|Homepage - Contents - G. Tuning Fork Watches, 1. Bulova Accutron||< Previous page | Next page >|
|1953||Max Hetzel receives the first useful transistors, the 'CK 722', from Raython USA and produces his first working model by hand. The length of the tuning fork was five centimeters. The patent application is filed in Switzerland on June 19th 1953 under no. 312290.|
|1954||The ATO electronic pendulum clock is shown at the CIC in Paris, the first clock in the world with a transistor and without electrical contacts. In June, the first useful batteries suitable for watches, invented by Mallory, become available. In November, the first prototype wristwatch is made to function.|
|1955||Eight watch-sized models are produced in Bienne. In Switzerland many doubted whether 'The Accutron' would become successful.|
|1956||The president of the Bulova Watch Co. in New York, Arde Bulova, and his engineers become enthusiastic about the tuning fork system.|
|1959||Max Hetzel goes to New York with his family and becomes Chief Physicist at the headquarters in Jackson Heigts, New York. The Bulova Accutron is developed by team work of two scientists: Max Hetzel and William O. Bennett. The start of the production-engineering phase takes off.|
|1960||On October 10th, the new president of the Bulova Watch Co., Omar N. Bradley, ex-chief of staff of General D. Eisenhower and known for hisparticipation in the Normandy Offensive, announces the Bulova Accutron caliber 214, the first electronic watch in the world. Cased in steel, gold or platinum, the number of parts had been dramatically reduced to a mere 27 of which only 12 were moving parts. By comparison, a selfwinding watch at that time contained about 136 parts, 26 of them moving. The sale of the Accutron starts on October 25th.|
|1964||The 'Bulova Accutron' is chosen to be buried for a time period of 5000 years on the grounds of the New York World Fair in order to save it for future generations as an example of one of the 44 most innovative objects to be invented during the last two and a half decades.|
|1964-1970||In different trips into space with the 'Explorer' and the 'Apollo', the 'Bulova Accutron' is used by astronauts with full satisfaction.|
|1966||The first tuning fork wrist watches are registered at the Observatory of Neuchâtel by Ebauches S.A. and by C.E.H. of Neuchâtel.|
|1973||At this time four million 'Bulova Accutrons' have been sold since production started.|
|214||1960. The basic caliber that is used in closed cases and in spaceview (i.e. open) models. Frequency 360 Hz, Power cell 1.30 Volt, Height 5.5 mm and always a back setting device. |
Derived calibers: 214 H (1962, very small improvements), 214 HN, with calendar (1963), 2140 = 214, 2141 = 214 H, 2142 = 214 HN, 2143 (1970). The numbers 2140, 2141 and 2142 are used from 1968 onwards.
Four series of the Accutron Astronaut exist:
|218||1965. The height of this movement is 4.4 mm, frequency 360 Hz. It was never used in a spaceview model.|
Caliber 218 is never produced. 218 D with calendar (1965), 218 S and SC (1967), 2180 (= 218D, 1967), 2180 F (1970), 2180 G (1972), 2181 (1968), 2181F (1970), 2181G (1972), 2182 (1968), 2182 F (1970), 2182G (1972), 2183 (1968), 2183 F (1970), 2183 G (1972), 2185 (1968), 2186 (with a digital mechanical display). Universal-Genève has used cal. 218 in their 'Unisonic', cal. 51 through 54. This caliber is also found in the Citizen Hi-Sonic (cal. 2180G, 2181G and 2182G).
The Accutron 'Astronaut Mark I' (cal. 2185) has a conventional 12-hour dial made up of heavy white markers and an additional 24 hour scale appearing as odd numbers 1 to 23 between the conventional hour markers. Besides, it has an outer rotatory dial (ring) located under the crystal which carries the names of important cities around the world. To determine the time in the world's most important cities, each of which is located in a different time zone, the outer dial can be rotated by turning the crown, located at the 2 o'clock position.
The Accutron 'Astronaut Mark II' series consists of two models. The hour hand of both models may be 'advanced' or 'backed-up' in exact one hour increments by setting a second crown. In addition a reference hour hand (model 1, cal. 2185 or Universal Unisonic Zone-Timer, cal. 51) or digital read out in a window (model 2, cal. 2186), will continue to display the home-base time. Do not attempt to pull the crown out.
The 'Doctor's Date' Accutron is made, so that reading can be started with the sweep-second hand positioned at either the 4 or 10 o'clock positions. Count the patient's pulse until twenty beats. The sweep-second hand will point to the patient's pulse rate on the pulse rate scale on the dial.
Sometimes the movements of the 218 series are replaced by the calibers of the 224 Accuquartz series.
|219||This movement is also used in the Citizen Hi-Sonic 05, cal. 3700, 3701 and 3711. One side of the tuning fork has the phase-sensing and the driving-coil together. A true collectable. Sales started in 1972. Patent 312290 Switzerland.|
Derived calibers: 2191.10, 2192.10, 2193.10.
One million pieces of the Citizen Hi-Sonic (218 and 219) were sold.
|2210||Introduced in 1973. This rare model has a unique circular shaped tuning fork, especially designed for the more elegant small watches. Since they didn't run well, the production was soon halted. Calibre 7 LDA is the same movement.|
|2300||On 11 August 1970, the Bulova Watch Company Bienne-branch presents the first 'Mini Accutron' to the international press. The small diameter of 19 mm made this movement suitable for use in ladies' watches. It is the smallest tuning fork model ever produced with a frequency of 480 Hz. Commercial production started in 1971.|
2300 A (1975), 2301 (1971), 2301 A (1975), 2302 (1971), 2302 A (1975), 2303 (1971), 2303A (1975), 2310 (1972), 2312 (1972), 2313 (1973).
Universal-Genève used caliber 230 in their ladies' watches Electric 47 and 48.
|224||The Accuquartz watches will be dealt with later on, because the timebase consists of a quartz crystal.|
Copyright © by Pieter Doensen
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