The Accutron Astronaut GMT Makes its Return to Horology Relevancy with Re-Edition of “T” Model

Back in the days, when the market for an affordable GMT was incredibly sparse, I distinctly recall the Bulova Accutron Astronaut as being one of the potential vintage options to add to the collection. At the time, I was already attracted to the aesthetic of a 24 hour steel bezel on a black dial watch, and the pairing of its faded green markers, as well as the italicized Astronaut wordmark, made it all the more appealing. Sadly, the Astronaut never made its way into the watchbox. Since then however, we’ve seen Bulova release several Accutron models in the form of the Legacy Collection, Spaceview, and DNA. But despite popular reissued designs like the Bulova Lunar Pilot Chronograph, we have yet to see a re-edition of the Accutron Astronaut GMT … until today.

The new Accutron Astronaut is based off of the original 1968 “T” model featuring a distinct 41mm saucer steel case and a short lug set that just reveal themselves under the bezel. From overhead, the bezel eclipses the entire case making you want to look sideways at the thing. Like literally, sideways. Doing so displays the slim midcase that then angles inwards towards the caseback. No battery hatch here, as the caseback sports a semicircle exhibition display akin to that of a window on a space shuttle, providing an opportunity to peer inside at the Astronaut’s Sellita SW330 GMT movement.


Despite the name Accutron, where its latter syllable is derived from the word “electronic,” from the original model’s tuning fork movement powered by a button-cell battery, the Astronaut uses a mechanical movement instead. The Sellita SW330 is equipped with an independently moveable GMT hand, 56 hours of power reserve, and tuned to 28,800 vph. The former syllable in the Accutron namesake comes from the word “accuracy,” and the Sellita SW330 is most certainly game to stay true to the name as it keeps time at approximately +/-5 seconds per day. Although it’s not quite on par with the +/- 5 second per month accuracy rating of Bulova’s Accutron tuning fork movement, the Sellita SW330 will be definitely easier on the eyes when looking through the partial display-back case.

The Bulova Accutron Astronaut bezel display is a peculiar one. The split tone bezel is something that is of the norm when it comes to GMTs, and the 12 hour display within each section, as opposed to a full 24 hour display all around, is actually part of the original design. It’s where the split occurs that differentiates it from the rest. Instead of cutting the bezel in half at six, the Accutron Astronaut’s bezel starts the split at 5:30 on one side and 6:30 on the other. As a result, once the 12 bezel marker is centered with the 12 dial marker, the bezel display visually looks uneven. And even if you try to center the splits along the 3 and 9 o’clock markers, then the 12 bezel marker won’t line up with the 12 o’clock marker. This might be bothersome for those that have OCD and want the bezel markers perfectly aligned and zeroed out when its function is not in use (I think I might be guilty here).

The dial is in close resemblance to the original. Hour markers are accompanied by lume blocks within the minute track, and between each hour marker, a triangular lume marker resides which would prove useful when tracking another timezone in the dark Accutron’s wordmark is presented on the dial in a applied and polished fashion, and the signature italicized Astronaut is located right where it should be.

I must admit that I was not familiar with the Bulova Accutron Astronaut “T” model prior to this release. It has all the makings of the 24 hour steel bezel model and the legitimate space history in the name to boot. My two cents here; the bezel loses me here a bit. I wish that they just aligned the bezel splits to keep the balance and uniformity of the watch whenever the bezel is not in use. But that said, if you’re traveling or keeping track of another timezone, then the bezel is usually never centered to begin with, so an argument could be made that it shouldn’t even matter at all. Either way, I’m happy to see the Bulova Accutron Astronaut make its return to horology relevancy.

The Bulova Accutron Astronaut “T” is limited to just 300 pieces and retails for $3,500. Accutron

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Thomas is a budding writer and an avid photographer by way of San Diego, California. From his local surf break to mountain peaks and occasionally traveling to destinations off the beaten path, he is always searching for his next adventure, with a watch on wrist, and a camera in hand. Thomas is a watch enthusiast through and through; having a strong passion for their breadth of design, historical connection, and the stories that lie within each timepiece.