Today, I’m going to write about Bulova Precisionist review – a massive Chronograph watch. As Bulova has produced a couple of Precisionist models over the years, this review will be specifically about the Precisionist 96B175 model.
So what’s so special about this watch? First of all, it’s something we’ve never seen before – a very cool racing inspired watch with huge and massive case (in fact it is 46 mm in diameter – very big indeed). Secondly, the cutting edge Precisionist chronograph movement.
So now let’s take go to the Bulova Precisionist review shall we.
Bulova Precisionist Chronograph 96B175 Specification
Diameter: 46.5 mm
Thickness: 18 mm
Lug to Lug: 60 mm
Lug Width: 24 mm
Case: Stainless steel case
Dial: Gray carbon fiber dial
Watch Crystal: Mineral Crystal
Hands: Skeleton hands with lume
Markers: Index markers with lume
Subdials: 4 subdials for chronograph functions
Movement: Precisionist Chronograph High performance quartz movement. 262 kHz frequency
Water Resistance: 300 m
Other Features: Chronograph accurate up to 1/1000th second, Sweeping seconds hand, Date display, Luminous hands and markers, Tachymeter scale
Best Place To Buy: Amazon, MSRP is $825 from Bulova’s dealers
Bulova Precisionist Watch Movement
First off, what is Precisionist? Well, it’s basically a quartz movement watch. But it’s not a normal quartz watch as it’s a technically higher grade of quartz. There are two marvels that Bulova managed to innovate and put inside this watch: the sweeping seconds hand and the high accuracy of the watch.
A typical quartz watch will have a ticking seconds hand. The manufacturers can always make it so the the watch sweeps (like an automatic watch) but they didn’t because that will use too much battery. In short it’s designed to be ticking for practical purposes.
Bulova managed to make this watch sweeps while also keeping the life time to about 2-4 years (like any normal quartz watch) which is a huge achivement for the company. Little information was released on how they did it but the fact is the sweeping is very smooth and will beat most automatic watch out there.
I’ve attached a video here so you can see how fluid the seconds hand move and it’s downright gorgeous!
Watch the video review above to take a closer look at the watch. Notice how smooth the seconds hand sweeping motion is
Another technological achievement that the company did is with the quartz movement. A typical quartz uses a two-prong quartz crystal for its timekeeping device. Bulova uses three-prong and this increases the accuracy and frequency of the movement.
Normal quartz has a frequency of around 32000 Hz (means it will oscillates/move at 32000 times in one second) while this watch is 8 times of that at 262144 Hz – hence the 262 kHz sign on the bottom of the dial.
This high frequency movement as well as the three-prong quartz helps to increase the accuracy of the watch further with advertised accuracy of +-10 seconds per YEAR. As a comparison, normal quartz has a typical accuracy of +-15 seconds per MONTH. An automatic? Even COSC Chronometer movements will deviate by +-6 seconds per DAY. Now that’s a huge achievement by the company.
If you are one who dislike the inaccuracy of automatic watches but still would love to have a sweeping seconds hand, then this is the watch for you. Super accurate and has that glorious sweeping hand. Just remember to change the battery after a few years – it’s battery powered after all!
It’s a huge watch for sure. Only the manliest wrist can pull it off perfectly
Massive 46 mm Diameter Watch Case
Let’s face it. It’s a massive watch. It has 46 mm diameter with an 18 mm thickness making it super big. For those with small wrists, I’d recommend you to stay away from this watch. But this watch is not just a big watch. Bulova made the watch to have this distinctive industrial look design, with sharp cuts everywhere on the stainless steel case.
There are lots of elements on the case, from the big bezel, the hex screws at the four corners (which is just for decoration only), the big ass square lugs and so on.
In short, this watch looks massive but in actuality many thoughts have been given on the case design. It’s totally unique and will definitely make a statement. You will either love it or hate it. I’d say you won’t be able to find a case with this much detail and design elements in this price range.
The watch (case and crystal) has a slight curve to it
One thing that I really like is how Bulova make the case and crystal of the Precisionist to have a slight curve downwards. It’s really pretty in my opinion. It seems that Bulova has this penchant for curvy watches (one of their latest watches, the CURV has the most prominent curvy case around). The curve makes the case more unique: where do you find a big watch that also has a curve to it?
