“Here? Or in Boise, Idaho?”

Accutron Astronaut Advert 2185

Telling time in the jet age just isn’t as simple as Big Hand/Little Hand anymore.
So Accutron, not content to give you exquisitely accurate time in on time-zone, now provides it in two.
Introducing the Accutron Astronaut Mark II’s. They can do things no other watches ever could.
Let’s say you’re leaving your office in Boise, Idaho for a meeting in London. Just click the hour-hand ahead 8 hours, and you’re on London time. A second “hour-hand” (which normally hides behind the first) is now exposed to keep track of the time back home.
And since the other hands aren’t disturbed, neither is our famous claim: that Accutron is the most accurate watch in the world.
The Accutron watch is guaranteed accurate to within one minute a month because it measures time with a unique electronic tuning fork movement.
(Conventional watches, with their conventional balance wheel movements, simply can’t match accuracy like this. Friction and th effects of gravity are just too much to overcome.)
If you do any travelling at all, you’ll appreciate the new Accutron Astronaut Mark II. And the next time you’re in London, and someone asks you the time, you can reply with a straight face, “Here? Or in Boise, Idaho?”

Nothing beats an astronaut. Ever.

I’d forgive you to think the above title was used by Bulova in their 70s marketing. This is however just stolen this from the 2013 Lynx/Axe body spray campaign. It used famously attractive professions like firemen, life guards and playboy millionaires being turned down by scores of women for the just landed astronaut.

Lynx/Axe promised to launch 22 of their consumers into orbit. I dread to think how much this marketing stunt cost – it even featured Buzz Aldrin announcing the Apollo fragrance in New York. Unfortunately the lucky chosen few who were scheduled to launch into orbit in the XCOR Lynx never got off the ground. XCOR Aerospace declared bankruptcy in 2017.

I think the thing to take from this endeavour is that people want to be an Astronaut and view them as true heroes.

Astronauts are doing something genuinely terrifying. If you break it down into simple terms; being launched upwards on a giant explosive rocket into a deadly freezing vacuum where you suddenly rotate around your home at 17,134.93 mph – and if you fancy coming back you just have to casually re-enter the atmosphere with friction causing temperatures to reach in excess of 3000 degrees celsius.

What really gets me is that these men and women are so relaxed about it at all. As the Saturn V rocket launched with 7.6 million pounds of thrust Aldrin’s heart rate stayed at just 88 bpm. It’s not just about being physically fit it’s complete and total mental stability.

So I believe deep down we all want a little of that spaceman cool and why not have a little bit of that cool on your wrist.

1970 Bulova Accutron Astronaut MK IV

Accutron Astronaut

Bulova released the original 214 powered Astronaut in 1960 – it featured the accurate tuning fork movement a GMT bezel and another hour hand. Bulova ended up producing 3 generations of Astronaut; MK1, MK2 and MK4. The MK3 has never appeared anywhere and I would love to understand the reason for skipping a whole generation!

This 1970 MK IV model is a beautiful 14 carat gold plated case with all gold accents – even the raised black logo has gold backing. I love gold and this just ticks all the boxes.

Two crowns can mean a few things – internal bezel rotation, alarm time or in this case two time zones. The regular time is adjusted using the dimpled crown at 4 o’clock.

The small simple baton hour hand with no lume is the “home” time and stays constant. The wider hour hand with the black inlay and lume is the “away” hand and will move in one hour increments with a turn of the crown at 3 o’clock. This extra crown is on a split stem held in place with a spring inside the case. The second time zone crown does not need to be pulled out to operate – but If you’re brutal enough and don’t understand these movements it is possible to pull the stem right out.

The case back is in great condition – still showing off the beautiful radial finish. These models feature a case back that is then held in place by a screw down ring.

The lugs are like bat ears – it’s the standard odd 17.5mm between lugs limiting to what bracelets this can be sported on.

A lovely gold bordered date aperture. 218 Accutron models feature a date quick set – with the crown in position 0 if turned the date should advance. It’s not the smoothest of functions but it makes changing the date possible without adjusting the time.

The watch is powered by the Accutron 2185. This features a few adaptations to accept the new crown and a complicated hour advance mechanism under the dial. Movement article here.

This Astronaut is on a Kreisler gold filled deployant bracelet. It looks surprisingly uncomfortable but actually wears in a really nice way. Bulova signed clasp completes the look.

What time do Astronauts eat? At launch time. Get it? Thanks for reading and let me know if you have one of these Accutron Astronauts!

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