A nice short Hoptroff feature from SalonQP
London-based watch designer, bluetooth engineer and mad genius Richard Hoptroff amazed the watch world three years ago with the first atomic pocket watch. Now, he has translated its technology to the wrist, in the form of this double dial oddity
- The physics unit at the heart of the No 16’s its atomic clock was developed by the US Department of Defense, to avoid GPS jamming in cruise missiles.
- The unit contains an oven to heat Caesium to 130ºC, a laser to excite the atoms and a microwave resonator.
- This extracts a transition frequency of 4.5 billion beats per second. That’s compared to, say, the 36,000 beats per hour of a “high frequency” Zenith El Primero.
- It won’t explode and it can’t give you radiation, because it’s neither atomic-powered (atomic refers to its atomic ‘pendulum’, not its power source), nor radioactive – Caesium 137 is a stable isotope.
The right hand dial, with mean solar time, sidereal time and equation of time counters, is an homage to Dr George Daniels’ Space Traveller pocket watch.
- The left hand dial, with its Art Nouveau pattern, is intended to evoke the trails visible in a cloud chamber – a device used in particle physics to study the movement of atoms.
- The faces between the two dials are inspired by Picasso’s drawings, and are rendered in Rhodium plating by master goldsmiths Elliot Fitzpatrick of London.
- Designer Richard Hoptroff is a founding member of the Atomic Watchmakers’ Club – current membership: two.