News: Hoptroff No. 10 – the world’s first portable atomic clock

London-based Hoptroff has announced its No. 10 pocket watch, which will be equipped with a Chip Scale Atomic Clock (CSAC), a miniaturised atomic clock.

Hoptroff No. 10

Made by Hoptroff, a London-based maker of electronic watches, the Hoptroff No. 10 is a an enormous pocket watch measuring 82 mm wide and 25 mm thick. It will keep time to 1.5 seconds every one thousand years, thanks to the the Symmetricom SA.45s Chip Scale Atomic Clock (CSAC) inside.  Unlike most electronic timekeepers which can sync via radio waves with an atomic clock, the No. 10 is actually an atomic clock. It is in effect the world’s first atomic watch thanks to the SA.45s CSAC inside. The SA.45s is the world’s first commercially available CSAC, without which a pocket watch sized atomic clock would not have been possible.  The CSAC inside comes from NASDAQ listed Symmetricom, which makes atomic clocks and other precision timekeeping devices. Its atomic clocks are used by scientists, governments and military forces around the world, and many are used to keep the atomic time that most clocks and watches are set by.

The movement with the Symmetricom CSAC

Given the technology inside this, it is not surprising the watch will have a mind boggling number of functions, as illustrated below.

Only 12 of these will be made, and priced at about GBP50,000,or about USD77,900. This is a piece of extraordinary technology, possibly at the cutting edge of timekeeping thanks to the CSAC, but something like that will almost certainly get cheaper with time (no pun intended). It is the first, but definitely not the last portable atomic watch. I am certain more timepieces containing the Symmetricom CSAC will emerge in the future, and Symmetricom will unveil progressively smaller, and cheaper CSACs.


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Up close: Richard Mille RM026-01 Panda Tourbillon (live photos)

Richard Mille’s latest iteration of its ladies tourbillon is the RM026-01 Panda, with a diamond-set giant panda sitting on the dial, complete with bamboo in solid yellow gold.

Though better known its is ultra-light, ultra-geek and ultra-expensive men’s tourbillons, Richard Mille has used the same case and movement to create ladies’ watches, with some success. The newest bejewelled ladies’ timepiece is the RM026-01 Panda Tourbillon. Every creature, mythical or otherwise, associated with China – and which watchmakers think have half a chance of appealing to the Chinese consumer – has been Shanghaied onto a watch dial, or case back.

Here the universally adored giant panda, made from white gold and covered in white and black diamonds, sits beside the tourbillon, munching on a stick of bamboo. 

Around him are bamboo shoots, made of yellow gold and hand-painted with a green tint. The theme of bamboo shoots continues onto the tourbillon as well, with its titanium bridge shaped like the plant.

And like the other RM026 ladies’ tourbillons, this has a black onyx base plate. This is a limited edition of 30 pieces in rose gold or white gold, which is pictured here. Both versions are set with diamonds. – SJX

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