Citizen Hisonic Tunning Fork watch

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Citizen Hisonic Tunning Fork watch

Post by koimaster » May 3rd 2020, 8:16pm

Having featured hand winders, automatics and electro-mechanical examples, I thought I’d kick off 2012’s Featured Watches with the other type of movement I cover in the time frame of my collection – the electronic ‘tuning fork’ watch. Although made as a Citizen watch with its own ‘Hisonic’ name, the movement is in fact the Bulova Accutron which was licensed to a range of other manufacturers. Through this arrangement Citizen was able to bring this technology to the Japanese market for the first time, in 1971, using the 218 and 219 Bulova versions. Citizen manufactured the movements themselves, giving them their own movement numbers, and later supplied parts to Bulova. I understand American made Bulova parts and Japanese made ones are inter-changeable. Citizen’s version of the 218 Accutron was used in the Hisonics whilst the 219 was used in a Cosmotron model – more of that when I do the Cosmotron article.

The tuning fork movement significantly raised the bar in terms of watch performance – Bulova gave written guarantees that the watch would lose or gain no more than one minute per month. Here’s a really excellent article which gives lots of historical and technical information:

The advent of quartz technology killed off tuning fork watches, with production ending around 1977, so the Hisonics were produced for only a short while. They are high end time pieces – in Citizen’s 1973 catalog the cheapest retailed at JPY35,000, rising to JPY60,000.

My example is from September 1973, and would have cost JPY38,000 at the time: ... e-hisonic/


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