Rare Bulova “Accutron-Astronaut” No. A82968 M6 stainless steel electronic tuning fork wristwatch Cal. 214 with bidirectional 24 hour bezel, made in 1966.
The Accutron movement developped by Bulova has no balance or balance spring, it uses a tuning fork oscillator, driven by a transistor controlled circuit. The Accutron 214 movement vibrates at 360 Hz and uses a button-cell battery. This was at the time a wonder of miniaturization and micro-engineering, with parts so fine that they are invisible to the naked eye. Because they would run on electric power with no requirement of a mainspring made them highly suitable for use in aerospace applications.
Perhaps one of the best known users of the Accutron were pilots in the X-15 rocket plane program, also it was one of the watches considered by NASA for their Apollo space program and of course pilots of the famous A-12 Spy Plane. The CIA provided each pilot with a new Bulova Astronaut watch. These watches became the property of the pilots and they stayed with the pilots whan the program ended in mid 1968.
C. Three-body, polished and brushed, screwed ring on the case back, bidirectional revolving steel bezel graduated in 24 hours, back foldout hand-setting bow, triangular lugs. D. Black with luminous indexes, outer minute/seconds track. Luminous steel baton hands, arrow hand to indicate the diurnal or nocturnal hours on the 24-hour graduated bezel. M. Cal. 214, diapason tuning fork for swinging element, frequency of 360 Hz. Dial, case and movement signed. Diam. 38 mm. Thickness 13 mm.
Watch is in overall great condition, running and ready to wear!