1976's Bulova Accutron
1976's Bulova Accutron
- Brand and Country of Manufacture - Bulova, Switzerland
- Year - 1976
- Serial - NA
- Model - NA
- Movement & caliber - NA
- Case diameter - NA
A stainless steel Bulova Accutron, time only, battery operated tuning fork watch with an unusual dial that was designed to mimic the classic railroad pocket watches that were used to keep railways running effectively and on time pre the quartz revolution of the 1970's. The classic aesthetic of the railroad watch is of clean Arabic numerals against the white background with easy to read minute hash marks along the chapter ring. The hands are also designed to evoke the feeling of the early pocket watch hand designs, such as church hands.
They are also made of blued steel, one more nod to classic pocket watch making traits. The center sweep seconds hand takes on a very important role in the highly precise world of keeping trains running on time, so this is why it is painted in red making it easier to track. This particular version also has the inner ring of 24 hour numbers allowing it to be more practical throughout the day. The movement inside here is the Accutron tuning fork from Bulova. A movement that was the world's first fully electronic watch when launched at the Basel watch fair in 1960. Inside is a 360-Herz tuning fork powered by a one-transistor electronic oscilator, 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. With regards to the association with the railroad itself, due to its accuracy, in 1962, the Accutron 214 became the first certified wristwatch for railroad personnel. So popular is this watch that they have kept a version of this watch in their line. This example is an original 1970's version, and is found in superb unpolished all original condition. A piece of history in many ways rolled into one wrist watch.