Caravelle Watches – Attractive and Affordable
Caravelle watches, sometimes referred to as Caravelle by Bulova or Caravelle NY, is a secondary line from longtime New York watchmaker Bulova. The parent company was founded in 1875 as a company that would sell American-branded, Swiss-made quality timepieces. They’ve been hugely successful and for a large part of the twentieth century, the company’s name was synonymous with timekeeping.
While they’re no longer the powerhouse they once were in the luxury timepiece market, they still have quite a presence, and Caravelle watches are just one of several secondary product lines produced by Bulova.
Originally created in 1962 and intended to capture the spirit of New York, these watches offer great styling, good build quality, affordable pricing and a better than average warranty, making them a great buy for anyone who’s interested in a fashion watch.
Read on for the full Caravelle watches review.
Styling and Features
Care and Maintenance
Where to Buy
Caravelle Watches Build Quality
The build quality is good, though not extraordinary. Cases are stainless steel and ceramic. Watch faces are protected by mineral crystal, which is good, though not as scratch resistant as sapphire crystal. Water resistance is typically 30 meters, which is more than adequate for what are essentially fashion watches, rather than sports models. Bands are either stainless steel or leather. For their target price point, the watches are well made and should last for a long time with proper care.
While Bulova, the parent company of Caravelle watches, has traditionally used Swiss-made mechanical movements, this budget line uses movements from a variety of sources, mostly Japan and China. The majority of the models have highly accurate quartz electronic movements, though there are a few that have automatic mechanical movements, as well.
Given the relatively low price point and the fact that these are intended to be fashion watches, you won’t be surprised to find that there isn’t much in the way of technical innovation to be found here. These watches are made with proven and established technology, and the company puts their focus on design.
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The styling and features lean towards the traditional, though there’s lots of color thrown in to set them apart from their competitors. You won’t find gold or diamonds in the product line, but there are gold-toned models and others that include crystals. They make a number of chronograph models and a couple of interesting models with skeleton faces that allow you to see the parts of the movement.
Displays are generally analog, though there are a couple of chronograph models that have combination analog/digital displays. These are attractive watches that are suitable for daily wear, business wear or evening wear, and they’re priced affordably, so you’ll be tempted to buy more than one.
As most models are powered by highly reliable quartz electronic movements, you won’t have to worry about maintenance. You will have to have the battery replaced every couple of years. Those models with automatic movements should be inspected by a jeweler every five years or so to make sure they’re still working properly; at this time, they may need a cleaning. You should store your watch in a cool, dry place and keep them away from strong magnetic fields or extremes of temperature. With proper care, these watches should last for many years.
The warranty is better than average; the company warrants your purchase against defects in materials and craftsmanship for three years from the date of purchase. Most companies offer only a two year warranty, so three years is exceptional, especially given that these are relatively inexpensive timepieces.
As fashion and designer watches go, prices are relatively inexpensive. List prices run between $50 and $150, which is considerably less expensive than the rest of the products offered by parent company Bulova. We’ve seen them discounted here and there, too, making their already affordable pricing even more attractive.
There is a bit of collector interest in the brand, though it’s primarily in older models dating from the 1960s and 1970s. Many of these sell on the collector market for $500 or so, which suggests that current models may eventually become collectible. We cannot suggest that you buy these watches as an investment at this time, but if you discover sometime down the road that the watch you bought today has become collectible, you can just consider that to be a bonus.
You can find the brand for sale at a number of brick and mortar retailers, including jewelry stores and department stores. You’ll likely find them for sale at any retailer that carries the Bulova brand. In addition, you can find them for sale at a number of Internet retailers, and they represent your best opportunity to find a discounted price. We’ve seen them heavily discounted here and there, so bargains are available.
Of course, we’ve already established that the brand reasonably priced in the first place, and as the company offers several hundred different models, you will likely be tempted to buy two or three of them. With several hundred models available, don’t be surprised if the retailer you visit doesn’t carry everything the company makes. You should, however, see a good representative sample for sale.
Caravelle Watches Summary
While there is nothing particularly revolutionary about these timepieces, they do quite well in their target market segment. They’re interested in offering a high quality, attractive timepiece at a price point that makes them affordable for just about anyone. The warranty is exceptional, so they should last a long time. Their styling is interesting and diverse, so most anyone should be able to find something they like in the product line. The pricing is hard to beat. All in all, there’s a lot to like about Caravelle watches and we’re sure that if you check them out, you’ll find that you like them, too.