1967 Bulova Accutron Astronaut (GMT) - Ref. 11305
The watch chosen by the CIA for pilots of the fastest plane ever made.
WHY IS THIS WATCH SPECIAL
Here is an extract from the letter written by Frank Murray (LtCol, USAF):
"The A-12 airplane first flew in april 1962; several years of developmental testing took place before the airplane flew its reconnaissance role in the far east. This airplane operates at speeds well above Mach 3 (2100 mph) at altitudes up to 90.000 feet.
The environmental conditions inside the cockpit saw temperatures as high as 140 degrees at end of cruise legs when the fuel remaining was insufficient to provide the needed heatsink for the airconditioning system.
Ordinary wristwatches worn by the pilots on the outside of their pressure suits were not holding up to these temperatures. A decision was made to try a unique type of watch in this setting. The Bulova Accutron Astronaut model held up to testing, so the CIA decided to furnish the Bulova watch to the CIA pilots flying the A-12.
The CIA provided each pilot with a new Bulova Astronaut watch. These watches became the property of the pilots and they stayed with the pilots whan the program ended in mid 1968."
The Accutron movement developped by Bulova has no balance or balance spring, it uses a tuning fork oscillator, driven by a transistor controlled circuit. The Accutron 214 movement vibrates at 360 Hz and uses a button-cell battery. This was at the time a wonder of miniaturization and micro-engineering, with parts so fine that they are invisible to the naked eye. Because they would run on electric power with no requirement of a mainspring made them highly suitable for use in aerospace applications.
- Maker: Bulova
- Model: Accutron Cosmonaut (GMT)
- Reference: 11305
- Case N°: D347xx - M7
- Year: 1967
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Dimentions (WxHxT): 38x40x14mm
- Caliber: In House Accutron 214
- Bracelet/Strap: Black Nylon NATO
- Lug width: 17mm
- Box/Papers: Original Bulova box
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
This watch is in incredibly good condition for its age. The impressive 38mm Stainless Steel case is extremely well preserved. The black unrefinished dial is stunning. This is a great vintage legendary watch featuring a very useful second time hand and a 24Hrs rotating bezel. It has a nice presence on the wrist an can be worn daily.