Bulova 1962 Accutron Astronaut

2/10 votes
Model ID rating explained.
3
Manufacture Year: 
1962
Movement Model: 
214HN
Movement Jewels: 
17
Case Serial No.: 
E94654
Case shape: 
Round
Case Manufacturer: 
Bulova
Crystal Details: 
Crystal Ref. # 1245 31.0 mm
Additional Information: 
Accutron Astronaut M2, The first stainless steel Astronaut ever made, It's unclear if they were ever released for sale to the general public, The dial only says "Accutron" on it, The hands and markers are of white nonluminous paint, The movement is stamped "USA" and "214HN" and has a date code of "M2" which is the same as the back cover, It has a early type applied logo Kreisler USA Coffin Link Stainless Steel Bracelet.   This watch is Made in the USA and is true Red, White, and Blue through and through and was given to and used by all the X-15 Test Pilots, It's very questionable to say Omega had the moon given that Bulova 214 based Clocks, timers, and switches were used extensively throughout the Apollo spacecraft including the lunar lander and they all did the real work while Omega got the title "Moon Watch" ! The Bulova Accutron Astronaut paved the way into space and to the moon starting with the X-15 program and ending with Apollo program and that is a FACT !!!    This stainless steel "Astronaut" model was made before all of the other stainless steel Astronaut watches for only one year 1962 and has a date code of M2 on the case back and movement, There was one Accutron Astronaut watch made before this one with a date code M1 (1961) but it was a 18k Solid Gold Astronaut watch (possible known as the "Royal" Astronaut), Some people might say that a Platinum Accutron or the 18k Solid Gold Astronaut is rarer but I say to that I've seen real world pictures showing a few of each other those watches with over a hand full of the 18k Solid Gold Astronaut known to still be around with one of those for sale on ebay as I type this BUT other than some pictures in Bulova ads and the real thing in pictures on the wrists of X-15 test pilots I've never seen another one of these 1962 Astronaut watches ANYWHERE ! can you honestly say you have ???    Here are some of the undisputed facts about this rarest of rare Accutron Astronaut watch that sets it apart from Any of the other Astronaut watches ever made......   #1 the dial that only says "Accutron" and used nonluminous white paint on the hour markers and no rather large single dots between the hour markers unlike all other Astronaut watches (other than the near equally rare 1963 Astronaut)   #2 the spade hands that Bulova lifted from the aviation panel clocks of the time which were also painted with the same nonluminous white paint as the dial markers, The spade hands were only used for less than one year in 1962 before Bulova changed them in 1963 to the hands you see on the common Astronauts, They are Accutron 214 spade Rail Roal hands painted white and this fact has recently been verified by a number of highly knowledgeable sources of Accutrons of this type    #3 This 1962 Astronaut watch came with only one type of bracelet, the early applied logo Kreisler USA Coffin Link Bracelet   The Accutron Astronaut definitely evolved very quickly in that first year, Bulova started making the all stainless steel Astronaut in 1962 and sometime around late 1962 / early 1963 they changed the first type of hands to the luminous hands which are the most commonly seen hands on the Astronaut after 1963 and at the same time added luminous paint to the hour marker to match the now luminous hands and other than that one change to the dial it is exactly the same as the very first dial to be used in the all stainless steel 1962 Astronaut watches and really is every bit as rare as the first nonluminous dial that was used, Sometime around late 1963 Bulova added "Astronaut" to the dial and also added the large luminous dots in-between the now luminous hour markers, Then sometime in 1964 they switched to the "bullet" bracelet. From then on the evolution of the Accutron Astronaut slowed way down with relatively small changes made to it over the rest of it's live.  
Not For Sale
1962 Bulova watch
1962 Bulova watch
1962 Bulova watch
1962 Bulova watch
1962 Bulova watch
Bulova Watch
Accutronitis's picture
Accutronitis
Posted February 6, 2016 - 10:23am

Here is the 1962 Accutron sales card for this watch....

 

 

Accutronitis's picture
Accutronitis
Posted February 6, 2016 - 3:52pm

Here are some pictures of X-15 pilots actually wearing this very model of Astronaut M2 watch with the white spade hands and very rare "Simple Dial", The photo clearly show the white spade hand set that was used for less than a year ! Bulova at the time set a record for the worlds longest watch band that they made for the X-15 pilots so they could wear there Accutron Astronauts on the outside of their pressure suit in the hostile environment of the X-15 cockpit !

 

Here is a VERY rare picture of Neil Armstrong wearing his M2 ! It can be seen sporting one of Bulova's record setting longest watch band made for the X-15 pilots ! If it can be said the the omega "speedmaster" was the "moon watch" Then the Accutron M2 Astronaut was no doubt the "X-15 Watch" that went higher and faster in the worst imaginable environment then any other watch up to that point strapped to the outside of a X-15 pilots pressure suit on their wrist, And they preformed flawlessly !

This is the 1962 New York news paper article talking about the record setting longest watch band made by Bulova for the X-15 pilots !

William Smith's picture
William Smith
Posted February 5, 2016 - 11:48pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Nice watch and great bit of history.  Thanks for posting them.  

Accutronitis's picture
Accutronitis
Posted February 5, 2016 - 11:57pm

mybulova was the first place i ever showed anyone this historic piece of Bulova Accutron history !

JP
Posted February 6, 2016 - 12:34am

Panel Member

WOW!! A fantastic piece of history. I am green with envy.

Accutronitis's picture
Accutronitis
Posted February 6, 2016 - 3:12pm

Here is a 1962 popular boading ad Stating that every "yachtsman" should own what at the time still didn't say Astronaut on the dial....

 

Accutronitis's picture
Accutronitis
Posted February 6, 2016 - 3:40pm

The hand set first used on the new all stainless steel Accutron GMT watch (which had yet to be named Astronaut) was lifted from the Bulova Timer Labs and was the Bulova Accutron Hand Set P/n WS-25 white spade Bulova had already been using on all there aerospace clocks and timers.....

 

Accutronitis's picture
Accutronitis
Posted February 6, 2016 - 3:39pm

Here's a very little known fact that i'm sure you haven't heard before about the Accutron 214 and Bulova Timer Labs and even people who worked for Bulova outside of the Timer Labs didn't even know, The Bulova Timer Labs made a Index wheel out of a different material than was used for all their consumer grade watches and they were used exclusively by Bulova Timer Labs in all of their aerospace grade clocks and timers that were used by NASA and went into space plus Bulova Timer Labs (the department responsible for Bulova's line of Marine Navigators) also used these specially made Indexing Wheel in their 214 based Marine Navigators !

They were made out of  Paliney 7, Paliney 7 is a Palladium, silver age-hardenable alloy that in addition contains 10% gold and 10% platinum and that's why it looks silver compared to a standard index wheel which is made out of Beryllium Copper and have a Copper color.....

You heard that here first on myBulova ! 

 

 

Accutronitis's picture
Accutronitis
Posted February 7, 2016 - 6:19pm

Thanks panel members, You guys are the best !

I think i have a record number of Accutron 214's listed here that no one will ever beat ! lol