Important Bulova: AccuTron & AccuQuartz

Friday, May 3, 2024

The importance of Bulova for horology is almost forgotten but could not be valued high enough. The brand is today not close to where it was but in 1960 it opened the door into electronic watches with its super-seller Accutron. Yes, the first tuningfork-watch was not only a slight modification but a really revolutionary innovation; it set a new standard in accuracy, unachievable by mechanical watches and it paved the road for the journey to the end-point in accuracy: Quartz.

And yes, the brand was in a very strong position in the 1960s: Selling better than its competitors because of its technological advantage and the tuningfork-patents it licensed to the competition. But they didnt stop there: Bulova understood the relevance of the switch from tuningfork-watches towards quartz in 1970 immediately and developed not only very high-quality-Beta21 watches (AccuQuartz on the left), demonstrating they take the approach to quartz very serious, but also developed its own quartz-controlled tuningfork-movement in parallel, the cal224 which was presented just one year later: AccuQuartz (right).

The focus on technology was important and Bulova for sure had its time in the 1960s but lacking quality and losing connection to the Japanese competition early, made it a victim of the so called quartz-crisis. But nevertheless, the tuningfork-movement is as fascinating as it is reliable and precise even today, a relevant watch and horological milestone;