This is a guide for buying and collecting Bulova Accutron watches - the world’s first tuning fork watch.Created in the 1960’s and 1970’s, they are now highly prized world-wide by watch collectors.In general, for all time periods, it is important to understand that Bulova watches never provide an obvious date of manufacture anywhere on the watch.
A large steel cased Bulova Accutron Spaceview watch.
This model uses the innovative calibre 214 tuning fork movement.
These codes and the manner in which they should be interpreted is the subject of this article.
Many observers of Bulova watches are confused by the sometimes seen patent dates stamped on the inside of some Bulova watch cases, and they misinterpret such dates as the time of manufacture.
For purposes of assigning a date, Bulova watches break down nicely into three basic groups: 1) pre-1926, 2) 1926 through 1949, and 3) 1950 and beyond.
Those three date ranges are differentiated by the presence or absence of certain case and movement markings as well as the nature of any such markings, as explained below.
But the low frequency of the balance wheel made it impossible to improve on the accuracy of mechanical watches of the time, and the invention was ignored until the mid 20th century.
In 1952, Elgin and Lip introduced watches powered by batteries.
The watch is unusual due to its square shape and large size.
The Tuning fork movement was considered state of the Art in the 1960’s and through the 70’s.
That is common, however, it has been known to never seen an original watch that had a variation of more than one year.