Bulova began developing Bulova Accutron in 1952. Bulova Accutron is to be an electronic watch that will be guaranteed accurate to within 2 seconds a day, or 1 minute a month. The secret behind this inherent accuracy will be a tuning fork which will divide each second into hundreds of equal parts.
A quantitative comparison of the performance capabilities of Bulova Accutron timepieces and conventional watches can be made only by laboratory tests, in which identical conditions of operation can be maintained. For such comparisons the Watch Timing Tests of the Official Swiss Testing Bureaus are very useful. Among these tests is one for wrist "chronometers". These watches are regarded as the most accurate conventional watches available. Watches fulfilling the requirements of this 15-day test are awarded individual certificates by the official testing agency. Should a watch meet somewhat closer performance criteria, the award is issued with "mention" for particularly good results.
A conventional watch which gains or loses as little as a minute a month in actual use is very exceptional. To provide such performance in quantity production would be fundamentally impossible. For Bulova Accutron, however, that same minute a month is a maximum error. Achievement of such accuracy is the direct result of the basic superiority of the tuning fork over the balance wheel and hairspring. It is this difference which has made possible Bulova's guarantee that Accutron will not gain or lose more than a minute a month in normal use as a wrist timepiece. This guarantee is a new criterion for judging watch performance.
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Bulova (1851-1936), an immigrant from Bohemia. It was reincorporated under the name Bulova Watch Company in 1923, and became part of the Loews Corporation in 1979.
Bulova established its operations in Woodside, New York, and Flushing, New York, where it made innovations in watchmaking, and developed a number of watchmaking tools. Its horological innovations included the Accutron watch which used resonating tuning forks as a means of regulating the time keeping function.
In 1962 the Accutron 214 becomes the first wristwatch certified for use by railroad personnel. Previously, engineers used pocket watches which had to be frequently calibrated in order to "run the railroads on time".
Bulova paid $9 for the world's first television commercial, a July 1, 1941, placement on New York station WNBT before a baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies.