Feeds

Brit horologist hammers out ‘first’ ATOMIC-POWERED watch

The laughing gnomon

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Pic Could this be the chronometrist’s ultimate timepiece, the peak of horological haute couture? British bespoke movement maker Hoptroff today claimed to have produced the world’s first personal chronometer with an on board atomic clock.

The result, says Hoptroff, is a accuracy of 1.5 seconds every 3.15 x 1010 seconds - that’s 1000 years in less mind-boggling numbers.

Hoptroff atomic watch

The business end

At the heart of the movement is a Quantum SA.45s “chip scale atomic clock” made by US company Symmetricom, which specialises in high-precision timekeeping gadgetry, particularly for military, aerospace and national utility infrastructure applications. Cruise missiles use the technology to cope with GPS signal jamming. It’s also used underwater, where GPS signals won’t penetrate.

The unit contains a temperature controlled caesium gas chamber. A laser is used to heat the radioactive atoms, and a microwave resonator to detect the emissions from the atoms’ electrons as they change energy levels. The frequency of the microwaves is highly stable and provides the clock’s beat.

The hermetically sealed, RS-232 interfaced SA.45s has, as we say in the trade, an Allen Deviation of 2.5 x 10-10 at a Tau of one second - the difference between two successive time readings is microscopically small. The unit’s 10MHz output has a peak-to-peak, tick-to-tock deviation of 250µHz RMS.

Hoptroff atomic watch

Face off

Unfortunately, the SA.45s is small but not tiny. At 40 x 34.8 x 11.3mm, it’s too big to go into a wristwatch, so Hoptroff’s mechanism has been designed for pocket watches. Full- or half-hunter - or even open case - is presumably up to you.

Inside the case, Hoptroff has crammed a lithium-polymer battery fed through a micro USB port. It has also built in a Bluetooth radio, plus humidity, temperature and pressure sensors, and even a magnetometer - all of which help drive the 28 dials that make up the watch’s face.

Hoptroff’s atomic watch isn’t so much a product as a prototype. It’s only planning to make two dozen of them at first, which is probably wise since the price is an ‘if you need to ask...’ unannounced five-figure sum. ®

More info from Hoptroff

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.