In recent months my inbox has been a repository of reminders about classic American watch design. And while plenty of digital missives arrive from the encouragingly high number of youthful watch designers active across the United States these days, I’ve been especially impressed by the retro-design regimen currently underway at Accutron.
Accutron’s Legacy collection transports us back decades with its studied re-introduction of dials and cases that truly met, and in many ways help define, the Swinging Sixties and the Space Age. The collection’s aerodynamic curves, electrical references and rampant asymmetry are a treat to both the eyes and the wrist. And by retaining vintage sizes Accutron enhances the nostalgia, setting the imaginative dials within their proper proportions.
A stylish reminder of Accutron style from this era can be found in the Accutron Legacy Date and Day Q, a Legacy release that echoes the original 1971 streamlined ‘flying saucer’ 34.5mm oval case design and 4 o’clock crown.
Updated Bulova Classics
Bulova also understands the value its design archives. The Bulova Oceanographer ‘Devil Diver’, its Computron and Bulova’s array of military watches are prime examples.
Just recently Bulova notes that it is expanding its array of Bulova Classic designs with new versions of the 1948 Sutton and the 1960s Aerojet.
Both these re-releases are automatic models powered by Miyota movements. The new Sutton automatic ($395) recalls Bulova’s President watch, circa 1948, though the new model offers an updated 33mm by 49mm case size and a contemporary dial aperture to expose the movement. Bulova is offering the watch with a white dial on a brown alligator grain leather strap or with a black dial on a black alligator grain leather strap.
My favorite among the recent debuts is the new Aerojet, reprising a Bulova design from the 1960s. Bulova unveils two new 41mm steel-cased versions featuring the Aerojet’s signature cross hair dial with a bi-color Day/Night indicator and vintage Aerojet logo.
These come with colorful sunray blue or brown dials with a degrade effect. The blue model is available on a black distressed leather strap for $450 and the brown on a multilink bracelet for $495.
After ten years of research, Bulova’s Accutron brand this week unveils a new type of watch movement that relies on electrostatic energy to help power its hands, and places the movement into two new Accutron watches.
The new watches, the Accutron Spaceview 2020 and the Accutron DNA, are the premiere models within the newly separated Accutron brand, and each feature designs that echo the dress of the historical Bulova Accutron Spaceview of the 1960s, the world’s first electronic watch (powered by tuning fork technology).
The new Miyota-built movement, which Bulova previewed in 2019, relies on both a power cell and on spinning turbines that react to the action of the wearer’s wrist to re-charge the cell.
The larger of the three electrostatic dial-side rotors, which is actually a motor, spins furiously while the watch is worn to directly power the seconds hand. The smaller two electrostatic generators, propelled by a more conventional rotor inside the movement, electrostatically charge the power cell, the integrated circuit and the quartz-based timing components that control the hour and minutes hands.
The watch’s energy is stored in an accumulator cell that powers two motors. Integrated circuits synchronize the motors to provide accuracy to +/- 5 seconds a month. Depending on how often the watch is worn, Accutron says it expects the electrostatic power feature will allow the watch to replenish its power for up to a decade without requiring a cell replacement.
In addition, Accutron has built a power-saving function into the new movement. After a certain period of inactivity, this function will stop the seconds hand to alert the wearer that power is being conserved. An even more comprehensive power-save feature, called the ‘energy conserving function,’ stops all of the hands, which prevents power from being depleted.
Both new Accutron watches display the same shade of green on bridges and/or case rings to clearly reference historical Bulova Accutron watches, notably the Accutron Spaceview.
The Spaceview 2020 most directly recalls the open, avant-garde design of the original Spaceview, which offered a clear view of its tuning fork electronics.
The new watch offers a 43.5mm stainless steel case and clear case ring with dot-shaped primary hour markers, fit to a black leather strap. A limited edition Spaceview 2020, with a green case ring, will also be available packaged in a deluxe box set with an illustrated book “From the Space Age to the Digital Age.”
