HOT 100 2014: Richard Hoptroff, Hoptroff

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Hoptroff, the eponymous brand of Richard Hoptroff, is a true innovator. Few watch brands today can genuinely claim to have created timepieces of historic significance, but with the Hoptroff No. 10 watch, this British horologist has done exactly that.

“The No. 10 is one of the most remarkable timepieces in the history of horology,” Richard claims. “It is the first watch to be regulated by its own atomic clock, rather than a balance spring, a pendulum or quartz. It is accurate to one-and-a-half seconds per thousand years. Not just marginally better than other watchmaking movements, but thousands of times so.”

This is, he adds, the greatest business achievement of the past 12 months. “That kind of opportunity for legacy that only comes up a handful of times in anyone’s life.”

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Prising an atomic clock into a golden drum watch case isn’t the only first that Richard has overseen this year. He has also been a pioneer in the use of 3D printing in horology, although there has been a considerable amount of trial and error, he admits. His first ten attempts at 3D printing using gold all ended up being thrown back into the furnace.

This fearless pursuit of new ideas could be a blueprint for other British watchmakers, Richard hopes. “It’s early days yet, but we’re clearly just a part of a defiant upsurge of British watchmaking. Switzerland better watch out,” he warns.

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