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Accutron’s tuning fork watch reborn with an all-new electrostatic movement

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Watch enthusiasts have been pleading for the return of Accutron, a Bulova sub brand that invented a highly accurate electrostatic-mechanical watch mechanism in 1960.

Accutron is a portmanteau of the words accuracy and electronic and its movement used electrostatic energy to agitate a tuning fork that then maintained a consistent frequency to two tiny motors pushing the hour and minute hands. Both motors were synchronized through integrated circuits to provide accuracy of +/- 5 seconds a month.

That made it highly desirable in the pre-quartz era, and was even used by astronauts who reached the moon in the 1970s.

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Click here for an excellent overview of the history and innovation of Accutron by Watchonista.

Bulova was bought by Citizen Watch Company in 2008, and little has been heard of Accutron’s innovative invention since.

We learn today, however, that a decade of research and development has gone into relaunching Accutron as an electro-magnetic watch.

The Accutron Spaceview 2020 uses the same open dial design with the exact-same signature green accents as the 1960s original.

More importantly, it is returning to using electrostatic energy and its tuning fork, albeit in an all-new movement.

The new watch comes in a stainless steel case and bezel on a black leather strap. It goes on sale this week for $3,450.

“These new timepieces, powered by electrostatic energy are the first of their kind and pay tribute to the iconic Spaceview design that gave Accutron the recognition of being an industry trailblazer,” says Jeffrey Cohen, president of Citizen Watch America. “Accutron will continue to maintain its position at the forefront of timekeeping accuracy and is committed to upholding an extraordinary legacy of excellence in design, style and technology.”

A second collection, also using the electrostatic movement is the Accutron DNA, which attempts to take the innovative spirit of the 1960s watch and apply it in a 2020 way.

Accutron says the DNA is “reimagined for a new generation. It elevates the bar with modernist-minimal aesthetics mixed with sci-fi touches.”

There are three sporty skeletonized watches in the DNA collection, all retailing for $3,300.

2 Comments

  1. Hopefully the Empire State Building “Green Light” will bode well for this iteration of the re-launch of Accutron. As noted “Accuracy through Electronics”, but to the Accuracy Standard set then, it was a Minute a Month, not = or – 5 Seconds! Initially Accutron who set the standard for accuracy was the Choice of Astronauts with a piece so named, and one sits on “The Sea of Tranquility” to this day with the American Flag left there by Astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin in 1969! As Quartz took over for the Tuning Fork, the Brand evolved to Accuquartz, (“Minute a Year Accuracy”) and later briefly to ‘Accutron Swiss’ in the early 1980’s. Sadly, over the past 20 years various Management Teams have attempted Re-Launches, always around the Spaceview and once including the Astronaut, always to disappear in a short period of time because of Managerially over-reach and lack of understanding. of what they were actually selling, “Manchester United” comes to mind.. Without the Materials, Sales Tools etc., History and almost 4 generations have past, quite literally. The decision was made this time to distribute through a different Sales Force, as if the previous failures were that of the Sales Force! That all said, the Timepiece, an expression also born of the Accutron to distinguish it from other Watches w/o an Accuracy Guarantee, would have regardless of Engine, the Cosmetic is the driver of Sales in this Timepiece and all would be well advised to understand that before getting carried away with other Case and Dial interpretations that they imagine recreates Design and Style in 1960, it is the Spaceview until it becomes accepted and then and only then can it spread it’s wings! I wish them luck, the Product is cosmetically attractive, different and can be a “Head-turner”!

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Tags : accutronbulovaCitizen Watch Company
Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder