Bulova Unveils NEW Lunar Pilot Limited Edition Watch
Wednesday - 04 August 2021
On August 2nd 1971, Colonel Dave Scott donned a Bulova watch to his wrist during the Apollo 15 mission. It proved a good decision since the crystal popped on his Omega Speedmaster watch provided by NASA. Now Bulova celebrates 50 years since the mission and the first privately owned watch to reach the moon with the Bulova Lunar Pilot Limited Edition watch – a timepiece of just 5000 pieces that marks the golden age of space exploration with special golden accents.
A little background on Bulova and space…
It is the story of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch that has been told and retold a thousand times, but did you know there was another watch that went to the moon? Lesser known – maybe – but here’s where the brand is changing that. Bulova enthusiasts will be more than aware of the watchmaker’s Lunar Pilot watch – an instrument that went to the moon on a NASA mission. It was produced as a prototype - if it hadn’t have been, who knows what vintage moonwatch we would all be collecting today. BUT… an original surfaced in 2015, offered at an auction by the very astronaut that wore it himself, Dave Scott.
In 1971 the Apollo 15 launched following the famous 1969 lunar mission. All astronauts were provided with an Omega Speedmaster but were permitted to bring a select few personal possessions. Dave Scott’s was his beloved Bulova. It became the only known private watch to take a trip to the moon and stirred up great excitement in the auction room. A modern remake of this Bulova watch was then developed by Bulova in 2016, named the Lunar Pilot. A Valjoux 72 (or at least that’s what was expected to have powered the original watch owned by Dave Scott) was swapped out for a quartz movement. This was not just any standard quartz movement, however. If you aren’t yet familiar with Bulova’s success in creating watches powered by the brand’s tuning fork Accutron technology – look it up. This was a high-performance quartz movement that surpasses mechanical performance by light years.
Although it was never used by NASA, the recreated Lunar Pilot watch from Bulova is still developed to standards that meet the requirements of famous space agent. Bulova has contributed in some other notable ways to NASA over the years. Its Accutron technology has been used in a total of 46 missions according to the brand. The technology was implemented into timekeeping mechanisms and panel clocks during the 1950s and 1970s.
The new Bulova Lunar Pilot Limited Edition watch
The steel-cased edition of the Lunar Pilot watch came before this special 50th-anniversary timepiece. The limited-edition model closely replicates this but with a change of materials and golden elements that evoke an even more luxurious experience when worn on the wrist. Despite its heightened level of splendour, the watch still operates to NASA standards and is equipped with a chronograph function that can enable any astronaut to keep on track of remaining oxygen levels and battery power. The case design itself can withstand drops in temperature and changes in pressure, as well as fluctuations in atmospheric conditions.
The 45mm model is crafted from grade 5 titanium for a lightweight yet tough finish on the wrist. There are splashes of gold colour to be admired throughout the design. Firstly, underscoring the rareness of a sweep seconds hand in a quartz movement (see Accutron technology), the central seconds hand is coated in gold, as are the tricompax chronograph details on the dial at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. The gold-coloured crown and pushers are used to adjust the time and activate the stopwatch features of the Bulova Lunar Pilot Limited Edition watch.
The screw-down caseback of the watch is also finished in a gold colour with commemorative decoration engraved into its surface. A depiction of an astronaut (Dave Scott) accompanied by the “Apollo 15 50th Anniversary” lettering joins the date of the mission and the unique limited edition number of the watch. Behind this decorative caseback is Bulova’s proprietary UHF (ultra-high frequency) quartz calibre. It performs at a rhythm of 262 Hz. As opposed to a mechanical movement that can lose seconds each day, this Accutron technology will lose only seconds per year.
Give or take some other gold elements like the unmissable Bulova lettering applied just underneath the 12 o’clock location, the rest of the Lunar Pilot’s dial is finished in black. A tachymeter scale is situated around the edge of the display and the hour batons are luminous for granting clear visibility in dark conditions. The dial is also protected by a sapphire crystal glass front that has been treated with a layer of anti-reflective technology to avoid glare under direct or artificial light.
The new Bulova Lunar Pilot Limited Edition watch certainly shows off a bit. Bulova’s strong connections with space are both important and a reminder to collectors and enthusiasts of the brand’s role during the golden age of space exploration and aviation. The watch s completed on a grey leather NATO-style strap and can be discussed in detail with a team member at Jura Watches now.
Technical Specifications of the new Bulova Lunar Pilot Limited Edition
- Case: 45mm – grade 5 titanium – gold-toned screw-down caseback engraved with astronaut and limited edition number – anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass front – gold-toned push-pieces and crown
- Dial: Black – luminous baton indexes – tachymeter scale – gold chronograph counters at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock – gold-toned central chronograph second hand
- Movement; proprietary UHF (ultra-high frequency) quartz calibre – 262 Hz
- Strap: Grey leather NATO-style strap
- Availability: Limited to 5000 pieces worldwide
- Price: £795