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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, new to the forum and need assistance. I inherited a Accutron Astronaut a few years ago from my Dad and just now getting around to having the watch completely restored to new condition. The watch is on the way to Martin Marcus for a June restoration appointment. The question I have is concerning the correct SS band. I purchased a new old stock Kreisler large coffin link band with straight ends. Now I am not sure if the band is going to be the correct one for a early M3 type 1 variant with the 24 hour broad head arrow GMT hand. Should the band have curved ends for a early M3 or straight? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
 

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One of the experts will be along but, in the meantime, I have checked my 3 Astronauts and some advertisements I have and it appears that all of them have curved end bracelets but all of them are newer than 1963.
Congratulations on the acquisition of a classic and desirable watch. It has been my experience that, once serviced, it can be expected to give years of accurate service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
skypilot,
Thanks for your reply. I found a M3 Astronaut that sold in the UK a few yeras back and was touted to be on the original band . See the attached, the lugs are straight on the Kreisler. Maybe I got this right, I hope so. The band I purchsed was not cheap.

I forgot to add the owner noted the second hand has been replaced with something other than original on this M3 example.
 

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Since the seller was honest about the second hand, he was probably honest about the bracelet also but that second hand does stick out like a sore thumb.
In the meantime, I have looked some more and did find an advertisement for a 1969 Astronaut with a coffin link bracelet with what appears to be straight end ends.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Since the seller was honest about the second hand, he was probably honest about the bracelet also but that second hand does stick out like a sore thumb.
In the meantime, I have looked some more and did find an advertisement for a 1969 Astronaut with a coffin link bracelet with what appears to be straight end ends.
Really hard to tell from photos because the bezel ring hangs over the case lug just enough to obscure the end of the band in most photos. Takes a edge on view like I found on the UK phot to be certain. But that only tells us the watch has a straight lug band, not if the band is accurate to the model and age. Thanks for your searching skypilot.
 

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My straight end Coffin Link band (see masthead photo) does not fit on my M6 Astronaut. My straight end beads of rice band fits just fine. I have no idea if it is original. Martin Marcus replaced a coil in 2002.


 

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May be wrong, but didn't the early Astronaut take the band with the applied Tuning Fork logo on the clasp?

Yes, The applied logo coffin link band is the one used on early Astros and came standard on the Spaceview "B" yellow dot model that was made from 1962-1965
 

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One Bulova magazine ad dating to November 1963 with the caption, "Why every pilot should wear ACCUTRON instead of a watch," clearly shows that watch (Astronaut "T") on a large coffin link band with curved end links. Other ads depicting Astronaut and Spaceview "B" watches with a similar band do not show the end links as clearly but on close examination, the end links seemed to have changed at some point in time. I have not been able to assign any specific date for that change but assume that bands like the one posted by Scott, with the applied logo, were early production. If you have one like that, consider yourself very lucky. By 1964, Astronaut ads were showing the Astronaut "C" and "T" on the ubiquitous bullet band by JB Champion. We know that the Champion bullet band had curved end links specifically designed to fit Accutron watches with the "B" case and they had a stamped logo on the clasp. Drema (Hong Kong) made some small coffin link bands for Kreisler that had curved end links that would to fit the "B" cases but as yet, I haven't seen one depicted in any Bulova advertising of the day.
More than one who are more knowledgeable than I have told me that Bulova offered optional bands for the Astronaut, including the "beads of rice" and those with small coffin links but I am skeptical. Comes from living in the Show-Me State.

My M4 on a Kreisler Stelux (Hong Kong) band. The band has straight end links. Reflections from the case make it look curved. My best guess is that the band is at least ten years newer than the watch.

 

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My M4 on a Kreisler Stelux (Hong Kong) band. The band has straight end links. Reflections from the case make it look curved. My best guess is that the band is at least ten years newer than the watch.
My M3 has the same band but with curved ends that fit the case properly. I purchased the band as NOS after I bought the watch. The logo has very sharp edges like an applied one but is stamped. My band is not marked Hong Kong. I tried a JBChampion Bullet Link with curved ends that would not fit the case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My M3 has the same band but with curved ends that fit the case properly. I purchased the band as NOS after I bought the watch. The logo has very sharp edges like an applied one but is stamped. My band is not marked Hong Kong.

I am pretty certain that both the curved and straight end Kreisler LARGE link coffin link bracelets were used in 1963. The watch collector/jeweler I purchased the band from assures me that the straight end band is the correct band for my M3. I prefer the look of the curved but I am sure my watch will look good as new when finished. Wish I had kept all the old Flying magazines my dad subscribed to back then. I remember as a kid seeing his watch in the ads in Flying and other magazines. Oh well, can't hold on to everything or you will find yourself profiled on an episode of Hoarders, Buried Alive!:blush:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Glad I at least held onto the watch all these years. That cost me nothing. The cost of the NOS Kreisler and the estimate to restore this bad boy is close to a grand! I could buy a new one for less. Oh well, the sentimental value rules in this case.:001_rolleyes:
 

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I'm very impressed that you are putting that kind of money into that watch. You will sure have something special when it is done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm very impressed that you are putting that kind of money into that watch. You will sure have something special when it is done.
The watch is special. I am giving the Accutron to my oldest son who was 1 year old when his grandfather died 29 years ago. My son is a single parent now raising my only grandchild, a 7 year old boy. So the watch is going to be passed from one generation to the next after I wear it to the family Thanksgiving get together later this year. I told my remaining two sisters what I am doing and they are anxious to see the final results. They too remember our Dad and his Accutron. He just had to have it to go along with his passion of flying and his electronics engineering design background. :001_smile:
Martin just emailed pictures of my watch inside and out and wow! what a mess it is. All corroded and in need of major surgery.:scared:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The 10th of June is here, Martin has my watch next inline to start the restoration this week. Another 3 to 4 weeks and she will be finished.
:001_smile:
 
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