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Bulova Oceanographer Green review – should you spend $500 for this vintage dive watch?

Bulova Oceanographer Green vintage dive watch

​The watch is called "Devil Diver", what else do you need to be the coolest person in ​the room? Maybe a big watch with green dial? You got it...

​​Bulova Oceanographer Green is one more watch that jumps into the vintage dive watch category. It is a reissued model from 1972 and it is holding hard to that 1970's heritage. ​ ​

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Bulova logo

​Bulova Oceanographer Green

Our Rating:

Devil Diver name comes from the smart marketing trick done by Bulova. Instead of putting simple 660 for water resistance measure, they added additional 6 and thus making it a Devil's Diver with a devil's number on it. By the way, this 666 feet is ISO certified.

A rotating bezel ​has contrasting black and green colours, anti-reflective coating, unidirectional bezel and a double-press fold-over buckle closure are some of the main features of this 44 mm special edition watch.

This watch is operated by a mechanical self-winding movement and has an anti-reflective coating sapphire crystal case. 

How good is Bulova Oceanographer Green? 

​If you are not hard core dive watch enthusiast and you don't care so much about the movement - this is a great watch to add to your collection

Pros

  • Green dial is fantastic
  • ​Sapphire crystal glass
  • ​ISO certification
  • 3 year warranty
  • ​hey - watch is called "devil diver", you need something more?

Cons

  • ​"only" Miyota 821D movement - there are better choices that could have been inside
  • ​​no hacking with this movement
  • ​hour marks on the dial
  • ​not for ​a small wrist

Technical overview

  • ​Case is made of stainless steel with 44mm diameter, 15mm thickness
  • Bracelet is matching the case with stainless steel and has double locking fold over clasp, 20mm width
  • Dial glass is made of sapphire crystal
  • Movement, as expected is coming from Citizen, but ​Bulova used Miyota 821D
  • Water resistant depth:​ 200 Meters (202?)
  • ​ISO 6425 certification (what is ISO 6425 certification you ask? Read about it here)

​Detailed review of the Devil Diver

​Case

​As I mentioned in the beginning, Bulova Oceanographer is a big, green, mean (​they ​named it "Devil Diver") dive watch.

Case is polished ​and shiny as you would expect from the watch that's meant to be visible on wrist. To remind you, case is 44mm in diameter and 15mm thick.

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Good thing is that cushioned shape* helps a bit to offset the size ​and make the watch fit properly even on a smaller wrist. Lug-to-lug is around 48-49mm, not too big, not too small so you shouldn't worry about it, if the case diameter is ok for your wrist.

*cushioned shape is basically a ​square case, but with rounded corners.

Dial

The dial is the reason to buy this watch. Everything else is just an addition to build the watch (we will come to ​the mechanism chosen later). 

Bulova Oceanographer Green Devil Diver

​​Honestly, when you put this watch on your hand you can actually feel your confidence level doubling in the moment you lock the clasp. ​Just, please be careful ​if you wear it at your Christmas office party. Too much confidence can be er... too much.

​Green background is combined with big markers and thick watch hands. Hands are, by the way, very simplistic, no ornaments or special details.

Something that I personally don't like about this watch are hour marks on the dial. They are rather big (too big?) and rounded which stands out unnecessarily from the overall design. 

I don't like it, but I understand the other side and benefits of having more lume inside. The glow in the dark is clear and bright, if you ever decide to take this watch for a dive, you will have no issues in reading the time.

Bulova Oceanographer Green vintage dive watch

​​Strong selling point of the watch is great sapphire crystal glass, that fits well into the whole case design. But yes, this is something expected in this price category. 

Date window (only with numbers) is placed at usual position, 3 o'clock mark. 

​Another ​detail, beside hour marks, that stands out from the overall design is the 3D Bulova logo ​below the 12 o'clock position. ​But this is something you will not notice wearing the watch. ​Name of the series "Snorkel" and "666 feet" are written in the usual position as in other watches from the ​same line.

Bezel

Bulova Green dive watch

​Bezel is two coloured, black and green (​split is made on 15 minutes' mark). Design is ​aligned with the case, not only in the colour but also with ​non aggressive font used for number marks.

It has 120 positions (nice) and it's not easily moved (afterall, it is a dive watch with ISO certification)

Movement

​Here we come to the part where Bulova made a compromise which they probably shouldn't have. Although it was expected that they will use Miyota movement, very few people expected Miyota 821D. 821D is a modified Miyota 8215 caliber, prepared only for Bulova Oceanographer

Miyota 8215
Miyota 821D

Miyota 8215 and Miyota 821D side by side

Somehow, more natural choice for this watch would be Miyota 9015. It would justify the price point (ok, it was discounted since introduction),​ and you should really have a hacking function on this watch. 

On the other hand, if you are not that much concerned about what is inside the case, you should know that Miyota 821D is a perfectly capable and reliable movement.

​Is Bulova Oceanographer Green
a good buy? The verdict

​Bulova Oceanographer Green was definitely a highlight of Baselworld 2019. It is a vintage dive watch, and true representative​ of reissue trend ​getting more and more traction.

Great specifications, rounded by ISO certificate, with only 1 remark -- choice of movement. If Bulova / Citizen decided to integrate one of their in house movements, this watch could have been a fashion, but also a collectors hit. 

​If you don't mind about movement so much, and you are looking for a watch that will make you stand out - ​Bulova Oceanographer Green is a great buy, no doubt about it. 

​I am also a big fan of green dive watches -  if you are looking for something green, but below Bulova Oceanographer price point, we have couple of them in our list of dive watches for under $200

About the Author Costanza

Author, contributor and marketer with interest in various topics. My first big interest are watches, especially vintage looking dive watches. Second pet project of mine is career consultancy for introverts (check it out at: costanza-rules.com). Reach out on Twitter or Facebook, let's have a chat!

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