So different….yet much the same

On the face of it these two watches are very different – first is this Bulova from 1966. It’s a small watch, with a simple round case and easy to read dial with bold lumed markers:

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Second, from 1973, is this high end Citizen – a smart dress watch with an angular steel case:

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But of course what makes a watch is the movement, and here these two are practically the same. The Bulova, although an American company had some of its movements and cases made in Switzerland – this is a Swiss made 214H in an American made case:

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The Hisonic has almost the same movement, but branded Citizen since it was made under licence in Japan and designated as the 3701A – you can see differences in the design following a few years  of development:

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Citizen had a close relationship with Bulova, and supplied parts for the Accutrons. I believe it was the only company to make the movements ‘under licence’ and this is stamped on the movement:

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The Accutron is my only non-Citizen watch (although Citizen now owns Bulova so I suppose it kind of is a Citizen 🙂 )  Since these pics were taken I’ve had it serviced and a new crystal fitted, so it looks pristine.  You’ll have noticed that there is no visible crown, since these are set via a small folding handle set into the case back, which also hacks the watch when it is lifted:

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What’s great about both of these is the smooth action of the second hand – driven by a tuning fork and running at 360 beats per second they do look – and sound – cool 🙂 Amazing technology, first produced in 1960, they run very accurately – Bulova guaranteed them to be within +/- 60 seconds per month.  I recommend these ‘hummers’ to any collector.

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4 Responses to So different….yet much the same

  1. Eduardo Farha says:

    Nice machine!, Stephen!

  2. Leon says:

    Great post as usual. Since I started reading this blog, I have now bought 3 Cosmotrons…. Anyway just a few extra tidbits. You are correct in regards to Bulova and Citizen having a very good relationship. Bulova offered tuning fork technology and Citizen gave Bulova automatic and manual winding movements for its Caravelle sub-brand.

    However though the 214 Accutron movement and Citizen’s 37XX movement shared the use of a tuning fork, the movements were different. The Accutron movement that is comparable to the HiSonic movement is the Accutron 218 movement. This movement(which came about due to the 214 not being able to support a date function) looks exactly the same as the one in the HiSonic because it is a 218. The parts are interchangeable. Citizen and Universal Geneve used 218 movements under license.

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Leon, thanks for your kind comments, and for your information, which is very welcome 🙂 You’re right, the 218 is the interchangeable one – I should have said they are similar rather than ‘much the same’! Stephen

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