There are tonnes of watches available out there and the number of competing brands grows with each passing year. Thus, always make sure to choose one that provides value in return for the money and offers consistency for long-term usage.
One of the two famous and oldest names in the industry are Bulova and Omega. Both of these brands hold a strong and illustrious heritage of watch-making. Known for their efficient quartz (Bulova) and automatic (Omega) watches, people trust these brands for their reliability and stellar performances.
Wristwatch lovers are fully aware of the tough competition out there. Everyone is always looking to take the upper hand (no pun intended) against the other. The two brands mentioned here are no exception to the rule.
Therefore, in today’s article, we will have an in-depth analysis of the famous Bulova Moon Watch vs. Omega Speedmaster. These two classic-looking automatic watches have been generating great buzz among the fans for years. We will look at their features and specifications to figure out which of the two provides better value for money and why.
Bulova Moonwatch vs Omega Speedmaster: General Comparison
Let’s begin with discussing their exteriors, shall we? Many might believe that Omega Speedmaster is a much better timepiece out of the two, but you have to admit they both look extremely similar.
There’s nothing “too” fancy about the two. Both watches comprise stylish yet simplistic designs. If you’re a person who loves a simple and sophisticated wristwatch at the same time, these two are a great option for you.
While they may have a similar-looking exterior, that’s not to say they have the same features. These watches are vastly different from each other. The reason they’re a worthy comparison is that they’re both super-cool pieces that have massive history connections. Before going ahead with the model-to-model comparison, let’s dive into the nuanced history of both.
For those who are interested: Omega Speedmaster used to be NASA’s flight-qualified watch for years. Inspired by the idea, Bulova decided to contact the Astronaut, Dave Scott, who was destined to leave for Apollo 15 space mission in 1970.
Bulova designed for him a watch with a similar register to that of Speedmaster because they wanted to test their own model in space. Coincidently, the Speedmaster that Dave Scott carried had its crystal popped, which prompted him to use the Bulova Moonwatch as a replacement, and it worked perfectly fine.
In 2015, Dave Scott put that Bulova watch up for auction and sold it for $1.3 million. At that moment, Bulova decided to produce a similar design as a tribute to that 1970 version.
Omega Speedmaster vs Bulova Moon Watch: Model Comparison
For the purpose of today’s comparison, I have selected two best-selling “moon” models from both brands. Below you will find a detailed description of Bulova’s 96B258 and Omega’s Speedmaster 318.104.22.168.01.005.
Without further ado, let’s go.
Both these excellent timepieces come in round-shaped cases.
With Bulova’s 45mm case diameter and 14mm case thickness and Omega’s 42mm case diameter and 6mm case thickness, neither of the watches is too large nor too petite. Both of them are well-suited for medium to large-sized wrists.
When it comes to the case material, both of them are made from stainless steel. Not only does stainless steel provide you with durability for long-term use, but it adds the anti-corrosive feature to it as well. And with such strong and enduring built, these watches are not easily scratchable. So, if you’re prone to damaging your watch by scratching and denting, you can put your worries away on this front.
Something worth noting when it comes to their dial window material is:
- The Speedmaster uses Hesalite crystal
- The Moon Watch uses anti-reflective sapphire
The difference between the two is that with Hesalite crystal glass, the reflections are smaller and clearer. In contrast, the anti-reflective sapphire is hazier and larger compared to the other. Whereas the glass in the Omega Speedmaster is definitely the more premium of the two, both are incredibly durable choices and Omega itself uses sapphire crystal in many of their timepieces.
While many overlook the case backs of the wristwatches, we’re not going to do so. If you look at the Bulova model’s case back, it’s sexy and sleek. Its design was always going to be important to Bulova since it commemorates their iconic walk-in space moment once again.
As for the Omega Speedmaster, “The first man on the moon watch” and “flight-qualified by NASA for all missions” are ingrained on the back of the case.
Crucially, both casebacks are screw-down, which goes a long way in protecting them from any water-related damage.
If you have a dynamic clothing choice, you need to know that these two watch models can go with anything. They’re ideal for both formal and informal occasions. The comfortable and not-so-heavy cases can fit with your everyday wear.
First of all, let’s be clear: these watches have some of the most dynamic and coolest dial designs.
Starting with the Bulova Moonwatch, the watch’s hands and dial markers are highly luminous. The black dial sits well with the long and slender handset. It’s a crisp, clean, and legible dial. The brand’s name Bulova is written at the top of the dial. There is a square date window that is located right between 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock; it works well with the design.
