Cesium 133 by Bathys: First Real Atomic Watch (Video)
Some watches are innovative due to their mechanical complexities. Others to their unique and original designs. But, the Bathys Hawaii Cesium 133 changes the way time is kept by bringing the accuracy of atomic clocks to your wrist.
Traditionally, “atomic watches” are basically quartz watches that set themselves based upon radio signals received from larger atomic clocks, like the ones at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO). Bathys has taken their atomic watch one giant atomic step further. They’ve taken an atomic clock with a Cesium-oscillator core and miniaturized it to the point where it fits inside a wristwatch, albeit a rather large one. Cesium-133, by the way, is the most stable Cesium isotope. So, no this watch won’t give you super powers.
Inside the Bathys Cesium 133 is a microchip called a chip-scale atomic clock (CSAC) with a Cesium-133 atomic core. The CSAC chip regulates the watch’s Ronda 509 quartz movement. This Cesium core vibrates at a rate of precisely 9,192,631,770 vibrations per second. To put that in perspective, the standard quartz crystal oscillating core of a quartz watch resonates at a rate of 32,768 vibrations per second (aka hertz). The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Ceramic Diver’s Calibre 3120 only beats at a paltry 3.00 hertz.
The vibrations of Cesium-133 are so regular, and its time-keeping ability so precise, that the International System of Units’ scientific definition of one second is 9,192,631,770 vibrations of the Cesium-133 atom. That means the Bathys Hawaii Cesium 133 watch is pretty damn accurate, too… Theoretically, it will keep time to within 1 second every thousand years. That is, provided you keep the rechargeable battery juiced up. For the prototype, at least, the battery will keep ticking for 36 hours.
The Bathys Cesium 133 is still in the prototyping stage. In fact, Bathys Hawaii is running a Kickstarter campaign to get the last bit of funding they need. As of right now, they have 82 backers and have raised $68,278 of their $42,000 goal. And, there are about 9 days left in the campaign. If you’re feeling flush, Bathys is offering 10 initial Cesium 133s for $6,000. As I type this, there is still one available.
I am really excited to see the final result of the Cesium 133. It may very well change the nature of watchmaking forever. A little over half a century ago, there was the Quartz Revolution. The Cesium 133 may bring about the Atomic Revolution. We’ll have to wait and see. For more info on the Bathys Hawaii Cesium 133, check out video below, their website and Kickstarter campaign.