A bullhead watch has the buttons on top of the case that recall and were originally inspired by bull horns, chronographs with this design started appearing in the 1960’s and 70’s. This style of design was probably for a practical consideration, its more ergonomic: pressing start and stop buttons on top of the watch case is more pleasant for the position of the hand than using buttons placed on the side.
Apart from Omega the bullhead design was taken up by many brands including Breitling, Heuer, Bulova, Junghans and Japanese brands Seiko and Citizen also participated. The vintage Bullheads have become quite collectible and you can usually find a variety on Ebay generating a decent amount of interest. Bullheads tend to be quite colourful, a particularly rare and interesting model is the Tissot Sideral, a fully plastic watch that was embedded in the watch band as a whole, the Sideral is today difficult to obtain in good condition because the material in many cases has not survived the test of time.
Although today these Bullhead watches are rarities and popular among collectors in their own time they were not very successful. Modern bullheads however are still being made by brands such as Seiko, Zeno, Formex and Quicksilver for example.
Last year to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Carrera watch the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 Chronograph – Jack Heuer Edition was released. A Bullhead chronograph this has a case that is similar in shape to the one used in the Mikrogirder.
Omega’s new Bullhead
Announced this year at Baselworld and now available the new edition of Omega’s cult-classic Seamaster watch dates from 1969, the “Bullhead” comes in three limited-edition versions of 669 copies.
It has been a long-standing desire of fans of the original that it be reissued so the new model provides an opportunity for them to own this timeless classic. Indeed the Omega Seamaster Bullhead is a totally unique watch with its shield-shape case and is one the brand’s most sought-after timepieces, this new version features a few modification but still keeps the charm of the original.
The dial comes in three versions. The white dial version has an internal bi-directional rotating bezel which provides a scale of 24 hours and a day / night display -blue for the day and black for the night. This is useful as it can serve as a second time zone display. Apart dial colour there are differences in inner bezel design, the silver dial for instance has a 60-minute scale on the inner rotating bezel and the black has hour markers.
You also have the two subdials for the chronograph function and date display at 3 o’clock position, all this is visible through a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides.
Case & Movement
The 43mm by 43mm stainless steel case has the unique configuration of the crown at 12 o’clock and flanked by two chronograph pushers this attributing its nickname (bull’s head) and this design has made it a key model for watch enthusiasts. In this new edition the original round chronograph pushers have been replaced by flat ones which nevertheless still fit perfectly with the design.
There is also another crown at 6 o’clock, which controls the internal rotating bezel. The screw back is stamped with the famous Seamaster Seahorse and is water resistant to 15 bar (150 meters / 500 feet). Undoubtedly the most significant change with this new edition concerns the movement. The automatic Co-Axial caliber 3113 replaces the original manual winding caliber 930 and is equipped with a column-wheel chronograph.
In the world of chronographs the bullhead is one of the rarest and most recognizable ever made. The design probably originated from a practical consideration but it has become highly desirable because of its aesthetical qualities.
When you consider that on the pre-owned market these Bullheads are often exchanging hands at above US$6,000 the price of $9,600 for this re-edition seems a good deal.
It comes with a three-year warranty.