You are currently viewing The 7 Must-Have Blue Face Bulova Watches

You're a watch collector and you know what you want: a blue face Bulova watch. It's good to be decisive, but now you need the facts to make an informed decision. I'm here to provide you with exactly that.

I will present to you the 7 best blue face Bulova watches in my opinion. I chose the finest examples of this precise type of watch, in 7 different categories. There should be a model for every type of collector.

Chronograph Watch


The Bulova 97B168 is a real display of beauty. I chose to talk about this timepiece first since it is my favorite of the bunch. On this model, the alluring deep blue dial is matched with a gold-tone silver case and bezel.

The color palette brings out the best of each individual tones, and each different pieces of the watch work together. For example, the red stitching goes along with the seconds and chronograph hands tips. The light line of gold on the other hands match the case, and the blue leather strap obviously pairs well with the dial.

I won't go on too much about the merits of the Bulova 97B168, since its best selling point is its beauty. I can simply guarantee you that it is a very good watch that will last you a long time.If you do want to learn more details about this particular model, you can read my full review here.

Get it if

  • You love chronograph watches
  • You need reliable timekeeping
  • You want attention to your wrist

Avoid it if

  • You want more than 100m water-resistance
  • You have small wrists (6.5 in and less)

Casual Watch


The Bulova 96B257 is part of the ''Precisionist'' lineup. This means you get a very precise timekeeping device. How precise? You may ask. Bulova says it will keep the time 8 time more precisely than your average quartz movement.

Looking at the numbers, the 96b257 will gain or lose about 10 seconds per year. This is incredible, compared to the average of 10-15 seconds per month for most common quartz timepieces. It is even more accurate when compared to mechanical movements, which can commonly vary of 10-15 seconds every single day.

The 43mm x 10.5mm case is medium sized and slim. This will look good on most of my readers wrists. The dial is a very light blue, and it fits perfectly with its discrete styling. You can dress it up or down, with its versatile ''alligator-like'' leather band.

Even if it doesn't look too sporty, the 96B257 is still good for 100m water resistance, which is plenty for recreational diving and even snorkeling. The takeaway element of this piece is really its 262 khz quartz movement, which is displayed at the bottom of the dial.

Get it if

  • You want extreme precision
  • You want a slim, light timepiece
  • You need a polyvalent, classy watch

Avoid it if

  • You prefere mechanical movements
  • You want an easy to read dial

Diver Watch


The Bulova 98B301 is part of the same Marine Star lineup as the previously presented 97B168. Unlike the 97B168, the 98B301 is a proper diving watch, and an elegant one as well. Its most noticeable feature is the 200m water resistance, which is good for amateur diving. You might want to look for another brand if you need a watch for professional diving purposes.

The Bulova Marine Star offers you the convenience of a diver watch, with the beauty and usefulness of a chronograph timepiece. The three subdials, from left to right are: 60 seconds, 60 minutes and 1/10th second. 

The 45mm x 15.4mm case gives the 98B301 a great presence on your wrist. Even though its quite big and it uses a stainless steel bracelet, this models still has a lightweight feel to it. The deep blue dial is absolutely gorgeous and it goes very well with the discreet rose-gold tone on the hands, bezel and screw-down crowns.

One of the cool quirks of this model is the slightly domed mineral crystal. It sticks out just enough to add style, without increasing the risk of scratching it too much. Another quirky feature is the position of the date display, which is at the bottom of the dial.

Get it if

  • You need a watch for snorkeling or diving
  • You have medium to large wrists
  • You like the tradition of curved dome

Avoid it if

  • You need a professional diving watch
  • You have small wrists (6.5 in and less)

Minimalist/Dress Watch


The 96A188 is the epitome of minimalism when it comes to Bulova watches. There are several reasons for that. The first one is its tiny size. The 96A188 is the smallest timepiece presented today, with its 39mm x 6mm case and 18mm band width. This is perfect for two categories of collectors ; people with small wrists (including me), and people who wants a subtle piece.

Another reason why the 96A188 is considered minimalistic is the very plain dial. I don't mean plain in a boring way, what I'm saying is that it is very clean and refined. There are no superfluous information; no date, no numerals, no chronograph. This leaves you with nothing but a gorgeous dark blue dial and silver hands.

