Bulova Chronograph Flown to moon on Apollo 15

Submitted by astronut on February 19, 2014 - 9:41am

Hello  - I just came across this forum on Bulova watches and hope someone can help me solve a mystery,

I found this entry on Wikipedia regarding watches worn by astronauts on the moon:
In 1971, Apollo 15 commander David Scott's issued Speedmaster lost its Plexiglas crystal during EVA-2. For EVA-3, the final lunar surface EVA, In a 2011 interview, Colonel Scott stated that he wore a Bulova Chronograph watch, model number 88510/01, NASA Part Number SEB12100030-202 that he had agreed to evaluate for the company. Because of the commercial interests involved and the revelation of the Apollo 15 postage stamp incident, NASA withheld Bulova's name for years afterward. Therefore, while the Speedmaster was the first watch worn on the moon, it is not the only one, as Omega often claims on its watches and in marketing materials.
My question is, which Bulova watch would have been identified as "88510/01" ???   Since it is comparable to an Omega Speedmaster, I presume this is a manual wind Valjoux chronograph which Bulova made around 1970. Does that model number match anything anyone is aware of ??
Thank you
Posted October 2, 2016 - 11:32pm

I'd like to think that we played a small part in the history of this watch.

Posted April 21, 2017 - 11:01pm

Here is the original patent submission for the Bulova Moon Chronograph dated July 27 1971, courtesy of Ken Anderson (AndersoK) who notes that the submission is one day after the Apollo 15 mission launched.....coincidence.....I think not.

Bulova Moon Watch 1971 Patent

ToXic Blonde
Posted June 22, 2018 - 1:01am

This article captured my attention but I have one nagging question, what time zone is the moon in? :)

Reverend Rob
Posted June 22, 2018 - 10:43am

In reply to by ToXic Blonde

Zulu is the correct answer, because the joke answer I had is too political to post.

Posted June 27, 2018 - 2:48pm

Not sure about a stopwatch, but the Bulova wristwatch thast went to the moon was a Universal Geneve.

I'd post the full size original ad but I can't post pictures. Or links. Annoying.

Edit - sorry, nevermind, I'm a half-wit sometimes. I apparently didn't know how to use the link insert box. 

Good article about it - How Bulova Used a Universal Geneve To Get To The Moon

Mybulova.com is mentioned in the comments.

Here she is. The one on the left. These were produced at the time, by the way....

Reverend Rob
Posted June 27, 2018 - 10:34pm

I'd still say that's obviously a protptype, with no name on the dial. UG did not make that movt at any rate, it is a Val 72, possibly modded slightly or not at all. The Auction makes note of the UG brand, which would have only been stamped on the movt itself. Clearly it was quick and convenient for Bulova to use their new aquisition to facilitate  the production of the watch to get a fresh crack at being in space. 

At any rate, that is some rare and excellent evidence, and Sprocketmaster has done some first rate research. I love it when the pieces fall into place! 

So now I'm looking at my moonwatch, wondering if I can drop a Val 72 into it..........


No surprise, this is a much larger watch and needless to say there is no way to 'drop' such a beautiful movt into it.......

Just for those who may not know, the venerable Valjoux 72 has been used in many good quality watches, not the least of which is the Rolex Daytona at one point. 

Posted June 27, 2018 - 11:25pm

Yeah, we need the 43mm mechanical case. 43mm, coincidentally, is the measurement of that UG and Commander Scott's ''Bulova.''

And, yeah, no signed dial on that UG up there, but the buckle is signed with Universal Geneve's logo, though. So, there's that.

Of course, who knows. The people who would know anything about it are likely long gone from this old world.

Anyway. Neat stuff.

Good try on the Val 72, Reverend. It was worth a shot.