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Bulova Accutron

Tuning-fork technology was realized by the Swiss-born engineer Max Hetzet who was working for Bulova in Bienne, Switzerland.

On 19 June 1953, Bulova Watch Company of New York registered in Switzerland patent no. 312,293 for a timekeeping device based on the oscillation of the free ends of a tuning fork. In 1954, the world's 1st tuning-fork electronic clock was exhibited in Paris.

6 years later, the first Accutron was launched. The Accutron is a viable production-model wristwatch with the Bulova calibre 214 which is the 1st fully electronic watch movement in the world.

The difficulty of producing a useful wrist watch like this is not the circuit, but the lack of a long-life battery.

Bulova Accutron 1989

This Bulova Accutron , model 2182, was first made in 1968. It uses an tuning-fork for timekeeping.

Tuning-fork mechanism works on the principle of using transistorized electronics to switch on and off the small electromagnets which keep the tuning fork arms vibrating at a frequency determined by their length, mass and elasticity.

The frequency for the Accutron is 360 oscillations per second.

The vibration of the tuning fork is transformed into circular motion using an extremely fine-toothed ratchet wheel and 2 tiny ratchet pawls. One pawl moved by the tuning fork, pushes the wheel round in 1 direction. Another pawl is fixed to the watch plate and preventing the wheel from reversing.

Making this wheel is not an easy job, even nowadays, it is less than 1/500 mm thick and has 300 teeth, each tooth is just 1/100 mm high.

Bulova Accutron 1989 movement

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