Accutron Introduces the First Electrostatic Watches

Accutron Introduces the First Electrostatic Watches

A Brief Primer on Electrostatic Energy

It’s been a few years since studying Coulomb’s Law for most of us, so it seems appropriate to include a brief review of the basics of electrostatic energy. Electrostatics is a branch of physics that studies the manipulation of electric charges at rest. Everyone is familiar with static electricity — that zing of sparks as we pull a sweater from the dryer and disturb the balance between the positive and negative charges. At the other end of the electrostatic power spectrum is the massive energy produced by fusion (combining nuclei) and fission (splitting nuclei) techniques.

Accutron DNA
Accutron DNA
The Wimhurst Machine was an electrostatic generator made in 1880. The visual similarity of this machine to the Accutron electrostatic generators and motor is notable.
The Wimhurst Machine was an electrostatic generator made in 1880. The visual similarity of this machine to the Accutron electrostatic generators and motor is notable.

Bringing Electrostatic Energy to Horology

Accutron has harnessed the principles of electrostatic motor design in an innovative new movement that uses electrodes and human motion to create and store power for their new timepieces. A decade in the making, the drive system uses an electrostatic motor to drive the seconds hand and two smaller electrostatic generators to turn the rotor. Excess energy is stored in an accumulator that creates the current for the hour and minute hands. As the most striking feature, the rotor is exposed on the dial and spins with an almost hypnotic grace at a surprisingly high speed.

An exploded view of Calibre NS 30-Y8A
An exploded view of Calibre NS 30-Y8A

With the electrostatic drive, Accutron has added the convenience of a quartz watch that doesn’t require a battery change. In fact, the watch can enter a “Energy Conserving Function” mode if it detects no motion for more than five minutes that hardly uses power at all as it stops driving the seconds hand until it detects motion again. It will continue to keep time for up to ten days and could theoretically hold the power reserve for as long as 5 years dormant. For an active wearer, the power can last a decade or more.

Spaceview 2020

The debut of their electrostatic technology begins with the Spaceview 2020, a watch that pays homage to the very first electronic watch – the Bulova Accutron Spaceview released in 1960. The original Spaceview was an exhibition piece, never destined for general sale but designed to showcase and celebrate the technological breakthrough. Its distinctive colorway — the green of the baseplate, orange and yellow accents, and bold red seconds hand —and the exposed copper coils of the tuning fork created a highly recognizable and sought-after timepiece. The Spaceview 2020 draws inspiration from the original and incorporates the green, yellow, orange and red of the original in a minimalistic retro-chic design. The drive coil for the stepper motor replaces the copper coils of the tuning fork to complete the reflection.

The Bulova Accutron Spaceview released in 1960
The Bulova Accutron Spaceview released in 1960
The Spaceview 2020 draws inspiration from the original and incorporates the green, yellow, orange and red of the original dial in a minimalistic retro-chic design.
The Spaceview 2020 draws inspiration from the original and incorporates the green, yellow, orange and red of the original dial in a minimalistic retro-chic design.

There is a Limited-Edition version of 300 pieces that is packaged with the book, Accutron: From The Space Age To The Digital Age. The LE replaces the silver rehaut with a green colorway that brightens up the overall look and feel of the dial for a bolder interpretation. There is also a second limited edition with an 18K gold case and bezel with 60 individually numbered pieces to commemorate Accutron’s 60th Anniversary.

Accutron DNA Collection

The basic design and the same movement technology are present in the Accutron DNA collection, but abstracted behind a more minimal and sci-fi inspired modern design. The major differences are aesthetic: replacing the Spaceview 2020 straight lugs with hooded lugs and using a shield-shaped case rather than the more traditional round of the Spaceview 2020. The hands, too, are given a futuristic treatment with a longer, more angular shape.

DNA Collection
The DNA collection offers four models with different movement plate colorway designs
The DNA collection offers four models with different movement plate colorway designs

The DNA collection introduces four models with different movement plate colorway designs: slate gray plate paired with red gold accents, slate gray and black, slate gray and silver with a green rehaut and one with a brilliant blue plate and silver accents. The DNA collection also replaces the leather strap of the Spaceview 2020 with a sportier rubber strap.

Tech Specs

Spaceview 2020
Spaceview 2020

Model: Spaceview 2020
Diameter: 43.5mm, Thickness: 15.9mm
Movement: Miyota/Accutron caliber NS30-Y8A, quartz resonator with dual stepper motor and electrostatic drive system for the hands
Price: From USD 3,450

DNA Collection
DNA Collection

Model: DNA Collection
Diameter: 45.1mm, Thickness: 15.6mm
Movement: Miyota/Accutron caliber NS30-Y8A, quartz resonator with dual stepper motor and electrostatic drive system for the hands
Price: From USD3,300

Tags