It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost eight years since the Bulova Lunar Pilot was first teased online. It’s even harder to believe that it’s been nearly five years since I reviewed it for this site and shared some of my logic behind parting ways with it. During this time frame, so much has changed within the practice of “reissuing” watches. Brands have learned that it works and they’ve also learned that listening to what enthusiasts want, works even better. Although it took a while, I think that’s what we have with these two new Bulova Lunar Pilot chronograph watches sized down to 43.5mm in diameter. As I concluded my review of the original back in 2018, I wondered if the watch would ever come back into the collection in some new form. After seeing these, it’s really starting to feel that way.
Turning back the clock, I think these were initially teased back in October 2022 and when it happened I knew there would be some serious buzz surrounding these. Today, Bulova has lifted the veil and given us full specs and pricing. While all I have to work with for now are press photos and a few YouTube videos, it does look like the small adjustments in case size will truly make the Bulova Lunar Pilot a more wearable watch. One thing I keep hearing is “the same size as the original.” In all my research I still can’t tell if Astronaut Dave Scott’s original Bulova ref. 88510/01 chronograph worn on mission, actually was 43.5mm in diameter. Nevertheless, I’m sure fans of the original Lunar Pilot will take any added wearability where they can get it. I mean, if it is true—that’s awesome.
Everything I loved about the original Lunar Pilot is still there. Those unique pushers, the super legible dial, and the clear three-register layout all still look really nice here. Like some of the more recent large versions, Bulova also retained a simplified brand font up at 12 o’clock and a no-date dial. It also looks like the finishing on the new bracelet—with a new tool-less quick release function—is more appropriately matched to the finishing on the case. This was a huge issue I had with the older model. It also looks like the watches will come with both the new multi-link bracelet and a fine leather NATO strap. I’ll always say it, the original was still the most accurate watch I ever owned. I’m glad to see the NP20 High Precision Quartz movement on this as well, which is such a great choice and improvement to what Dave Scott originally wore in space.
Bulova Lunar Pilot 43.5 Specs
- Case Diameter: 43.5mm
- Case thickness: 13.5mm
- Lug-to-lug: 50mm
- Lug width: 20mm
- Water Resistance: 50m
- Case Material: Stainless steel
- Movement: Bulova NP20 High Precision Quartz
- Crystal: Sapphire
- Bracelet: Multi-link bracelet & fine leather NATO
- Price: $895
The new Bulova Lunar Pilot is available now in both a classic black dial and a new “blue panda” colorway with a textured silver-tone dial. Brace yourselves. My hope is that availability is straightforward and that we don’t find ourselves with another Moonswatch situation on our hands. Learn more about the Bulova Lunar Pilot on the brand’s official site.
Michael Peñate is an American writer, photographer, and podcaster based in Seattle, Washington. His work typically focuses on the passage of time and the tools we use to connect with that very journey. From aviation to music and travel, his interests span a multitude of disciplines that often intersect with the world of watches – and the obsessive culture behind collecting them.