With an appropriately futuristic and funky look, the fascinating 1960 Bulova Accutron Spaceview was one of the first electronic wristwatches. Now 60 years later, the Accutron brand has been relaunched (sans its previous Bulova association) with two collections which recall the dial-less look of the original — and once again display technology that represents a totally novel approach to electronic timekeeping.
electrostatic /əˌlektrōˈstadik/ adj. relating to stationary electric charges or fields as opposed to electric currents.
The new movement tech is the result of ten years of research and development. Rather than electromagnetic energy used by common quartz watch movements, the Accutron uses an electrostatic approach. Two electrostatic generators supply electric charges in a manner similar to a balloon rubbed on a sweater, and they're driven by the wearers movements — much like mechanical watches with automatic winding rotors. These generators are visible at the bottom of the dial as the two smaller turbine-like structures.
Finally, the charges power an electrostatic motor which drives the watch's seconds hand (the hour and minute hand are driven by a more conventional motor) — and like previous Accutron movements, it provides a smoothly sweeping seconds hand rather than one that ticks every second like standard quartz. The electrostatic motor is the larger turbine visible on the dial and it spins rapidly, providing a visually striking effect. It promises accuracy of around 5 seconds per month, which is similar to that of Seiko's Spring Drive tech.
The aesthetics of the two new Accutron watches reference the original Spaceview with its open dial — particularly in its circuitboard-green iteration. The collection called Spaceview 2020 has a more traditional case design measuring 43mm wide, while the DNA collection has a sporty 45mm-wide case with hooded lugs. Geeky watches in the best possible way, the Accutron DNA has a price of $3,300 while the Accutron Spaceview 2020 is $3,450.