New Bulova Accutron Combines Retro With Electrostatic Turbines

Can Accutron stand alone as a brand like say Lexus from Toyota, or Infiniti from Nissan, or even AMG from Mercedes come to that? It’s a brave move by Citizen/Bulova to give the Accutron its own website and range of models, all with the unique electrical dynamo type power movement inside.

The original Accutron watches are going up in value now, as fewer of them are still functioning, which is no surprise given that they were never meant to last 50 years or more. So a new variant, or two, is welcome. These see-thru watches will spark up conversations with fellow watch fans, with their spinning turbine blades looking like mini power stations – which they are of course.

The wheels spin and statically charge electrodes, and like your hair standing on end, the small charge of electrical power then makes the second hand turn.

There are two models, with the historic DNA model being closer to the original in terms of styling. It’s bigger though, at some 45mm wide, which won’t suit every wrist.

Interestingly if you read the instruction manual it says the timepiece is designed to run from the factory for two years, but it has a five year warranty. Like an automatic, you do need to move your wrist to make the turbine wheels rotate and thus charge the motor. The manual says under no circumtances must the back be opened to fit a new capacitor by the way.

The Accutron Spaceview 2020 (above) is a limited edition, with 300 units being sold, complete with box and special booklet. It’s a very striking luminous green colour, with those turbine blades fully on show for your delight. You get some superluminova paint on the hands, plus a copper coloured second hand too. Great stuff, but it costs $4000, some $700 extra over the DNA model.

Then there’s the Accutron Legacy range, which are automatics using Swiss 26 jewel movements. A 34mm case size and a 4pm winder position, just like many 1970s gents mechanical watches from Montine, Oriosa, Seiko and others, gives the legacy models a real old school feel. But is that enough for $1290 and above? Hmmm, not sure.

It is interesting that Citizen, who own Bulova have decided to tap into the US heritage that Bulova enjoyed back in the 60s with their Swiss made marketing. Hence a Swiss auto movement instead of a Citizen/Miyota. It is hard to see how the Accutron revivals will sell well in Europe, where the originals remain something of a cult and $3300 for a non-Swiss watch is seen as a real gamble when it comes to resale values for many collectors.

More info at the new Accutron watches website here.







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