The Air Max 1s, a line of sneakers created by Nike, were inspired by the Accutron watch. The Accutron, released by Bulova in 1960, was the world’s first fully-electronic watch, and it used a tuning fork to mark the passage of time, creating a characteristic ‘hum’ sound. The “Open dial” demonstration model, which allowed a view of the inner workings, became popular and was introduced as the official Accutron Spaceview in 1961. It was popularized by celebrities such as Elvis Presley, Joe DiMaggio, and Paul Newman, who made the Accutron a hot fashion commodity.
The Air Max 1s, released in 1987, were inspired by the design of the Accutron’s tuning fork and open-worked dial, which allowed a glimpse of the inner workings. The Air Max 1s were the first sneakers to feature a visible air pocket in the heel for added cushioning, similar to how the Accutron’s technology was visible in its design. The Air Max 1s were a cultural icon and continue to be a popular sneaker. The Air Max 1s were a revolutionary design that not only brought new technology in the form of the visible air pocket but also a new aesthetic that was inspired by the Accutron watch.