Introducing Bulova’s 50th Anniversary Lunar Pilot Limited EditionBy Bhanu Chopra
The Bulova watch company was involved in no less than 46 NASA space programs. On August 2, 1971, Apollo 15’s mission commander, became the seventh man to walk on the moon and the first to drive the Lunar Rover wearing his personally gifted Bulova chronograph. (Sold for US$1.625 million in 2015.)
Now, exactly 50 years later, Bulova is commemorating that memorable mission with the introduction of the 50th Anniversary Lunar Pilot Limited Edition timepiece.
During the Apollo era, NASA approached Bulova to employ its remarkable Accutron accuracy to design a Lunar Pilot watch to be used in space to track time.
It was crucial to ensure no one ran out of oxygen, water or battery power in the portable life-support-system backpack. The watch was also used as back up for the on-board timers for the critical re-entry phase into the Earth’s atmosphere.
In 2021, Bulova is proudly celebrating the 50th anniversary of the watch. It’s safe to assume the original watch performed above and beyond all expectations, withstanding pressures of changing atmospheric conditions, fluctuating temperatures and gravitational shifts.
Faithful to the original, Bulova’s 50th Anniversary Lunar Pilot Limited Edition, limited to 5000 pieces, has been tastefully updated and upgraded with a special 45mm titanium grade-5 case with gold-tone accents and pushers.
As stated on the subdial at 6 o’ clock, the watch runs on a high-performance quartz movement with a frequency of 262 kHz for unparalleled accuracy. The watch retains the original Bulova logo and dial layout with blue sapphire crystal with Anti-Reflective coating.
On the back of the screw down caseback is a relief engraving of an astronaut on the lunar surface next to the date of the mission and the individualized edition number.
The watch comes on a supple grey leather NATO strap, and is water resistant to 50m. This 50th Anniversary Bulova Lunar Pilot watch comes in special packaging complete with a storybook and a commemorative NASA coin.
It’s incredible to think that half a century ago, following the world headline grabbing success of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, by 1971, TV audiences had become so blasé about lunar landings that live coverage of Apollo 15 on the moon was beaten in the ratings by some of the regular TV soaps of the day.
These days, we had to content ourselves with edited glimpses of self-satisfied billionaires as they defy gravity for a few minutes in their hugely costly rocket ships before descending back to Earth in time for a celebration lunch. It’s a far cry from the genuine danger and adventure of real space travel in the Apollo era, where the computer equipment on board was significantly less than that of a budget mobile phone. This new Lunar Pilot watch from Bulova celebrates the bravery and achievements of real seat of the pants space travel.
Movement: Bulova High Performance 262 kHz Quartz
Case & Dial: 45mm, titanium with gold tone accents
Strap: Grey Leather NATO
Price: USD995.00; Limited to 5000 pieces