The crystal is mineral which is something that I don’t prefer – it’s easy to scratch (I’ve written an article about watch crystals here). With an MSRP of $825, it’s only appropriate for them to give a sapphire instead. After all, most Swiss watches which has a lower price tag has sapphire.
In my opinion, this is the weakest aspect of this watch. The glass also curved giving that nice visual effect by distorting the view. Another great aspect of the watch is the 300 m water resistance rating which is very very high.
I doubt that most people that buy this watch will actually use it for scuba diving because it’s quite heavy, but to put that high water resistance sure won’t be a harm. If anything, it gives the peace of mind that this is a very tough and rugged watch that can withstand all and any punishments =)
The stainless steel bracelet attached to the 24 mm width lug is very thick, much thicker than any other bracelets I’ve seen. It’s a good fit though – you can’t have a big watch with a thin bracelet right? It’s nicely done, with detail polishing strips on it.
Overall, the watch is very massive, and solidly built. It will definitely make a bold statement about yourselves. The high level of details on the case also makes it exceptional and unique than other watches out there.
Motorsport Inspired Dial
The dial inspired from motorsports, with the a gray carbon fiber textured background. It’s a totally busy and flashy dial (as expected from any chronograph). I like how they use stainless steel and silver elements to contrast with the gray dial background. It really looks nice but also make the watch more readable.
The hands are big skeleton hands with lume while the seconds hand is yellow in color. It’s a very nice little design detail there. The markers are index markers with lume applied on it. There is minimal signatures on the dial with only the “Bulova”, “Precisionist” and “262kHz” on it.
There are a few updates to the dial with the first version having a bulova tuning fork sign at the top. The tuning fork used to be the company’s logo, but it seems they have decided to put it only at selected models. Honestly I’m not sure why they didn’t put it in this watch as it’s very special too!
4 subdials are on the watch which function as the time indicator for the chronograph. The top subdial is for 1/10 and 1/100 seconds measurement while the bottom is for 1/1000 seconds. The left subdial is for minutes while the right is for hours (until 12 hours only). The use of bigger subdials with silver outline for the top and bottom subdials keeps the watch face to have a symmetry look.
To conclude, the watch face is a very flashy and busy one as expected from a chronograph. It’s motorsport inspired with subdials that look like racing cars gauge panels. Colorful and cool looking dial on a big and rugged watch case.
Chronograph Accurate Up To 1/1000th Second
The chronograph function of the Precisionist is one of a kind as it can read time accurate to the 1/1000th second. This means it is a stopwatch that can tell you accurately that 57.768 seconds has passed.
Now that is a very big improvement over typical analogue chronographs that can only tell time up to the seconds only (i.e 57 seconds). This makes the watch as functional as a digital quartz stopwatch.
There are three pushers to operate the chronograph. The left bottom pusher is to change the mode from normal to chronograph. Top right pusher will start and pause the time while the bottom right pusher will reset the time.
Simply push the bottom left pusher to change the mode to chronograph. At this point, the seconds hand will beautifully glide to the 12 o’clock position and stay there until you push the top right pusher to start the time. Push it again to stop and take measurements.
Once finish, use the bottom right pusher to reset the time. (you can download this user manual for more information on the watch and its chronograph function)
A diagram showing the various elemtns locations and its functions
What I love about most quartz chronograph watch is how the seconds hand become a running seconds hand (ticking normally) and also be the stopwatch seconds hand. This is a huge advantage over automatic watch chronographs in which the seconds hand can only do one function only (normally become the stopwatch seconds hand and will remain stationary when you don’t use it.
There is also a tachymeter scale at the outer edge of the dial as a tool to know the speed of an object by using the chronograph and knowing the distance it traveled.
The chronograph function looks very nice (you can see the chronograph in action in the above video attached) but you have to beware that this is a battery powered watch.
Unlike the Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph which is powered by solar – means it can run forever, the Precisionist battery will lasts from 2 to 4 years and using the chronograph frequently will reduce the battery life significantly.
