Bulova Accutron Watch

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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To this day, the Bulova Accutron watch stands out as a milestone in the world of timepiece design. Not only did the Accutron formally launch the concept of the electronic watch, it did so by revolutionizing the way in which these watches were manufactured. Today, historians, watch-lovers, and engineers still look back and marvel at Bulova's radical innovations.

The era was the 1960s, and people were just awakening to the possibilities of a fully electronic world. The first explorations of space had inspired (and, you could argue, resulted from) breakthrough technologies both in the U.S. and abroad. In Switzerland, the long-standing cradle of watch design and manufacturing, the Bulova engineer Max Hetzel unveiled the first 360Hz tuning fork movement, a triumph of precision time-keeping that gave the aeronautics industry the pinpoint measurement device it had been searching for.

Today's Bulova Accutron Watch

While Bulova no longer manufacturers its Accutron watch with its now-famous tuning-fork mechanism, the Accutron brand remains one of the most well-loved among watch connoisseurs and trivia buffs alike. Bulova's engineers still celebrate the many breakthroughs that, by today's standards, aren't nearly as impressive as they were in 1960. Among these was the first bipolar transistor, which is responsible for the model's unparalleled precision movement, which kept accurate time within one minute of every month.

The Bulova Accutron watch has since replaced that original mechanism with the standard wheels and springs, but that doesn't mean the spirit of those first watches is entirely gone. Bulova continues to innovate across its entire product line, making the company's watches as desirable today as they were in 1960. And with the latest space initiative galvanizing public interest in the exploration of Mars, who knows what technology Accutron will introduce in the coming years?

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