As a watch fan it is a pleasure to see that in an industry as conservative as the watch industry, true innovation is around the corner every now and then. I am not talking a new case material or record breaking power reserves. How interesting that might be, these examples are improvements but are not changing the heart-beating core of the watch.
A mechanical oscillator, driven by an escapement wheel is very much at the heart of every mechanical watch since ages. Quartz proved to be a reliable and cheap variation on the theme, and in the last decade we saw hybrid watches coming up. But a true disruptive alternative? Well, we now have Accutron.
The name will ring a bell to many, as the Bulova Accutron has quite a reputation as a pre-quartz era electronic watch. Introduced in 1960, the Accutron models had a tuning fork movement, powered by a electronic oscillator and delivering an oscillation rate that was 150 times faster than a regular movement. Bulova Accutrons are quite collectable these days.
the new Accutron Spaceview 2020 and Spaceview DNA
Fast forward to 2020: Bulova (which is now part of the Citizen group) has reimagined Accutron as a new brand and the launch of their first two models, the Spaceview 2020 and the Spaceview DNA, are quite interesting to say the least.
With both watches Accutron pays tribute to the innovative legacy, both in looks and in technology. The tuning fork now exists in the logo, but the beating heart of the watch is bringing something completely new: an electrostatic movement. Two turbines, prominently visible on the open-worked dial, rotate with every move on your wrist and generate electrostatic energy. This energy is stored in an accumulator that powers the electrostatic motor. The first motor drives the second hand and features a unique power-saving mode. When you stop moving the watch, e.g. when you take it off your wrist, the second hand will stop after 5 minutes and settle at 12 o'clock.
The hour and minute hands however will keep on displaying time and only stop after 10 days of zero motion. You now enter the "energy conservation period" that will end when you put the watch on your wrist again and the electrostatic drive system will resume time-keeping. Super exciting for the tech-savvy watch nerd, and very convenient for the wearer.
Accutron Spaceview 2020 is a must for the tech-savvy
Accutron did a great job in re-introducing the Spaceview watches. Both the Spaceview 2020 and the DNA honour the past of the brand with a strong visible resemblance, but didn't lean back by using the same technology. Where the 1960 Bulova Accutron was a game changer by introducing something completely new, the 2020 versions do exactly that. Pushing the boundaries is in the DNA of the brand name, and the results are very attractive.
The Spaceview 2020 and Spaceview DNA come in 4 different configurations each. Priced at around 4000 euros the new Accutrons are basically without comparison and a must for tech-savvy watch fans.