Ever since the first piloted missions to outer space, a reliable wristwatch has been one of the most important pieces of equipment for an astronaut. Even today, in an age of ubiquitous computers and increasingly streamlined, privatized missions to space, a timepiece is a vital backup in case of a system failure. On August 2, 1971, an Apollo 15 mission commander proved this importance when the crystal on his NASA-issued chronograph fell off, prompting him to time his walk on the surface of the moon with his own personal Bulova. To this day, that Bulova remains the first and only piece of personal property ever worn on the surface of the moon, and this year the brand celebrates half a century since that historic achievement with a refined and masculine twist on its popular Lunar Pilot chronograph. The Bulova Lunar Pilot 50th Anniversary Limited Edition melds clean and handsome ‘70s chronograph design with a striking new color palette, tough new case materials, and a high-performance movement to ensure you arrive in style, whether your adventures take you to the office or the surface of the moon.
The Bulova Lunar Pilot 50th Anniversary Limited Edition immediately sets itself apart from the pack with its 45mm Grade 5 titanium case. This darker matte blasted material gives a moody edge to the rounded compound curves of the lugs and mid-case, while giving the bright gold-tone accents of the crown, bezel, and pushers a strong complementary contrast. This is especially true for the unique slim paddle-style pushers, each flowing outwards along the length of the 3 o’clock case side. These long, flowing highlights naturally draw the eye and are an absolute pleasure to operate. Hinged near the crown and with a tactile mechanical click once engaged, these pushers give the chronograph an immensely satisfying sense of engagement and feedback on the wrist. The glimmering gold-tone highlights continue with the Lunar Pilot 50th Anniversary Edition’s unique commemorative caseback. Here, Bulova pays tribute to Apollo 15’s historic mission with a deep, richly detailed engraving of an astronaut in full spacesuit on the surface of the moon.
Bulova continues this stylish gray and gold look with the dial of the Lunar Pilot 50th Anniversary Limited Edition. The deep matte charcoal gray offers a compelling and handsome alternative to classic black, particularly when complemented by the bright gold azurage finishing of the three subdials and the polished gold tone central chronograph seconds hand. Even though this colorway might be more dramatic than the standard model, the Lunar Pilot 50th Anniversary Limited Edition loses none of its timeless usability, with highly legible straight hands and applied rectangular indices coupled to bold and intuitive scales. Bulova also shows off its expertise in visual depth here, as each layer from the recessed seconds track, to the tall outer tachymeter scale, and the cutout subdials create a dynamic set of shadows in changing light that give the design a moody and nuanced look. There’s a pervasive sense of quality here as well, with fine details like the old-school printed gold Bulova logo at 12 o’clock and the twice-a-second motion of the 6 o’clock running seconds subdial that set this model apart from the competition.
The 262 kHz ultra-high frequency in-house quartz chronograph movement inside the Bulova Lunar Pilot 50th Anniversary Limited Edition is a mechanical marvel in its own right. Beating at eight times the frequency of a standard quartz movement, this specialized design uses a proprietary three-pronged quartz crystal to deliver accuracy far beyond its competitors. Combining the evocative central sweep seconds hand of a traditional chronograph movement with 1/20-second timekeeping precision only possible with a quartz movement, this movement ensures the inside of the Lunar Pilot 50th Anniversary Limited Edition is as special as the outside.
Bulova completes the Lunar Pilot 50th Anniversary Limited Edition with a pebble grain leather NATO strap in charismatic asphalt gray. Perfectly matching both the colorway and the rugged adventurous spirit of the watch, this strap adds even more brilliant highlights with an engraved gold-tone keeper at 6 o’clock proudly bearing the Bulova emblem. Bulova also pairs the Lunar Pilot 50th Anniversary Limited Edition with a number of bespoke commemorative items, including a book on the history of the Lunar Pilot series and a custom-designed challenge coin.
With a 50-year legacy dating back to the Apollo moon missions and a striking color palette that blends function with eye-catching style, the Bulova Lunar Pilot 50th Anniversary Limited Edition is a handsome and reliable companion for any adventure from here to the surface of the moon. Bulova will only create 5,000 examples of the Lunar Pilot 50th Anniversary Limited Edition, but for now, the watch is available online and through authorized dealers at an MSRP of $995. To learn more, please visit Bulova’s website.
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