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Accutron Miscellaneous

Before Bulova had decided on case designs for their Accutrons in 1960, I have been informed that about a dozen prototype models were produced which a few persons at the company received to try out. Here are a few photos of one of those Accutrons. I repaired it for the son of a gentleman who worked  as head of marketing for Bulova back in the day, before and during production of the Accutron. He had an office next to Harry Henschel, who was President of Bulova at the time, and has cherished this Accutron ever since. Although we can see that the coils and hands have been replaced at some point in its life, as well as the crystal, it's telling to note that it has a spiral lug case bezel which is gold-filled instead of 14k. It's the only gold-filled spiral lug Accutron case I have ever seen. Most likely, as Bulova was deciding on case designs, gold-filled cases were used in these prototypes rather than gold as the first consumer grade models such as the Alpha were. Moreover, it has what appears to be a solid gold case back without any serial or date code numbers...likely before Bulova had decided how they were going to number the Accutron case backs. My name was given to the son of this gentleman by Bulova, who wanted to fix his father's Accutron for him. Since Bulova suggested me, his father, who didn't trust anyone with his cherished Accutron, felt he could trust me based on Bulova's recommendation. I'm proud to have repaired this Accutron for him and equally astounded to have had the opportunity to repair such a rare piece.

Beginning in 1953, Max Hetzel, while employed by Bulova, began constructing his prototype Accutron, which would later become the world's first commercially-available "electric" wristwatch. This differed from Elgin and Hamilton's earlier attempts at a battery-powered wristwatch because it, unlike the Elgin and Hamilton calibers, did away with hairspring escapements and relied solely on battery power.

Mr. Hetzel used a Raytheon CK718 transistor for his first prototype and Raytheon CK722 transistors for the remaining 7. The CK722 was the first commercial transistor and therefore made the Accutron the first commercially available product to use a transistor outside of the very early transistor radios you may remember. Mr. Hetzel produced a total of 8 prototype movements, before the transistor radios, which served as models for William Bennett, a Bulova engineer, to manufacture commercially-available Accutron wristwatches.

 

Accutron RepaIR 214 & 218
Accutron Spaceview Repair
Accutron Astronaut Repair
Accutron Service &
Accutron Restoration

Hi, I'm Bob!

Accutron Repair - Accutron Museum - Others for Sale
Accutrons for Sale - Accutron Spaceview Repair Service

Accutron Astronauts
- Accutron Spaceviews - Sitemap
Military Watches for Sale from a fellow watch-collector
MyBob.net, P.O. Box 204, Normal, IL 61761
HOME