1962 Bulova Accutron Spaceview
A stainless steel Bulova Accutron Spaceview, time only, battery operated tuning fork watch with an unusual dial that was opened up to reveal the inner workings of the watch. These types of open work, dialless watches were common in watch making in both clocks and wrist watches, and were also known as skeleton pieces, showing the "bones" of the movement. Underneath the original mineral crystal the watch is powered by a 360-Herz tuning fork powered by a one-transistor electronic oscillator, and was the invention of the Bulova engineer Max Hertzel. The standard oscillating rate of a conventional mechanical balance wheel driven watch was approximately 200 times per-second. The new tuning fork mechanism allowed a rate of 360 times which guaranteed an accuracy to just one minute a month.
There are two other very distinguishing features to the Accutron; no conventional winding stem with the setting functions located on the case back itself. Next is the sound that the watch makes as it oscillates at this high frequency. An almost humming noise which is very unique to the tuning fork. The Spaceviews were initially launched in solid 14k gold, and were merely designed for a selling quirk in stores to bring attention to the watch. They proved so popular that they were then integrated into the line in 1962, and were also made in stainless steel, as this example proves. These watches became very popular, leading to an Accutron with a 24-hour dial being used in the capsules of the Gemini program. The Apollo spacecraft was also equipped with Accutron watches. In all, the Bulova Accutron clocks were used on the dashboard of 46 spatial missions. In 1962, the Accutron became the first certified watch for American railroads staff. Seventy-five other railroad companies across the globe also adopted the Accutron technology. In 1963, astronaut Gordon Cooper was the victim of an electric incident in his capsule during a routine mission around the Earth (known as The Faith 7 project). He used the chronometer function of his Accutron to time the restarting of the engines and was able to return to Earth. He praised the Accutron for helping to save his life.
This is a fantastic early example, having been made in 1962. The condition is excellent throughout being presented unpolished, and with the original mineral crystal which features all the printing. All of which looks amazing when a UV light is shone on it, lighting up like a 1970's disco! The watch is also accompanied by a signed Bulova bracelet that is quite unusual for these watches. It can easily be taken off and a woven or leather band can also be worn with the watch, if preferred. There is a small personalization on the back of the watch, stacked with the serial and date code, so it actually looks like part of the reference stamping. This is a great looking piece, sure to catch the eye, and always a pleasure to wear; both to hear the humming, and to see the movement.
This item is final sale.