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Watches as accurate as an atomic clock

Geplaatst op 17-04-2023 door Marc Hut

Nowadays you can buy watches with all kinds of extensive and useful functions. Altimeters, depth gauges, chronographs, you name it and you will find a watch equipped with these tools. You would almost forget that a good timepiece should really excel in one thing: accurately displaying the time. An atomic clock is the most accurate in timekeeping, but what about watches? Are there watches with an atomic clock or are there movements as accurate as an atomic clock?

What is an atomic clock

An atomic clock is a clock that is controlled by the vibrations of atoms. Those atoms vibrate very constantly and with a very high frequency. They vibrate so constantly that you can set a clock to them. An atomic clock. The atomic clock is therefore incredibly accurate with a deviation of no more than 1 second every 5 billion years... 

Tip: Citizen Eco Drive watches with solar cell >

What is an atomic clock used for?

In fact, we all use technology that is controlled by an atomic clock. Consider, for example, GPS satellites, but much closer to home we also find applications that are synchronized by an atomic clock: alarm clocks, station clocks, traffic lights, switches. And yes: watches too!

Watches controlled by an atomic clock >

Is there an atomic clock inside a watch?

No, there is no atomic clock in a watch. An atomic clock is not going to fit in the average wristwatch because it is a complex, expensive and large installation. But a watch can be controlled by an atomic clock. We'll explain how that works.

Watches as accurate as an atomic clock AT9030-55L
Citizen AT9030-55L

Atomic clock time watch

Okay, an atomic clock in a watch is not possible. But controlling a watch with the signal from an atomic clock is possible. There are many such watches on the market and Citizen, among others, has a collection of radio-controlled Promasters that receive the signal from an atomic clock. We even have them in our shop, you can find them here.

Citizen CB5850-86E Promaster Land radio-controlled watch
Citizen CB5860-86E

So watches with atomic clock time receive a signal and use that signal to set the time correctly. That makes these types of timepieces very accurate. So our Citizen radio-controlled watches are actually atomic clock watches.

How accurate is a watch with an atomic clock?

The main advantage of a watch with atomic clock time is that it is very accurate and very precise. These radio controlled watches have only a minimal deviation. For example, Citizen indicates that the latest radio-controlled Citizen Promasters have a deviation of no more than 1 second per 1 million years!

Watches as accurate as an atomic clock Citizen BN0150-10E
Citizen CB5887-55H


Also read: '5 cool men's watches without battery!'

Always the right atomic clock time!

With a watch controlled by an atomic clock, you (almost) always have the correct time at hand. Almost, because it is impossible to display 100% correct time. Measured over billions of years there will always be a small deviation. Even the atomic clock time has a deviation but is 99.999999999999 (much more 9's behind the decimal point)% accurate.

Are you looking for a watch that is more than average in accurace? A radio-controlled watch that receives the signal from an atomic clock is definitely a good choice!

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