Family find luxury watch which fell from space
A £1,500 watch has been found 19 days after it was launched to the edge of the atmosphere by a jewellery firm from Derbyshire.
The piece was launched into space on Space Exploration Day, 20 July by Derbyshire-based watch specialists, Jura Watches.
It became part of a regional treasure hunt, with hundreds looking for the timepiece hoping to be able keep it for themselves.
The journey and location of the watch was being tracked online at the brand’s website.
The finders from South Yorkshire were said to be “over the moon” when they found the timepiece after days of searching.
Lee Holland, 29, David Moffatt, 50, and Jesse Meehan, 12, and spent three days trying to find the watch after it fell from space last month. They used a quad bike and remote-controlled drone to aid them in their search.
Lee Moffatt, stepfather of Jesse, and stepson of David, said: “We had just returned home after hours of searching to have something to eat and then we saw the latest announcement on the Jura Watches’ Facebook page.
“We didn’t even finish our dinner, we just went straight back out in the rain to find it.”
The watch travelled more than 100km, and reached altitudes of approximately 36km above the Earth’s surface – 17km above the Armstrong line which is the widely accepted ‘gateway’ to space.
At peak altitude, the balloon burst, causing the watch to fall back to earth at a speed of 200mph.
The launch took place in Carsington, Derbyshire, where CW Sellors has plans to build a new visitor attraction next year based around jewellery manufacturing.
From there, the balloon flew over Matlock, Chesterfield, Sheffield, before bursting above the Peak District, cutting the tracking feed, and falling to its landing spot in a Hooton Pagnell field.
Holland added: “We started to worry that it might be found by somebody who wasn’t even aware of the competition. We found it at the right time. It was right at the edge of a corn field that was ready for a farmer to come along with a combine harvester – A few more days and it would have been gone.
“We were over the moon when we found it. We’ll never sell it, we’re all big watch fans. I could afford to buy a watch but you can’t buy a watch that’s been into space.”
James Sellors, manager at Jura Watches, said: “We want to extend a huge congratulations to Lee, David and Jesse for the hard work they put in to find the watch. All of us here have a true passion for watches, so to work on a project like this was an incredible experience.”