Rare Vintage 1962 Bulova Super Compressor Automatic Cal. 11ALACD; M2 Super Compressor | Very Rare
This Bulova Super Compressor is part of a group of legendary Super Compressors of the 1960's. Including Wittnauer, Longines, Hamilton, and others. But these particular four (including the Bulova) are highly sought after and very rare to come to market in original condition. To my professional eyes, the dial is original. The watch was just serviced and is keeping good time. The movement, dial, and case are clean of any major issues. The patina on the dial is very attractive and all the lume appears intact. The watch has its original two signed crowns and crystal as well. We've presented with a beautiful dark black padded Hadley-Roma high-grade leather with contrast stitching. The strap is a water resistant strap and can withstand water well. Most important, it perfectly matches and rounds out this stunning original example, the Bulova Super Compressor M2. This was a very difficult watch to photograph. At the end of the day, it's the picture that looks B&W that is closest of how the watch looks in person.
Super Compressor diving watches are a category unto themselves, and the best Swiss brands sold versions of the distinctive dual crown watches that have been one of the most popular types of dive watches for years.
The Super Compressor name refers to the innovative case design, which utilizes a "compressor" system that’s designed to become more watertight the deeper that the watch went under water. As the atmospheric pressure increases along with depth, the case back in compressed, pushing on the gaskets and creating a tighter seal.
The compressor case wasn’t any better at preventing water intrusion than a screw-down crown (in fact, it was probably worse), but due to their good looks, compressor cases proved to be popular during the 1960s. Eager to get into the burgeoning dive watch market, many of the best Swiss brands turned to EPSA (Ervin Piquerez, S.A.), the leading manufacturer of compressor cases at the time, for cases to build their divers around.
This particular example is branded by Bulova, and features a classic 36mm ESPA case with dual crowns and an internal rotating dive bezel. It is perhaps the internal bezel that has become the most endearing feature of Super Compressors to collectors today, and the idea behind them is that they’re less prone to accidental rotation that an external bezel. They worked out great for warm water divers, but anyone with gloved hands would have been out of luck (but at least stylish!).
The example is in excellent condition and looks every bit the part of a vintage dive watch. It’s sporty yet comfortably sized, and conveniently houses an automatic Swiss movement. Nice examples of Super Compressors are drying up, so now’s the time to dive in!