By Ryan Johnson, NJ Collector
In 1960 Bulova introduced the Bulova Accutron, which ran on a tuning fork rather than a balance wheel. Running at 360Hz the movement was accurate to within +/- 2 seconds a day. This technology was requested by NASA for various timing instruments. As such, the Accutron was considered in the race to become the first watch on the moon. It lost to Omega. Unfortunately, production of the Accutron stopped in 1977.
Now, 37 years later, we have been presented with the Bulova Accutron II. As an Accutron enthusiast, I quickly added this this one to my collection. The new Accutron II watch houses the Precisionist movement, which Bulova made in 2010. It operates at a frequency of just over 262kHz Bulova states a +/- 10 seconds a year accuracy.
Being a bit of a precisionist myself, having a timepiece that is so accurate is exciting. Three weeks after synchronization to the official U.S. time, my Accutron II is spot on to the second. Once you hack the movement to the correct time it just holds it. One of the most notable features that captures my eye is the sweeping second hand. In my opinion it is as close to a perpetual sweeping hand as you can get. Higher-end Swiss-made automatic watches that run at 28,800bph and 36,000bph do not match the movement of the Precisionist at 57,600bph. I am mesmerized every time I look to see the time and view the second hand as it travels so fluently around the face.
The Bulova Accutron II comes in numerous styles and this one is from the Surveyor Collection. Price varies from collection and style. The one I wear and am reviewing retails for $450. Most timepieces I prefer to wear have a classic classy appeal; swank if you will. The regal blue second hand on this watch stands out against the light grey starburst face. Stainless steel case and black leather band feel right at home on my wrist. At a diameter of 41mm, and thickness of 12mm I truly feel it is the perfect size to emulate the original Accutron in present day fashion. The Accutron II certainly fits the cliché “Modern Classic” and rekindles those feelings I had for the original Accutron.
There are a few minor areas of concern for me with this watch, but nothing I cannot live with. For one, the Surveyor Collection only offers a stainless steel bracelet on the model with the black face. This bracelet cannot be interchanged with the other models as I found out the hard way. Also, I would like to see this particular line offered with a sapphire crystal instead of a mineral crystal. I find I need to be more aware when wearing this watch so as to avoid a scratch. The leather band comes with the traditional clasp and not a deployment clasp. As such the leather on mine has already formed a crease where I have sized it. Finally, Bulova states water resistant to 30m/100ft (3 ATM), but the back of the case is only marked “water resistant.” Not sure I would be willing to test this. I will not be taking this one into the pool. With that said I absolutely LOVE this watch.
Overall it is a very well-made quartz timepiece. My past experience with Bulova customer service should something be wrong has proven to be sensible and satisfactory. If you are looking for a classic, casual, dress or just a classy looking wristwatch at a very reasonable price, this one fits the bill. As a fan of Bulova Accutron, the Accutron II has not disappointed. Certainly a worthy addition for my personal collection. I am looking forward to future models in the Accutron II lineup.