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Bulova’s Quirky Parking Meter Chronograph Makes a Nostalgic Comeback

In its near-150-year existence, Bulova has managed to become one of the most prolific American watchmakers. Not only has it embedded itself into the American zeitgeist, notably becoming the first brand to air commercials on both radio and television, but the New York-based company eventually found peak success in the 1970s with a string of releases that were always innovative and mechanically proficient.

Bulova’s recent Archive Series collection has featured rereleases of favorites such as the Lunar Pilot, a prototype version of which was worn during the Apollo 15 mission to the Moon, and the U.S. Navy dive watch prototype, the MIL-SHIPS. Now, the quirky and ever-popular Parking Meter Chronograph gets a retro reissue as well in a new limited-edition design. Sporting a dial configuration that looks like a classic parking meter, hence the name, this timepiece comes in a silver and blue stainless steel case surrounding a silver-white dial with blue accents and bright orange hands.

Besides its interesting dial design, another thing that makes the Parking Meter so unique is the top-side placement of its crown and pushers (sometimes referred to as a “bullhead” layout) combined with an additional crown on the bottom of the case below 6 o’clock that turns the inner bezel ring to access the 12-hour dual time function. Water-resistant up to 100m and equipped with a top-side stitched leather strap, the quartz-powered chronograph features a 24-hour subdial, a 60-minute chronograph register, and a fixed tachymeter bezel below its sapphire crystal.

Perhaps what’s most impressive is how Bulova has managed to make this timepiece look both novel and classic at once. Only 5,000 of these Parking Meter Chronographs will be made available, with each one individually numbered. They’re currently available for pre-order on Bulova’s online store for $595.

Purchase: $595

Photo: Bulova

Photo: Bulova