Since its reimagining earlier this year as the standalone premium arm of Bulova, Accutron has focused primarily on reinterpreting its own back catalog in new, technically advanced ways. While the Accutron nameplate does have a long history of innovation in watch design, especially in battery-powered electric movement design in the era before quartz movements, it’s also a brand long associated with unique and quirky cases. It’s this second aspect that Accutron focuses on for its latest limited edition collection, a group of 12 new models based on nine iconic designs from the brand’s heyday in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Each powered by a Sellita SW200 based automatic movement, these include the Accutron 203, the Accutron 565, the Accutron 521, the Accutron 505, the Accutron 412, the Accutron R.R.-0, the Accutron 261, the Accutron Day and Date “Q,” and the Accutron 21343-9W. This wide assortment of models forms the limited edition Accutron Legacy Collection, sharing basic mechanical components such as movements, sapphire display casebacks, and 30-meter water resistance ratings, but offering a smorgasbord of midcentury visual styles.
The first pair of these designs, the Accutron 203 and the Accutron 565, both harken back to original Accutron models released in 1966. Both models share a 34mm stainless steel case with an irregular, swooping, vaguely diamond-shaped form, but highlight the shape in unique ways. For the Accutron 203, the angular points of the case at 2 o’clock and 8 o’clock are accentuated with applied gold tone triangles flanking the crystal. The Accutron 565 omits these gold-tone elements, and instead etches nearly the entire top side of the case in a complex crosshatch pattern. Both are eye-catching, unique options that feel very faithful to the spirit of the 1966 originals. The dials of these two models diverge a bit more, with the champagne dial of the Accutron 203 featuring narrow gold-tone hardware including stick hands and a fully applied outer minutes track. On the other hand, the dial design of the Accutron 565 is both bolder and more conventional, with a silver pie pan design topped by wide applied indices and lumed dauphine hands. Both the Accutron 203 and the Accutron 565 are paired with crocodile pattern leather straps featuring two-button deployant clasps.
The next in the series, the Accutron 521, takes a vaguely Googie-inspired interpretation of square case design based heavily on the ‘60s original of the same name. Old-school compact at 32.5mm in diameter, this asymmetrical gold-tone stainless steel case is remarkably faithful in its overall interpretation. As a counter to the bold, unorthodox form of the case, the dial is clean and conservative with simple polished dauphine hands and playfully staggered applied indices. Accutron offers this model with a choice of either a gold-tone multilink bracelet or a lizard pattern leather strap in mahogany brown.
One of the most diminutive and unusual models in the lineup is the Accutron 505, closely copying the 1965 Accutron original. Available in both stainless steel and gold-tone, the 33mm case is shield-shaped with a small pillbox crown at 4 o’clock and a set of asymmetrical applied lugs at the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock sides. Finishing is an all-over polish which should feel very period correct. Both stainless steel and gold-tone models share the same crosshair dial design, with faceted dauphine hands and distinctive arrowhead-shaped applied indices at 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock. While Accutron fits the stainless steel 505 with a lizard pattern leather strap in black, the higher impact gold-tone model receives crocodile pattern leather in deep brown.
By far the most traditional entry in the Accutron Legacy Collection is the Accutron 412, following the pattern of an original model from 1969. The simple round 34mm gold-tone case is accented with angular attached claw lugs and given further character with a small crown at 4 o’clock. Likewise, the silver sunburst dial design is mostly classical with lumed dauphine hands, with a few touches of character added such as the narrow applied indices used at 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock. Accutron finishes this clean and dressy look with a minimal black crocodile pattern leather strap.
If there is an outlier in the Accutron Legacy Collection, it is undoubtedly the Accutron R.R.-0. Based on a 1970 design produced to Canadian railroad standards, the Accutron R.R.-0 dispenses with much of the midcentury funk of its stablemates in favor of the clean legible charm of most railway watches. The 34mm stainless steel case is elementally simple in form with small narrow lugs and an undersized 4 o’clock crown. The matte white dial of the Accutron R.R.-0 stands in sharp contrast to the rest of the Legacy Collection but adds a few touches of unique personality all its own. The black sword and spade hands are accented with a blazing red stick seconds hand for maximum readability. The bold outer minutes track aids this easy reading mentality, as do the oversized black printed Arabic hours numerals and their simple font. There are a few idiosyncrasies here, however, such as the replacement of the 12 o’clock marker with a zero to meet Canada’s railroad requirements and the small inner 24-hour scale. Interestingly, this is one of only a handful of models in the Legacy Collection to feature a date window, here rendered with a high contrast black date wheel to stand out for legibility. The R.R.-0 is paired with a simple no-stitch black leather strap.
The largest model in the Accutron Legacy Collection is the Accutron 261. Echoing an original 1971 design, the 261 takes a decidedly more ‘70s design approach with a wide 38.5mm stainless steel cushion case featuring a mix of polished and brushed facets. An alternate variant is also available in gold-tone, adding a more luxurious punch. Both versions share the same dial layout, with a complex seconds track dominated by long thin hashes at the minutes, clean striped baton hands, and bold blocky wedge-shaped applied indices. The stainless steel-cased version of the Accutron 261 completes this look with a period-correct petrol blue dial, while the gold-tone model opts for a classic black dial surface. The stainless steel cased version is also paired with a black leather strap and deployant clasp, while the gold-tone model is mounted on a matching gold-tone three-link bracelet.
Easily the most complicated of the Accutron Legacy Collection is the Accutron Day and Date “Q,” inspired by another 1971 Accutron release. The 34.5mm stainless steel case of the Accutron Day and Date “Q” follows the common ‘70s C-case pattern but is topped by an unusual and striking raised oval bezel with a polished chamfer. Under the sapphire crystal, the midnight blue dial design is just as distinctive with a mix of applied baton indices and Roman numerals flanked by a day/date display split between 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock. This quirky style is finished off with a black leather strap featuring white contrast stitching.
The last design in the Accutron Legacy Collection draws inspiration from 1974 to create the Accutron 21343-9W. The Accutron 21343-9W feels very much like a product of the mid-‘70s, starting off with a chunky 38mm tonneau case in stainless steel. This low, wide case form features an integrated bracelet design, flowing directly into the matching three-link oyster style bracelet. The vertically grained silver dial takes on a truncated circular shape, dominated by a wide sloping rehaut and accented with a bright red stick seconds hand. Both the hands and applied indices are faceted batons with a prominent central black stripe.
All nine designs in the Accutron Legacy Collection share the same semicircular sapphire display window on the caseback, showcasing the vaguely named Accutron Swiss-made 26 jewel automatic movement within. While Accutron’s details surrounding the movement are scarce, this is likely based on the workhorse Sellita SW200 movement, and likely boasts similar performance to the SW200’s standard 38-hour power reserve and 28,800 bph beat rate.
While stepping away from the electrical movement innovations that defined the brand in the past, the Accutron Legacy Collection otherwise provides a remarkably faithful sampler of some of the brand’s greatest vintage hits. Each design in the limited edition Accutron Legacy Collection will be restricted to 600 units apiece, and all models are available now through authorized dealers with MSRPs ranging from $1,290 to $1,550. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.