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When you think of the 1970s, your mind might drift to the bell-bottoms popularized by Sonny and Cher, or to the slinky sequined designs of the Disco era. But the 1970s were also a time when futuristic designs were also popular—the early years of the decade in particular.
In 1970, America having had just stepped foot on the Moon, the drama of the Apollo 13 mission had international audiences transfixed. 1970 was also the year of the Expo ’70 in Japan, in which 78 countries united under a theme “progress and harmony for mankind.” The architecture of the fair was dominated by structures like the Landmark Tower, which inspired the design of a spaceship depicted in the 1971 sci-fi drama Silent Running.
In the late 1960s and 1970s, design language in wristwatches reflected the culture of the time. Numerous brands produced timepieces with funky designs and wild colors (designs that make quite the statement when worn today), but Bulova had long been on the forefront of technological innovation. Their ground-breaking electrical movement, the Accutron, had debuted in 1960—and in the late 1960s many of their watches held a distinctive visual style.
This watch is a Sports Timer from 1970. Since the 1920s, America had run on “Bulova Watch Time,” as heard in the brand’s innovative radio ad—the first of its kind. To drive that point home, Bulova presented several sports teams in cities like Boston, Detroit, and Chicago with clocks for their arenas.
But the moniker was also used for a series of stopwatches, one of which even traveled to the Moon in the possession of astronaut Dave Scott, who used it to time the burn of the Apollo Command Module’s rocket.
This Sports Timer wristwatch packs a punch, visually speaking. In dead stock condition, the navy blue of the dial is as vibrant as ever, punctuated by a bright orange sweep hand and hour plots. At a compact 34mm, it’s perfect for the man or woman who has an appreciation for 1970s style.
Stainless steel case is approximately 34mm. Bulova Reference 917. Bulova Caliber 11ANC Manually-Wound Movement. Circa 1970.
Overall Condition: Watch is in excellent, dead stock condition overall. Stainless steel case has only the faintest signs of handling. Navy blue dial is in likewise excellent condition with vibrant colors. Bulova crown. Bulova case back shows minimal signs of wear.
Includes one 18mm orange woven strap. Also includes two 18mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle.