A Tale of Two Watches

In the early 1970's two iconic American watch brands introduced chronographs with different versions of red, white, and blue colorways.

Hamilton offered the Pan Europ while Bulova countered with the Jet Star. Today, of course, neither remains an American brand. Hamilton was purchased by the Swatch group and moved to Switzerland while Bulova, while remaining headquartered in New York , is owned by the Japanese CItizen group.

Not surprisingly, each chronograph that debuted more than half a century ago has long since disappeared into the catalogs of the two brands. What is surprising is that each brand has introduced 3 hand near identical versions of each watch in the last couple of years.

Tha Hamilton Pan Europ is an automatic with a modern movement and comes in several colorways. I'm especially fond of the blue dial version shown here. The black and red rally strap has been replaced with an oxblood red leather strap that (imo) better fits the style of the watch. The watch keeps excellent time and has a claimed 80 hour power reserve.

In the case of the Bulova Jet Star the original mechanical movement has been replaced in the new version with Bulova's proprietary Precisionist movement a High Performance Quartz (HPQ) movement that promises accuracy within 5 seconds per month and a battery life of at least 2-3 years. I'm usually not a quartz fan but the Precisionist movement "ticks" 16 times a second to achieve an automatic-like second hand sweep rather than the typical quartz "bump" from one second to the next. To the obsessive among us who value the continuous progress of time, its a reassuring trait.

I'm fond of both watches. And the fact that each is an homage to a watch of its own particular brand and carries on the red, white, and blue colors of its American predecessor is, I think, an interesting bit of shared nostalgia.

Hamilton 馃憥馃徏

Bulova 馃憤馃徏

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Hamilton 馃憥馃徏

Bulova 馃憤馃徏

Different strokes for different folks, of course. But I can't agree. The Jet Star is a triumph of automation and technology and a remarkable value. But the Pan Europ has the sort of mechanical presence and accuracy provided by a skilled watchmaker that can't be matched by a quartz watch.

That Bulova is such a cutie! Did you try to put it on a red & blue nato/nylon?

jsh1120

Different strokes for different folks, of course. But I can't agree. The Jet Star is a triumph of automation and technology and a remarkable value. But the Pan Europ has the sort of mechanical presence and accuracy provided by a skilled watchmaker that can't be matched by a quartz watch.

True, I鈥檓 just a bitter Hamilton hater.

I just think that they are overpriced CWCs.

I鈥檝e got one of the newer Pan Europ鈥檚. I got mine with the Black and Red Ralley strap but have it on NATO. It鈥檚 right up there as one of my favourites. Absolutely love this watch

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mostib

That Bulova is such a cutie! Did you try to put it on a red & blue nato/nylon?

No I did not. Primarily because I'm not especially fond of NATO straps but I have to admit it would be a great option in this case.