The three sub-dials registers at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock are for different time intervals such as 1/10 second register, running seconds, and chronograph seconds. A tachymeter ring is there for measuring speed and distance; another cool feature to look out for. Plus, the 262kHz high-frequency quartz delivers a smooth chronograph movement of the ring.
With a few tweaks here and there, the Omega Speedmaster boasts a similar dial to that of the Bulova’s. The overall iconic design has a black-themed dial and a tachymeter bezel. The dial’s marking delivers a perfect contrast against the matte black surface.
Just like Bulova’s watch, the Speedmaster has three sub-dials fixed at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock for the hour, minute, and chronograph seconds. The dial has five-minute and second indices of high-bright color to give a perfect contrast against the black dial during the night times. Both the indices and the watch hands are luminescent. In contrast to the Bulova model, the Speedmaster’s dial is not equipped with a date window.
The watch face is ingrained with “Omega Speedmaster Professional”.
One of the most talked-about features of these watches is their glasses. As already mentioned, both of them use different types of glass.
If you look at the Bulova Moon Watch, it has anti-reflective sapphire glass. It’s not just Bulova who uses it; brands like Rolex and Seiko are also among the top brands that opt for the same glass. This glass material is specially made for the scratch-free effect, which is why it is super enduring for long-term use.
One of the reasons why Bulova has gone with the anti-reflective sapphire glass is that it makes the time readability fairly easier by making the reflections hazier and larger. At the same time, it’s great protection against scratches and dents.
When it comes to the Omega Speedmaster, it has a Hesalite crystal glass. Omega also has a sapphire crystal Moonwatch model, but the version discussed today, the most desired amongst collectors and aficionados, is equipped with the unique Hesalite glass.
Talking about the Hesalite crystal, the glass is impeccably impact-resistant. You can tear the glass, but you can’t splinter it. One of the advantages that come with a Hesalite crystal is that you can easily remove the scratches by polishing. Hesalite glass is super-resilient and can perform its duty on the watch for decades if taken care of responsibly.
The Hesalite crystal glass on Omega Speedmaster gives it a special look. The reflections on the glass are rather smaller and clearer compared to the ones of the Bulova Moonwatch.
Just like the case and the dial, the bracelet of a wristwatch is something many people care about. People prefer simplicity and class over something too fancy. Not only does it add to the design of the watch, but it also makes sure the watch remains intact and doesn’t slip away from your arm.
Starting with the Bulova Moonwatch, its bracelet is made from stainless steel in coordination with its case for continuity. The stainless steel not only gives the bracelet the consistency and durability it needs but also adds a stylish touch to it. Plus, the anti-corrosive features stop it from catching rust.
The 20mm silver-colored presidential-looking bracelet is one of the best you’ll see for the price. Its comfortable, good-looking fold-over with a double push-button clasp works flawlessly for a long time. You can find Bulova’s classic logo on the 6 o’clock side of the bracelet. It’s very minimal in size, but it makes the branding look a mere thought.
Despite all the positivity, some people treated Bulova’s brushed bracelet design with great disdain because of the change from the satin case. However, the juxtaposing finishing is something that you can’t be expecting from a watch of Bulova’s price.
Just like the Bulova Moonwatch, the Omega Speedmaster’s bracelet is also designed from stainless steel, ensuring that it fully coordinates with the watch’s casing. The bracelet is rust-free, which adds to its durability and longevity.
The Omega Speedmaster’s bracelet is sturdy, silky, and a three-linked cross affair. It has a 20mm bandwidth that makes it thinner and easier to wear on. The dramatic tapered steel bracelet joins to the 15mm clasp.
The Speedmaster has a fully brushed bracelet which should be the single biggest thing influencing your decision while buying. However, with the six lines cutting through the clasp, you’d feel some visual weight of the bracelet, but it’s barely noticeable. The watch as a whole only weighs 5.64 ounces.
Remember that most retailers online will additionally include NATO and velcro straps with your purchase. If you’re torn between whether you should wear the bracelet or the strap, let me tell you that bracelet is a broader option. That’s not to say the strap wouldn’t look great with the same case, but the bracelet can go perfectly well with your daily wear.
The movement of any wristwatch is one of, if not the essential component. Movement makes the watch click (pun intended). And with these two iconic moon timepieces having a considerable amount of similarities, they don’t share the same caliber type.
