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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.

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Tags : accutronbulovaCitizen Watch Company
Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder