Hoptroff No. 10 marks world’s first atomic pocket watch

May 1, 2013
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This week the folks at Hoptroff have introduced a pocket watch they suggest will tell time better and more accurately than any other watch in existence. This watch has been claimed by the company to be more accurate than any luxury quartz or mechanical watch yet produced, and will be the first to be atomically powered in a pocket watch form factor. The Hoptroff No. 10 is such a rare and seemingly difficult to construct timepiece that the company plans on making 12 units in their first run.

Creating the world's first atomic pocket watch seems to have been an part of an obsession for the company, creating here what they say is the most accurate watch in the world due to its unique method of telling time. The device the company is showing off this week is not a radio-receiving watch, nor is it made with a set of mechanics as a traditional timepiece is.

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Instead the No. 10 includes a caesium gas chamber sitting inside a temperature controlled oven. There's a laser in this piece of hardware that excites radioactive atoms working with a microwave resonator to monitor each atomic transition, this measurement resulting in the most accurate measurement of time yet available, so sayeth Hoptroff.

Hoptroff also notes that the device has a "self-contained accuracy of one and a half seconds per thousand years", so don't expect to be right on the dot if you plan on living that long. Symmetricom provides the atomic physics package used by this device, they having created the system for an ever-so-slightly different use.

"The atomic physics package is supplied by Symmetricom, who originally developed it in collaboration with the US Department of Defense for use in cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles where it is needed to continue navigating in the presence of GPS radio jamming." - Richard Hoptroff, managing director of Hoptroff Ltd

At the moment, the watch doesn't actually have a final face or back. The company currently has a working model of the innards ready for action, but will be in development with the rest until later this year. There, users will find the end product, hereto code-named Atom Heart Mother, ("after the Pink Floyd album"), to be costing a cool five figure sum - the final amount is not yet known.

[via The Register]


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