The Bulova Moon Watch runs on a highly precise, Bulova-exclusive quartz movement type. It has a 262kHz vibrational frequency which is eight times greater than the standard quartz watches. With this particular caliber, you can expect the watch to provide an accuracy of +/- 10 seconds/month.
The high-frequency vibration is the reason why this Bulova timepiece works smoothly, resembling that of automatic movement. Some even say that it’s more of an automatic watch with a quartz-like precision. The timepiece comes with two pushers; the one at the top stops the chronographic function while the bottom resets it to zero.
On the other hand, we have the Omega Speedmaster which uses superbly crafted and accurate Swiss automatic movement. In contrast to the Bulova model, this watch doesn’t require a battery and is powered by the kinetic movement of your wrist.
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The exact caliber used in the Speedmaster is Omega’s in-house 1861 movement. It’s an 18-jewel movement that beats at a frequency of 21,600 per hour and has a 48-hour power reserve. With an excellent accuracy of -1/+10 seconds/day, it’s one of the most accurate automatic timepieces available. All the top-end specifications got it METAS certified, making it the most reliable and accurate Speedmaster of the modern world.
Nonetheless, while they both have different movements, there isn’t a shadow of a doubt on their remarkable accuracy.
It’s no secret that one of the main concerns with top-quality timepieces is if they are safe to use while in the water. Well, in this case, both Bulova Moon Watch and the Omega Speedmaster are water-resistant.
If you’re contemplating whether or not you can wear these watches inside a swimming pool, let me tell you that you can. The pair offers a water-resistance rating of up to 50m. With the screw-down cases and crowns, the watch is completely anti-corrosive.
At the same time, avoid deep dives into the water to prevent any serious damages. After all, both are called Moon Watches and not diving watches for a reason.
Pricing is one of the key elements that you consider while buying a watch. And, when you look at the pricing of these two giants, you’ll notice a major difference.
While the Bulova Moonwatch costs between $500 and $700, you will find the Omega Speedmaster to cost several times that, into thousands of dollars. At some retailers, you’ll find the latter to cost ten times as much as the former.
The main reason behind such a huge discrepancy is of course the reputation of both brands. Whereas Bulova is considered an excellent mid-budget watchmaker, Omega belongs to the very top of the horological hierarchy, next to names such as Rolex or Longines.
If you’re not constrained by your budget at all, the natural choice would be the Speedmaster. At the same time, by buying the Bulova Moonwatch you get an excellent and very capable alternative from a very well-known name.
Bulova Moonwatch vs Omega Speedmaster: Conclusion
Often, you look at two watches, and you think they’re the same. But upon looking at them again from a microscopic eye, you notice a considerable amount of small but important differences in their features.
You can say the same for these two giants in the modern wristwatch industry. Both the Bulova Moonwatch and Omega Speedmaster look quite akin when looked at from afar. However, that’s a bit of an illusion. They have their specialties.
Apart from their magnificently crafted exteriors, both watches operate on vastly different movements. While the Bulova timepiece runs on a unique type of quartz movement, designed specifically for the Moonwatch, the Speedmaster uses one of the most reliable Swiss automatic movements on the market.
With that said, if you value accuracy above all, the Bulova quartz mechanism is still a better option than the automatic Omega Speedmaster. No matter how elaborate an automatic movement is, it will always struggle to catch up with a battery-powered timepiece on the accuracy front.
If you’re on the other side of the coin and value the extremely complex and beautifully crafted automatic mechanisms, choosing the Speedmaster model over Bulova’s Moonwatch is a no-brainer. It’s one of the most exquisite mechanical movements you can come across but, of course, it comes at a much bigger price.
Furthermore, there is a slight difference when it comes to the case sizes. The Omega Speedmaster is 42mm, and the Bulova model is a touch thicker at 45mm. If you don’t have the biggest of wrists, the Speedmaster will definitely look easier on the eye.
Last but not least, one of the most striking differences is naturally the pricing. And in my opinion, if you’re on a tight budget, you can’t go wrong with the Bulova Moonwatch. But, if you want to spend your money on an expensive watch like Omega Speedmaster, don’t miss out on this one either!
What matters is they both deliver excellent value for the money, and on top of that, they have beautifully designed exteriors to match their quality.
Final Say: I hope that the Bulova Moonwatch vs Omega Speedmaster comparison has provided you with enough clues on which watch to go with. If you’ve made your mind up already, make sure to let me know about your decision in the comment section below!