So, that means instead of a turning fork-based electronic movement the Bulova Accutron II Alpha has a Precisionist movement–though one that has been slightly modified. Like the original Spaceview Alpha, the new Alpha has an “open” dial, and you can see the movement in full view–quite rare for a quartz watch actually. Until 2014, Precisionist watches were great, but very large. Bulova wanted to decrease the size of the movements but in doing so they needed to decrease the extreme accuracy a bit.
At 40mm wide and very wearable the Bulova Accutron II Alpha is much smaller than the significantly larger previous Precisionist collection timepieces. The two year battery life and sweeping seconds hand are still part of the movement, but rather than being accurate to about 10 seconds a year, the movements are accurate to about 5-10 seconds a month. According to Bulova, even with this lowered frequency the Accutron II movements are still six times more accurate than “normal” quartz movements.
While some original Accutron Spaceview watches had a more traditional round case, the most iconic design was a sort of shield-style that Bulova homaged in the Bulova Accutron II Alpha. While certainly different, it wears nicely on the wrist. I also like that despite the open dial there is a periphery ring of hour markers and legibility is very high.
Bulova will begin by offering four versions of the Bulova Accutron II Alpha in steel. In addition to polished steel and yellow and rose gold-toned models, as well as a black model (that is matched to a mesh-metal bracelet). The others are matched with a black, white, or brown leather strap. The black model is really cool, but if you want to go for the most authentic retro look you have to go for the yellow gold-toned version on the brown leather strap.
Given the nostalgic element of the Bulova Accutron II Alpha I think it makes for a great combination of style, features, design, and value. If this was a $2,000 or more timepiece I would say that it wasn’t going to be a good idea. It isn’t even a $1,000 or more timepiece. The 2014 Bulova Accutron II Alpha collection starts at $399, goes to $450, and tops out at $560 for the black case with bracelet model. Look for the watches to be available by the Summer of 2014. bulova.com