The Accutron is a revolutionary wristwatch that has played a significant role in history. Developed by Bulova in the 1950s, it became widely popular for its design that exposed the inner mechanical workings of the watch. It also had superior time-keeping technology, causing it to become the standard timepiece for high speed flight and space travel. Even NASA and the CIA adopted the technology, and the Accutron was present on 46 Apollo missions. Beyond scientific breakthroughs, the watch also inspired a stylistic movement for transparency and inner workings back on Earth.
The watch even influenced the creation of one of the most disruptive sneaker designs: the Nike Air Max 1. Tinker Hatfield, the shoe’s creator, was inspired by the Centre Pompidou, which in turn drew inspiration from Accurton’s “inside-out” design. The shoe drew upon this concept through transparent air bubbles on the shoe design and a window in the sole that showed the inner workings of the shoe. Some of Nike’s most coveted collaborations center around this shoe, many of which tend to appreciate by 28% per year due to their popularity. Just like the Accutron, the Air Max shoe left a lasting imprint on culture by a breakthrough transparent design.