The 96A188 keeps everything to the basics. It is good for 30m water-resistance, which should be enough for showering and hand washing, but nothing more. The flat mineral glass helps keep the watch as slim and lightweight as it is. 

The stainless steel bracelet that comes with the 96A188 is very light, but I consider it to be the weak point of this watch. It is good for the first few months, but it shows its age quickly, and you might run into problems such as rattling and hard to open clasps. We recommend replacing it with a third-party bracelet to get an outstanding timepiece.

Get it if

  • You prioritize beauty over function
  • You want a purified styling
  • You love discreet, subtle timepieces

Avoid it if

  • You have large wrists (8in and up)
  • You don't have money to replace the band



There is no question why we chose the Bulova 98C123 as the best choice in our ''modern'' category. It is a very innovative timepiece that uses modern features while still having a classic elegant feel to it. The first feature that will grab your eyes  is clearly the bezel.

When looking at the watch head on, you might think there is no bezel at all. Fortunately, there is a bezel to protect the beautiful dial. What makes it so special is the glossy finish, which makes it look like the crystal spans 100% across the dial and bezel, making it look like only one piece. 

The slightly curved mineral crystal increases even more this illusion. With its 40mm x 11mm case, it is a bit larger than the 96A188, but much thicker. The 22m band also adds a bit to the wrist presence of this model. Like all the other watches presented today, the 96A188 is equipped with a reliable quartz movement.

Another feature that helped the 96A188 make its way to the top of the modern list is the date display. As you can see on the bottom right, the date is stylishly displayed using a hand and letters. Additionally, there are two chronograph dials, which are rare to see on a small model like this one.

Get it if

  • You love non-conventional styling
  • You want a bit of chronograph features
  • You like small bezels

Avoid it if

  • You respect watchmaking traditions
  • You have large wrists (8 in and up)

Best Value


The 96B295 is the cheapest model presented today. Don't let its low price fool you, it is worth every penny you'll pay for it. You will get the same japanese quartz movement that is in most of the other watches on this list (except for the super specific ''Precisionist'' line). You will also get the same mineral crystal  and 30m water resistance .

The dial is what differenciates the 96B295 from its peers. It displays crisp, large roman numerals. The white on blue color scheme really helps to see the characters even better.

This model comes from factory with a nice blue leather belt.  You can wear it for months at first, but you might get tired of the blue on blue aspect of the watch. If this happens, I strongly suggest using the money you saved buying this good value model, to buy either a brown leather or Nato strap. Both of these ideas will add a lot of life to the timepiece, and change completely its styling.

With its 40mm x 6.6mm stainless steel case, it is part of the smallest watches in the Bulova collection.

Get it if

  • You want roman numerals
  • You need large display numbers
  • You're on a tight budget

Avoid it if

  • You want a high end watch
  • You expect a feature rich timepiece

High End


The 98C128 is no subtle watch. Its stainless steel bracelet, hands, bezel and roman numerals all have a gold-tone finish. What really makes this watch bling is the 318 Swarovski crystals incrusted in the bracelet, bezel and dial. These will really glitter under light.

By looking at it, the 98C128 is really a beautiful watch that looks luxurious. Some collectors might see that as a problem, considering it is trying to replicate real gold watches with incrusted diamonds that often cost 5 or 6 figures. This whath definitely looks the part, but you might look like a ''fake flexer'' to snobish collectors.

The 44mm x 10.4mm case is bulky and I can't recommend it for people with small wrists. On someone with a big wrist, this piece will look really good and its strong presence will surely be remarked by both collectors and average Joes.

The three chronograph sub dials ( day, 24 hours and date) give a sophisticated look to the deep blue dial. 

Several users reported wearing the 98C128 for many years and it never tarnished. The important thing is to be careful not to scratch it, and to keep it clean and under good conditions. 

Get it if

  • You like flashy watches
  • You want to be noticed
  • You like chronograph features

Avoid it if

  • You want authentic gold/diamond
  • You have small wrists (6.5 in and less)

This list did not include every single blue face Bulova watch for sale currently, I simply chose the best watches in 7 pre-selected categories. If there are other blue face Bulova watches that you would like to know more about, please leave me a comment so I can review it in a different article.

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