ccutron, known for “Accuracy through Electronics,” was one of the key technologies used in instrumentation and timepieces that the U.S. government and NASA utilized in the Space Race starting in the late 50s through the early 60s. General Omar Bradley, then Chairman of Bulova Watch Company, spearheaded the collaboration of 46 NASA space missions that utilized 2,000 Accutron precision instruments and timing devices.
During May of 1963, the Accutron Astronaut watch was worn for the first time in space on mission Mercury-Atlas 9, which orbited the Earth. The watch was ideal for aerospace usage due to it being electronic and not relying on your typical mainspring.
With its high frequency, it could withstand high G-acceleration and extreme temperatures with unprecedented accuracy. Because of these characteristics, the Accutron Astronaut watch became the officially issued watch for all pilots of the USAF X-15 experimental rocket-powered aircraft program, and was later issued to CIA pilots in the Lockheed A-12 program who traveled at three times the speed of sound.
Accutron is proud to bring back the 1968 “T” version of the Astronaut model, featuring a distinctive DAY/NIGHT bezel as the brand’s very first re-edition in an exciting new series of Accutron Astronaut timepieces. The new Accutron Astronaut is Swiss Made, available in a 41mm stainless steel case with double box sapphire crystal with anti- reflective coating and a partial exhibition case back to view the SW330 GMT movement. An iconic bullet bracelet leads to a comfortable fit on the wrist and the Super-LumiNova accented hands and markers enhance function in low light. Limited to only 300 pieces, the watch retails for $3,500.
NASA utilized Accutron’s innovative tuning fork movement, allowing for watches, instrumental panel clocks and timekeeping mechanisms to take a part in many missions through a successful partnership that lasted from the mid 1950’s up until the 70’s.
“There is no denying the outstanding history of both Accutron and Bulova with the U.S. Space Program, says Jeffrey Cohen, President of Citizen Watch America. “The significance of the relationship and specifically the tuning fork technology led to the creation of the Accutron brand as the standalone brand it is today.”
Continuing to build the Archive Series franchise with two new Lunar Pilot chronograph timepieces, Bulova set out to create a smaller case – replicating the exact size of the original watch that traveled to the moon.
Available in a 43.5mm stainless steel case with matching multi-link bracelet, two models are available, one with a striking two-tone blue and white chronograph dial and the other, classic black representing the original legendary chronograph timepiece.
Priced at $895, the watches come as a strap set, the black chronograph offered with a black fine leather NATO strap and the two-tone chronograph offered with a blue fine leather NATO strap, both with special latched spring bars for interchangeability. The Lunar Pilot chronograph is powered by the brand’s proprietary NP20 High Precision Quartz (HPQ) chronograph movement accurate to 1/20th second – a perfect collector’s piece for watch and space enthusiasts alike.
On August 2, 1971, Apollo 15’s mission commander, the seventh man to walk on the moon and the first to drive the Lunar Rover, made lunar history while wearing his Bulova chronograph. Crafted specifically for astronomical conditions, the Lunar Pilot watch was used in space to track time, ensuring no one ran out of oxygen, water or battery power in the portable life support-system backpack. It was also used to back up the on-board timers for the critical reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere.
The timepiece could - and did - perform flawlessly, withstanding pressures of changing atmospheric conditions, fluctuating temperatures and gravitational shifts. Bulova celebrated 50 years since that mission in 2021 with the 50th Anniversary Lunar Pilot Limited Edition timepiece, which was a resounding success, bringing renewed interest and excitement to the Lunar Pilot collection.