Earlier this year, American watchmaker Bulova released a reimagined version of its Lunar Pilot model to commemorate the brand’s long standing relationship with NASA and the U.S. Space Program. This connection dates back to August 2, 1971 when Apollo 15 became the fourth mission to land on the moon. As the mission’s commander, David Scott, became the seventh man in history to walk on the surface and the first to drive the Lunar Rover, he did so while wearing a Bulova chronograph.
That vintage Bulova chronograph, much like the modern Lunar Pilot, was designed specifically to withstand astronomical conditions, and was used to ensure that no members of the mission would run out of oxygen, water, or battery power in the portable life support-system backpack. Additionally, while the Apollo 15 was equipped with an assortment of cutting-edge timekeepers on-board, the Bulova chronograph served as a critical backup, helping ensure the timing for the mission’s critical reentry back into Earth’s atmosphere.
Throughout the entire mission, Bulova’s design performed as expected, not faltering in accuracy despite the changing atmospheric conditions, fluctuating temperatures, and gravitational shifts. In 2021, the brand celebrated 50 years since the successful expedition with the release of the 50th Anniversary Lunar Pilot Limited Edition timepiece. The success of the release renewed general interest in the Lunar Pilot collection as a whole, setting the groundwork for its latest rendition debuted in February.
In true tribute to the first Bulova to touch down on the moon’s surface, the newest model replicates the exact size of the original. Bulova emulated the original dimensions, downsizing its diameter to 43.5mm, rather than the 45mm diameter seen in previous modern iterations. Matching the silhouette of the original, distinct chronograph pushers and a crown featuring the Bulova tuning fork logo are positioned at 3 o’clock in a signature style. The steel case is then secured by a matching multi-link bracelet, with the additional option of a fine leather strap. Two colorways are available, one with blue pushers and a blue strap, and the other with steel pushers and a black strap.
The dial design echoes those two colorways, one with a striking two-tone blue and white dial and the other in classic black that represents the legendary timepiece. The layout is characteristic of the original chronograph with three recessed, circular grooved subdials at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. The subdials display a 1/20 chronograph seconds counter, running seconds p hand, and 60-minute chronograph counter respectively. Around the periphery of the dial is a tachymeter ring using retro-style numerals that are reminiscent of a 1970’s font. Geometric applied indices and slim hands are applied with super luminova, ensuring the utmost legibility even in low light conditions.
The Lunar Pilot chronograph is powered by the brand’s proprietary NP20 High Precision Quartz (HPQ) chronograph movement. The mechanism is accurate to 1/20th second, making it not only a historically rich collectors piece, but also one that has reliability in its DNA.
Both versions of the Bulova Lunar Pilot are available for purchase via the brand’s website with pricing marked at $895.
To learn more, visit Bulova here.