Self-contained atomic clock watch may be world's first

Bathys Hawaii unveils a prototype watch that contains its own atomic clock.

Atomic watch prototype
This prototype watch has an atomic clock under the hood. Bathys Hawaii

Watchmaker Bathys Hawaii has a different kind of smartwatch in mind these days. The Cesium 133 prototype wristwatch manages to stuff an entire atomic clock into a wearable gadget.

Watches that communicate with atomic clocks to set their time have been around for years, but a wrist-wearable atomic clock is another matter.

The Cesium 133 has the usual gears and levels causing the hands to move, but instead of quartz crystal inside, there's a cesium atomic oscillator. According to Bathys Hawaii, the watch will only lose one second over every 1,000-year period.

A Blog to Watch speculates that the guts of the wristwatch is a chip-scale atomic clock built by Symmetricon for larger applications, which is why no one thought to cram it into a watch before. The $1,500 clock is small and lightweight enough to fit into the watch, but helps to explain the chunky design of the prototype.

Bathys chose to go with an analog dial, which gives the high-tech watch a fun retro look. The Cesium 133 could eventually retail for $12,000. That's a luxury, but a super-accurate one.

About the author

Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET's Crave blog. When not wallowing in weird gadgets and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.

 

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