To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 15, and the historical Bulova Lunar Pilot Chronograph worn on the moon, Bulova launches an updated, limited edition timepiece as tribute to the brand’s contribution in the early space race.
At one time, the space race meant “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” But the 21st century space race looks a little different; this time giant leaps being taken by Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Richard Branson, each hoping to tread further than the other.
But the superiority of space flight would be nothing today without its predecessors paving the way, and walking the craters of the Moon in the 20th century. As human beings, we’ve been attempting to venture out into the cosmic unknown since 1957 when the USSR launched Sputnik, born out of political hostility with the United States. With the consolidation of NASA a year later, and thrusting missions of men into space, the US finally struck victory in 1969, with Apollo 11, the first crewed mission to land on the Moon. Across successive Apollo missions to the Moon, the fourth manned lunar landing, Apollo 15, is deemed as one of the most scientifically successful expeditions for the Landing Program.
For the first time, humans drove a car on the Moon. It saw the landing of a lunar rover, which Commander David Scott and Lunar Module Pilot James Irwin used while they were on the surface for more than 18 hours. The traveled more than 17 miles in the rover, setting up experiments and collecting 170 pounds of samples. Before leaving the lunar surface, Scott conducted an experiment to test Galileo’s theory that objects in vacuum, without air resistance, would fall at the same rate. He dropped a geological hammer and a feather, which hit the ground at the same time, proving Galileo right.
During this flight, on the wrist of commander David Scott, and the seventh man to walk the moon, was a Bulova Chronograph. Contacted by NASA in the 1950’s during the early chapters in the space race, Bulova became a partner, supporting the US space effort, from innovative tuning fork movement, allowing for watches, instrumental panel clocks and timekeeping mechanisms to take a part in many missions. Crafted specifically for astronomical conditions, the Lunar Pilot watch was used in space to track time, ensuring no one ran out of oxygen, water or battery power in the portable life-support-system backpack. Alongside this, it was also used to back up the on-board timers for the critical re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. The timepiece withheld pressures of changing atmospheric conditions, fluctuating temperatures and gravitational shifts.
To mark the diligent performance of Bulova’s role in the space race, the New York-based brand becomes part of a new launch; this time their own, marking the anniversary of Apollo 15 and being a critical asset to the US space program with the 50th Anniversary Lunar Pilot Limited Edition timepiece. Inspired by the original timepiece taken to the Moon, Bulova have carefully updated the model with a special 45mm 45mm grade-5 titanium case and celebratory gold-tone accents and pushers. Featuring a proprietary high performance quartz movement with a frequency of 262 kHz for unparalleled accuracy. With a sapphire crystal and blue AR coating, the model is set on a supple grey leather NATO strap, the watch is 50m water resistant with a screw down case back featuring a lunar relief design with individualized number.
The 50th Anniversary Lunar Pilot watch is limited to 5,000 pieces and comes in special packaging with a storybook and commemorative coin featuring date of mission 02.08.1971, for £795.