The Accutron: A Watch That Changed the World

The Accutron, a wristwatch released by Bulova in 1960, was the first and most advanced electric watch in the world, and has continued to influence culture for over 60 years. In the 1950s, watch companies began experimenting with the first generation of electronic watches, but they were prone to failure and difficult to repair. The Accutron, however, was different. 

It used a tuning fork to mark the passage of time, creating a characteristic ‘hum’ sound, and had a smooth sweep for the watch hands. The “Open dial” demonstration model, which allowed a view of the inner workings, gained popularity so quickly that it was introduced as the official Accutron Spaceview in 1961. Since then, over 200 models of Accutron have been released and the watch has been worn by notable figures such as Elvis Presley and Paul Newman. 

The Accutron technology was also used in space travel, with the Accutron Astronaut meeting the demands of high-speed flight and space travel, and was used in 46 Apollo missions and worn by pilots in the US Air Force and NASA. The Accutron technology’s accuracy and precision even played a role in making the moon missions possible. It has truly made remarkable contributions to both science and culture.

A Gift That Inspired History