Using state-of-the-art technology derived from the US military, watchmaker Dr. John Patterson and engineer George Talbot have successfully demonstrated a working prototype cesium atomic wristwatch capable of accuracy to 1 second in 1000 years. The new watch is called the “Cesium 133”, named for the most stable isotope of the element.
Unlike so-called “atomic wrist watches” that use a radio signal generated by the US Government to keep accurate time, this new watch has its own self-contained Cesium source that generates the time signal independently.
“The technology found in this watch is something even a decade ago no one could imagine existing in such a small package” says Dr. Patterson. “Within a single chip there is a laser, a heater, a sealed cavity of cesium gas, a microwave filter and a photodiode detector. Using the exact same principle of counting hyperfine lines of excited cesium 133 atoms used by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), our watch is able to achieve unprecedented levels of accuracy; on the order of 1 second per thousand years”.
The prototype watch created by Patterson and Talbot is powered by rechargeable lithium batteries and the time is displayed on a traditional analog dial with a moonphase indicator. The watch at 60mm x 50mm x 23mm is large, but still fits comfortably on the wrist. Before the watch enters production, Patterson anticipates reducing the size and increasing the battery life.
Plans are to release a limited edition of 20 watches in 2014 with an estimated MSRP of $12,000 each – not a bad price, but being on time will still be up to the owner.
Bathys Hawaii is a small boutique watch company that was founded in 2005 by Dr. John Patterson. The firm specializes in timepieces designed for diving, exploration and extreme environments. The watches are designed in Hawaii and manufactured in Switzerland. Their website is www.bathyshawaii.com