9 / 10
Rare early model from 1964
This model is a very well preserved example of early Astronaut from 1964 (“M4” on the caseback), with a “Standard 2 Lines” 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);
- “2 Lines” indicates the 2 mentions on the dials (“Accutron”, and “Astronaut”).
This version is rare and is probably one of the very first models commercialized to the public.
The baton pointed 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.
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.