Prior to the Quartz Crisis in the 1970s, Bulova came up with its own electronic-powered timepiece, the Accutron Astronaut, which used a tuning fork and achieved an impressive accuracy of within 2 seconds per day. The increased accuracy and resistance to hot temperatures and other various cockpit extremes caught the attention of the CIA, who gave the Space Age GMT watch to the pilots of its super-fast, top-secret A-12 spy plane.
The Bulova Accutron Astronaut eventually gave way to the quartz movements a decade later, which were easier to service and benefitted from ubiquity. Upon purchasing the company back in 2008, Citizen eventually split up Bulova and Accutron into two separate brands, reserving the latter for retro-inspired releases and more experimental timepieces. Today, the Accutron brand is reviving the Astronaut watch in all its glory, except with a Sellita SW-330 automatic mechanical movement this time around rather than the now-obsolete tuning fork movement.
Strikingly similar in appearance to the ‘60s original, this new Accutron Astronaut revival sports a retro aesthetic with a 41mm stainless steel case and a two-tone bezel around a black dial, which sports three hands plus a fourth GMT hand. However, unlike the original, this version actually has a crown on the side (the ‘60s watch had its adjustor on the caseback).
You can purchase this new Accutron Astronaut watch from Hodinkee for $3,500. It’s limited to 300 pieces.