October 21, 2015
by Ariel Adams
After presenting the wrist-worn No. 16 atomic clock watch about a year ago, Richard Hoptroff is back with the Hoptroff No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 atomic wrist watches that he claims are now “wearable.” What I am actually spending the most time thinking about is how the Number 16 watch came before numbers 1, 2, and 3. But perhaps, that is for a different time. Right now, the focus is on these three new timepieces that contain what Hoptroff claims are the latest in small-sized atomic clock technology.
So what does wearable mean? The Hoptroff No. 16 was almost 84mm wide and looked like two watches welded to one another side-by-side. The Hoptroff No. 1, 2, and 3 atomic watches have a more traditional rectangular case that is clearly shaped as such to contain the electronics inside. The case is available in rhodium-plated brass or 18k yellow gold for each of the watches and is 52mm wide by 42mm tall and rather chunky at 19.5mm thick. Even though these are still quite large measurements, in his typical retro-style, Hoptroff tried to make these interesting and very modern watches look classic. Thank you, British watch designers!
The real difference between the three models is what indicators the dials have. The watches all contain the same small-sized battery-powered atomic clocks but feature varying amounts of indicators on the dial. You’ll pay significantly more for things like “atomic state” as well as the date. The “atomic state” indicator is a $2,600 option. Then again, it is likely worth it to those who are interested in this type of watch to begin with, so that you’ll know if the atomic oven is on or if the microwave resonator is locked.
What type of accuracy are we talking about? Well, consider that in full power mode, the watches are accurate to one second each 1,000 years. Yup, not too shabby. In lower power mode, you are down to a dangerously inaccurate 10 seconds of deviation per 1,000 years. Why even bother with this mode though? It is practically useful for all but the most leisurely of time tracking needs. At least you get three full months of battery life in low power mode – and the watches are USB rechargeable.
Hoptroff thankfully doesn’t ask too much of a premium for the watches in gold, but I am wondering why steel wasn’t an option? That just means he didn’t bother using machines that could cut steel as opposed to brass and gold that are much softer. Nevertheless, these are cool watches and I would easily wear one. Unfortunately these aren’t priced to move, but we are seeing genuine innovation in the atomic clock wrist watch segment and Hoptroff is one of the only ones pushing ahead. Price for the Hoptroff No. 1, 2, and 3 atomic watches starts at $15,400 and goes up to $26,500 (without the VAT). See the full price list after the tech specs below. hoptroff.com
No.1, No. 2, and No. 3 Watch Tech Specs from Hoptroff
– No.1 – Hours, minutes, seconds
– No.2 – Hours, minutes, seconds, atomic state
– No.3 – Hours, minutes, seconds, atomic state, date
– Atomic state indications: Power remaining, Oven on, Oven equilibrium, Laser striking, Laser stable, Microwave resonator on, Microwave resonator locked, Atomic timing locked
– Top pusher: Bluetooth activation
– Bottom pusher: Manual activation of atomic physics unit
– Upper pyramids: Atomic mode indication
– Time setting from NTP: ~30ms accuracy
– Battery life: Est. 3 months in low power mode between USB recharges
– Accuracy: 1.5 seconds per thousand years
– Low power accuracy: Est. 10 seconds per thousand years
– Waterproofing: Splashproof
– Dimensions: 52mm x 42mm x 19.5mm
No.1 – Rhodium brass (pictured) – £12,000 incl EU VAT / $15,400 outside the EU
No.1 – Gold – £18,000 incl EU VAT / $23,100 outside the EU
No.2 – Rhodium brass (pictured) – £14,000 incl EU VAT / $18,000 outside the EU
No.2 – Gold – £20,000 incl EU VAT / $25,700 outside the EU
No.3 – Rhodium brass (pictured) – £15,000 incl EU VAT / $19,250 outside the EU
No.3 – Gold – £21,000 incl EU VAT / $26,950 outside the EU