in summer. They can be changed with at remendous ease (so we can combine them with our outfit) and also give us an extra security of not losing the watch if a spring bar is broken because the clock is always held by the other. By a normal strap or bracelet if a spring bar breaks, the watch inevitably goes to the floor.

The case of the watch is 42mm of diameter and finished in black PVD, just like the crown and the buttons. The back cover is blind and snap off type. The thickness of the watch is just 8mm and because of that watch will easily enter below the cuffs of the shirts.

The crystal is mineral and has a domed shape, which makes the case looks great with the vintage style what Neckmarine wanted to give to this watch. The dial is black and has a very interesting texture, at 9 we find the logo of the brand and at 3 the date. And at 6 o’clock and at 12 o’clock there are sub-dials. The first one is the second hand of the clock and the second one that counts the minutes of the clock. It is a very nice arrangement, but there is a minor problem because the chrono minutes from 20 to 40 are not marked and you have to count them by eye.

The subs and chrono seconds are red, which is a very attractive aesthetic. The hour and minute hands, as well as the applied indexes, are silver-colored so that reading the time is very easy because a good contrast is achieved on the black dial.

The caliber used in this watch is Seiko YM91 which is a simple and reliable quartz caliber that counts among its characteristics with a chronometer capable of measuring 1/5 “and an average battery life of 5 years. Simple, but that fulfills more than enough for its purpose. A watch with a beautiful aesthetic and it reminds one of the Undone that has reviewed. Watch is reasonably well finished for this price range and it can fill very nicely the quartz watch hole of our collection.

That was very realistic and well made review by Juan from Relojes Asequibles. Thank you for collaboration! You can find this specific model in sale here: https://timemachine.fi/product/neckmarine-vintage-nkm935j02/