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Novel Hybrid Watch Implements Latest Atomic-clock-on-chip Technology

April 1, 2020
Taking timing to the next level with a wrist-mounted atomic clock.

Series: April 1, 2020: What's Trending in Technology?

Ever since the mechanical watch industry recovered from the “quartz crisis” by migrating to the high end of the marketplace, we’ve seen a plethora of quirky, novel timepieces. With the added competition from smartwatches and other intelligent wearable devices, many of these companies began releasing mechanical-electronic hybrid watches. Some of the more exclusive watchmakers have even integrated high-horological complications into their hybrid timepieces.

A recent high-end startup in the watch industry has gone the final step in electronic hybridization, integrating the latest atomic-clock-on-chip technology into their latest opus piece. The Jewel-Oriented Kinetic Endeavor is arguably the most arcane and complex hybrid mechanical/electronic watch in existence, with near-perfect accuracy guaranteed by the chipscale atomic clock in its mechanism.

The hybrid movement also has an integrated 10-hz high-beat mechanical movement, with sensors constantly monitoring the beat rate, adjusting the mechanism with MEMS-based servos as needed to maintain accuracy. Additional micromotors drive the time display, and can change the characters in less than a tenth of a second to accurately show the time, even at the minute change. The company is still addressing issues with the power-management IC and micromotor used in the seconds display.

There are no hands, the watch uses articulated Dungeons & Dragons Dice to show hours, minutes, seconds, and the leap year. According to the designer, “I wanted to channel the joys of my youth into this piece, and everyone wants to recapture their youth. I think that $500,000 is a small price to pay for this wonderful expression of times gone by.” The company offers a choice of dice and character colors for an additional $50,000 customization fee.

Currently the watch does require an external battery, because the complete system draws approximately 800mA in operation, due to the complexity of the movement. A discreet cable runs up the sleeve (there is also an attractive leather wrist covering available when wearing short-sleeve shirts) that runs into a belt-carried battery pack good for at least 40 hours of continuous operation before requiring recharging with its bespoke charging stand.

For more information please contact the Association Pour Réglementé Intelligence Logiciel Première.

Series: April 1, 2020: What's Trending in Technology?

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