Back in 1960 Bulova were so confident of their ability to produce a new and improved method for accurately measuring the passage of time that they launched a whole separate company. Accutron.

1970 Bulova Accutron Deep Sea 218 Watch

Watches were released with no obvious Bulova branding. It was this new portmanteau that was the combination of accurate and electronic. Seen above on a 1970 Bulova Accutron Deep Sea. This splitting allowed complete focus on these electronic marvels – produced with minimal components for easy servicing and available at cut throat prices. It was accurate time for the masses.

60 Years Later

60 years have passed since these first space age Accutron watches appeared. And now – Bulova are doing it again. Just perhaps not that well.

In the age of passive marketing and viral releases. This has been a bizarre drip feed by Bulova. The original concept was showcased as Baselworld 2019 and showed a completely new skeleton movement harking back to the original Spaceview – it was very cool. Then radio silence.

About 2 weeks ago an Instagram page started posting spiel about Accutron history, upcoming ‘change’ and weird podcasts. At time of writing it has less than 1000 followers. Whereas the Bulova instagram account has 179,000. It suddenly became obvious today that this absolute nobody of an instagram page was official and started blasting out information about the new Accutron Spaceview 2020.

I have constantly criticized Bulova’s marketing ability with other releases such as the new smaller 40mm Devil Diver Reissue that absolutely nobody knows about… I wonder how many other Bulova products there are we just don’t know about!

Let’s briefly look at the Spaceview 2020 – there will be plenty of other watch blogs covering this. I have however found some other items released at the same time as this behemoth.

Accutron Spaceview 2020

“Taking on the challenge to once again revolutionize time, Accutron’s design & engineering team based in tokyo worked from the inside out to create Accutron’s all-new and proprietary next-generation electrostatic energy movement.”

Exploded view of the electrostatic movement

In short this movement uses small amounts of static electricity to run a tiny motor. The power is generated by two electrostatic generators that are spun by an oscillating weight on the back of the movement – much like an automatic. Timing is controlled by a quartz resonator to ensure total accuracy.

Accutron 2020

Unlike a Seiko Spring Drive movement which uses a glide wheel and mainspring connected to a conventional gear train – there is no mechanical link between the second hands and the minute/hour hands. They are simply controlled by a stepper motor – this stepper is powered by the electrostatic energy captured in the generators at 5 and 7 o’clock.

The electrostatic motor at 10 o’clock is constantly spinning so looks like a tiny fan spinning away in a breeze. This combined with a constant sweep seconds hand will prove to be a most distracting combination.

Accutron DNA – Bulova still have a thing for rose gold and black plastic… please stop

There’s no doubting the concept is great – however Bulova have produced yet another large watch – either 45.1 or 43.5 mm. Excessive, especially with a greater demand on the watch market to produce more svelte models. Then there’s the price – cruising in at $3,450 (£2,633) it’s bloody expensive for an electric watch.

They are producing limited edition Accutron 2020 which basically just feature a chapter ring like the older versions – that’ll cost you an extra $550 for the privilege.

I believe it’s too big, too gaudy in pretty much any other trim than standard spaceview and it’s way over what I expected them to price it at.

The curse of big brash Bulova strikes again.


I had essentially lost all enthusiasm to continue reading into this with all watch blogs covering the same crap. But then I found their Legacy Collection.

Now this is where starts to get a lot better. It was one of those times like I had found something nobody else had seen. Like a shooting star. They have released and ENTIRE back catalogue of historically appropriate Accutron models. Not just one or two either – it’s a bloody fleet!


So this is yet another example of Bulova not marketing the stuff that is going to sell properly. Whatever. Let’s concentrate on these things – first of all the sizing and price. Ranging from $1290 to $1550 they are a much more reasonable proposition.

It’s the size. This is what gets me – these range from 34 to 38.5 mm. They are genuinely true to the items they are trying to replicate. This isn’t the big brash Bulova machine we are all used to. This is refined and considered watches taken from some of their most prestigious back catalogues.

These things are the absolute legends of Accutron case styles. There’s asymmetrical, big lugs, cushion cases and alpha cases. This is it – what they should be cramming down every watch enthusiasts throat. Real size watches with an affordable price. All are limited to 600 pieces.

However – what’s this inside?

Yup – it’s not an electric movement. It’s not a complicated electrostatic generator. It’s not an Accutron 218 or 214 remake. It’s a 26 jewel Swiss automatic movement from Accutron. Based on a Sellita SW200.

In the grand scheme of things this probably strikes a blow to true Accutron fans – the ones that own nothing but sweet tuning fork movements and try hard not to cry themselves to sleep from the incessant humming. I joke. But it does matter as this is what the 1960s dreams were made of. Pioneering and interesting new technology.

2SW6B001 – my absolute favourite and only 34 mm!

Or does it – you get all the 60s and 70s style that just oozes refined cool and excellence and none of price tag to go with it. These watches are so stylish they’re probably still finding the right celebrity to endorse the product.

Check them all out here.

So tell me your thoughts – I want to hear them. Do you like the new Accutron 2020 Spaceview? Do you think the Accutron Legacy range is herecay or to be celebrated in full?

4 thoughts on “Accutron 2020

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