Accutron 261 Legacy 'Cushion TV'

Regular price
$825
Regular price
Sale price
$825
REF 2SW6B002
Automatic-winding
38.5 MM
– Show less
SKU ASXA0002
Article Number 40991943
ref 2SW6B002
case size 38.5 MM
movement Automatic-winding
approximate age 2020s
dial color Blue
material Stainless Steel
style Avant-Garde
category Factory Certified Pre-Owned
bracelet Leather
lug width 18 MM
Includes Signed leather strap with matching signed stainless steel deployant buckle. Also includes complete inner and outer box set, books, serialized hangtag, warranty certificate, Limited Edition card, and Factory Certified Pre-Owned card.
overall condition Mint, unworn.

Each timepiece in the Accutron Legacy Collection is covered by Accutron's 5-Year International Limited Warranty. Read more

REF 2SW6B002
Automatic-winding
38.5 MM
– Show less
SKU ASXA0002
Article Number 40991943
ref 2SW6B002
case size 38.5 MM
movement Automatic-winding
approximate age 2020s
dial color Blue
material Stainless Steel
style Avant-Garde
category Factory Certified Pre-Owned
bracelet Leather
lug width 18 MM
Includes Signed leather strap with matching signed stainless steel deployant buckle. Also includes complete inner and outer box set, books, serialized hangtag, warranty certificate, Limited Edition card, and Factory Certified Pre-Owned card.
overall condition Mint, unworn.

Why We Love it

“Are you ready? Because I want you to pay attention. This is the beginning of something.”

So opens Season 7 of AMC's Mad Men, with Sterling Cooper copywriter Freddie Rumsen pitching the new Accutron watch from Bulova. “Accutron,” he intones. “It’s not a timepiece — it’s a conversation piece."

In 1960, this thought-provoking electronic watch offered state of the art technology and design. But in order to fully understand its significance, we need to turn back the proverbial clock for a moment — all the way back to 1875. Nearly 150 years ago, Joseph Bulova established a small jewelry shop in Queens, no doubt unaware of its vast potential. In 1912, the firm opened a movement manufacture in Biel, Switzerland, carting over American mass-production methods. Within a few decades, Bulova had grown into one of the most important watchmaking manufactures in the United States.

By the 1950s, progress was being made within the realm of electronic watches as an alternative to traditional mechanical watchmaking. But it was the Bulova Accutron that brought a degree of hitherto unheard-of accuracy and robustness to the scene in 1960. Its tuning fork oscillator, beating at a consistent 360 Hz, swept a seconds hand smoothly around the dial periphery, while a dry cell battery provided a constant flow of power via an electromagnetic coil. This technology, developed by Swiss engineer Max Hetzel, was inspired by a tuning-fork clock built in the 19th century by Abraham-Louis Breguet, grandson of perhaps the most important watchmaker in history.

The Accutron — especially in its futuristic, transparent Spaceview guise — quickly found its way onto the wrists of test pilots, astronauts, and everyday people searching for a reliable, handsome timepiece. And though its movement technology would later be eclipsed by more inexpensive, quartz-powered systems, its legacy has endured all the way into the 21st century. In 2020, Accutron was spun off from Bulova into its own distinct entity, charged with the caretaking of a legendary development that has come to define horological ingenuity in the 20th century. 

Beyond the debut of their brand-new Spaceview 2020 and Accutron DNA models, Accutron also reached into their back catalog of magical mid-century designs, and thus, the Legacy Collection was born. The Accutron Legacy Collection is a modern re-imagining of the brand's most memorable pieces from the 1960s and 1970s. Using mechanical movements as a nod to their roots in traditional watchmaking, these timepieces were directly inspired from their original briefs and have captured the hearts of enthusiasts today. The blend of mid-century styling and mechanical internals perfectly represent the ebb and flow of technology and design.

The Accutron 261 debuted in 1971 and followed the unique case forms inspired by the era's space-age aesthetics of the television set. That said, the 261 was relatively conservative with its design language with just a dash of Accutron panache, and as a result, the 261 seamlessly translates to easy modern day wearability.

This piece, a modern-interpretation of the 261, features a 38.5mm stainless steel cushion case with a blend of satin and polished finishes adding an element of refinement and eye-catching glint. Dynamic and well-balanced, this 261 Legacy Edition features domed sapphire crystal, a 'tuning fork' signed crown, and stout lugs. All Legacy Collection models were produced as a limited edition and come with an individually numbered caseback with a sapphire display aperture providing a glimpse of their mechanical underpinnings.