Bulova Precisionist Chronograph 96B175 Price
If you’re interested to buy the Precisionist, then Amazon is the best place. Amazon usually has huge discount from the MSRP price of $825 from Bulova’s dealers. Click the link below to check out the best prices on Amazon.
->Click Here To Check The Best Price Of Bulova Precisionist Chronograph 96B175 On Amazon<-
The Precisionist is a very interesting watch. Hugely, boxy, highly detailed and solidly built watch case with a cool flashy motorsport inspired dial, this watch for sure will make a bold statement about the owner and grab people’s attention to it.
But I’ve got to say the most interesting point on this watch is its highly accurate quartz Precisionist movement. A deviation of just 10 seconds per year is totally unbelivable! The 1/1000th second chronograph also is something extraordinary for an analogue watch. For a one of a kind watch, this is it folks. Just make sure you have a big wrist or it won’t fit!
I hope you guys enjoyed my Bulova Precisionist review in this post. I would love to hear any comments or questions from you. Don’t forget to share this on if you like this article. Subscribe to my site (subscribe form is just at the right sidebar) so that you won’t miss exciting stuffs in future.
10 thoughts on “Bulova Precisionist Chronograph Watch Review (96B175)”
Very nice review, but you never mention that the movement is a Bulova/Citizen/Miyota product, caliber P123. It uses a CR2016 lithium battery. In most other applications, these cells last 5-10 years. The 2-3 year life in this movement indicates just how high the current draw is.
I bought this watch in black tone several months ago and am very pleased with it’s accuracy. Chrono timing down the 1000th of a second with an analog watch is something of a novelty, but it’s fun to play around with. The only thing I don’t like is that it is practically impossible to read in low light conditions. The black hands blend too easily into the black background, and are only luminous on the ends. The luminosity is poor period–I’ve worn this watch all day in the blazing sunshine, and it is still very difficult to read in the dark. The luminous paint Bulova uses on these watches shows a very faint light blue, and only glows for a couple of hours. My Reactor watches are truly “never dark”, so the poor luminosity of the Bulova Precisionist kind of irks me, especially since it cost more than any of the Reactors and Seikos in my collection.
I think that if the hands were completely white/luminous against the black face that it would be much easier to read. I’m thinking of sending it in to Bulova and asking them to replace with white hands, or paint the hands white, whatever the case. Has anyone else tried this fix?
I can relate with your issue. My Tissot Visodate is a gorgeous watch, but it’s silver hands over a white dial background means it’s a pain in the ass to tell time under daylight. The Precisionist busy and complex dial can easily make this worse.
On the hands replacement, I actually never heard of manufacturers changing the hands of their watch by our request. You can definitely throw the question to them and see what’s their reply. A suggestion from me is to also check your local watchmakers if they are able to do the same thing. You can also ask them to change out the hands with a better lume too.
I forgot to mention, my Precionist has a sapphire crystal as noted on the case back. Recently purchased from Amazon though at a slightly hier price. Definitely worth the extra expenditure.
I’m enjoying this Bulova a great deal. I have 40+ watches but look forward to wearing this Precisionist more than the others. The performance is truly outstanding, going by its’ concurrence with my atomic wall clock! One thing I’d like to note: despite its’ size and weight, Bulova did a great job with the case back and band design. My wrist isn’t particularly large yet this watch wears comfortably all day. I have a Citizen solar professional diver smaller than the Bulova but similar in weight, that becomes quite uncomfortable after 2 or 3 hours. Cheers for Bulova. Enjoyed your review.
Hi Pierre. Glad to know you’re enjoying your Precisionist =)
Hi Issac , I like the review you are doing for the bulova watches I am going to buy this watch soon I like it Bulova pretty good company . Thanks for the review .
Thank you for the compliment Jack. Let me know what you think of the Precisionist once you hold it in your hands =)
This is a big and beautiful watch! I love all of the functions it offers and you have done a good job with this review. I especially like the diagram you show with the various elements locations and its functions. Nice watch, but a little out of my price range unfortunately.
Hi Steve. I’m glad you like this review. There are other cheaper watches from Japanese makers (Orient and Seiko) but watches like this Bulova Precisionist is entirely unique =)