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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I got buzzed! “Buzz” Aldrin, that is J


Bulova Accutron Astronaut Limited Edition




I first saw pictures of the limited edition (1,000 total made) Bulova Accutron Astronaut GMT about one month ago. I think it was first introduced at Basel 2007. I made a few inquiries with dealers and was told variations of “Haven’t seen one of those for a while”, “Don’t know when we’ll see one again”, “Don’t hold your breath.”
What excited me about the watch was the styling, which was very reminiscent of the 60’s Astrnonaut…Hey, I’ve always been a sucker for triangular hour markers.
Here are a couple pics of the original…





I figured it might not be easy to acquire one of these, and going to the effort of buying sight-unseen might not be worth it since the available pictures were few and information was limited on dimensions, etc. So I happened to be in Redding the last couple days for work (conducting NVG training & checkrides) and during a few hours down-time was trailing along behind my wife at the Shasta Mall. I ducked into a jewelry store and glanced at the usual fare. As I was turning my back on the Accutrons, ready to leave, I saw the limited edition Astronaut! Seeing it in person and trying it on was a huge bonus, and I managed to get the wife’s approval for the impulse buy.

First impressions…
This watch has some very artistically shaped, sculpted lugs.
The watch is a little larger than the Rolex GMT Master II in thickness and diameter (11mmX42mm), but sits very comfortably on the wrist because the lugs do not protrude out so far (44mm lug tip to lug tip vs. the Master’s 48mm). Also, the lug spacing is 22mm.
The bezel is knurled on the edge, but don’t let that fool you….The bezel DOES NOT ROTATE. I couldn’t believe it at first and started looking for some sort of bezel locking device, but sure enough, it’s a knurled and fixed bezel. That’s just plain weird.
The crown does not screw down, which is a nice feature, since the watch is rated to 100m anyway.






The set….

The watch comes in a decent presentation box with certificate (my watch is #306/1000) and a small NASA lapel pin.



The bracelet…
This bracelet is quite beautiful and tough with solid end links. It has an attractive beveled cut on the sides of the bracelet, and ends in a butterfly clasp (with very few ways to make minor adjustments). Should you choose to wear the watch on a different type of bracelet or strap, the swap is easy to do because the case is cut with a notch, allowing straight-end 22mm bracelets to tuck right in.



The dial…

The dial and hands are the most beautiful aspect of this watch. Covered by a slightly domed sapphire crystal, the matt black dial had very nice metal framed raised hour markers and a framed date window. Dots of lum mark the odd 24 hour locations. The dauphine styled hands and red 24 hour triangle compliment the triangular hour markers well. The second hand is not lumed, and has a tuning fork symbol on the opposite side.





The movement….

If course, the original 1960’s Accutrons were electronic watches with tuning fork movements capable of incredible accuracy for their day. They had 12 hour inner displays with an outer 24 hour reference so astronauts would be able to maintain daily orientation. This watch continues the tuning fork motif with a tuning fork on the dial, one on the seconds hand, one raised on the case back, and three engraved into the rotor (visible through the sapphire on the case back). Unfortunately, there is no tuning fork movement in the watch…nothing ground-breaking or innovative like Seiko’s Spring Drive…It is a decorated 21 jewel ETA 2893 automatic. The case back screws on with four small screws, and visible above the limited edition number is the prominent autograph of Astronaut Buzz Aldrin.



I am quite happy with the purchase. It’s an interesting limited edition watch with links to an exciting era in our history.





 

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It's a great looking watch, Dennis!

Odd about the bezel though. :-s
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Funny how the numbers go around the bezel all oriented inward as if the bezel rotates. It would make more sense to have the lower numbers, 8-16, with their bottoms toward the lower lug (like the Explorer II). And could also do without the pointless knurls :).
I realized all this as I was first handling the watch, and decided to buy anyway, because I like the whole package.
I make a point of it, though, because I could see how someone receiving the watch through the mail might be a little upset when they try to rotate the bezel.
 

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That is sweeeeet!

I dig that watch... and there are ways that I really think they improved on the previous iteration. Sapphire crystal, red 24 hr hand, and I like the two tone bezel (but the previous all-silver bezel was good, too). And they've done a good job of recalling the previous watch as well with the tuning fork decorations all over.

Does anyone make a tuning fork movement anymore? Seems like it would be cost-prohibitive to make one, and that ETA movement is pretty rugged. I understand how cool it would be to have something new under the hood like the spring drive; still this is a really neat and unique watch.

The fixed bezel is a stumper, all right. Something so simple just diminishes the usefulness of the watch.:(
 

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It looks great, may i ask how much u payed for it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This purchase was a little unusual for me. I almost always buy my watches used, from other collectors. I live in a rural area without any dealers, but happened to be in Redding for work.

I'm at work now. Don't have the exact numbers...
I think it lists for around $1,250. I asked for a discount and they gave me 10% off. Due to the limited nature of the watch and because I hadn't been able to find one on the net...I took their offer.
 

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Thanks Dennis, wonder if they will ever come to Europe ;-)
that´s a nice price for a great watch. Enjoy it. :-!

This purchase was a little unusual for me. I almost always buy my watches used, from other collectors. I live in a rural area without any dealers, but happened to be in Redding for work.

I'm at work now. Don't have the exact numbers...
I think it lists for around $1,250. I asked for a discount and they gave me 10% off. Due to the limited nature of the watch and because I hadn't been able to find one on the net...I took their offer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
All the watches I see at that vendor's site are vintage 1960's.
I don't see any new ones.
I'm sure the bezel on my watch does not rotate. I've tried quite hard.
Either it doesn't rotate or my bezel is defective and stuck dead center on 24 (which would be a little coincidental).
 

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All the watches I see at that vendor's site are vintage 1960's.
I don't see any new ones.
I'm sure the bezel on my watch does not rotate. I've tried quite hard.
Either it doesn't rotate or my bezel is defective and stuck dead center on 24 (which would be a little coincidental).
I own and love the same watch, the bezel is NOT supposed to turn.
guess it can only do 2 zones at a time. This watch is one of my
favourites, excellent, total package.
I do find it amusing that the window in the back is on the wrong
side to show the balance wheel !!!
Keeper, Larry Larkin
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Interesting point about the display back.
Since it's attached with four screws I suppose it would be a simple procedure to turn the case back 180 degrees if you wanted.
And I agree with you...I'm liking this watch more and more as I wear it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
A dealer (from my previous inquiries) just notified me that an Astronaut came into their shop and is available. If anyone is interested in one, just email me and I'll point you their way.
[email protected]
 

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Nice score Dennis. I like the styling of your '07 better than the original.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wow, is that an original version?
I didn't know there was an 'Astroview' Astronaut.
Yes...That is a wonderful watch! I've never seen that version either, but it does appear original (it looks like it's meant to be that way, if you know what I mean).
What a neat combination!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Slightly off topic...but I saw a neat quote from Buzz today in "Return to Earth" addressing the let-down of life after Apollo...

"It soon emerged that my life was highly structured and that there had always existed a major goal of one sort or another. I had excelled adademically, being the top of the schools and classes I had attended during my life. Finally, there had been the most important goal of all and it had been realized - I had gone to the moon. What to do next? What possible goal could I add now? There simply wasn't one, and without a goal, I was like an inert Ping-Pong ball being battered about by the whims and motivations of others. I was suffering from what poets have described as the melancholy of all things done."
 

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Nice quote - I think at times a lot of us could take something from that - I know I could; It's easy to let life become too 'goal oriented' and miss what's going on around you!

'Moondust' is a great read too - an outsider looking in approach to Apollo, written with humor and great insight.
 
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