As a 23-year-old immigrant from Bohemia Joseph Bulova opened a watch shop in the Maiden Lane in New York City in 1875. First he produced pocket watches and table clocks, and during the First World War the new, rapidly spreading type of wristwatches was added. The company expanded rapidly and became one of the best-known American watch manufacturers.
In 1926 the United States were accorded on the mark with the first commercial, nationally televised radio time announcement: "At the tone, it's 8 P.M., B-U-L-O-V-A Bulova watch time." Two years later, Bulova introduced the first radio clock. 1941 there was already the first television advertising with Bulova.
The Bienne workshop developed and patented a chronograph movement in 1938. Cal. 10 AH was a compact 10.5 line movement with a column wheel and was modular, based on a standard watch movement. The threat of a second World War caused Bulova to transfer manufacturing of this movement to the United States, a move that proved quite controversial. In 1941, the Swiss authorities ordered the Département Fédéral de l'Économie ("Federal Department of Public Economy") to prohibit exports to Bulova in retaliation of this move.
At the beginning of the 1960 years, the company aroused interest with the first electronic wristwatch: the Accutron. It was equipped with a tuning fork oscillator developed by Max Hetzel and achieved a hitherto unknown accuracy. As of 1970, Bulova owned Recta of Bienne and Perret Universal Freres of Genève. Other brands included Caravelle, Accutron, and Accuquartz. At this time, Bulova was considered a luxury watch brand.
Bulova continued to find success through the quartz crisis, acquired by Loews Corporation. In 2008, Citizen Holdings bought Bulova for $250 million. In modern times, Bulova is considered an upscale watch brand.