Jura Watches, the online luxury watch shop owned by CW Sellors, is sending a £1500 Seiko watch into space to mark the international Space Exploration Day on July 20.
The Derbyshire-based business will look to launch the timepiece to the edge of earth’s atmosphere using a helium filled balloon.
Cameras will be attached to the payload filming the entire ascent, capturing the curvature of the earth, before the balloon bursts and the payload slowly falls back to ground aided by a parachute.
Once it has landed, the public will hunt the package down, with the finder being able to claim the Seiko watch as a prize.
Steve Ashby, who is heading the project at Jura Watches, spoke of the challenges organising the launch. “This is without a doubt one of the most exciting project I have ever worked on, but one
that’s not without meticulous planning. Everything, from the size and weight of the payload, to the amount of helium and the size of the balloon that we use, needs to be taken into consideration, and things may even change on the day depending on weather conditions.
“We are working closely with professionals who will be overseeing the project to make sure everything from the launch to the landing goes to plan.”
Jura Watches plans to broadcast live still images of the flight and landing throughout the day on its Facebook page, and will share a full HD video of the launch once complete.
The balloon should float until it reaches the edge of earth’s atmosphere, before it eventually bursts and falls to earth.
Over the course of the launch and descent, the balloon has the capacity to travel an incredible distance, but organisers have predicted a landing area of around three miles wide based on the weather conditions on the day.
David Harnby, director of sales at Seiko, said: “Orbiting 20,000 km above the surface of the earth are the GPS satellites that help us run our lives and to which every Seiko Astron GPS Solar watch connects.
“To celebrate this incredible technology we thought it would be exciting to see how close we could take an Astron watch to these satellites.
“Over the past 136 years Seiko has pushed boundaries and taken huge technological steps in the world of horology. We are thrilled to partner with Jura Watches to take this giant leap”
James Sellors, manager at Jura Watches, said: “All of us here have a true passion for watches, so to work on a project like this is going to be an incredible experience. We would like to thank Seiko for sponsoring the event, and we wish the very best of luck to all members of the public who get involved in the hunt to find the watch when it touches down.”
Members of the public are encouraged to get involved with the launch by entering one or more of the competitions linked to the event, where you can guess the distance travelled, the time between launch and landing, and the maximum altitude reached to win a range of prizes. Follow the launch and competitions at www.watchintospace.com, on social media at www.facebook.com/jurawatches or follow #TimeInSpace on Twitter.