Beyond Quartz

In a decade, your wristwatch will be thousands of times as accurate as it is today

by Michael Kraus

Caltech Photonic Clock Technology / Available 2015

**LATER

Caltech Photonic Clock Technology

Available 2015

Big Innovation**

This watch’s light-powered drive mechanism vibrates thousands of times as fast as quartz.

This optical clock technology, developed at the California Institute of Tech- nology, could make the most accurate watch available now seem as retrograde as a sundial. A laser pumps photons around the rim of a microscopic glass ring, causing it to swell and contract 80 million times per second. This vibration could regulate the precision movement of a motor, driving a gear train that turns the hands.

**SOON

Tag Heuer Calibre 360 Chronograph

Available Mid-2006

Big Innovation**

The first mechanical wristwatch as accurate as quartz.

Wind-up chronographs generally tick once every tenth of a second, lagging far behind the quartz standard of at least one hundredth of a second. The Calibre 360 is the first mechanical watch to meet that pace marker. Tag Heuer sped up the sluggish wind-up by separating the chronograph’s balance wheel from the clock’s balance wheel. This allows the chronograph’s balance wheel to pivot
10 times as fast as its predecessors.
$6,500; tagheuer.com

**NOW

Junghans Mega 1000

Currently Available

Big Innovation**

One of the first watches that automatically syncs itself with atomic clocks worldwide.

Most atomic watches sync with the U.S. clock in Colorado, which is accurate to one second every 60 million years. The Mega 1000’s internal antenna, however, can also pick up signals transmitted from observatories in Germany and Japan, so it’ll work most anywhere.
Each night the watch detects the nearest signal and sets the quartz movement to the local time zone-preprogrammed by the wearer.
$270; junghansusa.com