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World's first atomic pocket watch

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Set for release at the end of the year, London-based watchmaker Hoptroff is creating the world's first atomic pocket watch. 

Developed under the codename 'Atom Heart Mother,' the new Hoptroff No. 10, is the world's first atomic-powered pocket watch.

So why risk wandering around with a radioactive device? Accuracy is the name of the game; the timepiece will be thousands of times more accurate than the latest mechanical or quartz Swiss and Japanese watches. 

The watch uses a tiny atomic clock, powered by a Symmetricom caesium gas chamber, which was originally developed with the US Department of Defense to help guide cruise missiles and other unmanned aircraft.

The watch contains a caesium gas chamber tucked away inside a temperature controlled oven. A laser then excites the atoms and a microwave resonator is used to measure their atomic transitions and tell the time.

"As far as we know it is the first time an atomic time source has been used in a pocket watch movement," said Richard Hoptroff, managing director of Hoptroff, "and it delights me that it was achieved right here in London, not Le Locle or Tokyo."

Priced at £50,000 ($78,000), buyers will be paying for unrivalled timekeeping (it's accurate one and a half seconds per thousand years, to be precise) and you'll have to get in there quickly -- only 12 of the 25mm thick watches are set to be produced. 

Founded by Dr Richard Hoptroff, the Hoptroff company creates futuristic electronic watch movements and sources up to 90 percent of its components in the UK. 

jt/cm

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/news/130508/worlds-first-atomic-pocket-watch