The revived Accutron returned to the news last week with the latest addition to its catalog, the vintage-inspired Legacy
521. The refreshed model, instantly grabbing eyes with its space-age look and also bright gold color, takes its
inspiration from a watch of the same name (below) released in 1960. That specific vintage piece was one of the popular
“TV watches” the brand produced during that period — popular not just because of its bold, unusual looks along, but
also bolstered by its most famous wearer, music legend Elvis Presley, who favored that style of asymmetrical gold
timepiece. The vintage Accutron 521 was one of several such watches frequently seen on the wrist of “The King of Rock
‘n’ Roll,” along with probably his most famous watch, the Hamilton Ventura.
The modern version of the Legacy 521 is outwardly very faithful to its famous ancestor, with a 32.8-mm x 32.5-mm case
produced in a gold-toned steel. The watch is also small enough to fit a wide variety of wrist sizes, and its color and
polished finishing gives it an overall playful, look. The lugs also carry on the distinctive design of the “TV watch” style,
squared off on both sides and connecting to either a gold-tone bracelet or leather strap. Completing the watch’s
unique look is an off-center signed crown, placed just below the 3 o’clock position. The crown’s placement is also
significant, as the original 1960s source model lacked a side-mounted crown, opting instead for less common caseback
crown placement, which was at the time viewed as a futuristic design trait meant to demonstrate the watch’s lack of
needing to be wound.
The domed sapphire crystal on the top side of the case covers the vintage-inspired silver dial, finished with a sunray
texture. The configuration of the dial is rather simple, with only a few key elements that all stay faithful to the source
material. Among these are the applied hour ring on the outer edge of the dial, whose “double-stick” marks are
produced in an asymmetrical style (the exceptions being two Arabic numerals put to use at the 12 and 6 o’clock
positions). Connecting each of the markers is a circular applied minute ring, also in a gold tone. An applied Accutron
logo is placed toward the top of the dial, and a “Swiss Made” descriptor, toward the bottom. Sweeping over the face
are two gold-toned dauphine hands for the hour and minute, while a Bulova/Accutron tuning fork symbol acts as the
counterweight on the central seconds pointer.
The back side of this retro-inspired watch features the unusual “partial exhibition” style that has become increasingly
common on modern Accutron watches. Like the vintage 521, the Legacy edition appears to have a snap-back
construction, providing the watch with a 30-meter water resistance. The solid sections of the caseback host various
watch descriptors, including its limited-edition number (out of 600), its name, and a reference to the 1960 original.
Behind the semicircular window, we see the mechanical movement powering the model, an unnamed caliber dubbed
by the brand “Accutron’s Swiss-made 26-jewel automatic movement.” This movement is, of course, different from the
battery-powered electric tuning fork caliber used to power the original 1960 Accutron and the brand’s other watches
during the era (see below).
Available now directly through Accutron, and from authorized dealers globally, the Accutron Legacy 521 will be limited
to 600 total pieces, priced at $1,450 on a leather strap and at $1,550 on the gold-tone steel bracelet.
By Victoria E.I