Tag Archives: hoptroff

Salon QP

I visited the exhibition on Saturday which is probably the busiest day but it is not always so easy to find time. Despite the number of people you could get round and see what you wanted to see.

Unfortunately, some things/people I would have liked to see were not present this year, the most notable being Pinion and Robert Loomes which was a shame. As you can imagine events like this are not really the place to have a conversation especially on the busiest day. From my “day-job” I have learnt that the best strategy is to make a face to face introduction which can then be followed up on later. To this end I think I had a pretty successful afternoon, I did get to speak to Roger Smith (objective N0. 1), Richard Hoptroff and very briefly Alexandre Meerson.

As you can imagine the Roger Smith, stand was pretty well attended. You will remember from my previous post that Roger was showing his series of four watches for the first time, but “shock-horror” the watches were show watches not the actual working models.


I also managed to have slightly longer chats with the man I spoke to last year on the Schofield stand and try on their latest watch, the Signalman Silver Top (above)  which as you can see is a pretty hefty piece. One feature I had not previously appreciated on this watch is the GMT sub-dial which could be pretty useful for international travelers.

Then I made an un-expected find, Dennison a revived British brand that is due for re-launch in February. Dennison famously made the cases for Sir Edmund Hilary’s Smiths Everest watch. THe revived brand will rely on Swiss movements – watch this space for more news.

Hop stuff: meet the maker of the atomic watch – Daily Telegraph

He’s the creator of the world’s first atomic-powered timepiece, as well as devices that marry smart technology with traditional aesthetics. The Daily Telegraph meet Richard Hoptroff

Read the article here or below


The familiar environs of the fine watch world – the rarefied factories of Geneva or the glossy stores of Bond Street – are a world apart from an unassuming street in south London’s Elephant & Castle. The tiny workspace that makes up British timepiece specialist Hoptroff’s HQ is like the horological equivalent of the Old Curiosity Shop, only with a dash of luxury fairy dust sprinkled throughout. For it’s here that physicist, archaeologist and amateur pilot Richard Hoptroff is pushing the boundaries of watchmaking through a series of pioneering innovations that have changed the watch world.

We like challenges here,” he says, by way of understatement, referring to the project that will launch at fine watch fair SalonQP next month; the Hotblack True Tide. This timepiece will be able to tell the tide times at over 3,000 ports across the world, syncing up with a smartphone containing information relayed via Bluetooth into a chip in the watch, with the traditional dial on the face swinging to the relevant numbers. But what sets Hoptroff’s technical wizardry apart from the smart phone generation is that this complex technology comes in the form of handsome, classically designed watches that look mechanical rather than digital.

“The watches are ‘smart’ but they are traditional looking, beautiful pieces. Primarily a watch is a thing of beauty not utility. We don’t even need watches to tell the time these days so you wear it to look good and feel good. The ‘smart’ element is displayed in a more considered way than just a screen,” Hoptroff says.

It’s this thread of innovation that led Hoptroff, who started working in forecasting software, to create the Atomic, which lays claim to being the most accurate timekeeping device of its size, not to mention being the world’s first atomic-powered watch. It was developed in 2013 using chips taken from US military cruise missiles (and no, he can’t divulge what’s in them – it’s top secret) and runs at an accuracy of 1 second to every 1,000 years. In layman’s terms, it’s more accurate than Big Ben.

Currently working on refining the size of the timepiece to make it viable for the wrist, Hoptroff has also recently created the No.9, a watch that tells the share prices on a dial on the face, synced up once again to an app, and the No.15, a watch with an embedded compass that indicates the direction to Mecca and relays the exact times of prayer.

In his inventor’s studio, overflowing with devices such as a Crookes radiometer, circuit boards, balance springs, cogs, studs and escape wheels, Hoptroff’s mission statement has always been to test the technological status quo. “We’ve refined our processes by trial and error. It’s not rocket science,” he says, although it sounds like it, “but you realise that by adding just a little bit of smart technology in an intelligent way, you can do amazing things. We employ technology but we do so in a personal way, so for your prayer times, or the device on the watch I’m wearing that tells me when anniversaries, birthdays and important dates are on a dial”. All this innovation in a package that’s infinitely more beautiful than a standard smart timepiece makes Hoptroff one to watch.

The First Watches To Account For Leap Seconds, From Hoptroff London – Hodinkee


The calendar complication is one of the more commonly seen complications in mechanical wristwatches. One thing they don’t do is keep track of leap years where an extra day is added to February. To correctly show February’s leap day, you would need a perpetual calendar complication in your watch, which is comparatively much more complicated, and much more expensive than a normal calendar complication. Beyond leap days and years, there are leap seconds. Leap seconds are applied to coordinated universal time on an occasional basis, to account for a small irregularity in the Earth’s orbit. What if you wanted to take the accuracy of your watch one step further, and keep track of leap seconds? Then you definitely need a Hoptroff watch.

Hoptroff “No 16” – Hodinkee Review

The well renowned watch blog from New York has done a great piece on the crazy looking Hoptroff “No 16”. See the link below.


Mecca Watch

Well why not, why should I concentrate my commentary on “British” watches to mechanical time keepers. Part of the quirky London brand Hoptroff’s range is this Mecca watch.

It offers not only time and seconds, but also the direction to Mecca and the times of Fajr, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha

Under the elegant exterior, a built-in magnetometer in the timepiece and a Bluetooth transceiver to access the GPS in your phone, are used to determine the direction to Mecca and the prayer times.

950 Platinum £9000 + sales tax
Britannia Silver £1650 + sales tax
Available November 2014
Pre-orders now being taken