Bulova took a few more liberties when designing the Accutron DNA, which offers a more contemporary adaptation. The Accutron DNA case ring is a sportier with its squared primary markers and its sapphire crystal is domed. Case ring color choices of green, blue, black or gold-tone offer more variety.
In addition, the Accutron DNA is attached to the wrist with what appears to be a nicely integrated black rubber strap, and the watch’s case is also larger, measuring 45.1 mm in diameter.
Frank Sinatra is once again announcing “it’s Bulova time.”
The famed late singer is the star of a new series of ten Bulova watches named after well-known Frank Sinatra songs. The brand’s new Frank Sinatra Collection is dedicated to Sinatra – who was known for wearing Bulova watches – and features watches with cases and dials inspired by designs from the 1950s and 1960s.
Bulova’s connection to Frank Sinatra began in the 1950s during The Frank Sinatra Show television program for which the brand was the sponsor.
A pioneering advertiser known for extensive early radio and television campaigns, Bulova has in recent years renewed its connection to the music industry with partnerships with the Recording Academy, the Latin Recording Academy as well as through initiatives like Tune of Time or with non-profit partner, Windows of Hip Hop. Bulova has also teamed with the GRAMMY Awards to create a series of watches. Frank Sinatra took home nine GRAMMY awards during his long career.
“Our commitment to music includes many talents, many genres, many voices. Who better than ‘The Voice’ himself, Frank Sinatra, to continue to showcase our dedication and appreciation for the art of music and its ability to transcend time,” says Jeffrey Cohen, President of Citizen Watch America, which includes Bulova within its corporate umbrella.
“No one respected time more than my father, he never liked to keep an audience waiting, adds Frank Sinatra’s daughter Tina Sinatra. “He often said, ‘If you’re not early, you’re late.’ Dad’s association with Bulova spans over six decades and we are proud to continue the relationship into the 21st Century.”
The new Bulova Frank Sinatra Collection includes manual-wind, automatic or quartz timepieces made in a square, rectangular, round and tonneau case shapes and named for some of the best-known Sinatra songs, including “My Way,” “The Best is Yet to Come” and “Fly Me to the Moon.”
The watches are cased in either stainless steel or gold-toned steel and are powered by a Sellita or Miyota automatic or manual-wind caliber, or by a Miyota quartz caliber. Many feature gold-toned hands and indexes and are offered in steel or leather straps. Prices range from $495 to $1,350.
In addition, Bulova pays tribute to Sinatra by placing an image of the singer’s Fedora hat on the crown and by imprinting song titles on the inside of the straps and on the caseback of each watch. Frank Sinatra’s signature is also seen on each dial.
The first series in Bulova’s Frank Sinatra Collection includes:
My Way is a tank-style stainless steel or gold-tone steel watch with a silvery white or black dial and a Miyota quartz movement. Prices: $495 and $525.
The Best is Yet To Come is an assortment of 40mm round case watches in either stainless steel or gold-toned steel with an exhibition caseback showcasing a manual-wind Sellita SW215 movement. Prices: $1,150 to $1,350.
Three pieces under the name Fly Me To The Moon feature 39mm round steel or gold-tone steel cases and powered by a Miyota Caliber 8215 automatic movement seen through an exhibition caseback. Prices: $750 to $825.
The Young At Heart includes a selection of timepieces in a gold-tone stainless steel tonneau-shaped case. One of the novelties is presented with a brown sunray brush dial inspired by Sinatra’s Whiskey partnership complete with a brown calf strap.
The other is seen with a silver white sunray dial with a black calf strap. A Miyota Caliber 8215 automatic movement powers both pieces. Price: $695.
Bulova will sell each watch with a package that mimics a vinyl album box set. It will also include lyrics from Sinatra songs and incorporate various vintage images.
The Frank Sinatra collection will be available later this year on Bulova.com and at other Bulova official retailers.