9,4 / 10
Extraordinary Full Set
This model is a very well preserved example of Astronaut from 1967 (“M7” on the caseback), with a “Standard 3 Lines B” black dial:
- “Standard” is the name of this type of dials characterized by the bullet points between the main markers (the previous generation, called “Simple dials” did not have those points);
- “3 Lines” indicates the 3 mentions on the dials (“Bulova”, “Accutron”, and “Astronaut”);
- “B” means that the name of the brand Bulova is placed on the 1st line”.
The spear hands configuration is correct for this series.
All the components are conform and in very good condition. The watch has beed serviced and works properly.
The rare JB Champion original steel bracelet is in excellent condition.
What makes the watch almost unique is the incredible full set (box, documents, original Bulova coins,…) that has been preserved by the previous owners. Such a set is extremely rare and hard to find nowadays.
About the model
The Bulova Accutron was the world’s first fully electronic watch. Presented at the World’s Watchmaking Fair in Basel, Switzerland (later called Baselworld) in 1960, the watch incorporated a revolutionary new technology that utilized a 360-Herz tuning fork, powered by a one-transistor electronic oscillator, to drive the timekeeping functions rather than a traditional balance wheel. This technology ensured an oscillation rate of 360 times per second — nearly 150 times faster than that of a mechanical, balance-wheel-driven timepiece — and guaranteed an accuracy to just one minute per month. The Accutron was distinguished by its telltale humming instead of ticking, a sound generated by the vibrating tuning fork.
The first Accutron model, called Spaceview 214 and featuring its famous open dial showing off the high-tech movement, also deviated from traditional wristwatch design with its lack of setting stem and crown on the side of the watch: these elements were instead placed on the back of the case.
In 1962 Bulova produced the Astronaut, a 214-based GMT timepiece with a 24-hour rotating bezel, secondary 24-hour hand, and hack function (caliber 214 HN). The Astronaut was initially developed by Bulova for the US space program, but ultimately found its greatest success in the consumer market.
During around 10 years, Bulova released numerous cosmetic variants of the Accutron Astronaut, with different variants of dials, hands, bezels, mostly in stainless steel but also in sold gold and gold filled cases.