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The Cesium 133 atomic wristwatch heads to Kickstarter


April 17, 2014

The Cesium 133 prototype currently sports a carbon fiber case, which keeps its weight down...

The Cesium 133 prototype currently sports a carbon fiber case, which keeps its weight down to that of a regular wristwatch

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There are plenty of atomic watches available that can keep time accurately by receiving a radio signal from an atomic clock, but there hasn't ever been a true atomic wristwatch which boasts its own atomic clock. Until now. Enter the Cesium 133 from Bathys Hawaii, an early steel-bodied prototype of which we first spotted in October 2013.

The Cesium 133 uses a chip-scale atomic clock (CSAC) to maintain accurate time. The name of the watch comes from the cesium 133 atom which is officially used to define a second in time. By dividing a second into 9,192,631,770 vibrations of the aforementioned atom, the CSAC residing with the Cesium 133 will keep accurate time to within one second every 1,000 years.

At the time of writing the Cesium 133 is at the working prototype stage, featuring a carbon fiber case, a traditional analog display and a lithium battery that lasts up to 36 hours on a single charge. Bathys Hawaii plans to use a more readily-available lithium battery in the future and have the new steel cases 3D-printed.

The Cesium 133 will eventually sport a stainless steel case as seen in this design concept...

In order to fund further development and the initial production run of the Cesium 133, Bathys Hawaii has turned to Kickstarter. All 10 of the initial run have been snapped up for US$6,000 apiece. That may sound like a lot of money to spend on a timepiece, but the final retail version of the Cesium 133, if there ever is such a thing, is likely to cost as much as $12,000. People eager to help fund the Cesium 133 can still pledge money, with other watches amongst the rewards still available.

The 10 people who have pledged $6,000 each to nab these first prototypes will take part in the final design phase, with updates and sketches promised. The rest of us will just have to wait until the day the Cesium 133 is available to purchase, to then balk at paying quite so much money for a mere wristwatch, regardless of its timekeeping abilities.

More information is available in the pitch video below.

Sources: Kickstarter, Bathys Hawaii

About the Author
Dave Parrack Dave is a technology journalist with a ravenous appetite for gadgets, gizmos, and gubbins. He's based in the U.K., and from his center of operations writes about all facets of modern and future technology. He has learned more in his five years writing for the Web than he did in 11 years at school, and with none of the boring subjects thrown in to the mix.   All articles by Dave Parrack
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