If you’re a regular Watch Report reader, you know how much I love the combination of atomic and solar, which usually means Casio. It looks like Seiko is getting serious about their atomic solar collections, however, and has announced the first atomic watch which works worldwide. Of course, “worldwide” means wherever there is an atomic clock, which is Japan (Fukushima and Kyushu), Germany (Frankfurt), and the US (Fort Collins, Colorado). In contrast, the atomic Casios I have only work in Japan and the US (and unfortunately, Casio makes plenty that only work in Japan).
Initially, the watches will be additions to the Seiko Brightz line, which I love. Features will include:
- Worldwide radio-controlled atomic time calibration (Japan, Germany, and the US).
- Solar powered. When fully charged, the battery will hold enough power to run continuously for 6 months, or 1.5 years using the power saving function.
- Manual receiving function (which means you can calibrate the watch without waiting for its scheduled calibration time which is the middle of the night).
- Receive results display function (which means the watch will let you know that it has successfully calibrated).
- World time in 24 time zones.
- Automatic hand adjustment. If the hands become misaligned (as hands sometimes do due to magnetism or shock), it will automatically realign them.
- Bright titanium case and bracelet.
- Water-resistant to 10 ATM (that’s 10 BAR, 100 meters, or 330 feet).
Seiko plans to start making these watches available in Japan in September of this year, and then in Europe at some point in the future. Yes, the US is conspicuously missing from their plans, but don’t worry — once they’re available, I will most definitely get my hands on one (I already have a trip to Asia planned for November), and I’ll be sure to post a couple reliable sources.
Update (9/3/2005): I’ve received a lot of email about this post (there seems to be a lot of excitement about this watch) along with the following corrections and additional information:
- I state above that the only atomic clocks are in Japan, Germany, and the US. Nick Collingridge wrote in to let me know there is an atomic clock in Rugby, England, as well. The Ruby atomic clock transmits a time signal about 1,500 kilometers (937.5 miles) which covers all of the British Isles. It’s not clear whether this watch will calibrate with the atomic clock in Rugby, however I have come across several other watches that do. Thanks, Nick!
- Daniel Webb wrote in to let me know that the Casio WVA-440 synchronizes fine with the time signals transmitted from both the UK and Germany. Thanks, Daniel! It does not look like these watches will calibrate in the US or in Japan, though.
- Dirk Schillmoeller wrote in to let me know that Seiko’s claim to be the first to offer a worldwide atomic watch is actually incorrect. It turns out Junghans already has at least two watches that calibrate in the US, Japan, and in Europe. Their site is entirely in German, but I was able to read enough to confirm that Dirk is correct. Very interesting! I will look into this further. Thanks, Dirk!
By Christian Cantrell