Bulova’s head quarters reside on the impressive 29th floor of the Empire State Building. We were invited to attend an event recently, to get a preview of the exclusive piece they will be unveiling at BaselWorld this year.
Our lips are sealed until the start of BaselWorld unfortunately, when it comes to the new launch, but we did get a fascinating glimpse into the history of this world renowned brand and its hero Bulova Accutron watches.
Bulova’s Accutron watch first went on sale in the 1960’s, after eight years of development. It was guaranteed to 99.9977% accuracy for one full year, not to lose or gain more than two seconds accuracy a day on your wrist.
Built to withstand the shock of a rocket launching, it had fewer moving parts (12 compare to 29 in a self-winding watch), so it required less servicing and never needed winding. A limited edition version of the Accutron Spaceview is pictured above, created in honor of its 50-year anniversary.
The Secret Of The Bulova Accutron’s Accuracy?
A high precision tuning fork took the place of the springs, balance wheel and many other moving parts, which ensured the accuracy. Oscillating at 360 times per second, this tuning fork produced a low hum, quieter and very different from the tick of a normal watch. The single power cell lasted over a year.
Bulova And Space
Although Bulova couldn’t claim to be the first watch on the moon (a feat achieved by Omega), all the time-keeping mechanisms in the spacecraft on these missions were actually Bulova Accutrons.
A model of the Accutron clock used aboard the Gemini aircraft.
Additional Bulova timing instruments used in spacecraft throughout 46 NASA missions.
An Accutron 214 movement featured in a communications device used by the first moon landing mission. The US government at the time also used this movement in military satellites.
An exploded view of the Accutron 214 movement.
Bulova’s Astronaut Watch.
The 1970’s Stars & Stripes Chronograph C.
We also spotted this manual wound, vintage Bulova model (above) and Bulova pocket watch (below).
For the event, I wore this Bulova Spaceview.