Accutron Astronaut Variant Guide

Accutron Astronaut Variant Guide

Postby koimaster » November 23rd 2016, 10:24am

Bulova released numerous cosmetic variants of the Accutron Astronaut, and it seems that each variant is designated with a single letter. Historically, collectors have struggled to fit their strange-looking Astronaut into the confusing and woefully incomplete reference provided by the Complete Price Guide to Watches, the most well-known watch guide in the world. The guide lists three letter designations: Astronaut A, B and C, and list multiple cosmetic variations under each designation. This is dramatically different from the designation scheme seen in actual Bulova ads, which confirm the existence of an Astronaut C, H, L, N, O and T, all of which are cosmetically unique. In the case of the Astronaut O and T, the only difference between the two variants is dial color. No other letter designations have yet been confirmed by official Bulova documentation.

Assembled here is a complete list of all known factory Astronaut variants, based on 12 years of research. Instead of adhering to Bulova's fragmented system, we present here an alternate classification, based on bezel and dial types. The goal of creating this classification system is to provide a means for collectors to authenticate their Astronaut, as well as provide a language by which collectors can easily describe their Astronaut.

Under this classification system, all Astronaut variants fall under one of four families, hence referred to as Type 1, 2, 3 and 4. Type 1 includes all standard Astronaut variants, with standard painted dial and standard bare-metal bezel. Type 2 includes all Astronaut variants with an enhanced (applied markers) dial and standard bezel. Type 3 includes the models with a day/night bezel, and Type 4 includes the Swiss models with black bezel.

There is a good bit of mix-and-match among Type 1 Astronaut variants. It is possible that other factory-produced dial/hand combinations exist within the range of known Type 1 variants. However, variants of Type 2, 3 and 4 are completely monolithic. If you have an Astronaut with any unspecified mix of features, such as a Type 3 bezel and a Type 4 dial, or Type 3 Astronaut with pointed-style hands or a luminous seconds hand, the watch is not factory original.

Take special note that hand color and applied marker color must always match case color.

Bulova released numerous cosmetic variants of the Accutron Astronaut.pdf
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