UK & World News

  • 11 April 2014, 11:02

World's First Atomic Wristwatch To Cost 3,500

The world's first atomic wristwatch - which loses just one second every 1,000 years - could be manufactured within months.

Watchmaker John Patterson is trying to raise $42,000 (25,000) on crowdfunding site Kickstarter to pay for a limited run of just six to 10 of the concept devices.

He told Sky News: "If we raise the money to get it into production, this watch will one day be in a museum."

Backers who pledge $6,000 (3,500) will get one of the watches, which is the size of a large matchbox.

It contains a laser, a heater, a sealed cavity of caesium gas, a microwave filter, and a photodiode detector.

The caesium 133 atom vibrates 9,192,631,770 every second, and by monitoring the number of vibrations the time can be accurately told without the need for radio signals or mechanical parts.

Mr Patterson admitted the bulky watch is a niche product that is aimed squarely at technology enthusiasts.

"This will be a very limited run. They're not for everyone. But even though it's a fairly large watch, you look at some of the watches costing hundreds of thousands of dollars aimed at the super-rich, and they're huge.

"So in comparison to those, this watch doesn't look so big."

Mr Patterson, who has 10 years' experience in the watch trade, said there are developers in Switzerland working on a similar device.

"I'm surprised the Swiss haven't already released one of these. They're working on it, but maybe their quest for perfection has delayed things."

While some watches on the market are advertised as atomic, they sync with a radio signal to an atomic clock elsewhere.

The father-of-two, who lives on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, said if he hits his funding target the first atomic watches will be constructed and sent out by November.

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