The matte blue-grey dial features applied 'wedge' hour indices, a matching handset, a date indicator at 3 o'clock, the Accutron 'tuning fork' logo above the 6 o'clock marker and a 'scientific' minute track for good measure.

Outfitted with a grey alligator leather strap equipped with a signed stainless steel deployant buckle, and powered by a self-winding movement, this mint, unworn piece includes all of its factory goodies including a complete inner and outer box set, books, serialized hangtag, warranty certificate, Limited Edition card and a Factory Certified Pre-Owned card.

A true testament to the brand's enduring design, this 261 Legacy is absolutely fantastic and a versatile timepiece for everyday wear.

Try one on and see for yourself!

Brand Story

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Joseph Bulova, a Czech immigrant to the United States, founded his eponymous company in Queens in 1875, opening a factory in Biel, Switzerland in 1912 to mass-produce timepieces under the American production model. An early designer of men’s wristwatches following their widespread adoption in the wake of the First World War, the firm developed simple dress watches, dive watches, and chronographs through the first half of the 20th century.

As the decades wore on, however, the limitations of the traditional oscillating balance wheel — both with respect to accuracy and robustness — were becoming apparent. Electric watches from the likes of Hamilton and Lip experimented with a moving coil motor in place of a mainspring, but their reliance on conventional balance wheels meant they were little more accurate than their entirely mechanical counterparts. A Swiss engineer at Bulova named Max Hetzel would soon change all that.

A born tinkerer and a brilliant mind, Hetzel adopted an old clock design from the 19th century — incidentally invented by the grandson of Abraham-Louis Breguet — that used a tuning fork as its oscillator. Powered by a dry-cell battery and driven by an electromagnetic coil, its frequency of 360 Hz ensured a highly accurate system that powered a sweep hand around the dial. Significantly more accurate than a mechanical design, it was patented in 1953, and after some years of work, the Bulova Accutron debuted to the public in 1960.

The watch was a revelation — literally. A 1961 model with a transparent dial meant to show authorized dealers its inner workings became so popular that Bulova put it into regular production, calling it the Spaceview. Meanwhile, the audible 360-Hz hum produced by the movement was a novel selling point, featuring in period advertisements in which a man was seen holding the watch up to his ear.

When the U.S. government sought to replace the U-2 spy plane with an aircraft that could outmaneuver anti-aircraft systems, Lockheed Martin’s secretive Skunkworks division offered the perfect solution in the form of the sleek A-12, which could reach speeds of Mach III (~2,310 mph). Bulova Accutron wristwatches accompanied the pilots of this advanced piece of engineering, as they did on the wrists of public-facing X-15 flights, which reached speeds of 4,500 mph. The Accutron was even worn by astronauts during the Mercury Seven program during training; in 1963 during Project Mercury; and in Project Gemini missions up until 1983, long after the tuning fork technology had been replaced by more contemporary quartz-powered tech.

In 2020, Accutron was spun off by parent company Bulova — owned by the Citizen Group of Japan — into its own brand, where it continues to produce modern versions of one of the world’s downright coolest watches.

A:S Guarantee

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Our Pledge

Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.

Condition

Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.

Warranty

We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.

International Buyers

Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

Shipping & Returns

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All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.

Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.

We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.

Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.

We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

Make it yours will fit standard 18mm watches

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Accutron 261 Legacy 'Cushion TV'

Accutron 261 Legacy 'Cushion TV'

Regular price
$825
Regular price
Sale price
$825
Accutron 261 Legacy 'Cushion TV'

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'CUSHION TV'

Throughout the 60s and 70s television programming blossomed and infiltrated American households like neverbefore, with families often gathered around their TVs. Accutron’s 261 watches represented this cultural shift as the brand designed many timepieces inspired by the space-age look of TVs at that time, with the 261 boasting a big, bold linear cushion shape with an organic exaggerated domed circle in the center. Coinciding, the world of art was transforming with movements such as Pop Art, Conceptual Art, and Minimalism taking lead. The highly coveted 261 watches from 1971 are some of the most commemorated and were known as the “TV watches.” Today the 261 Legacy collection timepieces return offering a retro look with a modern twist.