Bulova was founded and incorporated as the J. Bulova Company in 1875 by Bohemian immigrant Joseph Bulova. It was reincorporated under the name Bulova Watch Company in 1923, and became part of the Loews Corporation in 1979 and sold to Citizen at the end of 2007.
Joseph Bulova launched his first plant dedicated entirely to the manufacturing of watches in 1912. Producing watches at their factory in Biel (Switzerland), he began a new methode of mass production. Bulova offered the first complete range of watches for men in 1919. His watches became popular with the American public due to the iconic visual style of his advertising. Not only the style, precision and technological research also became important for Bulova. In 1927, he set up an observatory on the roof of a skyscraper to precisely determine universal time.
Bulova became a well-known and popular watch company in 1923. In 1926, Bulova made the first advertisement broadcast on radio, announcing the first beep of history: 'At the tone, it's eight o’clock, Bulova Watch Time', and was heard by millions in the US. When Charles A. Lindbergh became the first solo pilot to cross the Atlantic nonstop in 1927, he not only got a check for $1000, but also a genuine Bulova Watch. This became an emblem for the brand that created the "Lone Eagle" model in his likeness.
In the 1960s, the company rivaled with Omega Watches to be become the 'first watch on the Moon'. In 1971, a Bulova chronograph was carried on board Apollo 15—the fourth mission to land men on the Moon—by mission commander David Scott. All twelve men who walked on the Moon wore standard Omega Speedmaster watches that had been officially issued by NASA, and are deemed to be government property. However, during Scott's second excursion on the Moon's surface, the crystal face on his Omega watch had popped off. So, during his next lunar walk, he used his backup Bulova watch. This watch, the Bulova Chronograph Model #88510/01, was expected to fetch more than $1 million, as it is the only privately owned watch to have been worn while walking on the moon. There are photos of him wearing the watch. In the end, it sold for $1.625 million, which makes it the most valuable astronaut-owned artifact ever sold at auction.
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