If you had thought that the recent birth of the Accutron brand with the Spaceview 2020 and Accutron DNA launch models were enough to keep going for well at least a couple of months more, you’d have been mistaken. If you had been wondering the direction that the brand would take, you now have an answer.
With the input of a group of Accutron collectors, Bulova/ Accutron selected twelve pieces from the 1960s and 1970s to revive for its new Legacy Collection. They are all automatic with a Sellita-based movement visible through the open back, in cases with a water resistance of 30m, and all limited to six hundred pieces each. Importantly, they are also all under USD 1,500.
Their sizes range between 34mm and 38.5mm, and they are in either silver or gold-toned stainless steel cases. A couple have bracelets, but they are mostly on leather straps.
First up – Accutron has updated the 261 (1971) by retaining the 38.5mm cushion case size but with the new movement. There are two variants; a stainless steel one with a dark teal dial and a gold toned case with a black dial. They have squared-off applied hour markers, and domed sapphire crystal on both front and back.
Next is a tonneau-cased model, based on the 21343-9W (1974). The 38mm case is the same size as the original, and it is in stainless steel with a bracelet featuring double-press closure. It’s silver all the way, including the dial, which has applied faceted indices. It has the same automatic movement, also visible through the case back.
The R.R.-O is based on a 1970 design for the Canadian Railroad, and the general design features of it will be familiar not just to vintage Accutron collectors and enthusiasts. In a 34mm stainless steel case, it has a clean white dial with large Arabic numerals on the outer track, along with an ‘0’ at 12 o’clock as per the original specs. The inner ring is for 12 to 24 hours. The same movement as with the other pieces is visible behind the open case back.
From 1966 comes the modern version of the 565, with the dial now surrounded by an asymmetrical case with a cross-hatch decorated bezel. A silver colour is also the theme for this piece, with the stainless steel case accompanied by a silvery dial. Again, the same movement is visible through the sapphire case back.
Continuing on with asymmetrical cases, the next model has the 203 from the 1960s as its inspiration. This stainless steel watch has an interesting gold (inserts) and silver coloured case, gold toned crown at 4 o’clock, and a champagne dial. The sapphire case back is a window to the same Swiss automatic watches as for the other Legacy Collection models.
More faithful to the original on which it is based is the new version of the 412 from the 1960s. Coming in a 34mm sized case in gold-plated stainless steel, it also has an automatic movement visible through the case back.
Staying in the 1960s, the 505 from 1965 is the inspiration for the next piece. It is in a 33mm sized case in either gold-tone or silver-toned stainless steel case that has what they call an ‘Alpha’ design, with a protrusion at 6 o’clock in between some funky lugs. The dial has a crosshair, applied hour markers, and faceted hands. Of course it has an automatic movement.
Next up is the 521, another asymmetrical case design, with a case measuring 32.8 x 32.5mm. The case is gold tone, and it can be yours on either a lizard strap as seen below, or a very retro matching gold tone mesh bracelet (see the top photo).
Finally is the new 261 aka the Accutron Day and Date “Q”. Coming in a 38.5mm sized stainless steel oval case with a dark teal dial it features a combination of large Roman numerals and indices, a day window at 12 o’clock, and a date window at 6 o’clock.
It is clear that (at least for the time being), Accutron is going to be focused on heritage pieces that are, by current standards, restrained in their ‘updates’, and in limited production runs. The decision to have the case sizes at or near those of the originals is something particularly significant in this regard as it is uncommon, but it speaks to what appears to be a clear marketing of these watches to traditionalists, to enthusiasts, and not succumbing to the foibles of modern consumer demands.
To my mind at least, this was a decision that makes sense.
For details on the Legacy Collection, including current Accutron stockists, go to their site at this link.
[Photo credit: Accutron]