From the mid-1950s to the 1970s, American watchmaker Bulova worked in partnership with NASA to provide timekeeping instruments, including clocks equipped with the brand’s signature Accutron tuning-fork technology. One of the company’s most historically significant contributions to the space program was a chronograph wristwatch, worn on the moon by Colonel Dave Scott, commander of the Apollo 15 mission on August 2, 1971 — 50 years ago today. For the “golden anniversary” of this milestone, Bulova has issued a special edition of that timepiece with special gold details.
The 50th Anniversary Lunar Pilot Limited Edition, like the steel-cased edition that preceded it in 2016, closely replicates the original model worn on the Apollo 15 mission, which was specifically engineered for space travel, with a chronograph to track the duration of oxygen supplies, battery power, and other life-sustaining onboard systems, and a case design that withstood changes in pressure, temperatures, atmospheric conditions, and gravity. On this model, the 45-mm case is made of grade 5 titanium with gold-toned crown and pushers; the gold colors are echoed on the tricompax dial, enhancing the central seconds hand, the subdials at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, and the classic Bulova logo.
Behind a gold-toned screw-down caseback engraved with a commemorative relief-engraved image of an astronaut on the lunar surface, the case houses Bulova’s proprietary UHF (ultra high frequency) quartz caliber, beating at 262 Hz, which the brand says gives the watch an extremely high degree of timekeeping accuracy, losing just seconds per year, and also drives a continuous sweep seconds hand for the stopwatch function, a feature rare in quartz chronograph watches. The watch has an AR coating on its blue sapphire crystal and comes mounted on a supple, gray leather NATO-style strap.
Limited to 5,000 pieces, each packaged along with a special storybook and a commemorative NASA coin, the Bulova 50th Anniversary Lunar Pilot Limited Edition is priced at $995.